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High-Upside NBA Daily Fantasy Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Tonight | 3/18/22

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Following Thursday’s rare one-game slate, the league returns tonight with a full schedule of 12 NBA games. As always, be sure to be watching the Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page closely for updates on each team before making NBA picks today. Specifically, keep an eye on  Trae Young (questionable, quad). John Collins (foot) will remain out and if Young is available without limitations, he will be a sharp target for GPPs. Coming off an underwhelming 38.3 DraftKings point showing Wednesday and with the injury concerns, Young should be very under-owned for tonight’s matchup against the Grizzlies. This contest boasts the second-highest total on the slate at 237.5 points and in his first 12 starts of the season without Collins before Wednesday, Young was a stud with 56 DraftKings points per game. Now, in the event that the point guard is ruled out, Delon Wright would be in line to start for the Hawks in this high-scoring affair, instantly making him a tremendous punt play. For the five tilts Young has missed this season, Wright is amassing 28 DraftKings points per game. Below are some NBA daily fantasy basketball picks that stand out for tonight’s slate using Awesemo’s NBA DFS Boom/Bust Tool and NBA DFS projections.

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Boom: Nickiel Alexander-Walker: $3,100 DraftKings/$3,500 FanDuel

38% DraftKings Boom/26% FanDuel Boom

Tonight, the Jazz will be without Donovan Mitchell (calf), Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) and Danuel House (knee). With Mitchell active, but Bogdanovic and House unavailable Wednesday against the Bulls, Alexander-Walker saw his biggest opportunity since being acquired by Utah last month, finishing with 26 DraftKings points across 22.3 minutes. Now, with Mitchell also removed from the equation, Alexander-Walker should get the start in his place tonight, with Jazz head coach Quin Snyder always preferring to keep Jordan Clarkson with the second unit.

Awesemo NBA player projections have Alexander-Walker for 24.9 minutes of work tonight against the Clippers, which is an immense workload relative to his near minimum price tags. He is contributing 0.91 DraftKings points per minute this season and 24.5 DraftKings points per game for the last 10 times he has played at least 20 minutes. Rating as the No.1 value on the slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel in Awesemo’s NBA projections, Alexander-Walker is a terrific punt play for all formats.

With such a low price and likely in line for a high-usage game, Alexander-Walker is popping as one of the best NBA DFS picks today in the NBA lineup optimizer. To see who else was showing up in the optimizer as great plays, check out the DraftKings NBA DFS Cheat Sheet and FanDuel NBA DFS Cheat Sheet today.

Boom: C.J. McCollum: $9,300 DraftKings/$8,700 FanDuel

24% DraftKings Boom/29% FanDuel Boom

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McCollum struggled with only 41.8 DraftKings points in a difficult spot Tuesday against the Suns, but this goes right back to the guard tonight. Brandon Ingram (hamstring) will remain sidelined and prior to Tuesday, McCollum was averaging 53.5 DraftKings points per game in his first two starts without Ingram since joining the Pelicans at the trade deadline. With the forward off the floor, McCollum’s usage rises 3.7 percentage points to a team-high 32.7%. Additionally, his assist rate leaps 11.8 percentage points to 41.5%, which is also a team-high for this situation. This translates into 1.44 DraftKings points per minute for McCollum and Friday presents a perfect bounce-back spot for the former Blazer.

After going against a Phoenix defense that ranks third in efficiency Tuesday, McCollum meets a Spurs’ defense tonight that ranks 20th in efficiency. San Antonio also ranks fifth in pace and this contest’s total is the third-highest on the slate at 237 points. Furthermore, this tilt is expected to be competitive from start to finish, with the Spurs only favored by three points. McCollum should rebound with at least 50 fantasy points tonight and is particularly appealing on DraftKings, where Awesemo is forecasting him for single-digit ownership.


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Boom: Jalen Smith: $5,700 DraftKings/$6,100 FanDuel

24% DraftKings Boom/19% FanDuel Boom

The Pacers will be visiting the hopeless Rockets tonight and having a share of this Indiana club should be a priority. Houston ranks dead last in defensive efficiency and fourth in pace, making the best matchup to attack in fantasy basketball. In this dream spot, the Pacers carry the highest implied team total of the 24 squads competing Friday at 123.75 points. By a significant margin, this contest’s total is also the largest on the board at 243.5 points and Indiana is only favored by four points.

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Pacers’ starting center Isaiah Jackson (concussion) has been ruled out for tonight and Goga Bitadze (foot) is questionable. Regardless of Bitadze’s availability, Smith should replace Jackson in the first unit tonight and act as Indiana’s primary big man. He is scoring 1.1 DraftKings points per minute this season and should handle right around 30 minutes, with room for more if Bitadze sits. Smith is amassing 31 DraftKings points per game for the 10 occasions he has eclipsed the 25-minute mark this season and is an appealing affordable way to gain exposure to the Pacers and their slate-high implied team total.

Boom: Devin Booker: $9,100 DraftKings/$9,800 FanDuel

31% DraftKings Boom/18% FanDuel Boom

Booker has been outstanding with Chris Paul (thumb) sidelined, supplying 52 DraftKings points per game across his past eight starts. Cameron Johnson (quad) will also remain unavailable and in the 380 minutes Booker has played with Johnson and Paul off the court this season, his usage and assist rates have increased 2.3 and 5.2 percentage points, respectively. Booker provides 1.43 DraftKings points per minute with the expanded role and finds himself in an elite setting tonight against the Bulls.

This contest’s total is the fourth-highest on the slate at 231 points and the Suns are only favored by 5.5-points. Chicago ranks 19th in defensive efficiency and Phoenix’s implied team total is the sixth-largest of the night at 118.25 points. Booker should eclipse 50 DraftKings points for the fourth consecutive start tonight and is one of the best high spends available for this 12-game slate.


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Looking for more NBA DFS FanDuel and the best NBA DFS advice? View our Yahoo! NBA ownership projections, our FanDuel NBA ownership projections and our DraftKings ownership. Check out our NBA DraftKings rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DFS projections FanDuel. Our DFS NBA projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. We also have Yahoo! NBA rankings, FanDuel rankings and DraftKings ownership rankings for today's slate.

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