We’re back! Let’s be honest. Everyone loves March Madness, but basketball in it’s most beautiful form is in the league, with the pros. We know you couldn’t survive another NBA DFS night without our angelic guidance, so we’re back for a healthy 10-game Friday slate of basketball. There are going to be plenty of fun matchups in this one, so we’ll do our best to narrow down your player pool. Onward!
Playing NBA DFS can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also make your head spin. It’s our job to make sure you’re winning as much as possible! There are countless variables that can lead to a player’s individual performance, but I’ve found it’s best to focus on just a few that can lead to better predictability.
My favorite factors to track for NBA DFS targets: Matchups (Offensive/Defensive Ratings), Opportunity (expected player minutes, game pace), and Recent Form.
This is the AM VERSION of a living article that will be updated throughout the day, as news comes through the wire.
LET’S GET INTO THE SLATE!!!!
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NBA DFS Targets and Preview for Mar. 19
Spurs vs. Cavaliers
This game should be relatively straightforward. The Cavs are 10 games under .500, while the Spurs are five games over .500. The Cavs are last in the league in net rating, despite their great start of the season, and the Spurs are right at the league average. The only thing that’s keeping the Spurs in playoff contention is their 10th ranked defensive rating. That should keep the Cavs in check in this one. I like the Spurs.
DFS Targets: SAS targets: Murray, White, Poeltl, and Rudy Gay to take some of those Demar DeRozan minutes. CLE targets: I’m going to go ahead and stick with the Cavs best players against a top ten defense. I like Jarrett Allen, Colin Sexton, and Darius Garland.
Kings vs. Celtics
The Kings are eight games under .500, while the Celtics are .500. The Kings aren’t a winning team and are 24th in the league in net rating, despite the talent they have on their roster. They’re always in every game though, and I don’t know whether to credit or ding Bill Walton for his tenure there. At the end of the day, I trust Boston’s 10th ranked net rating to show how they’re a better-constructed team than the Kings. A team that contributes on both ends. Should be close, but I’ll take Boston.
DFS Targets: BOS targets: Tatum, Brown, Walker, and Smart (welcome back!). SAC targets: Fox, Haliburton, Holmes, and Hield (he’s been inconsistent lately, but he can give you six threes in any given game).
Pacers vs. Heat
This should be a great matchup. The return of Jimmy Butler is showing why this team represented the East last year. He’s taken this team all the way up to 3rd in the league in defensive rating, but the scoring hasn’t caught up to them yet. These two teams are 18th and 21st in net rating, respectively. But, the Pacers don’t do any one thing exceptionally well. I’ll roll with the Heat’s defense in this one.
DFS Targets: IND targets: Brogdon and Sabonis. I don’t like LeVert against this squad, and I’d like to see him get his minutes up. MIA targets: Butler, Adebayo, Olynyk, Nunn, Robinson, and Tragic.
Warriors vs. Grizzlies
Both of these teams have top ten defenses. Both of these teams may be without Steph Curry. He suffered a nasty-looking fall last night, that caused a bruised tailbone (no thanks). I going to go out on a limb and say that he’ll take a game or two off to get healthy. The Warriors have had enough injuries these past couple of seasons to risk him making anything worse. If Steph doesn’t play, the Warriors have no chance. I like the Grizzlies in a blowout here.
DFS Targets: I tend to avoid targeting players in a potential blowout game, but stick with the stars if you disagree with my take.
Nets vs. Magic
The game above was a potential blowout game, but this one is a definite blowout game. Whatever the spread ends up being, take out a second mortgage and expect the Nets to beat it. Kyrie and Harden have led the Nets to be the number one offensive-rated team in the league this year. The Magic have the 18th rated defense. They have nothing for ’em. Take the Nets.
DFS Targets: BKN targets: Irving and Harden. ORL targets: Nikola and Ross. Usage rates are so consolidated with these teams that I wouldn’t be scared to target this blowout game.
Pistons vs. Rockets
Both teams are bad. The Rockets, however, are 18 straight losses bad. Christian Wood coming back on a minutes limit, doesn’t do much for me. I expect the Rockets to extend their streak to 19.
DFS Targets: Just because I have a good feeling they’ll lose, doesn’t mean that it can’t be a good game for DFS purposes. DET targets: Ellington, Grant, Plumlee, and Wright. HOU targets: Oladipo, Wall, Tate, Wood, KPJ, and Kenyon Martin Jr.
Jazz vs. Raptors
The Jazz are 19 games over .500, the Raptors are six games below. The Jazz are #1 in the league in net rating, while the Raptors are 12th. I truly think the mix of COVID/injuries + Kyle Lowry trade rumors have really affected this team, which has now lost five straight games. I’ll roll with the Jazz in this one.
DFS Targets: UTA targets: Conley, Mitchell, Gobert, and Clarkson. TOR targets: Lowry, Boucher, Siakam, and VanVleet.
Bulls vs. Nuggets
Come on. Nuggets.
DFS Targets: I wouldn’t target anyone from this game but Jokic and LaVine are safe bets practically every night.
Timberwolves vs. Suns
Maybe I lied when I said this was going to be a good slate, full of great matchups. The Suns are 3rd in the league in net rating and the Wolves are 29th. You can skip watching this blowout.
DFS Targets: These teams tend to distribute usage differently by game. I wouldn’t mess with this one in a blowout.
Mavericks vs. Trail Blazers
Here we go. This is my favorite matchup of the night. Luka (the All-Star starting spot thief) vs. Dame (the All-Star starting spot snub). Kristaps vs. Kanter. McCollum vs….ok. That’s where this breaks down. The Mavs are 14th in net rating, while the Blazers are 20th, but those stats don’t include what a healthy CJ McCollum brings to the table as a 2nd option to Dame. I don’t think Kristaps and Luka can outweigh not having a defined 3rd option like Portland has. I like the Blazers here.
DFS Targets: DAL targets: Luka, Porzingis, and Richardson (fringe). POR targets: Dame, CJ, Kanter, and Covington can provide some sneaky value in this matchup tonight.
Don’t forget to check back later in the day as Bradlee will be updating his NBA DFS preview with all the info you need to turn tonight’s slate into a resounding success!
If you are reading this on Fantrax.com make sure to head on over to FantraxHQ to check out Brad’s afternoon updates.
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