Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for March 3rd, 2018. Saturday night’s slate is a fun slate with seven games to target. 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.
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PG: Kyrie Irving: (8,500) Irving said he was going to take his game to a new level after The All-Star Break and that is exactly what he has done, leading The Celtics to four straight wins, while averaging 47.1 DK PPG. His usage has been over 30% in his past three starts and it hit a very high 39.1% in their win over The Hornets on Wednesday night. Him and The Celtics now head to Houston for a huge matchup vs The Rockets, who are winners of 14 straight games. Irving, for sure, is hyped up for this game and he has elevated his game whenever playing the best teams in The NBA this season, with him averaging 42.6 DK PPG in the five games he has faced a team with a winning percentage over 75%.
Also, he has been great when playing in high scoring games on the road, averaging 47.75 DK PPG in the five road games he has competed in that have had an O/U of at least 210 points. Furthermore, he is averaging 46.2 DK PPG in his last ten games that his usage has been over 30%, which is definitely the type of usage I am expecting from him in this big Saturday night prime time matchup. Going against Chris Paul is never ideal (2.02 opponent +/-), but I am not going to let this stop me from rostering Kyrie right now. He is shooting an insane 60% from the field in his last three games and I am expecting another 45+ DK point outing, with a ceiling around 55-60 points. The price is going up, but Irving still rates as a very strong value in my model and he is one of the better players to pay up for on Saturday night.
PF/C: Jarell Martin: (4,700) Martin has been playing a good amount as of late, but his workload should grow even more tonight with starting center Marc Gasol being rested with this being the second night of a back to back. There are many Grizzlies’ players whose statuses are currently in question and I expected PF JaMychal Green to be back tonight after being out with an illness on Friday, but PF Deyonta Davis should miss another contest with his ankle injury, which should keep Martin at a 30+ minute role vs The Magic. He has scored an effective 0.95 DK PPM in his last two games and his rates should increase even more tonight with their main player in Gasol out.
This matchup vs The Magic is a strong one, as they are the fourth worst rated defense this season and the sixth worst over their last three games. (2.24 opponent +/-) He should have no problems producing five to six times value in this matchup and Martin is one of the best point per dollar plays of the night, that can be deployed in all formats.
PF/C: Julius Randle: (7,300) There is no logic to it, but even though Randle has been so consistent since returning from the break, DraftKings has cut his price $200 since his last time out. Over his last four games he has exceeded five times value in each game, at a 43 DK PPG average. His playing time is also much better, no matter if the game is close or not, averaging 32.6 MPG during this span, compared to his 25 MPG for this season. When you do the math, this results in a terrific 1.32 DK PPM. Furthermore, tonight he gets a nice matchup vs The Spurs. Yes, on paper this is an ugly matchup, with The Spurs being the number two rated defense this season, but they will be without PF LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle), which should make this a much better matchup inside for Randle.
He will be either going against Pau Gasol (knee, questionable) or Joffrey Lauvergne, neither who are strong defenders in anyway. Randle should have his way against any of these remaining Spurs’ big men and he should exceed five times value for the fifth straight game. There is also plenty of upside here if he can manage a double double, which is something he has accomplished in three of his last four games. There is no way Randle should be priced under $8,000 and I think we need to keep riding him at this reasonable price.
PG: Dejounte Murray: (6,300) Murray has been excellent in these last two games, averaging 43 DK PPG. He has played over 30 minutes in both games and he should log 30+ again tonight, with this game having a small spread of only three points. He saw a 23.4% usage rate in this past game, with Aldridge missing the second half and tonight, with Aldridge officially out, Murray’s usage should stay up, with him seeing a 23.3% usage rate in the four full games that he has played without Leonard and Aldridge. In these contests he scored 30.2 DK PPG.
His matchup tonight is also very strong, vs The Lakers, who are second in pace this season and are a current opponent +/- of 3.08 points. In his first game vs The Lakers this season, Murray dominated, scoring 44.3 DK points in only 26.2 minutes of action. He should top 30 DK points in this situation with 40-45 DK point upside. Now, I think he plays, but if Gasol also sits (questionable, knee), Murray’s usage would rise even more, with him seeing a team high 6.9% usage increase in all the minutes he has played without Gasol, Aldridge, and Leonard this year. Either way, if Gasol plays or not, Murray is a great play vs this Lakers’ defense.
Also Consider: Pau Gasol (awesome value if he plays. The matchup, as you know, is excellent vs The Lakers and he is averaging 31 DK PPG in the four he has suited up for with Leonard and Aldridge sitting), David Bertans (should start if Gasol is in or out. He is averaging 25.25 DK PPG and 29.7 MPG in the four without Leonard and Aldridge this season. Oh, and he is playing The Lakers, who are a 4.52 opponent +/-), Joffery Lauvergne (nice play if Gasol sits. Still in play with just Aldridge and Leonard out. He is averaging 26.7 DK PPG in the four these two have missed), Skal Labissiere (should start and is a decent value with Willie Cauley-Stein missing this game. It is unclear if Zach Randolph will play, but either way Skal is in play at this price, even though this matchup is tough vs The Jazz), Kosta Koufos (cheap enough to be considered with WCS out. They need his size in this matchup and he would be a good punt if he starts or if Randolph is inactive. He scored 31.25 DK points in only 20 minutes of work in his last game), Ivan Rabb (27.3 DK points in 21 minutes last night. He should see a similar amount of work tonight, especially if green is out), D.J. Augustin (33 DK PPG in his last three. This matchup vs The Grizzlies is solid right now, at a 3.63 opponent +/- and it’s an even better spot with Marc Gasol being rested), Paul Milsap (34.75 DK points and 27.15 minutes in the start last night vs The Grizzlies. At the moment, we don’t know if he will be rested or limited with this being a back to back, but if he is active this is a very nice spot vs The Cavs, who are a high 6.14 opponent +/-), Mario Chalmers (if Andrew Harrison is out. 27.75 DK points in 34 minutes last night with Harrison out and this is a tremendous matchup vs The Magic who are 6.02 opponent +/-), Andrew Harrison (if he plays is a nice plat $5,800. 35,3 DK PPG in his last three and this is a very nice spot as I just said vs The Magic. Whoever starts at PG for The Grizzlies is a great target in all formats), Rudy Gobert (went off for 58.5 DK points in his last game and this should be a very strong spot with WCS out. This Kings defense currently rates as a 5.43 opponent +/-), Patty Mills (has started the last three games and logged over 30 in each. His usage should be up and it would rise even more if Gasol was out again. Finally, it’s the Lakers, who rank second in pace this season and are a current opponent +/- of 3.61 points), Lonzo Ball (38.5 DK points in 33.5 points last game. This isnt a back to back and he should play 30+ again), Aaron Gordon (great 43.5 DK PPG in his last three and this matchup vs The Grizzlies is good with Gasol out), Clint Capela, Isaiah Thomas (in this first game with Josh Hart out, IT went off for 44.5 DK points in 29.4 minutes off the bench vs The Heat. He saw a very high 37.2% usage rate in this game. You can’t expect this kind of usage again, but he should beat value again tonight vs this Spurs defense that should be weaker without Aldridge).