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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Sunday, March 13

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Jayson Tatum NBA Tonight 5/29/22

Sunday, March 13, puts a bow on the weekend with a five-game main slate tipping off at 6 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel. Tonight Yahoo is providing everyone with an extra hour by going with a four-game main slate tipping off at 7 p.m. ET. 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 | Sunday, March 13

Yahoo Play of the Day — Trae Young: Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 46.52 | DraftKings: 50.09
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 37.8% | FanDuel 34.1% | DraftKings 27.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $42 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $10,100

This is a back-to-back for Indiana, who slipped by a shorthanded San Antonio squad last night 119-108. Trae Young continues to hold steady with a Yahoo salary in the $40 to $43 range, which makes him a favorable tournament play, as he has access to 55 or more fantasy points on any given night. Indiana is allowing 117.4 points per 100 possessions over their last 15 games, which is the second-worst defensive efficiency rate in the league. Young has lit up the Pacers in two prior meetings this season, averaging 33.2 minutes, 33.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 10.5 assists, one steal and 0.5 blocks. Tyrese Haliburton at $34 on Yahoo is someone we can look to as well from Indiana either as a one-off or in the same lineup as Young for some in-game synergy.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 48.94 | DraftKings: 50.22
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 36.2% | FanDuel 36.5% | DraftKings 23.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $10,300 | DraftKings $10,300

Memphis has an average defense and they are playing at a top-10 pace, making them a team to target with premium fantasy options. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been regularly seeing 34 to 36 minutes when games are competitive, and that seems like a reasonable minutes projection in front of the Oklahoma City fans. Rookie Josh Giddey is out, and over the last two months when Giddey has been off the court, Gilgeous-Alexander has a 35.2% usage rate while racking up 1.54 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. Ja Morant can be paired with Gilgeous-Alexander in the hopes they engage in a back-and-forth battle while trying to one-up each other, or he can be used as a solo option.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Houston Rockets

Once again the Pelicans will be shorthanded, as Brandon Ingram is out for at least another week with a hamstring injury and C.J. McCollum is likely out until next weekend in the health and safety protocol. This means that Devonte’ Graham should be drawing another spot start and Jonas Valanciunas will be counted on to be the primary offensive focal point. Do not worry about Valanciunas’ disappointing performance on Friday; New Orleans was getting clobbered, so coach Willie Green did not employ Valanciunas for the final frame in a 20-point blowout. Naji Marshall, Herbert Jones and rookie Trey Murphy III made the most of their extra minutes, and each had an excellent performance from a points-per-dollar perspective. Look to that trio again, along with Jaxson Hayes, Jose Alvarado and Guillermo “Willy” Hernangomez.

Christian Wood is expected to play tonight after missing a week with a non-COVID illness. In the three games prior to his most recent absence, Wood averaged 37.2 minutes, a healthy 24.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks. If no Rockets end up missing tonight’s game, then the rest of their motley crew is relatively neutral from a points-per-dollar perspective and they can be sprinkled into tournament lineups based on positional need and salary constraints. A couple should have above-average games considering this excellent matchup; it is just difficult predicting that with any certainty with everyone available.

Look to Jalen Green in this matchup against the Pelicans 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 18.1, which gives him a 65% probability of surpassing the over. In his last 11 games, Green has scored 17 or more points on nine occasions.

Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers

The trio of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Cameron Payne are doing the heavy lifting for Phoenix while Chris Paul is on the shelf. The Suns have a 5-4 record in their nine tilts after the All-Star break, and they have a tough schedule ahead. After tonight only four of their next 14 games will be in Phoenix, which could see their 7.5-game lead over Memphis and Golden State for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs begin to erode. There should be plenty of fantasy goodness against the Lakers tonight, as Los Angeles is allowing the fifth-most points in the league this season at a whopping 113.2 per game. JaVale McGee, Landry Shamet, Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges are viable tournament options, particularly on Yahoo.

Los Angeles heads back home to host Toronto on Monday, but we have to think the LeBron James is going to play both ends of this back-to-back. Of course, we will need to have contingency plans in place in the event that he is a late scratch, but leaving two roster slots for players in this final game of the night will allow for maximum use of the salary cap if we learn that King James is taking a night off.

Russell Westbrook remains infuriating, but his sliding salary keeps him relevant as long as we have appropriate expectations; about a 35- to 40-fantasy-point range is his new realistic level of production. Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony are the next-best options, with Austin Reaves worth consideration as an extreme punt play if Talen Horton-Tucker (ankle) is out.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Sunday, March 13 Fantasy Basketball Slate

Keep an eye out for any late breaking news coming from the Lakers or Suns, as there is a two-hour gap between that game and the rest of the slate. While something silly seems to happen on most NBA Sundays, the frontloaded slate should curtail most shenanigans.

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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