Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for March 8th. For Friday night, we get a large slate, with nine games to attack. As always, if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. Also, I recommend following me, because if anything changes with these plays below or if any injury news effects the slate, I try to address the situations I find important before tip off. @Hunta512.
SF/PF: Kevin Durant: (8,900)
For the first time since May 2017, Durant costs under $9,000 on DraftKings. The Warriors were embarrassed by The Celtics on their home floor on Tuesday night (95-128), which was the biggest loss in the Steve Kerr era, but this is still not a reason for KD’s price to hit this low point. At $8,900, he needs 44.5 DK points to meet five times value. Tonight, Durant will be at home in The Oracle again, where he is supplying 49.5 DK PPG this season.
Furthermore, he will be facing The Nuggets, who Durant is averaging 49 DK PPG against in his last three meetings with the team. Finally, this matchup between the two top clubs in The West is expected to be close (GSW -6.5) and in the 16 Warriors’ home games that have had a spread under ten this season, KD is scoring 50.4 DK PPG. The Dubs have lost four of their last seven and this is really a big game if The Warriors want to win this season series with The Nuggets and avoid a potential tie for the #1 seed in The Western Conference. (currently 1-1, with one more matchup after tonight, which will be on April 2nd) The two time defending champs should bounce back tonight and I am expecting a minimum of 45 DK points from Durant.
PG: Elfird Payton: (5,000)
Tonight, The Pelicans will be without Jrue Holiday (out, abdominal) for the first time this season and E’Twuan Moore (out, quad) will also be joining him on the sidelines. When these two, plus Nikola Mirotic (traded) Wesley Johnson (now with WAS), and Tim Frazier (waived) have been off the court this year, Payton has seen notable bumps to his usage (+6.7%) and assist percentages (+10.5%), pushing him to 1.02 DK PPM.
In his last seven games, Payton has started and played 32 minutes a night. With a projection of 32 minutes for Friday, which could be modest, considering this Holiday’s first missed contest of the season, Payton should easily produce over five times value in this positive matchup vs The Raptors. (1.64 opponent +/-) At this cheap price, he would have been a great target even if Holiday was healthy, but with him missing, Payton is a must have value.
SF: Royce O’Neale: (3,300)
O’Neale should start at SG tonight, with Ricky Rubio (doubtful, hip) expected to be out. The final score wasn’t great, but just last Thursday, with Rubio sitting, O’Neale drew the start and logged 39.4 minutes in the win over The Nuggets. (16 DK points)
This was Rubio’s 8th missed game of the season and overall, in all of those games, O’Neale is averaging 23.6 DK PPG and 31.3 MPG. He should play 30+ minutes tonight and even though the matchup is ugly vs The Grizzlies (0.46 opponent +/-), O’Neale should grind out over 20 DK points.
SF/PF: Kenrich Williams: (4,000)
In these last two games, which were back to back outings vs a tough Jazz defense (3rd in efficiency), Williams has contributed 25.3 DK PPG. He logged 33.9 MPG in these two, with both Holiday and Moore healthy and in the lineup. Now, with them absent, Williams most certainly will play over 30 minutes again tonight vs The Raptors.
He is producing 24.9 DK PPG in the ten full games without Mirotic and Moore this season and 29 DK PPG in the last 12 he has exceeded 30 minutes of playing time. The matchup isn’t pretty (TOR is a 0.86 opponent +/-), but Williams is just far too cheap for the type of volume he will see on Friday night. (Price was at $5,500 just two weeks ago)
PG/SG: James Harden: (11,000)
As expected, Harden struggled with Kawhi Leonard guarding him last Thursday (47.75 DK points), but before this, The Beard was producing some huge numbers. (59 DK PPG in previous seven) Even with Chris Paul healthy and playing full minutes, Harden has posted a massive 44.2% usage rate in his last four games.
He will be returning home, after two games out east, to face The Sixers, who will once again be without Joel Embiid. (out, knee) Harden scores a large 5.3 more DK PPG in Houston and should exceed five times value, with 60+ upside tonight. (63.3 DK PPG in L5 at home)
PG: Russell Westbrook: (10,800)
For the first time in 15 games, Westbrook is under $11,000. The Blazers gave him fits last night (48.75 DK points), but overall, Westbrook is scoring 61 DK PPG in his last ten.
Patrick Beverly and The Clippers are a tough spot for guards (0.91 opponent +/-), but Russ has done just fine against them this season (55.6 DK PPG in two meetings) and when the game total has been this high. (237.5 O/U, highest of the night. Westbrook is scoring 59.6 DK PPG in the nine with a total of 235+ this season)
SF/PF: Paul George: (9,700)
PG13 looked like himself last night (65 DK points vs The Blazers) and has been solid vs The Clippers this year. (51.8 DK PPG)
He has supplied 50.6 DK PPG when the game total has been 235 points or more and this is a nice discount for George, considering he was priced over $10,000 for ten straight games before last night.
SG: Bradley Beal: (9,500)
Beal has only failed to top 50 DK points twice in his last 11 games. (54 DK PPG in L11) Tonight, he takes on The Hornets, who he has torched this season in two tilts. (55 DK PPG)
PG/SF: Ben Simmons: (9,100)
Simmons has apparently come down with an illness (missed shoot-around, currently listed as questionable), but if he plays, he will be a viable again, with Embiid still out. (55.1 DK PPG in L4)
But, do note, The Rockets are a much slower team than Philly (-3.5 possessions) and Simmons played bad in their first matchup of the year. (30.5 DK points)
C: Andre Drummond: (8,800)
Drummond is far less productive on the road (-7.3 DK PPG this season), but this matchup vs The Bulls is just too juicy to ignore. (2.8 opponent +/-) In two dates with Chicago this season, Drummond is averaging 44.4 DK PPG.
