Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for March 24th, 2017. Tonight we get a full slate with eight games on tap. There are ten NBA games tonight, but DraftKings has decided to make their main slate only include the the first eight games. From now on I will be including an expensive player I like with my sleeper/value picks. Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:00 PM EST lock tonight, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. Hunta512.
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PG/SG: James Harden: (12,200) It makes no sense, but even though Harden went off in his last game for 72.75 DK points vs The Nuggets, DraftKings has decided to drop his price down $500 since Monday night. As I said Monday, Harden has taken his game to a new a level, and if you don’t include the 39 point blowout win over The Lakers where he only had to log 30 minutes last Wednesday, he is averaging an absurd 76.2 DK points since last Sunday. All four of these games have stayed competitive, which has pushed him to playing 39.25 minutes per game.
Tonight, he and The Rockets are at home taking on The Pelicans (1.73 opponent +/-), in a game that will hopefully stay tight throughout, with its 7.5 point spread in favor of Houston. Also per usual with The Rockets, they have the highest implied team total at 119.25 points, in the game with the highest O/U game total of the night at 231 points. Harden has produced in these type of situations all year, averaging 64.1 DK points in the eight games that The Rockets have been the favorites with a team total of 120 or more points. 64 DK points from Harden tonight would be a great 5.2 value return with room for even more given how productive he has been as of late. Even though he will be a very chalky play tonight, I think building lineups around Harden is the smartest route for this eight game slate.
PF/C: Marquese Chriss: (5,900) The Suns are in full blown tank mode and will be down to only eight active players tonight, with SF T.J. Warren (foot), SF Derrick Jones Jr. (wrist), and back up PG Ronnie Price (leg) all listed as doubtful. Last night The Suns were in a similar situation, but they had SF Derrick Jones healthy enough to start for the injured Warren. With Suns obviously forced to play their younger players a ton, Chris was excellent in 31 minutes, putting up a double double of 23 points and 11 rebounds to go along with one block and two steals vs The Nets. (45.25 DK points) Now his matchup obviously isn’t as pretty tonight vs The Celtics, but it is still above average, with The Celtics allowing the 7th most DK points to PFs this season, with a current opponent +/- of 1.58 points.
The one fear with rostering Chriss is always going to be his foul trouble issues, but with this team so thin, I don’t think they have a choice, but to let him play until he fouls out. This game most likely will end up being a blowout with The Celtics favored by 16.5 points, but the 19 year old should still play if this game gets out of hand, as we saw him log 31 minutes in last night’s 28 point loss to The Nets. He should play 30+ minutes tonight and I am expecting 30+ DK points with solid upside vs this Celtics defense. I know it’s crazy to think we are paying $5,900 dollars for Chriss, but this is an unusual situation, and I think Chriss is a great GPP play and viable cash game target depending on how risk tolerant you are.
PG: Ish Smith: (4,800) Smith will make his second consecutive start at PG tonight for The Pistons, with Reggie Jackson coming off the bench. He had a solid first game as a starter, scoring 26.25 DK points vs The Bulls on Wednesday, but he would have had an even better night if this didn’t end up being a 22 point loss, limiting him to only playing 25 minutes. Remaining in the starting five, he should play more tonight in this game vs The Magic that has a small 3.5 point spread in favor of The Pistons.
Assuming this game stays close, he should approach 30 minutes vs this Magic defense that has a decent current opponent +/- of 1.0 points. This season he is averaging 0.92 DK points per minute, and with this starting role, he should score 25-30 DK points tonight. At this price, I think he can be used in all formats, and may be player that gets overlooked with his low expected ownership of 2-4%. (via Fantasy Labs)
C: Richaun Holmes: (5,600) Sixers starting center Jahill Okafor is listed as a game time decision tonight with a sore right knee, but Head Coach Brett Brown’s comments suggest otherwise, telling the media, “If you made me guess, he’s going to be doubtful” when talking about Okafor’s availability, via Sixers writer Keith Pompey. If Okafor is ruled out, Holmes would draw the start again tonight vs The Bulls. The last time this happened, just on Monday night, Holmes dominated as the starting center, having a career night of 24 points, 14 rebounds, one block, and one steal in 42 minutes in an overtime loss to The Magic. (54.5 DK points)
This obviously is a huge night, inflated by five minutes of overtime, but he should still score close to 30 DK points and play at least 25 minutes tonight, in this nice matchup vs The Bulls, who have given up the 10th most DK points to centers this season. At $5,600 he really is only in play if Okafor is ruled out, and if we have confirmation before roster lock, he is a strong target in all formats, but even if we don’t know with this game tipping off at 8:00 PM EST, I think he is still worth a flier GPPs.
Also Consider: Leandro Barbosa (played 31 minutes last night with this team so shorthanded), Brandon Jennings (if Wall is out), Alan Williams (will be very low owned after last night), Alex Len, Jared Dudley, Tim Hardaway Jr., E’Twaun Moore (SF eligible), Nene, Frank Kaminsky, Jeremy Lin, Robin Lopez, Nikola Mirotic, Tim Frazier, Myles Turner, and Kelly Olynyk.