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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Monday, March 21

Eric MacPherson

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The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Jaylen Brown NBA Tonight 5/23/22

Monday, March 21, kicks off the week with a nine-game main slate starting 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 | Monday, March 21

Yahoo Play of the Day — James Harden: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 47.93 | DraftKings: 51.14
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 10.2% | FanDuel 11.8% | DraftKings 14.9%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $49 | FanDuel $10,300 | DraftKings $10,000

Joel Embiid has been ruled out tonight with a sore back. Though he has never been the picture of health, he does deserve credit for playing in 40 of the last 41 76ers games. This season in 122 minutes playing for Philadelphia without Embiid on the court, James Harden is averaging 1.57 fantasy points per minute. Miami is never an easy matchup, but with Harden’s ability to score and facilitate, he should be in the mix for 50 or more fantasy points if he plays at least 35 minutes.

Kevin Durant: Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 51.76 | DraftKings: 53.93
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 2.8% | FanDuel 8.7% | DraftKings 10.5%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $52 | FanDuel $10,800 | DraftKings $10,700

It has been 72 hours since Kevin Durant last took the court, so he should be refreshed and ready to go. This is a back-to-back for Utah, who was able to dispatch the Knicks last night 108-93 in Madison Square Garden. This is also the third game in four days for the Jazz, and they may be a little lead-legged tonight. Kyrie Irving will miss this game since it is in New York, which means that Durant should have unfettered access to as many field goal attempts as he would like. Utah has a solid defense, but they are not as fierce as in prior seasons and will be without key contributors Danuel House, Bojan Bogdanovic and Udoka Azubuike. This has Durant lining up as one of the best pivots away from a somewhat popular Luka Doncic.

Portland Trail Blazers at Detroit Pistons

It seems that Portland has no plans to play Josh Hart on consecutive nights, as they have entered the tanking zone and are also looking to protect key players from potential injury. Sunday afternoon the Blazers fell to the Pacers 129-98 at Bankers Life Field House in Indianapolis. By now we all know the drill; Drew Eubanks, Trendon Watford, Brandon Williams and C.J. Elleby are the players to target as value options. Justise Winslow did not play yesterday, so he should be in line for 22 to 28 minutes tonight. Though he does have 30-fantasy-point upside, his salary has been rising and he is now a neutral play.

Kris Dunn is an intriguing option on Yahoo ($10) and DraftKings ($3,800) with a strong potential to once again get 26 to 28 minutes off the bench. Keep in mind that Dunn was cut by Memphis back in October and he is on a 10-day contract after playing 14 games with the Agua Caliente Clippers. This means he should be just fine playing on a back-to-back and that he was in fact not injured, but actually out of the league.

Detroit is on an island game, but in a strategy similar to the last two seasons, they will likely continue resting players in shifts for their remaining 11 games. Jerami Grant and Hamidou Diallo are out for injury maintenance, while Kelly Olynyk (ankle), Cory Joseph (rest) and Killian Hayes (head) are questionable. Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey are core options, and both should flirt with 40 fantasy points in this matchup. Marvin Bagley III and Isaiah Stewart are solid options who could get an additional boost if Olynyk is out. The Pistons have a long history of late-season shenanigans, making it hard to trust anyone not in the starting five.

Washington Wizards at Houston Rockets

Kyle Kuzma sat out the second leg of a back-to-back on Saturday, and it was Kristaps Porzingis who led the Wizards back from a 16-point first quarter deficit against the Lakers to a resounding 127-119 victory. Kuzma is a prime option tonight, while Porzingis is a secondary play. If either of this duo is out, then Rui Hachimura would slide into the starting lineup as an excellent value option. Washington actually wants to make the playoffs, but they are now 4.5 games behind Atlanta. This should be a victory tonight as long as the Wizards do not stumble, as the Rockets would prefer to lose all of their remaining games. Deni Avdija and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are worth targeting in tournaments across the DFS sites. Raulzinho Neto, Ishmael Smith, Corey Kispert and Hachimura are viable options for the evening contests.

Houston is relatively healthy, and it is hard to be overly excited about any particular player since the minutes are spread out among 10 players most nights. Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green have the best point-per-dollar upside, particularly on Yahoo. If Christian Wood gets a day of for any random reason, Alperen Sengun becomes a borderline must-play. Otherwise this motley crew can be sprinkled across late-slate tournament lineups.

Look to Porter in this matchup against the Wizards in the NBA player prop market. Currently he has a 3.5 over/under on his rebound prop, and the Awesemo NBA player projections have him for 4.7, which gives him a 69% probability of surpassing the over. Porter has corralled four or more rebounds in 10 of his last 12 games.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Monday, March 21 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Tonight is a compact slate with all nine games tipping off within 90 minutes of each other. Even with the short window, there is still a strong chance of random, unexpected news that will keep us on our toes.

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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