For Wednesday night, we get a huge ten-game slate to attack, and below are some of my favorite NBA daily fantasy picks for both FanDuel and DraftKings based on Awesemo’s grades and values.
NBA Daily Fantasy Picks: Awesemo Grades | March 3
Small Forward: Norman Powell
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: A
After having Tuesday night’s game postponed, the Raptors will be back in action tonight, but they will be extremely understaffed. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby and Patrick McCaw have all been ruled out due to the NBA’s health-and-safety protocols. Missing three starters is obviously a huge deal and like he has done all season long when Toronto has been down a key piece, Powell should shine with an expanded role tonight. Albeit a small sample size, Powell’s usage rate has skyrocketed to a team-high 33.5% when Siakam, VanVleet, Anunoby and McCaw have been off the floor this season. This is an enormous 10% increase from his usual rate this year, and I think we can safely project Powell for a usage rate north of 25% and nothing less than 35 minutes against the Pistons.
If we analyze the career season he is having, Powell is producing 36.8 DraftKings points per game when he has received at least 30 minutes and a usage rate above 20%. Furthermore, he will likely start at shooting guard, and the Pistons have yielded the sixth-most DraftKings points per game to the position this season. In my opinion, Powell is one of the most underrated players in the NBA right now, and tonight is one of the biggest opportunities he has ever seen as a professional. He should smash value on both DraftKings and FanDuel, and I will be using Powell with full confidence in all formats.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 20.3%, FanDuel 23.5%
Point Guard: Dennis Schroder
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: A
For the first time this season, LeBron James (rest) will be out for the Lakers. Anthony Davis (calf) is also still out, and Marc Gasol (health protocols), Alex Caruso (neck) and Kyle Kuzma (heel) are all listed as questionable. Given the NBA’s strict rules about contact tracing, it’s safe to assume Gasol will be inactive, while I think Kuzma and Caruso will both be able to suit up. Still, without their pair of superstars, there is a ton of usage and playing time to go around to the remaining Lakers, and Schroder should be one of the primary beneficiaries.
In all the time he has played sans James, Davis and Gasol this season, Schroder has scored 1.0 DraftKings points per minute, with a 24.1% usage rate and team-high 29% assist percentage. The Lakers will need him to step up as their top playmaker, and Schroder’s playing time should be elevated to the 35- to 40-minute range against the Kings, the weakest defense in basketball. No team ranks worse in defensive efficiency than Sacramento, and Schroder is one of the best value plays we have seen this season.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 33.5%, FanDuel 33.3%
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Small Forward: Harrison Barnes
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: C
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: B
Barnes has been a stud, topping 40 DraftKings points in three straight starts. Tyrese Haliburton (calf) has missed the past two and will be out again Wednesday. Haliburton has played an important role for the Kings as their sixth man and with him missing, Barnes has eclipsed 40 minutes in back-to-back contests. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, it appears that the Kings might be showcasing the forward right now and with Vegas expecting this meeting against the Lakers to be competitive throughout (Kings -4), Barnes’ huge playing time should continue tonight.
Plus, all of the Lakers’ defensive rankings for the season can be thrown out the window with James, Davis and Gasol sidelined. They should be a disaster defensively, and Barnes should expose them for over 40 fantasy points. Given the depth of this 10-game slate, Barnes may end up being a forgotten man in GPPs tonight, according to Awesemo’s ownership projections.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 3.3%, FanDuel 7.3%
Point Guard: Stephen Curry
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: B
If we exclude James Harden and his return to Houston, Curry is my favorite high-end spend tonight. His minutes suffered in the blowout loss to the Lakers on Sunday, but in his previous 10, Curry was contributing 53.3 DraftKings points per game. The Warriors will be in Portland tonight, and this tilt currently sports the smallest spread (Warriors -2) and second-highest total (233.5 points) of this 10-game slate. Over their past 10 games, the Blazers rank third-to-last in defensive rating, and Curry torched them for a season-high 75.75 DraftKings points back in January.
Damian Lillard ranks in the bottom 10 in real defensive plus-minus among point guards this season, and Curry has a tremendous ceiling in this spot. He is a worthwhile investment no matter what, but it’s worth noting that Kelly Oubre (questionable, wrist) was added to the injury report this morning. If he were to sit, Curry’s fantasy stock would reach a new level. Oubre has yet to miss a game this season, but when he has been off the floor, Curry’s usage has jumped to 36.4% and 1.67 DraftKings points per minute.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 29.9%, FanDuel 41.7%
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