Utah Jazz's Jordan Clarkson
Utah Jazz's Jordan Clarkson (00) drives past Brooklyn Nets' Bruce Brown (1) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 21, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

SNEAKY NBA DFS PICKS FOR MARCH 29

Mike Shara

I’ve been in a very personal, very frustrating war with my computer over the last few days – a war I’m clearly losing because today I’m writing this article on my wife’s laptop while mine remains in a repair shop. Perhaps her “Rose Gold” colored cover will provide me with a bit of extra luck today. With a fairly small five-game slate on tap tonight, I’ll take whatever help I can get. I also promise that today’s column will do everything it can to avoid making any sort of Will Smith/Chris Rock joke. You’re welcome.

DWIGHT HOWARD, C, LA Lakers ($3,800 on FanDuel, $4,200 on FanDuel)
For the next two weeks The Lakers will be battling for their playoff (tournament) lives. They currently sit in 10th place (the cut-off point to qualify for the play-in tournament), one game ahead of San Antonio. They will be doing so without Anthony Davis and tonight they likely will also be missing Lebron James, whose ankle is hurting. Howard has averaged just under 30 minutes over the last two games and returned a DFS point-per-minute value, too. If he’s halfway smart Howard is running with the late season playing time surge he’s getting. If he can contribute late in the season and help the Lakers reach the tourney, he’ll prove to teams that he can still help out and be worthy of another contract next year. Dallas is not a particularly formidable foe for a big guy like him and that price is easy to swallow from both menus.

LUKA DONCIC, PG/SG, Dallas ($11,400 on DraftKings, $10,500 on FanDuel)
You just read about who’s not playing for the Lakers today, right? Now read this: even with Lebron and AD in the lineup, they are possibly the worst defensive team in the NBA against opposing guards. For some reason, despite that appealing matchup tonight, Luka’s salary is the lowest it’s been in over a week on DK and it’s almost shockingly low on FD. The Mavericks should have their entire lineup rolling today as they look to stay OUT of the play–in tournament. If they’re going to do that they’re going to have to beat up on bad teams. The only potential downside to picking Luka tonight is if Dallas runs away with a blowout win and he only logs 28 minutes. I’d still bet that those 28 minutes would be chock-full of delicious stat-stuffing, though. He’s expensive today but not as expensive as he’s often been and with a smaller slate, I’m going to get him plenty today.

JORDAN CLARKSON, SG/PG, Utah ($6,000 on DraftKings, $5,600 on FanDuel)
This isn’t his first time on this list – and it probably won’t be his last, either. FanDuel and DraftKings still have plenty of opportunities to continue to undervalue this guy before the regular season winds down and if they keep doing that, I’ll keep plugging him into my lineup. He has scored in double digits for 7 consecutive games and has not played less than 27 minutes in any of them. Tonight, the Jazz are facing the Clippers in L.A. There is some scuttlebutt that Los Angeles could be looking to return Paul George to the lineup tonight. Obviously, PG is a great defensive player, but I’d look for the Clippers to be in a bit of disarray tonight as they try to sort out their roles with a big cog returning for the first time in three months. They aren’t that strong a defensive team this year and Utah is playing the final game of a long road trip and fighting for a division title. His price is nicely under average tonight, too.

DENI AVDIJA, SG/SF, Washington ($5,100 on DraftKings, $5,700 on FanDuel)
It’s a small slate tonight, so you can’t afford to be too fussy and that means that sometimes you even have to consider taking players who currently find themselves on the roster of the Washington Wizards. With Kyle Kuzma out again, just hold your nose and select Avdija, who is picking up his play in KK’s absence, averaging just over around 30 minutes and playing at about 1.1 DFS points per minute in his last five games. Tonight, will be against a Chicago team that played last night and had to travel and is not playing their best right now. As a matchup for him tonight, they look decent and his salary – especially on DK is quite reasonable. He’s a pretty invisible player on the national stage, which may keep his ownership low today – so maybe this is a bit of a left turn. Left turns can often lead you to nice places that aren’t too overcrowded.

NIKOLA VUCEVIC, C, Chicago ($8,000 on DraftKings, $7,600 on FanDuel)
The Bulls (and their players’ DFS salaries) are falling quickly, with Chicago recently getting precariously close to not finishing among the top six teams in the Eastern Conference, all of their key players are cheaper to roster than they’ve been in quite a while. It was only a month ago that “Vooch” was a $10,000 player on DK and his salary on FanDuel tonight might be the lowest it’s been all season. This pricing valley seems like a bit of an opportunity to me, even though Chicago will be playing the second of a back-to-back tonight. They are facing the Wizards, who have absolutely no one in the middle to give Vucevic a fair fight – in his previous two games vs. Washington this season he averaged 34 minutes and was a 1.3 DFS points per minute player. That seems like something that has to be taken into consideration, especially with fewer options on this lean Tuesday night. I’m buying a lot of him tonight and I suspect that after you’ve looked around a while, you’ll end up here, too.

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