NBA DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – 3/13/17

Welcome to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s NBA Breakdown. These picks are what I consider to be the best play of the day, relative to their price. One of the most important things we must consider in daily fantasy is how many points a player gets per dollar. It helps us identify value plays to pair with studs that we know will produce in order to maximize our potential points in lineups. I also try to identify plays that can be used in either cash games or tournaments. Typically, when I build my cash games, I am looking for players that have the best floor combined with good upside. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Pricing is FantasyDraft/FanDuel/DraftKings


Kemba Walker (15000/8400/8100) –I don’t know how I really feel about this slate yet, but how I feel about it is irrelevant. What I do know is that Chicago is a horrible basketball team, so this pick comes with great risk.I don’t know yet if that means that Walker will see lower ownership than he should, or is players will still play him as they normally would. Right now, the spread is six points, so it really isn’t out of control or anything. I think that Kemba should have a pretty good opportunity to put together another good game here. I love playing him when he is at home and I don’t really think that Chicago has anyone who will slow him down. They lack great rim protection, and I think he should still be able to get open for his three point shots.

Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio (12700/7200/6800) – Ricky Rubio had a down game on Saturday night, which means he only got you 33-35 fantasy points, depending on the site. This was all while only accumulating one assist in the first quarter. No points, no boards. In fact, he didn’t have a rebound or steal in the whole game, and that is something that is most definitely part of his game. Washington has been playing on a prolonged road trip, and I think being away from home is going to give sooner or later. One thing it has given on is their defense, which has been awful during this trip. Minnesota should be able to hold things together, and I full expect another 40 fantasy point game out of Rubio tonight.

Patty Mills- (8700/4000/4400) – Right now, both Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray are questionable for this game. Not only that, but we already know that LaMarcus Aldridge is most likely not playing. Hell, even Kawhi Leonard is still listed as questionable, though he seems very likely to play. The point I’m trying to make is that there is a ton of usage that is going to be left on the floor with those guys out. The biggest knock on Mills is that so often when he came in the game, the usage was going to other places – well those places don’t exist for the purpose of this game. He should still be a good bet against what amounts to an awful defensive point guard in Dennis Schroeder, and more importantly, is very likely to play more than 21 minutes tonight. I’d watch the news coming out about all these guys I mentioned, but I think he’s in a great position tonight.


Nicolas Batum (13600/7300/7200) – I gotta be honest: I don’t really love the position tonight. Like I said with Kemba, I’m really in on picking on the Chicago Bulls right now, which means Batum is a guy I have to look at. He’s good for across the board production in all five categories, but can hurt you a bit with turnovers. I think he’s a pretty strong bet tonight to come close to that 35 point fantasy mark, with some upside to potentially get over the 40 point mark against Dwyane Wade. I do think he makes a better cash game play than tournament play, but he’s someone worth considering tonight.

Gary Harris (11500/5600/5800) – I think that one of the clearest cut options tonight is going to be Gary Harris against the Lakers. I know the spread on this game is pretty big, but I think we’ll see Harris get what he needs even if this game ends in 3 quarters. He’s been playing extremely well as of late, and there is no reason we want to move on from him tonight. He’s going to be very highly owned, there’s little doubt about that. With all that being said, I think he’s a pretty strong must for cash games, and his price still loves a ton of upside for tournaments.

Buddy Hield (7800/4200/4000) – I was a Buddy Hield doubter and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m not even really saying he’s someone that has done so much to prove me wrong, but he was able to put together two back to back games that weren’t awful. Orlando is an awful basketball team, and this should be seen as a favorable matchup for him. It’s tough to say exactly how much time he will see, but it is worth noting that he finally made his way into the starting lineup last game. I think he’s got 30-point upside here, and if the minutes are there, he should have a pretty safe floor.


Kawhi Leonard (18200/9300/9900) – It’s sad when there is no one you really like at the position and you have to pick someone with a questionable tag. I actually put Leonard here for two separate reasons. First, if he plays, he could see lower ownership due to both price tag and concerns that there could be some lingering from the injury. That makes him a great buy low option for tournaments only. Second, if he manages to miss the game, then it opens up value for two specific plays that I love: Kyle Anderson and David Bertans. Both of these guys looked solid in extended action on Saturday, and at their prices, would make nice value plays. Yes, the Hawks will be playing their starters, but that doesn’t mean they could come through with a good game.

Otto Porter

Otto Porter (12600/6200/6400)– Otto Porter is rounding back into form now, so I am interested in buying in on him before his price goes toward $7k again. The matchup here is irrelevant, though it is worth noting I could see Andrew Wiggins being put up against Bradley Beal, leaving Porter with Brandon Rush. That is a bit of a more favorable matchup. If his shot is falling and he’s swiping the ball, he’s got big time upside, especially on a site that favors three pointers. I have no issues using him in either format and he should be one of your top targets at the position.

Brandon Ingram (10100/4000/5100) – I love Brandon Ingram right now because the minutes are going to be there, while the price is going to take awhile to move up. I don’t think I’m interested in him at that price on FantasyDraft, and it’s starting to push it on DraftKings. On FanDuel, though, he’s a full speed ahead play with a ton of upside. I think he’s one of the guys you should focus on tonight at the position. He has a good enough floor for cash games and some upside for tournaments. He saves enough salary that you can use on another position.


