Trey Murphy III
New Orleans Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III (25) plays against the Charlotte Hornets in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, March 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)


Mike Shara

Yesterday morning’s suggestions worked out pretty well, except for the fact that all of my cheaper plays were centered around rostering a lot of Jimmy Butler for a game against his former team, the Timberwolves. Instead, he didn’t play (neither did Victor Oladipo),  so hopefully you were able to lock someone else in as a building block. Tonight’s slate of evening games begins at 6 p.m. (not 7) so make sure you are getting all of your injury/roster updates in time for an earlier start.


MARKELLE FULTZ, PG, Orlando ($4,300 on DraftKings, $3,700 on FanDuel)
Admittedly I’m a bit of a sucker for revenge games – players who are facing their former teams where the relationship didn’t end well. That is certainly the case here with Fultz and the Sixers, who chose him with the first overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. Injuries and shooting woes have really dampened Fultz’s career thus far, but since returning from an ACL surgery earlier this month, he has played exceptionally well, averaging around 18 minutes and 21 DFS points per game. Tonight the Magic’s starting PG Jalen Suggs (ankle) is questionable, too and has struggled the last few games with the injury, which could afford Fultz more playing time tonight in a game he’s sure to be motivated for. 

ISAIAH ROBY, PF/C, Oklahoma City ($5,700 on DraftKings, $6,400 on FanDuel)
Since the Thunder’s rotational players started dropping like flies, Roby has proven to be a steadying influence in their lineup, averaging 33 minutes and 1.1 DFS points per minute over OKC’s last four games. Tonight against Memphis they will be again without Luguentz Dort, Josh Giddey, Kenrich Williams, Ty Jerome and possibly Tre Mann. Roby, a third year pro who was a second round pick in 2020, is showing the team’s brass that he may be a player worth keeping around for the long term rebuild OKC seems to perpetually be doing and their injuries and lack of playoff potential make it almost impossible for Head Coach Mark Daigneault not to give him plenty of opportunities down the stretch. He’s a particularly good source of steals for a big man and FanDuel counts those at a higher rate but he’s slightly more costly there. I think he’s a good play on both platforms tonight. 

TREY MURPHY III, SF, New Orleans ($4,000 on FanDuel, $5,000 on DraftKings)
A fairly large disparity in salary between the two formats today for Murphy, a rookie G League callup who saw the most minutes of his young NBA career on Friday and put on a show. He finished the Pelicans’ game vs. Charlotte with 32 rebounds, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 0 turnovers in 28 minutes. He was an unexpected high-volume player for New Orleans and did it for the minimum price tag. His cost has predictably risen though not nearly as much on FD. It’s probably unrealistic to expect another night like he had on Friday, but then again the Pelicans called their 2021 first round pick up for a reason and will be missing C.J. McCollum and Brandon Ingram for the next little while. He’ll be facing a Houston ‘defense’ that might be the worst in the NBA tonight, so there’s also a pretty good chance he can still produce real value, even if he’s not at minimum salary ever again.

CAMERON PAYNE, PG, Phoenix ($7,200 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel)
His salary keeps rising, but in my opinion it still doesn’t correspond with his production. Over his last five games, Payne has been averaging 10 assists(!), 23 points, 1.2 steals, and 4.2 rebounds in a stint that included tough road games at Miami and Milwaukee. Tonight he and his Suns will be facing the crumbling husk of what used to be known as the Los Angeles Lakers. L.A. are already the worst team in the NBA at defending opposing point guards and are short-handed and overmatched again tonight. Since Payne stepped in to replace the injured Chris Paul as the starting PG for Phoenix’s top five-ranked offense, the Suns haven’t skipped a beat and continue to hum along looking like a clear favorite in the West. His ownership numbers might not be as high as they were a week ago because of the increased expense, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when there are only five evening games to choose from.

SHEA GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER, PG, Oklahoma City ($10,300 on DraftKings and FanDuel)
The injury-depleted Thunder have lost their last four games in a row, by scores of 37 (vs. Minnesota), 13 (Utah), 27 (Milwaukee) and 30 (Minnesota again). They’re not likely to fare any better tonight against a very good Memphis team. The DFS-relevant thing about all of that information is that none of the losing has affected SGA’s playing time or his production. In those four blowout losses, he still played 30+ minutes and averaged 1.5 DFS points per minute and that’s despite having a bit of an off night vs. the Timberwolves on Wednesday. He’s had four days of rest going into tonight’s matchup and will need it because he’ll be seeing huge volume numbers again. I like him by far the best of all the five figure salary players tonight, even though I don’t think his team has a chance in hell of actually winning the game. 

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