Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis. Value plays on the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice, so always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
The Full Roster contests on FanDuel include a new scoring system in which the lowest score of the nine selected players is dropped, allowing users to take more risks with a punt play or two. Then, DraftKings has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
For any slate featuring three games or fewer, we break down the night by the games rather than player position. Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Finally, note there are Showdown slates available with different pricing and lineup structures on both DraftKings and FanDuel. In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are six utility spots with a $50k salary cap. DraftKings has also debuted a “Captain” mode in which there are five utility spots with a CAPTAIN. This specific player receives 1.5x multiplier but also costs more if deployed in that spot.
On FanDuel, the one-game contests include an MVP spot (2x multiplier), STAR (1.5x), PRO (1.2x), and two utility spots. The Full Roster contests on FD also include a new scoring system in which the lowest score of the nine selected players is dropped, allowing users to take more risks with a punt play or two.
3/7/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Pull Up Jumper Championship: $10 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $125k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $9.99 entry, $350k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $4.44 entry, $60k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for March 7, 2019
Indiana Pacers (+10.5) at Milwaukee Bucks (Over/Under – 222.5)
The Bucks average the second-most PPG (117.2) and play at the fifth-fastest pace in the NBA. Milwaukee leads the league in defensive rating and Indiana is second, but the Pacers give up a reasonable 107.7 PPG on the road, and the Bucks average 119.6 PPG at home.
Milwaukee is expected to right the ship at home after surprisingly dropping consecutive games in Utah and Phoenix over the weekend.
For one thing, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11.2k, $12.5k) is apparently back to full strength. He carried the Bucks to a 106-97 win over Indiana right before the ASB with a 33-point triple-double. The Bucks have been off since Monday, and Giannis shoots 60.6% from the floor with averages of 25.7 PPG, 12.7 RPG, and 6.7 APG when playing on two days of rest this year.
Then, Indiana has been vulnerable on the interior and ranks 23rd in DvP against PGs over the last 14 days. Thus, Eric Bledsoe ($6.4k, $7.3k) is a candidate to continue his hot play after signing a four-year extension. He was very quiet in his last meeting with Indy but dropped 26 points with 6 assists in a win over the Pacers in December.
Khris Middleton ($6.3k, $7.5k) has not flashed as much lately due in part to the steady rise of Nikola Mirotic ($4.8k, $5.5k). Mirotic is up to a 21.4% usage rate with his new team and will be asked to space the floor alongside Giannis. Additionally, Brook Lopez ($5.3k, $6.2k) becomes a much riskier play with Mirotic filling that role.
Malcolm Brogdon ($5.6k, $6.5k) continues to avoid regression by hitting shots in crunch time and posting an efficient 122 offensive rating. He could bottom out if he suddenly goes cold, making him a somewhat risky mid-tier selection in a game between elite defensive teams. Finally, Ersan Ilyasova ($3.2k, $3.8k) can offer extreme salary relief on DraftKings or serve as a true punt play on FanDuel, where he could wind up dropped as the lowest score in lineups.
For the Pacers, it’s been a struggle to keep the ship afloat since Victor Oladipo (quad) went down for the year.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($6.0k, $7.7k) has become Indiana’s most reliable scorer. Darren Collison ($5.8k, $7.0k) is seeing a huge rise in his assist rate with “Dipo” unavailable. Milwaukee has been brutal against PGs, though, so Bogdanovic is the preferred option against a Bucks team that allows the most 3PTM (12.5) per game.
Wesley Matthews ($4.3k, $4.7k) is even more of a 3-point specialist than Bogdanovic. His role continues to grow with his new team. Matthews is an appealing GPP option at a modest price tag on FanDuel. Then, Thaddeus Young ($5.7k, $6.6k) is likely to see a full slate of run as the Pacers best means of defending Antetokounmpo. Yet his offensive prospects are modest against that defense.