PF/C: Julius Randle: (8,200)
Randle has gone over 50 DK points in three of his last five (44.3 DK PPG in L5) and all of his rates should see boosts sans Holiday and Moore. (team high 1.63 DK PPM W/O Moore, Holiday, Mirotic, Frazier, and Johnson)
He scores 2.3 more DK PPG at home this season and Randle has an extremely strong ceiling in this situation.
PG: Kemba Walker: (8,100)
Walker will be at home tonight, in a dream spot vs The Wizards. (2.2 opponent +/-) He is scoring 41.3 DK PPG in his last five and has generated a whopping 58.1 DK PPG against this Washington squad this season. (two games)
PF/C: Kevin Love: (7,800)
For the first time since returning, Love logged more than 30 minutes on Wednesday. (55 DK points in 31 minutes vs The Nets)
With no game last night or tomorrow, he should see a similar amount tonight vs The Heat. The matchup is far less ideal (1.14 opponent +/-), but if Love plays 30 minutes, he should smash value. (1.46 DK PPM this season)
C: DeMarcus Cousins: (7,600)
This is a $600 price drop from two games ago for Boogie. Before the loss to Boston (25.25 DK points in 25 minutes), he had scored at least 41 DK points in four straight.
Playing against Jokic always makes me worried because of foul trouble, but if Cousins can avoid this, he should top 40 DK points in this positive spot. (1.96 opponent +/-)
PG: Chris Paul: (7,500)
This is a really nice price for CP3. Before the tilt vs The Raptors (32.5 DK points), Paul had cracked 40 DK points in five of his previous six. (45.9 DK PPG) If this game stays close (PHI -7.5), he has a decent chance of rebounding with a 40+ DK point effort.
SG/SF: Jimmy Butler: (7,200)
If Simmons is out, Butler will see a big boost to his stock. I hate listing all these players, but when Embiid, Boban Marjanovic (out, ankle), Corey Brewer (waived), Dario Saric (traded), Robert Covington (traded), Furkan Korkmaz (out, knee), Markelle Fultz (traded), Mike Muscala (traded), and Wilson Chandler (traded) have all been off the court, Butler has seen a huge 12.3% usage increase and scored 1.42 DK PPM.
He would have to handle a good majority of the ball handling for Philly and Butler supplies a notable 6.2 more DK PPG on the road this season.
SG: Klay Thompson: (6,100)
Thompson (knee) will play tonight and assuming he has no limitations, this is a ridiculous price for the sharp shooter in this important game. (36.9 DK PPG in L5 and 35.5 DK PPG vs DEN this season)
PF/C: Kelly Olynyk: (5,800)
He is only for GPPs at this price, but in a game that didn’t go to overtime, Olynyk played 44.3 minutes Wednesday vs The Hornets. (46.75 DK points) HC Eric Spoelstra basically ran out an eight man rotation, with a healthy James Johnson being a DNP for the third straight game.
It’s hard to say if Olynyk will even come close to this type of playing time tonight, but if he plays 35+, he should have no issues exposing a Cavs’ defense, that ranks dead last in efficiency. (0.97 DK PPM this season)
SG/SF: Nicholas Batum: (5,500)
Batum has been playing huge minutes in these last four (40.5 MPG), helping him to 32.1 DK PPG. Now, he gets the fast paced Wizards (5th in pace), who he is averaging 32.6 DK PPG against this season.
C: Robin Lopez: (5,200)
Lopez just continues to produce as a fantasy player (35.5 DK PPG in L9), but no one seems to care. (4.8% average ownership in GPPs in L5) Tonight, he is in a strong matchup vs The Pistons (2.53 opponent +/-), which is one that requires Lopez’s size, to matchup with Drummond.
PG/SG: Avery Bradley: (4,700)
The Jazz are a difficult matchup (0.35 opponent +/-), but Bradley’s price just doesn’t reflect his current role with The Grizzlies. (35.8 DK PPG and 34.4 MPG in L5)
PF/C: Frank Kaminsky: (3,900)
Kaminsky has been a great fantasy value since reentering The Hornets’ rotation (26.4 DK PPG and 25 MPG) and the matchup doesn’t get much better than playing The Wizards. (2.65 opponent +/-) For the 4th game in a row, Kaminsky should provide 20+ DK points.
PG/SG: Frank Jackson: (3,200)
We don’t know who HC Alvin Gentry will start for Holiday, but it if it’s Jackson, he will be a viable punt at only $3,200. As a starter, he would be in line for close to 30 minutes and in the three Pelicans’ contests without Moore, Miroitc, Frazier, and Johnson, Jackson has scored 18.33 DK PPG.
Now, If Gentry decides to go with Darius Miller as the starter, he will be the preferred option. (Also $3,200 and 26.88 DK PPG in those three games W/O Moore, Mirotic, Frazier, and Johnson)
PG/SG: T.J. McConnell: (3,000)
If Simmons can’t play, McConnell would likely slide into the starting five and be a hard value to ignore at a bare minimum $3,000. The sample is very small, but McConnell scores 0.9 DK PPM in this current Sixers’ situation and in the 34 games he has received 20 minutes or more, he is scoring a solid 21.4 DK PPG.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com