clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for March 23

Stan Son gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Thursday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

One. Two. Three. Four. No, this is not a skit on Sesame Street. That would be such a bore. Instead, we are counting the number of games for the glorious game of DFS that we so adore. Some prepare as if going to war, while others flaunt about as if at a party hosted by Christian Dior. Whichever path you are on, the only thing that matters at the end of the night is who has points galore and ends with the highest score. May you choose the correct door when presented with the conundrum of floor or players who can soar. Hopefully, the lineup is devoid of snowflakes, as those are such an eyesore. Only flames for the core.

CHA and OKC are playing the first game of a back-to-back. NYK is the only team that played on Wednesday. Paul George is the only notable player on the injury report, and he is out for tonight’s contest. Keep abreast of all the injury news @dklive.

DraftKings Sportsbook has the OKC/LAC game with the highest total at 232. The CLE/BKN game has the lowest total at 219. The Pelicans are the biggest favorite by 9.0 points over the Hornets while the other three games have spreads of 3.5, 4.0 and 4.0 points. ORL and BKN are home dogs.

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

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers ($9,600) – Shai is so good at basketball that he makes my day. He is one of the most well-rounded players in fantasy and, on this slate, he has the highest floor/ceiling projection at the guard position, averaging the most fantasy points per minute at 1.4. Shai has exceeded points expectations 60% of the time and has scored fewer than 40 DKFP just six times this season. He’s gone over 50 DKFP 30 times with nine of those over 60 and a high of 73.5. In three prior games against the Clippers this season, Shai has gone for 44.75, 63.25 and 44.25 DKFP, with the most recent contest on Tuesday. He will play 35 to 40 minutes a night while garnering a usage rate in the 35% range.

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks at Orlando Magic ($7,800) – Brunson missed five of six games due to a foot issue. In his first game back, he played 32 minutes and put up 34.5 DKFP. In the two games since, he’s played 37 and 38 minutes, contributing 45.5 and 42 DKFP. He’s baaaaack. The usage rate has been 25% and 27% and his ability to contribute in every category sans blocks provides a relatively high floor. He does have 50-DKFP upside if things break right as well.

Other Options - CJ McCollum ($8,100), Russell Westbrook ($7,900), Kelly Oubre Jr. ($7,500)


Terance Mann, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,900) – Mann only averages 0.81 DKFP per minute and many of the projected lineups have Eric Gordon ($5,300) starting tonight. As a result, the ownership could be very low for Mann, which is a path I would like to travel down. Is there a risk? Absolutely, but the potential reward makes up for it. Both Gordon and Mann are similar in that they are one-dimensional players, contributing primarily in points. If Gordon gets the start, he will cede the usage rate to both Kawhi and Westbrook. That would leave Mann to lead the second unit, which is the ideal situation for him. On the season, he has gone for over 40 DKFP three times, so there is upside. Granted, because he’s primarily a scorer, the efficiency has to be high because he doesn’t contribute much in the periphery categories, but if he has one of his hot shooting days, you will vault up the leaderboards if he is in fact rostered on few teams.

Other Options - Cole Anthony ($5,600), Dennis Smith Jr. ($5,100), Caris LeVert ($5,200)



Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($9,900) – The Kawhibot 2000 has been humming along at a steady pace recently, but new operating software and guidance chips will need to be installed due to the Paul George injury. With George off the court this season, Kawhi has seen a 7.6% usage rate bump to a team-high 35%. Beep. Boop. Bop.

Julius Randle, New York Knicks at Orlando Magic ($9,100) – Through the months of December to February, Randle was not the King of New York. No, he was Emperor Julius of the Five Boroughs. He failed to put up at least 40 DKFP in only two of 41 games and went for over 50 DKFP 22 times with seven of those over 60 DKFP. So far in March, though, he’s failed to go for at least 40 DKFP three times in 11 games while putting up over 50 DKFP three times. The shooting efficiency can sometimes be a problem for Randle in addition to the lack of defensive stats. The usage rate can fluctuate from 25% all the way up to 40%. That said, he is heavily involved and racks up plenty of points, rebounds and assists. In two prior meetings with Orlando, he went for 50 and 49.5 DKFP.

Other Options - Jalen Williams ($6,700)


Isaiah Joe, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers ($4,400) – Joe isn’t a screaming value and the floor is low because he’s fairly one-dimensional. He’s a hucker-and-chucker off the bench. But when he gets hot, he can get scorching hot, and that’s what I’m looking for here. The most likely outcome is that he ends up in the teens for DKFP, but there’s a chance he shoots 7-of-12 from downtown as he did back in January against the Pacers en route to 39 DKFP. Over the last six games, Joe has received 24 to 28 minutes per contest. Minutes are half the battle. Yo, Joe!

Other Options - Eric Gordon ($5,300), Gordon Hayward ($5,700)



Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Charlotte Hornets ($7,100) – Playing time has always been an issue for Valanciunas. For much of his career, coaches wouldn’t give him more than 28 minutes of run a night. Since arriving in New Orleans, the situation has been better, but Willie Green did play small ball more this season and gave him fewer than 20 minutes in two of the last six games. Over the last three, though, Valanciunas has received 34, 33 and 28 minutes. Not surprisingly, he feasted for 52.75, 45.5 and 44.75 DKFP. Granted, those games were against the Spurs and Rockets but tonight’s matchup is against another cupcake in Charlotte. Yummy.

Other Options - Nic Claxton ($6,800), Jarrett Allen ($6,300), Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,900)


Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets at New Orleans Pelicans ($5,000) – Due to the injury to Mark Williams, Richards has started the last five games. The playing time and production have been all over the map, with a floor of 5.5 DKFP in 13 minutes to a ceiling of 42.5 DKFP in 32 minutes. As long as he stays out of foul trouble, the minutes shouldn’t be an issue because the Hornets will need someone to match up to the beefiness of Valanciunas. Another encouraging thing is that the Hornets just extended Richards for three years and $15 million, so they’ve been happy with his play and believe in his long-term prospects.

Other Options - Isaiah Hartenstein ($3,700), Day’Ron Sharpe ($4,100)

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

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

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