What’s going on everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for March 30th, 2018. Friday night’s slate is a full one, with nine games on tap. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM EST lock, 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.
SF/PF: LeBron James: (11,800)
Tonight’s Cavs vs Pelicans game is a big one for both teams and it is easily the best game to target in this slate. The Cavs want to hang on to the three seed in The East, while The Pelicans are dying for a win right now, as they have dropped their last two and are only a few more losses away from slipping out of the playoff picture. Both teams will be very hyped up for this game and not only will be it be competitive, with The Cavs only favored by 3.5 points, but it is expected to be the highest scoring game of Friday night, with an O/U game total of 227 points, which is the highest total of the night by four points.
James is averaging a great 58.5 DK PPG for the month of March and in the 18 homes games he has played this season that have had an O/U game total of at least 220 points, he is averaging 61.6 DK PPG. Furthermore, in those seven home games that have had a spread of under five points, he is averaging 65.2 DK PPG.
The Pelicans are the fastest team in The NBA this season (2.6 possession increase for The Cavs) and LeBron has flourished when playing at home vs fast teams this season, averaging 61.4 DK PPG in the five instances he has seen a pace bump of at least two possessions.
Last, but not least, this is currently an awesome matchup for The King, rating as a 4.83 opponent +/- and in the seven previous games he has faced an opponent +/- of four points or more, he is scoring 62.1 DK PPG. No matter if PF Kevin Love (head) is in or not, I think LeBron tops 60 DK points in this game setting. Love being out would just be an added bonus, but either way, I believe The King is the top overall play of this nine game slate.
PG: Isaiah Taylor: (4,800)
Taylor has been great as the starter for the injured Dennis Schroder (ankle), averaging 35.1 DK PPG in these past two games for The Hawks. His usage has been dramatically higher in these starts compared to the other occasions when Schroder was out, with a 30.3% usage rate, which is a dramatic shift from his 19.4% average for this season. He has been playing right at 30 minutes a game and the elevated rates have helped him to score 1.17 DK PPM. Schroder is officially doubtful and unlikely to play on Friday night, which puts Taylor right back into play, even though his salary has jumped a whole $1,000 on DraftKings.
His matchup tonight vs The Sixers is a solid at a first glance (2.86 opponent +/-), but it should be even more easier now when you consider that The Sixers will be without their best player and defensive difference maker, center Joel Embiid. (face) This defense has been a shell of itself without Embiid this season and Taylor should have no problem getting himself into the paint and scoring 30+ DK points for the third straight game. He will be priced somewhere between $5,000-$6,000 the next time he plays and I think we need to take advantage of Taylor at a reasonable cost.
PF/C: Dario Saric: (6,800)
As I just said, The Sixers will be without Embiid tonight. This huge news for Saric and he has been the player who has benefitted the most without the big man this season, seeing a team high 8.0 DK point differential in the 11 full games Embiid has sat this season, which is a 35.1 DK PPG average. Just with Embiid only playing nine minutes last game, Saric was huge after he exited, scoring 56.5 DK points in the win over The Knicks on Wednesday night. Tonight, he gets an even better matchup vs The Hawks, who rank dead last in defensive efficiency during their last three games.
They have always been an excellent matchup for opposing bigs all season and right now they are rating as a high 3.95 current opponent +/-. Saric should get us five times value vs this weak defense, with 40-50 DK point upside. He will be chalky (17-20% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs), but he is a primary play for me on Friday night.
PG/SG: Marshon Brooks: (3,000)
Brooks hasn’t played in an NBA game in nearly four years, but he showed he has been really working on his game overseas, scoring 21 points off the bench vs The Blazers in his first game with The Grizzlies (31.25 DK points), after signing a ten day contract with the team earlier this week. He wasn’t shy in any way and he played confidently, putting up 12 shots, on a high 28.6% usage rate. The Grizzlies were without guards Tyreke Evans (away from the team) and Andrew Harrison (wrist, shoulder) in this game, and this will be the same case tonight, with both players already confirmed out.
Brooks will still come off the bench, but he played 21 minutes in the last game and he should see roughly the same amount tonight, with the potential for more if The Grizzlies get blown out by The Jazz, which is certainly possible, with this Jazz coming off a loss and favored by 15 points at home.
By no means is this a good spot to target any Grizzlies’ player vs this elite Jazz defense, that is the number two ranked unit in the league (1.03 opponent +/-), but Brooks is priced at the bare minimum on DraftKings and the opportunities should be there for him again, with this team so beat up and Brooks hungry for a contract. He only needs to score 15 DK points to return value and I don’t think another 20+ DK point performance is out of the question, even in this tough matchup.
There is clearly risk involved in rostering Brooks and he is obviously not the best cash game play, but at this cheap of a salary, I think he is a decent gamble, that will really help you get in multiple studs.
Tyler Ulis – If Elfrid Payton is out, Ulis would be one of the best values available. He is averaging 35.25 DK PPG in these past two. He would play 30+ regardless of the score and the up tempo setting is perfect for his game. Plus, this matchup would be much better for him if Chris Paul sits.
J.J. Redick – Nice price for him vs this defense. He is averaging 24.6 DK PPG in the nine games he has been active for with Embiid sitting.
Tyler Dorsey – Minutes went down last game, but he can still be considered at this price with Schroder and Kent Bazemore out. He scored 20.5 DK PPG in the prior four.
Jamal Murray – Minutes have been high, at 37.2 MPG in his last three, with The Nuggets still trying to sneak into the playoffs. He has a Vegas prop score of 33.3 fantasy points, which is right at what he needs to score for five times value.
Donovan Mitchell – He has a Vegas prop score of 35.9 fantasy points and this Grizzlies’ defense has really been struggling with guards, rating as a 3.39 opponent +/-.
Josh Jackson – He hasn’t shown the upside I expected, but if Devin Booker and T.J. Warren both miss another game, Jackson should be considered in this matchup vs The Rockets, that should be very fast paced.
Troy Daniels – Only if Booker is out. 25.3 DK PPG in the last six as the starte for Booker. He is always gunning from long range, but he could get extra trigger happy vs this Houston team that shoots the most threes in the league.
Noah Vonleh – Lauri Markkanen should return after getting rested, but if Cristiano Felicio is still out, Vonleh should start and is in play once again vs this Magic defense, that has allowed the eighth most DK points to centers this year.
Marquese Chriss – If Alex Len remains out. Chriss was the primary big with Len out last game, scoring 39.25 DK points in 30.25 minutes vs The Clippers.
Alan Williams – He can be considered if Len sits, but lacks upside as his playing time isn’t going to be high, with this only being his third game of the season.
Gerald Green – 31 DK PPG in these past three without either Paul or Harden. Paul is questionable and with The Rockets being 17.5 point favorites, I don’t see any reason why they would play him. The pace is perfect for Green and he would see plenty of run in garbage time if this game got out of hand. He has played over 30 minutes in each of these last three games and The Rockets have won by double digits in all three.
Dillon Brooks – Matchup is gross, but he played 30 minutes and scored 32 DK points last game with Harrison and Evans out. He is clearly the guard they want to play the most in this situation, keeping him in play at this price.
Josh Hart – He will make his return tonight and he could potentially start with Lonzo Ball out. If he isnt limited, he is a nice punt at only $3,900. He scored 29.75 DK points in 32.9 minutes in the lone game The Lakers played without Ball, Isaish Thomas, and Jordan Clarkson this season.