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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for March 19

Pearce Dietrich gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Sunday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

Sundays are NBA days now. There are day games, but the night slates and sweats remain supreme. These slates are not very big, so the research process can be light. We can get ahead by digging into the five-game evening slate that starts at 6 p.m. ET.

Delay the work week a few more hours. Get in on some NBA DFS action, and start by enjoying another colorful weekend edition of the NBA Targets.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $200K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]

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Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $10,500 — Last Sunday, Dame rested. On the previous Sundays, he ruled the slates with 67 DKFP on Mar. 5 and 93 DKFP on Feb. 26. Those are monster scores on regular slates but they shatter short slates. In his two games this week, Lillard scored 59 and 57 DKFP with usage rates of 35.7% and 42.4% in 37 and 39 minutes. How do you fade those numbers on a small Sunday slate void of high-end players?

Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $7,500 — There is nothing like small Sunday slates. A meaningless Rockets-Pelicans matchup is a central point of conversation. Porter is pretty good, but on this slate, he is an absolute stud. On Friday, Porter scored 39 DKFP in 39 minutes in round one vs. the Pelicans. That’s his floor. On Monday and Wednesday of last week, he scored 49 DKFP in each game and played over 38 minutes in each game. He could get 50 in Rockets-Pelicans round two — the rematch no one wanted.


Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Orlando Magic, $5,800 — His salary has increased $2,600 over the last month. That says everything. Even with the increase, Reaves has returned 5x value — not the greatest number but acceptable on short slates — in nine of his last 12 games. He’s playing almost 30 minutes per night with the second unit, and he’s scored double-digit points in seven in a row and 10 of 12.

Rodney McGruder, Detroit Pistons vs. Miami Heat, $5,600 — This is a tough matchup for the Pistons, but let’s be honest — they all are. McGruder just scored 46 DKFP in a 19-point home loss to the Nuggets. Why can’t he scrape together another meaningless stat line in a blowout loss to the Heat? McGruder played 31, 38 and 34 minutes in his last three games with usage rates between 16% and 20%. The result was fantasy value returns of 8.8x, 7.3x and 9.1x.



Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $9,500 — This is night two of a back-to-back, but Kawhi sat on Saturday. The Clippers need this win and they’ll need a fresh Leonard to carry them. After losing five in a row, they won four in a row but then lost last night without Leonard. Every game matters. The Clippers could gain home court advantage in round one or drop into the play-in tournament. Leonard has scored over 49 DKFP in each of his last four starts and the Clippers have won each game. He’s playing hero ball on Sunday and the forward position is pretty thin.

Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans at Houston Rockets, $6,200 — The Rockets are one of the worst teams in the NBA. They lose a lot. They lose because their opponents score more points. Their opponents score more points because Houston’s defense ranks 29th in Defensive Efficiency Rating. Minutes versus the Rockets matter. Murphy plays nearly 40 minutes a night. It’s become tougher for him to return value as his salary inflates. He busted in this same matchup on Friday but it was not for lack of trying. Even with a low usage rate the volume is still present. Murphy just needs to make his shots and this is a great matchup on a short slate.


Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans at Houston Rockets, $5,000 — This is Trey Murphy light. Jones plays slightly fewer minutes but comes in cheaper. Both laid an egg on Friday, so both will likely carry lower ownership in the rematch. One of these Pelicans can easily have a hot night in this matchup. These two scream, “GPP slate breaker.”

Mattise Thybulle, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $4,300 — Since being traded, Thybulle has produced in limited minutes for his new team. It appears that the Trail Blazers have kicked the tires and are willing to give him more minutes. Thybulle’s 13.9% usage rate wasn’t great on Tuesday and it likely won’t get much better in this lineup. However, he played 38 minutes and scored 38 DKFP. If he can get the minutes, he can produce. On Friday, his minutes dropped back down, so this is risky but worth mentioning as a late-night value swap on a short slate.



Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors, $12,000 — Thursday was an off night for the Greek Freak. Foul trouble limited his minutes and he struggled from the free throw line. At his price, the small things matter. On a full slate, fading Giannis Antetokounmpo is justifiable but on a short slate it’s dangerous. Fading Antetokounmpo after two days of rest and his recent interview is lunacy. He is poised to hit 100 DKFP after that interview. Google it. Try not to run through a wall. Try not to roster him. Outside of a playoff game, it’s hard to imagine a scenario better set for an Antetokounmpo takeover. Brace yourself for 40 minutes of 50% usage rate.


Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons vs. Miami Heat, $5,400 — The matchup stinks, but Duren scored 43 DKFP against the Nuggets’ frontcourt on Thursday. In three of the last four games, Duren has recorded a double-double with fantasy scores of 37, 37 and 43 DKFP. The disappointing game sandwiched between can be waved away as foul trouble and only 18 minutes of action. Duren returned from injury on Mar. 9 and looks to be back at full speed.

Trendon Watford, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $5,100 — Jerami Grant is out again. Watford has started the last two games in his absence. He played 40 and 34 minutes and scored 31 and 39 DKFP in those games. Watford has scored double-digit points in five straight and was close to double-digit rebounds in each of those games.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) 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.