NBA DFS Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings – 3/20/17

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


Russell Westbrook (23900/13400/13300) – Let’s get things started today with probably the most obviously/high owned play of the night. While in actuality he won’t be the highest owned, he’s still going to be very, very highly owned. The matchup is terrific, as we’ve seen the Warriors look pretty bad on the defensive side of the ball in games where they shouldn’t. At the same time, they did shut some teams completely and totally down within the last week. This is one of those games I think will fall more toward being close than a blowout. That’s why you gotta consider Russ.

Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets

Kemba Walker (14600/8000/7900) – I’m sure that not too many people want to hear anything about Kemba Walker after he just put two awful games up in back to back contests. Each day in DFS is a new day, so we can’t focus too much on what he did, but rather what he could do. Dennis Schroeder isn’t a good defender and the team will be without Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore, so they will be down quality wise overall. I’m confident that Walker should be able to produce better results than we saw in the previous two games.

Elfrid Payton (13800/7300/7500) – The Elf is off the Shelf. Alright, I’m sure that has been done to death by now, and with the Christmas season now well over [or is it coming up?], it loses a lot of the affect. The matchup is nice for Payton against the tough enough Sixers, so I think he should be in a prime position to come through with another big game. Arrows are point up for this guy right now.


James Harden (22700/12200/12700) – It’s crazy to think about the fact that Harden has been useless as a fantasy option up until the last two games, but that has been life post All Star Break. Fortunately for us, he’s back at it, because his team really needs him. The Nuggets are a really good basketball team right now, and the Rockets will likely once again need Harden to keep this close and win. His price did go up a little bit, but he really does have the same type of upside as Westbrook, and it will be interesting to see how ownership pans out.

Klay Thompson

Dec 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) takes a shot against Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Golden State defeats Indiana 131-123. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Klay Thompson (13600/7000/7200) – The Warriors in general haven’t been that great in terms of their fantasy output, but Thompson has been the most consistent of the bunch. This is a great game to consider stacking to pivot off of the HOU/DEN game, assuming that is where a lot of the ownership goes. I could see Klay having a 40-point fantasy day, and if that is the case, he will have really put up great value for you. Always remember, he has monster upside and he’ll have at least a few 50 fantasy point games a year.

Will Barton (13700/5800/7300) – Barton is possibly the most interesting name on this list today. He’s coming off of a lousy game, which could possibly drive his ownership down. His price dove on FanDuel by a almost $1k, but on DraftKings, it jumped by almost $1k. That presents a ton of interesting ownership situations for both sites. On FanDuel, he’ll likely be owned highly. On DraftKings, this could be a great opportunity to overpay for the potential upside at lower ownership. You can’t look at him unless Gallo and Chandler are out, though.


Joe Ingles (9900/4200/5000) – I don’t really love anything going on at the small forward position, so I’ll opt for some value options here. Assuming Rodney Hood is out again tonight, Joe Ingles is in play. I can say that I don’t love his price on DraftKings, so I think my ownership will be pretty low there. On FanDuel, though, he’s a little more reasonable. I think he’s a good play based on his floor, but I just don’t know about his ceiling.

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson (8300/3900/4200) – Because I don’t know about Ingles ceiling, I’ll look over to one of his teammates, Joe Johnson. Similarly, Johnson doesn’t appear to have a huge ceiling either, but we have to remember that he was a scorer in his previous days. I’m not saying that there is a high probability that he’s going to go for over 30+ fantasy points, but I would assume that if one of the two did tonight, it would be Johnson. Additionally, he’s a bit cheaper, which does factor into my decision.

Thabo Sefolosha (7700/3600/3900) – The Hawks are going to be short-handed for the next few games it looks like. I think one of the players that folks will gravitate to will be Taurean Prince, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, especially at his price. I’d like to take a little more of a risk on the same team, who I think has bigger boom/bust potential. We’ve seen Thabo put up games in the 40’s this year because of his ability to contribute all around, and if things are getting close, I’m expecting him to be involved.