Julius Randle (13800/6500/7500) – Even though Vegas thinks this game is going to be a blowout, I’m holding out hope that it isn’t. I really want to use Nikola Jokic, but priced where he’s at on a healthy team that is spreading the ball around well, it just doesn’t make sense. I’ll gladly pivot down to Randle, who is finally back in the good graces of Luke Walton. When he’s getting 30-33 minutes, he’s got 40-point upside each night. He’ll put up some monster games on the way, as well. This is the type of game that really suits his skill set, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him put together a big game tonight.

Marvin Williams

Marvin Williams (11600/6500/5900) – Speaking of big games, that’s what Marvin Williams is doing right now. He’s been just a monster since Frank Kaminsky went down. While Kaminsky is questionable for tonight, it’s a few days ahead of his timeline, so you’d have to imagine that it’s unlikely that he’ll play tonight. Williams is seeing 38 minutes roughly each night, and he’s been a double-double threat with Cody Zeller not being a big rebounder. The price has come up some, but there is no way I can ignore it on DraftKings or FantasyDraft. He’s usable in either format, so don’t hesitate to lock him in again tonight.

David Lee (9800/4700/5000) – David Lee is most likely to be the one to benefit the most from LaMarcus Aldridge being out. He can put together some pretty nice games in a short amount of time, too. The one benefit here is that the Hawks do like to run a bigger lineup, so I can see him playing into the 30-minute mark, whereas with a team like Golden State it was far less than that. When he is seeing that amount of time on the floor, he is a threat to cross the 30 fantasy point mark, which would give him considerable upside for his price. I can’t imagine Aldridge playing tonight, so Lee should be a great guy to go to.


Karl-Anthony Towns (19000/10500/10600) – KAT comes in as one of the higher priced options on the slate, but certainly carries the most upside as well. While Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi can be physical centers, it’s hard to imagine them being able to contend with KAT. He’s his own breed, and someone that is a serious threat to drop another 50-point game on the Wizards tonight. He’s one of my favorite plays each time he hits the court, and tonight will be no different. If you are willing to pay his salary, he has upside like few others on this slate.

Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee (12000/5700/6100) – This is a guy play for me, and also one that I think could reward you very handsomely. A few things here. First, Mike Malone mentioned that he wanted to play Plumlee and Jokic together more. That should work out well with Kenneth Faried perpetually sidelined. Next, Wilson Chandler is dealing with a lingering ailment that could keep him sidelined. Third, and perhaps most importantly, they are playing the Lakers. I think there is a good chance for Plumlee to see 35 minutes here, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him come away with another 35 fantasy point outing. He’s highly unlikely to carry high ownership due to being a high priced backup, meaning if he gets time and produces, you could move up the tournament leaderboard very quickly.

Ivica Zubac (7700/3700/3900) – I know I’m probably going overboard with this guy, but it is what it is. I love the idea of what he can do given the time. A lot of my fondness of this play depends on what happens when the Lakers play on Sunday. If he ends up getting good minutes like I thought he might, he’s a full go. If he doesn’t, then I’ll come back here and drop someone else in his place. He’s got great point per minute potential, and this really isn’t a poor matchup, so I wouldn’t hesitate to give him a look tonight.

Slate Strategy

Tonight is interesting. I don’t trust these teams: Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls. They’ve all been playing extra poorly as of late, making it extremely tough to trust any of their players. Toronto and Dallas get a pass because they are both awful, so that should balance things out.

If Kawhi Leonard is playing, I think he’s someone I wouldn’t mind putting at the center of a lot of my tournament teams. You can ready why above. If not, I think I am leaning to Kemba Walker or DeMar DeRozan as my starting points. It is possible that some really must-have value comes out before line-up lock, and that does change a lot.

Because of how I think things could play out, I may even be willing to buy in on Jokic at a price I think is too high just to get the upside he comes with. On DraftKings, his five digit price tag is easier to understand when you consider three point bonuses, as well as bonuses for double-doubles and triple-doubles.

Once you decide how you want to approach your studs, you can use some of the value plays I’ve mentioned above and below to plug in around them and you should be in a good spot tonight.

Situations to Monitor

Charlotte – Frank Kaminsky is highly questionable. I’m betting he doesn’t play, but if he does, it lowers the floor for Marvin Williams.

Dallas – Nerlens Noel remains questionable, but it does look favorable. If he doesn’t go, that bumps Jonas Valancunias who had two good games before the Raptors got blow out.

San Antonio – I hate it when there are questions with San Antonio. Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray are all questionable. A ton of value could open up here again.

Utah – Both Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors are questionable. It sounds more likely that Gobert will play. Really, no one seemed to benefit outside of Alec Burks and Trey Lyles in the last game.

Denver – Both Jameer Nelson and Wilson Chandler are questionable, and Kenneth Faried is doubtful. Guys like Mason Plumlee and Jamal Murray benefit the most.

Other Options

PG – John Wall, Jordan Clarkson, Jamaal Murray

SG – DeMar DeRozan, Evan Fournier, Manu Ginobli

SF – Jimmy Butler, Danilo Gallinari, Kyle Anderson

PF – Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Nemanja Belicja

C – Marc Gasol, Nikola Vucevic, Kosta Koufus

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