What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for March 8th, 2017. Tonight we get a full slate with 11 games on tap. 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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SG/SF: Jimmy Butler: (9,200) With SG Dwayne Wade downgraded to doubtful for tonight with a thigh injury, Butler is the expensive player I want to build around. With the Bulls not committing to any of their PGs this season, Wade and Butler are their whole offense, and when Wade is off the court this season, Butler leads this team with a 4.9% usage increase and a 3.7% assist percentage bump. This is going to be the eighth game that Wade has missed this season, and in the previous seven, Butler has been a beast, averaging 47.74 DK points per game. The Bulls may also be without back up PG Rajon Rondo, who is currently a game time decision with an ankle injury.
If Rondo also sat this game out, Butler gains an even bigger boost, with him posting a very high 36.1% usage rate and a 31.9% assist percentage, when both Wade and Rondo have been off the floor this year. Butler’s price has gone up $600 dollars since his last game, but he is still underpriced for the role that he will have tonight. The matchup is also solid for him with The Magic, allowing the 13th most DK points to SFs. With Wade out, he should score 45-50 DK points with huge upside Rondo is also out this evening. But be sure to watch Butler’s status for tonight as he now out of nowhere listed as questionable with an illness. This is the first game of the night so we should know if he is in or out before lock, but I am expecting him to suit up with Wade already out. Also his questionable tag may end up being a blessing in disguise that scares some people off him tonight.
PG: Jeremy Lin: (4,500) Lin’s minutes were limited in his first few games back from The All Star Break, but he has seen his role increase in last two games, averaging 23 minutes per game. The slight uptick in minutes has been a big boost for him, scoring 30.25 DK points vs The Blazers on Saturday and 25 DK points vs The Grizzlies on Monday. Lin doesn’t need much playing time to produce value at his current price tag, with his team high 28.5% usage rate and the 1.1 DK point per minute average he has seen since the break.
With no game since Monday and no game tomorrow for The Nets, Lin should be rested and ready to play 20+ minutes again tonight, in an excellent matchup vs The Hawks, who have allowed the 10th most DK points to PGs this season, with a current opponent +/- of 3.11 points. Hawks PG Dennis Schroder is a gifted offensive player, but he is no defender, and in 20-25 minutes, Lin should put up 25-30 DK points tonight. It’s hard to guess his ownership with his lack of big minutes (5-8% via Fantasy Labs), but at $4,500, he is a great GPP play on Wednesday night.
SG: Evan Fournier: (5,500) With center Nikola Vucevic (Achilles) out the last two games, Fournier has stepped up on offense, averaging 29.5 DK points in these last two games. His usage has increased 1.3% in this span and in the 677 minutes Fournier has been on the floor with Vuceivc off, his usage has jumped 2.9%, with a solid 2.6 DK point increase. With Vuc already ruled out for tonight, Fournier should continue to see this workload vs The Bulls. This is an average matchup for him with The Bulls ranking 15th vs SGs, but they will be without their starting SG Dwayne Wade.
Fournier will be matched up with rookie Paul Zipser who has played well, but is no defender that is scaring me off Fournier tonight. He should play right around 35 minutes and hit five times value, with 30-35 point upside. Even though he returned six times value on Monday night vs The Knicks (33 DK points), his price hasn’t budged, staying at very reasonable $5,500. At this salary, he is safe mid-tier target that can be used in all formats tonight.
PF/C: David Lee: (3,700)There is no official word yet of who will start, but with SF Kawhi Leonard and PF LaMarucs Aldridge both being rested tonight, Lee should pick up some extra minutes and usage with the two stars absent. In the past five games Aldridge has missed this season, Lee has drawn the start at PF in most of these games, averaging 25.6 DK points in 25.1 minutes per game. There have been no full games that both of these starters have missed, but when they are off the court, Lee is scoring 1.1 DK points per minute compared to his 0.95 DK point per minute average this season.
I speculate that he will start with Pau Gasol still coming off the bench, and with an expanded role of 25-30 minutes, he should easily return five times value in this decent matchup vs a Kings defense, that allows the 14th most DK points to PFs this year. He is so cheap that he only needs around 20 DK points for value, but I am expecting 25-30 DK points out of him tonight. At only $3,700, Lee is my favorite value to attack in this Spurs’ situation, but Gasol is also viable in all formats at $5,400, even in a bench role, with his team high 8.3% usage difference when Leonard and Aldridge have been off the floor.
Also Consider: Norman Powell (great value if DeMarre Carroll is out), Mason Plumlee (if Jokic is out, he was doubtful earlier, now he is questionable), Will Barton (if Danilo Gallinari is out), Ian Mahinmi, Al Horford, Tim Hardaway Jr., Danny Green, Rajon Rondo (If he is active, boost if Butler is out), Cameron Payne (only if Rondo and Butler are both out),Tony Parker, Jhonthan Simmons (better if he starts), Aaron Gordon, and Cody Zeller.