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Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for March 17

Garion Thorne breaks down his top DraftKings value plays for Friday’s NBA slate.

It’s foolish to believe an NBA slate in this era of basketball will be straightforward, but tonight’s eight-game docket seems relatively mundane. It’s an average-sized slate, and while there are some big names currently listed as questionable, none of the 16 teams taking the court this evening are on the second leg of a back-to-back. Beautiful injury report transparency. You have to love it.

Let’s dive in and find some values.

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PF/C Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors at Atlanta Hawks, $4,400

It needs to be stated directly off the top of this blurb that the status of Steph Curry ($10,500; thumb) obviously looms large over these proceedings and the slate as a whole. If the former MVP is unable to go, everyone on the Warriors will get a little boost in usage and value. However, even without considering Curry, Kuminga’s in a nice spot on Friday. Thanks to his 16th technical foul of the season, Draymond Green will be unavailable against Atlanta, joining Andrew Wiggins (personal) on the sidelines. That leaves a massive gap in Golden State’s depth chart at the forward position, one that will likely be filled by Kuminga. The sophomore started in place of Green the last time he missed a contest back on February 26 versus the Timberwolves. Kuminga also started on March 7 in Oklahoma City, registering 31.25 DKFP across 27.8 minutes of work. In other words, ceiling should not be an issue when considering Kuminga’s services tonight, especially with the implied total of this game at nearly 248 points on the DraftKings Sportsbook.

PG Ricky Rubio, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards, $3,100

Rubio is by no means a high-upside asset on this slate, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be useful, particularly on a night where his price tag is this confusing. As recently as early February, Rubio was roughly $4K per game, generally the going rate for a backup point guard on DraftKings. However, on Friday, the veteran’s price tag is just $3.1K. What gives? Cleveland has been very hesitant all season to take the blinders off Rubio — he’s seemingly locked into 18-24 minutes per contest — but he tends to be very productive and very consistent in that opportunity. To wit, Rubio’s managed to exceed 23.0 DKFP three of the last five times he’s logged at least 19.0 minutes, bringing back at least 15.0 DKFP on all five occasions. That might not appear groundbreaking, yet at this salary, that’s a 5x floor with the potential for an 8x return. Again, Rubio isn’t a sexy pick by any means, but he’s certainly viable.

SF Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs, $5,000

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks for the Grizzlies and Brooks, yet Friday seems like the type of night where you embrace the mercurial forward’s upside. Memphis will remain without Ja Morant for at least a few more games, and while Brooks’ usage rate in March with his All-Star teammate missing is actually lower than it was in the season’s first-half, the Canadian has still managed to exceed 30.0 DKFP twice in his last four contests. Say what you will about Brooks, but he’s clearly important to what the Grizzlies do, as he’s averaged 31.2 minutes per game since March 3 — the most of any non-Morant member of the squad within that span. At this modest price tag, in a matchup with the worst defense in the NBA, you have to give Brooks a serious look.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.