With Domantas Sabonis (ankle) likely to miss a fourth consecutive game, Young and Myles Turner ($6.2k, $7.7k) are in line for increased usage. Turner is the more appealing option given Milwaukee’s struggles against centers over the past few years. Turner averages 15 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2 APG, and 2 BPG over three meetings with the Bucks this season.
Lastly, Cory Joseph ($3.8k, $4.0k) is the only meaningful member of the Pacers’ second unit with Sabonis out, but he’s a value to avoid in this tough matchup.
Oklahoma City Thunder (+3.5) at Portland Trail Blazers (Over/Under – 233.5)
The Thunder welcomed MVP candidate Paul George ($9.7k, $11.0k) back on Tuesday but still fell to the lowly Timberwolves due to an inability to contain Karl-Anthony Towns.
Russell Westbrook ($11.1k, $12.2k) and George will look to carry the Thunder offense indefinitely since there are few other playmakers on the roster. Westbrook posted a 34.5% usage rate against Minnesota and should be aggressive tonight against a Blazers team that coughs up the most PPG (22.27) to PGs.
George also posted a usage rate north of 30% on Tuesday but struggled with his shot (8-for-25 from the field, 4-for-14 from 3) against Minnesota. He’s a bounce-back candidate against Portland, which ranks 25th in opponents 3-point shooting (36.2%). But we prefer Westbrook on DraftKings as a good bet for a triple-double in this contest.
The Thunder now play at the third-fastest pace in the league. And they have allowed 117.6 PPG since the start of 2019. The Blazers score 116.7 PPG at home and average 115.9 PPG since the start of 2019. These teams combined for 220, 237, and 231 points in three previous meetings. While the Over (23X) might not be the safest bet, this is clearly the contest to lean toward with lineup decisions tonight.
Other than Westbrook and George, the Thunder offer mid-tier options in Dennis Schroder ($5.5k, $5.8k) and Steven Adams ($5.9k, $7.0k). Both have limited upside but are worth using in Cash formats. The same can be said of Jerami Grant ($5.1k, $5.6k) as a value play at PF.
It’s worth noting George dropped a 47-point triple-double the last time these teams met. Schroder didn’t dress for that game, and George’s shoulder injury could raise concerns that he’s about to enter a shooting slump.
For the Blazers, Damian Lillard ($8.1k, $9.8k) is the prime candidate to lead the offensive charge at home. Lillard is averaging 29.3 PPG with a 32.3% usage rate over three meetings with the Thunder this season. He’s a bit underpriced on DK and could surpass Westbrook in terms of per-dollar value, or pay off as a stacking partner.
Jusuf Nurkic ($6.7k, $8.6k) is another intriguing play and obviously the center with the most upside tonight. He fouled out in his last meeting with OKC and has been quiet lately in some tough matchups, which should drive his ownership rate down. Nurkic shoots 52.3% with a 24.8% usage rate at home this season. Nurk scored 22 points in his first two meetings with OKC this season and played a whopping 36 minutes against Adams and company when he was able to avoid foul trouble on Jan. 22.
Both Lillard and Nurkic are cheap enough on DraftKings to serve as building blocks.
Maurice Harkless ($4.2k, $6.0k) has been fantastic lately for the Blazers, which has led to less playing time for Al-Farouq Aminu ($3.9k, $4.9k). Both wings should be tasked with guarding Paul George and attacking him on the other end. Both have decent floors with a high expectation for playing time. Aminu is still intriguing in GPP formats as a contrarian play with a very modest price tag due to the rise of Harkless.
C.J. McCollum ($6.1k, $8.0k) has a chance to shine if the Thunder defense sells out to stop Lillard. Still, his “blow-up” games are few and far between. Finally, consider Rodney Hood ($3.3k, $4.0k) as a longshot punt play. He could get hot off the bench in a high-scoring affair. Note that he scored 27 points over 24 minutes in a win at Charlotte Sunday.