SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR MARCH 16
A few deep-ish cuts today because it’s a huge schedule so we’re going to want to seek out guys that might not be widely owned. 12 games tonight but then only one tomorrow, which seems like a strange scheduling quirk to me. Is St. Patrick’s Day really that big a deal in the United States that we just don’t want anything interfering with it except a Pistons/Magic game that no one is going to pay any attention to anyway? Who knew that a stupid night based on racist stereotypes where people who are normally kind of loudmouth idiots when they drink now get to be loudmouth idiots while wearing green hats would affect even the travel itineraries of the world’s most popular sports leagues?
CLINT CAPELA, C, Atlanta ($6,100 on DraftKings, $6,000 on FanDuel)
Capela’s 2021-22 season has felt like a disappointment somehow, but the reality is that he’s still playing pretty well this year. He’s been averaging over 1.1 DFS points per minute this season and he has a few serious advantages tonight in particular that make him worth rostering. The Hawks are on the road in Charlotte this evening, facing a Hornets team that is second-worst in the NBA in team rebounding and plays at third-highest rate in the league, the combination of which should give him more volume opportunities. Also, John Collins is out and Danilo Gallinari is questionable for Atlanta tonight, meaning Capela probably reaches or even exceeds 30 minutes of playing time. At a less than average salary on both formats, that’s a decent way to start building your team.
ISH SMITH, PG, Washington ($4,200 on DraftKings, $5,100 on FanDuel)
He’s more of a play for me on DraftKings, obviously, because of his considerably lower salary there. While the Wizards might currently be the most ‘going nowhere’ franchise in the NBA, they still are required to play the rest of the season before being relegated to the G League next year and replaced in the NBA by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. One guy on Washington’s roster who isn’t mailing things in at this point is Smith, who was acquired in February from Charlotte. An undrafted guy who’s already played 11 seasons in the NBA is never going to quit and tonight he faces a Denver team who don’t defend quick, smaller guys like him well at all and could also be missing the athleticism of Aaron Gordon again. DK is the place you really want him, but a point-per-minute guy at that price with a good matchup in a potential trap game for his opponent? I like him as an option to steer clear of all the chalk on a busy night.
GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, SF/PF, Milwaukee ($11,400 on FanDuel, $11,700)
The past two games have been relatively subpar for the Greek Freak, with him recording ‘only’ 30 points, 15 rebounds and 4 assists on Monday night vs. Utah. That’s led to his price being lowered on both formats today despite the fact that the Bucks are predicted to score 125 points tonight against a Sacramento team that is battling hard to finish this season as the NBA’s softest defensive matchup. He was $500 more expensive just four days ago and that was for a road game vs. Golden State, which really doesn’t make much sense. He will actually be a value projection tonight despite the high salary and might well be the highest-scoring dude anywhere in all 12 games, too.
EVAN FOURNIER, SG/SF, New York ($4,500 on FanDuel, $4,900 on DraftKings)
If you are one of the unfortunate souls who has rostered Fournier in a fantasy league this year, you know all too well the frustration that comes with his uneven performances. He goes bananas for a game or two and then disappears for three or four. It’s incredibly difficult to predict but I have a feeling tonight he looks like he might be ramping up for one of those good nights – and he’s pretty cheap on both formats. Most of Fournier’s value comes from his shooting and after a cold spell, he was 5-for-8 from behind the three-point line vs. Brooklyn on Sunday and 9-for-13 overall. Tonight the Knicks are well-rested and at home, facing a Trail Blazers team that is in roster disarray and was already among the league’s worst defenders against players like him anyway. His DK salary was over $1500 higher less than a month ago for a reason. I like his chances of outplaying his low price today.
TRE MANN, PG/SG, Oklahoma City ($5,000 on FanDuel, $5,100 on DraftKings)
This is a great time to look at players from Oklahoma City because they are possibly the league’s most forgotten-about franchise even at the best of times, and they now are practically invisible because they’re missing some of their best players and are playoff afterthoughts (again). I’ve been using Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as a centerpiece in my lineups for much of the past week, but tonight he’s questionable with an ankle injury. Step right up, Mr. Mann! With Lu Dort and Josh Giddey already out, Mann has been playing more recently anyway, averaging 30 minutes per game over the last while. His DFS points totals have been uneven, but if SGA sits this one out, he’s got monster volume and usage potential tonight against a Spurs team that doesn’t handle opposing guards well at all.