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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Saturday, March 12

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Jaylen Brown NBA Tonight 5/21/22

Saturday, March 12, brings a steady seven-game main slate tipping off at 8 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. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.

NBA DFS Picks: Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks Today | Saturday, March 12

Yahoo Play of the Day — Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.94 | DraftKings: 59.16
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 21.4% | FanDuel 23.9% | DraftKings 23.3%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,600 | DraftKings $12,100

Tonight at the top of the salary list we have a pair of players who have won the last three NBA MVP awards. Nikola Jokic gets a slight nod as his team is at home hosting Toronto who knocked off the Suns in Phoenix last night. This is an island game tonight for the Nuggets before they head off on a three-game East Coast swing beginning on Monday. Only twice this season has Jokic produced less than 40 fantasy points and that is easily offset by his two top-end showings which consist of an 80- and a 90-fantasy-point performance. Since the beginning of February, Jokic is averaging 1.74 Yahoo fantasy points per game which is among the elite rates of in the league.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 57.21 | DraftKings: 58.73
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25.4% | FanDuel 29.5% | DraftKings 21.7%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $11,800 | DraftKings $12,200

The other top-tier option tonight is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is leading the Bucks into Golden State tonight as they embark on a four-game West Coast road trip. Giannis has had three days off since his last game, so he should be ready to show out in the ABC Saturday game. Since he has a more talented supporting cast when compared to Jokic, he usually has a slightly lower median projection, however, he is more than capable of putting up 70-fantasy-point masterpieces. The Warriors have a solid defense, though they are missing quite a few key contributors tonight so we should not let that be a concern. Draymond Green, Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala, James Wiseman and Otto Porter Jr. are already ruled out and this game is tied for the highest-projected score with a 238-point total. Looking to Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis and Khris Middleton could make for a fun game stack with added synergy.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Washington Wizards

It seems like we may have seen the last of Anfernee Simons this season as Portland may be content to let him watch from the sidelines with Damian Lillard, Joe Ingles, Eric Bledsoe and Nassir Little as they all get healthy for next season. Jusuf Nurkic and Justise Winslow are also out, which means we will see a heavy dose of the Portland understudies once again. Brandon Williams is an excellent option running the offense and he should see at least 34-36 minutes tonight with a reasonable salary. Josh Hart is available and while he has been in a horrible shooting slump, he is worth a look in tournaments. Trendon Waford and Drew Eubanks are manning the frontcourt and receiving close to 30 minutes each. Finally, C.J. Elleby, Keon Johnson and Elijah Huges are minor tournament plays on the main slate, but move into prominence for the late-slate action.

Look to Williams in this matchup against the Wizards tonight in the NBA player prop market. Currently he has a 15.5 over/under on his point prop, and Awesemo is projecting him for 20.3, which gives him a 68% probability of surpassing the over. Though he only recorded nine points in his last game, he had 21 and 27 points in the prior two games as the replacement for Simons.

This is a back-to-back for Washington and as such they will be without Kristaps Porzingis, who is still working his way back into shape after missing significant time with knee soreness. Kyle Kuzma has assumed the role as the primary offensive option after the Wizards lost Bradley Beal. Last night he played 32 minutes, so he should be in line for his standard 34-36 minutes in what is a winnable game for Washington. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Corey Kispert, Daniel Gafford and Raul Neto are reasonable discount dandies across the various DFS sites.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers

Last night the Spurs ended up besting the Jazz 104-102 behind heavy minutes from Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson, who are both getting tonight off. Jakob Poeltl is dealing with a sore back and has been ruled out, along with Devontae Cacok (heel) and Romeo Langford (hamstring). These absences leave quite a void and San Antonio will be a key source of value in all formats tonight. Tre Jones, Lonnie Walker VI, Devin Vassell, Josh Richardson, Jock Lansdale, Zach Collins, Doug McDermott and Keita Bates-Diop are all fine options against the Pacers in a game with a 238.0 projected point total.

Malcolm Brogdon, Lance Stephenson and Myles Turner are all out while Goga Bitadze is questionable. This makes Tyrese Haliburton one of the best plays on the slate with Buddy Hield not too far behind. Playing against the San Antonio reserves should be a boon for fantasy production and we can also give strong consideration to Isaiah Jackson, Oshae Brissett and Jalen Smith, particularly if Bitadze sits.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Saturday, March 12 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Tonight all seven games get rolling within a two-hour window, albeit with a rare 8 p.m. ET lock time.

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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