Dario Saric (14400/7800/7800) – If we would have been talking around Christmas, we would have wrapped up the Rookie of the Year conversation and given the award to Joel Embiid. Three months later, and his teammate now seems destined to win the award. There are very few matchups that I would avoid using Saric in, and Orlando isn’t one of them. His price is up there, but he has some pretty good upside, so he should be in at least some of your lineups tonight.

Marvin Williams

Marvin Williams (12400/6700/6500) – Williams has been very good over the course of the last few weeks, and it’s way too hard to predict when the floor is going to fall out. I think he should be safe for another night going against an Atlanta team that will be missing Paul Millsap. Ersan Ilyasova is a capable player without question, but I think that is a matchup that Marvin can win tonight. I would expect for him to keep his strong play going, and Williams is price fairly.

Richaun Holmes (10100/4800/5000) – Jahlil Okafor is questionable right now, which will mean a few things. First, Holmes and Shawn Long will see a little more run. Second, the Sixers could opt to play a ton of small ball with Saric at the center position. I think that Holmes should see enough run to get enough of an opportunity to pay his salary off, and with him earning very strong point per minute production, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him finish in the 30 range again tonight.


Rudy Gobert (13700/7900/7200) – Rudy Gobert is having a great season, and will get to feast on Myles Turner tonight. While Turner definitely has a ton of potential, this should be a matchup that Gobert dominates. I do think that Turner is a little bit [or maybe even a lot] soft, and I think that can translate into a pretty nice double-double for the Stifle Tower tonight. If he’s getting the blocks we know he can, this could be a great situation for Gobert tonight.

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard (13200/6800/7000) – Howard is another guy that should be benefiting from the absence of Paul Millsap tonight. I really like the matchup against Cody Zeller, as if Zeller has a weakness, it’s his rebounding. If Dwight has a strength, it’s his rebounding. These things should all work to his favor, and I think his upside is pretty considerable against a team that really has no hope of stopping him if he’s on.

Mason Plumlee (12300/6100/6600) – Plumlee is a risky option tonight, because there are still a lot of unknowns with the Nuggets. Plumlee has been doing very well, but it has been met with an increase in price that has come along with this opportunity. We’ve already seen what he was able to do against the Rockets, so if the same situation presents itself again, we’d be foolish to not jump in.

Slate Strategy

The first thing I could say about the slate is that if you can fit both Westbrook and Harden, which on FanDuel isn’t exactly difficult, I think you should be looking at perhaps 150 points if things go right. That’s a great starting point that is hard to argue against.

After that, we have to hope that the news from Denver comes out early enough that we can decide if guys like Plumlee and Barton will be worth while options. I think I would still be fine with Gary Harris and Jameer Nelson either way, as their roles are pretty carved out. Jokic seems a little overpriced for what he’s been doing.

The Atlanta side of the ball will be a great place to grab value plays, with Ersan Ilyasova, Tauren Prince, Thabo Sefolosha and potentially Kris Humphries as options.

This time of year is going to come with more late scratches than any other, so the best advice is going to be to watch Twitter and news sites.

Situations to Monitor

Atlanta – We know Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore will be out. This should benefit a few different people. I like Dennis Schroeder and Dwight Howard, as well as Ersan Ilyasova, Thabo Sefolosha and Taurean Prince.

Orlando – It looks like Vucevic’s Achilles has flared up again. This would make Bismack Biyombo a good play at his declining price.

Philadelphia – Jahlil Okafor is questionable, which specifically bumps up both Shawn Long and ultimately Richaun Holmes.

Utah – We are still waiting on word to see if Rodney Hood and Derrick Favors will start. A lot of minutes and usage for guys like George Hill, Joe Ingles, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward depend on it.

Boston – Isaiah Thomas is questionable for the game on Monday. If he misses, maybe Avery Bradley can finally figure it out. If not, expect more Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier.

Washington – Will it be day three of the Jason Smith experiment? He’s been playing better than Markieff was anyway, so maybe they make the change permanent.

Denver – Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are both questionable. If they miss, Will Barton, Jauncho Hernangomez and Mason Plumlee see more minutes, and a ton of others see higher usage.


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