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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Thursday, March 17

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Luka Doncic NBA Tonight 5/12/22

For Thursday, March 17, the NBA is deferring to the opening day of March Madness and there is only one game on the docket tipping off at 7 p.m. ET on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. As always, you can head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for all the fantasy basketball content you need for any given slate.

NBA DFS Picks: Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks Today | Thursday, March 17

Detroit Pistons

Tonight the Pistons understudies will be taking center stage, as they are without Jerami Grant, Frank Jackson and Hamidou Diallo. Rookie point guard Cade Cunningham is questionable with a non-COVID related illness, and Rodney McGruder is a game-time decision with a sore hamstring. If Cunningham plays, he should be considered a full-go and he has the highest Awesemo projection at just over 40 fantasy points.

Marvin Bagley III, Kelly Olynyk and Isaiah Stewart will be manning the frontcourt, and they are all viable options across the DFS landscape. Bagley will be the most popular of this trio, but do not overlook Olynyk and Stewart as differentiation plays.

Cory Joseph is never an exciting player to roster, but he is at least a competent, NBA-level point guard. Even if Cunningham plays, he is worthy of consideration, as he has a relatively secure 22 to 26 minutes in the rotation and another 5 to 7 in attainable upside as part of the closing unit. Isaiah Livers and Killian Hayes are reasonable plays as long as they do not draw an abundance of attention from the field.

Orlando Magic

The Magic are missing several key players tonight, with Wendell Carter Jr., Jalen Suggs and Chuma Okeke all on the sideline. Cole Anthony and Mohamed Bamba will be drawing a lot of attention from the field with good reason. Moritz Wagner has at least 20 fantasy points in five of his last six games and has actually been outperforming his brother Franz more often than not during this stretch. Franz Wagner still has plenty of upside, but the savings afforded by Moritz evens things out.

Markelle Fultz still has a 20-minute limit as he works his way back from injury, but we have seen him flirt with 30 fantasy points on several occasions over the last two weeks. R.J. Hampton is likely to see 30 minutes with Suggs out of commission, though he is very reliant on scoring for his fantasy production and is best left to others to assume the risk of a sparse box score. Veteran Robin Lopez should see 20 to 25 minutes with Carter sidelined, and that is enough time to flirt with a double-double against a depleted Pistons squad.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Thursday, March 17 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Things will be back in full swing tomorrow with a dozen games on the main slate. Tonight actually is an intriguing game given all of the many injuries befalling both teams, and there is a fair amount of strategy and game theory that can be put to good use. Do not be afraid to leave a good 15-20% of the salary cap on the table in search of a more unique roster construction approach.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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