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.
3/8/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Mini-Max Championship: $4 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Rotation Player: $66 entry, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot (Streak Eligible): $15 entry, $333k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $7.77 entry, $77k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for March 8, 2019
Best Guards for March 8, 2019
Luka Doncic @ ORL ($9.3k DraftKings, $9.8k FanDuel)
While Steph Curry is more of a GPP play and may only reach his ceiling if the Nuggets give the Warriors a tough test tonight, Luka Doncic has a superior floor-ceiling combination as the Mavericks’ leader. Doncic posted a lofty 38.2% usage rate to go along with a 31% assist rate and approached a triple-double (31 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists) in a loss at Washington on Wednesday. The rookie owns a 35.8% usage rate since the ASB and has become far more reliable since the Mavericks traded away several key pieces to land Kristaps Porzingis.
Orlando is a solid defensive team. Yet they rank 20th in DvP against opposing PGs and lack size in the backcourt. That’s where the diminutive D.J. Augustin starts alongside slender SG Evan Fournier. Doncic struggled with his shot when he last faced the Magic, but his ability to pile up peripheral stats gives him a very safe floor.
Steph Curry vs. DEN ($9.0k DraftKings, $9.1k FanDuel)
For the second time this season, the Nuggets have the misfortunate of potentially facing the full scope of a motivated Warriors team. The defending champs hit rock bottom with a 33-point home loss to the Celtics Tuesday and have now dropped five of their last eight. But Steph Curry continues to get buckets. He will lead the charge in a likely bounce-back effort, similar to how the Warriors thrashed the Nuggets, 142-111, in a statement win on Jan 15. Curry is averaging 30.5 PPG over two meetings with Denver this season. He should see even more usage if Klay Thompson (knee) is at all limited. Regardless, Denver is giving up the second-most FPPG (45.56) to PGs over the last 14 days and allows the fifth-highest shooting percentage (44.0) to PGs this season.
Delon Wright vs. UTA ($4.5k DraftKings, $5.8k FanDuel)
Whether he starts while Mike Conley takes some rest or comes off the bench tonight, Delon Wright should be on the floor when it counts. He’s averaging 14 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.2 STL/BLK per 36 minutes since joining Memphis. Plus, he owns a 20.6% usage rate over his last six appearances. His usage rate rises to 22.7% and he averages 0.94 FPs per minute when Conley is off the floor this season. Opposing Utah is surprisingly allowing 113.7 PPG since the ASB and is 16-16 while giving up a usable 108.1 PPG on the road. Look for Wright and Avery Bradley ($4.7k, $6.1k) to serve as suitable values with Memphis looking to give the Jazz a competitive run at home.
Frank Jackson vs. TOR ($3.2k DraftKings, $3.7k FanDuel)
If you need an even cheaper alternative at guard, Frank Jackson is in line to start over the next couple of weeks with Jrue Holiday (abdomen) headed toward a shutdown. Jackson was earning a bigger role by averaging 10.2 PPG on 53.2% field goal shooting over his previous six appearances. He is one of several Pelicans that will step up with their offensive leader out. Jackson sees a 5% increase in usage rate when Holiday and Anthony Davis are off the floor this season. E’Twaun Moore has been given ample rest lately, and Jahlil Okafor (ankle) is also not a lock to play. That leaves Jackson, Elfrid Payton, and Ian Clark ($3.0k, $3.5k) as the value options to consider from the Pelicans roster. Meanwhile, Julius Randle ($8.2k, $8.2k) should lead the team in usage.
