Happy Tuesday to every single one of you besides Derrick White. I didn’t even particularly like him on Monday’s slate, but it seemed like I needed to roster someone in his price range constantly. I legitimately should have gone anywhere else, as the Spurs won easily but White failed miserably. So on to Tuesday we go, where there are massive contests on DraftKings and FanDuel to look forward to; let’s find some NBA DFS picks and strategies that can get us to the top.
Be sure to check out the Slate Starter podcast, featuring yours truly and Rynpak, to get the first look at the slate and make NBA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel!
NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | March 16
Oklahoma (Value) City
With Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk still most likely unavailable and Al Horford out for a second straight rest game, the Thunder are going to be an important team to get right on Tuesday. There are options at literally every position, plus the slumping Bulls opposition should allow for this game to stay close, making them even more viable. While Houston will certainly garner ownership once more (especially on FanDuel where they’re priced egregiously), it won’t be if we should target this team, but how many can we jam in per lineup.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the top options. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the go-to on this team but is priced up at $8,800 on DraftKings and $8,000 on FanDuel. He is not exactly “value,” but he’s certainly viable purely due to the upside that exists with being the No. 1 on such a haphazard team. He is not a priority on this slate, but I have no problem getting there, especially at his FanDuel price.
Now is where it gets fun. Theo Maledon is questionable and at risk of missing his second straight outing, which means minutes could once again be available for Ty Jerome. Jerome helped lead Virginia to a national title in college but has failed to pop in his brief NBA tenure before about three weeks ago. In the seven games since his debut, he’s averaging 26.2 minutes and 21.3 DraftKings points per game. So long as Maledon sits, I see both of those numbers taking a slight boost upward, which bodes well at $4,200 on DraftKings and even better at $3,900 on FanDuel.
Next up is Aleksej Pokusevski, who I see gaining some popularity so long as Luguentz Dort misses once again as well. Pokusevski saw a robust 39 minutes on Sunday en route to a phenomenal 48-fantasy-point outing. He was 7-for-13 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3, and while I don’t see him repeating that sort of shooting performance, the opportunity should undoubtedly be there for him in this spot.
Finally, Horford will continue to be out in the Thunder frontcourt. Isaiah Roby and Mike Muscala are guys to take shots on no matter what, but Moses Brown is the main conversation piece here. Brown has only played 101 minutes this season but sports a silly 1.29 FanDuel points per minute in that time. I weirdly expect him to be the highest-owned player from this team tomorrow, as Horford already being ruled out directly affects him the most and he’s only $3,500 on DraftKings ($4,200 on FanDuel is still advantageous).
Obviously, pay close attention to news surrounding this team, as it is one of the keys to capitalizing on this slate. Check out the Awesemo YouTube channel for the Tip-Off show, the Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock to stay informed. That way, no matter how the injuries pan out for the Thunder, you’ll be prepared.
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The Return of C.J.
We have a gigantic amount of news that needs to break before I could even begin to analyze certain parts of this slate. Christian Wood is doubtful but could certainly throw a wrench into the Rockets value should he suit up. Bam Adebayo is probable, but I’ll obviously want to double-check that with the amount of time he’s now missed.
But there is someone that’s not on the injury report for the Trail Blazers that is exciting to see from a real-life perspective, but certainly not from an NBA DFS one: C.J. McCollum. While price tags north of $7,500 on both sites make it impossible to roster him, he kills just about any interest I have in other Portland pieces despite the incredible matchup versus the Pelicans. It is hard to blame DraftKings or FanDuel, as McCollum has been an afterthought since his Jan. 16 left foot fracture. But man, it’s a bummer to have no access to this Blazers team I expect to garner an implied team total above 115 (that line is yet to come out).
Damian Lillard could still bust out a ceiling, especially if we see “minutes limit” in the pregame notes for McCollum. But price sensitivity is a thing when you have a player like McCollum — who has a 28% usage rate in 2021 — returning to the fold. Should the ownership plummet to low single digits on any of these pieces, I’m sure I’ll have interest. But as it stands right now, this could be a team I completely write off on DraftKings and fire up only a little Enes Kanter at $6,200 on FanDuel.
Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups
- Jimmy Butler has earned his absurd $11,000 salary on FanDuel, and yet he’ll be so incredibly low-owned due to Bam Adebayo‘s return and the Rockets’ small forwards existing. Still, while he’s averaging an astounding 1.57 DraftKings points with Adebayo on the floor this season, he’s averaging 1.41 with him on it. That makes his $9,800 tag over there something I’ll still have some interest in.
- I had a weird feeling LeBron James would sit against the Timberwolves on Tuesday. But after blowing the Warriors out of the water and only having to play 30 minutes, I’m less inclined to think that now. With fewer studs to pay up for on this slate — plus his small forward utility on both sites — he becomes an automatic priority for me.
- This is a pretty unbelievable stat: Robert Williams has played in 13 games over the past month. Despite not exceeding 23 minutes in a single one, he has exceeded 30 FanDuel points in more than half of them (seven). To say that is unbelievable is an understatement.
- Just play Kenyon Martin Jr.
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