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Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for March 29

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

New Orleans Pelicans v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Wednesday NBA slates this late into the season are generally carnage and tonight is no exception. On top of having three teams playing on the second night of a back-to-back, this evening’s injury report is essentially an All-Star Game roster, with Joel Embiid ($11,000; calf), LeBron James ($10,200; foot) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,100; ankle) all question marks. But we might get Kevin Durant ($9,700; ankle) back. That’s fun.

Let’s dive into the madness and find some values.

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PG/SG Keon Johnson, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Sacramento Kings, $5,000

When it comes to the current incarnation of the Trail Blazers, anyone with a pulse is a viable DFS option. Shaedon Sharpe ($6,700) has played himself out of “value” range at this point, but with so many usual starters inactive — and Trendon Watford ($6,000; ankle) doubtful on Wednesday — every other asset on Portland’s roster is $5.1K or less. Let’s begin with Johnson. The former first-round pick logged huge minutes off the bench in Monday’s loss to the Pelicans, managing 20 points and 32.25 DKFP with a team-high 29.2% usage rate. The sophomore has talent, and now he has the opportunity to show out against a Kings squad that’s allowed 120.9 opponent points per 100 possessions in the month of March. Drew Eubanks ($4,700) and Kevin Knox II ($4,200) might also be worth a look, but Johnson’s combination of floor and ceiling feels the safest.

PG/SG Malaki Branham, San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz, $4,200

This is going to sound insane, but the Spurs’ injury report isn’t as bad as usual on Wednesday night. Or, at the very least, it’s more definitive than I’m used to seeing. Keldon Johnson (foot), Devin Vassell (knee) and Jeremy Sochan (knee) are sidelined, while no one is listed as questionable or even probable. No uncertainty at all. I sort of respect it. Johnson and Vassell rank first and second, respectively, on San Antonio in usage rate for 2022-23 as a whole, whereas Sochan has posted a noteworthy 28.7% usage for the contests he’s been active in March. Needless to say, there’s going to be some shoes to fill for the Spurs with these three missing. Zach Collins ($6,400) should be the main beneficiary, but don’t sleep on Branham, who ranked second on the team in field goal attempts (13) in Sunday’s loss to Boston — a game where Vassell was starting. Branham is also averaging 13.4 points per contest since the beginning of February. With the Jazz sitting third in pace (102.3) and 26th in defensive rating (120.5) for the month, expect Branham to bring back at least 5x value in a great matchup.

C Isaiah Jackson, Indiana Pacers vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $4,500

There’s really not too much to comprehend when it comes to Jackson’s prospective value on Wednesday — either Myles Turner ($6,600; back) sits or he doesn’t. Turner’s missed Indiana’s past two contests, which has opened the door for Jackson to thrive. To wit, despite only starting one of those two games, Jackson’s registered 27.75 DKFP and 28.0 DKFP, respectively. This is in-line with what we’ve seen throughout the season with the sophomore. Jackson’s averaging an impressive 30.3 DKFP in his eight opportunities to start in 2022-23, exceeding 40.0 DKFP twice. Heck, Jackson is producing 1.09 DKFP per minute for the Pacers, a figure that trails only Turner and Tyrese Haliburton (ankle/elbow). That’s some pretty good company. If Jackson draws his ninth start of the season this evening, he should be able to do some damage in an uptempo environment. Both of these teams rank top 10 in the NBA is pace since March 1, with the Bucks leading the league within that span (103.4).

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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.