Other guards to consider: Kemba Walker, Bradley Beal, Zach LaVine, Jamal Murray, Tomas Satoransky, Dwyane Wade, Avery Bradley, Jalen Brunson
Best Forwards for March 8, 2019
Kevin Love @ MIA ($7.8k DraftKings, $8.6k FanDuel)
While Cleveland fell to D’Angelo Russell and the Nets Wednesday, the Cavs are still 5-2 over their last seven games. They should be considered as a candidate to win outright in Miami tonight. Kevin Love has led that turnaround. He’s finally starting to regain his “Alpha” form with Kyrie Irving and LeBron James gone. He’s averaging 22 PPG and 12.2 RPG over his last six appearances and owns a 32% defensive rebounding rate over his last seven outings. Tonight he’ll face off with old nemesis Kelly Olynyk, who infamously injured Love on what many considered a dirty play a few years ago. Miami has been better defensively since effectively benching Hassan Whiteside. Still, they yield the sixth-most FPPG (44.89) and third-most RPG (15.25) to opposing centers this season.
Pascal Siakam @ NO ($7.0k DraftKings, $7.5k FanDuel)
The Pelicans’ transition defense is weak to say the least. And Pascal Siakam thrives in the open court. The likely candidate for Most Improved Player is averaging 12.2 points in the paint per game with a 114.2 offensive rating. He’s looking to score in double figures in a 20th consecutive appearance and could go far beyond 10 points if Kawhi Leonard sits out to rest on the road, as he often has this season. While Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol are cutting into each other’s playing time, Siakam has logged 30-plus minutes in 11 straight games. He’s averaging 18.5 PPG since the ASB and burned New Orleans’ 26th-ranked defense for 22 points on 8-for-12 FG shooting when the Raptors last faced the Pelicans.
Luke Kennard @ CHI ($4.6k DraftKings, $5.4k FanDuel)
Detroit is on a roll right now with six wins in seven games. Head coach Dwane Casey has not been afraid to use his bench for extended stretches during that span. Luke Kennard has been a key cog in the second unit, averaging 16.7 PPG and shooting 55% from the field with a 130 offensive rating over those past seven games. Kennard owns a solid 23.3% usage rate over his last five outings and is a gamble worth taking if you believe the Pistons can pull away from the young Bulls in Chicago. Even if the game remains close, Kennard could meet or exceed value against a defense that yields the fifth-most 3PTM (12.1) per game. He’s worth consideration as an extreme value on DK or a punt play on FD with the potential to have his score dropped.
Other forwards to consider: Paul George, Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, Joe Ingles, Will Barton, Bam Adebayo, Cedi Osman, Jabari Parker, Kenrich Williams
Best Centers for March 8, 2019
Clint Capela vs. PHI ($6.7k DraftKings, $7.5k FanDuel)
Joel Embiid (knee) remains out along with Boban Marjanovic (bone spur), leaving the already vulnerable Sixers even more vulnerable down low. Philly is allowing the most FPPG (49.76) to centers this season and is far worse defensively in road games. Clint Capela wasn’t active when the Rockets were steamrolled 121-93 in Philly on Jan 21. He’s still working his way back to full strength, but his price tag is well down, and he remains an integral part of Houston’s system. Capela is averaging 37.3 MPG over his last five appearances and owns a 32.4% defensive rebounding rate over his last six outings. That sets him up to record a big double-double against the Sixers. After all, Philly ranks seventh in pace and coughs up the second-most RPG (15.33) to centers.
Robin Lopez vs. DET ($5.2k DraftKings, $5.8k FanDuel)
The Bulls continue to provide good effort down the stretch and hurt their own chances at tanking with a 108-107 win over the Sixers on Wednesday. Chicago will look to play spoiler again with playoff-hopeful Detroit visiting tonight. Idle throughout most of the first half of the season, Robin Lopez has entered the fray with renewed vigor. He is averaging 16.4 PPG and 6.8 RPG with a 127 offensive rating since the ASB. Detroit ranks bottom five in DvP against all positions over the last 14 days but has been particularly poor down low, yielding the most FPPG (52.71) to opposing centers. Andre Drummond continues to play lackluster defense on the interior, which explains why Detroit ranks 24th in opponent FG shooting (46.8%). The Pistons also cough up an above-average 45 RPG when playing on the road.
Other centers to consider: Nikola Jokic, Andre Drummond, Julius Randle, Montrezl Harrell, Dwight Powell