Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons, $11,000
Westbrook was one assist shy of a triple-double on Thursday night, finishing with 58.5 DKFP vs. the Knicks. This marked his 15th effort of over 50 DKFP in his past 20 starts. Tonight is an average matchup against the Pistons (15th in defensive efficiency), but Westbrook will be back on his home floor, where the point guard has produced 57.7 DKFP per game since joining the Wizards.
This is a significant 9.8 DKFP increase from when Washington is on the road, and Bradley Beal ($9,200; questionable, foot) is beat up right now. Westbrook is a great spend no matter the status of Beal, but he would be a necessity if the shooting guard ends up inactive. The last time Beal sat was on March 13 and Westbrook was unstoppable, scoring a season-high 80.5 DKFP in a difficult matchup vs. the Bucks.
Other Options: De’Aaron Fox ($9,000), John Wall ($8,400)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks, $5,300
With Lonzo Ball (hip) missing his third consecutive game last night, Alexander-Walker continued his strong play as the Pelicans’ replacement point guard, scoring 36.25 DKFP across 39 minutes against the Nuggets. The second-year guard is now generating 33.75 DKFP with 34.6 minutes per game in these past three, and Ball will miss at least one more game, keeping Alexander-Walker in a prime position to smash value against the Mavs on Saturday.
Even with the Mavs rating as a poor matchup for point guards, giving up the sixth-fewest DKFP per game to the position, Alexander-Walker is a no-brainer at this soft price.
Other Options: Marcus Smart ($6,200), Jalen Brunson ($4,200, if Luka Doncic is out)
Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $9,000
Fresh off a 54.25 DKFP outing against the Grizzlies last night, Mitchell will get another chance to dominate this club again this evening. The All-Star has been unstoppable recently, providing 52.8 DKFP per game over his past five, and as is evident from Mitchell’s outburst on Friday night, this Grizzlies defense has serious issues stopping shooting guards.
This season, they have allowed opposing shooting guards to score DKFP at the second-highest clip in the Association, and this rematch is expected to be high scoring, with the DraftKings Sportsbook listing its O/U game total at 229.5 points. When Mitchell has started in a total greater than 225 points this year, the 24-year-old is averaging 46.9 DKFP per game.
Other Options: Paul George ($8,300, better if Kawhi Leonard is out)
Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks, $5,600
Hart has been great off the bench with Ball missing, supplying 33.3 DKFP per game across these past three. His ability to stuff the stat sheet in all categories makes Hart an appealing option when the minutes are up, and his fantasy production has increased to just over 1.0 DKFP per minute since the Pelicans returned from the All-Star break.
As noted above, Ball will continue to be out again Saturday, and with 25-to-30 minutes, Hart is a strong bet to return over five-times value against the Mavs. Last, but not least, he has obtained less than 10% ownership in DraftKings’ main GPP for each of these past three, and this trend should continue on Saturday’s nine-game slate.
Other Options: Reggie Jackson ($4,700, if Kawhi Leonard is out), Eric Bledsoe ($4,400), Terance Mann ($3,900, if Kawhi Leonard is out)
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $8,200
The Celtics secured a much-needed blowout win over the Bucks last night, and with Kemba Walker ($6,800) suiting up for this victory, the point guard will be rested tonight. The UConn product hasn’t played in both legs of a back-to-back set this season, and even with the potential presence of Evan Fournier ($6,700) joining Boston tonight, Brown should still beat his $8,200 price tag against a Thunder defense that has struggled since the All-Star break, ranking as the sixth-worst unit in the league.
Tristan Thompson (health and safety protocols) is still out, and in the four games the center and Walker have missed together, Brown has produced a team-best 51.1 DKFP.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Evan Fournier (health protocols) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Thunder.
Other Options: Luka Doncic ($10,800, if active), RJ Barrett ($7,000, better if Derrick Rose is out)
Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Boston Celtics, $5,500
This week, the Thunder received some very unfortunate news that starting point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will miss significant time due to a foot injury. As the team’s leader in usage and minutes, there is a ton of responsibility left behind by the point guard, and Dort has been a primary beneficiary when both Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Bazley (out, shoulder) have been inactive.
When these two starters have been missing this season, Dort has chipped in with 31.4 DKFP per game, thanks to an increase of over 5 percentage points to his usage rate. The Celtics have a strong group of wing defenders, but they haven’t played up to their standards recently, with this defense ranking as the second-weakest unit in the NBA since the All-Star break. Plus, they are on the second half of a back-to-back, and Dort should be able to expose them for over 30 DKFP.
Other Options: Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,500, if Luka Doncic or Kristaps Porzingis are out), Sterling Brown ($5,000), Nicolas Batum ($4,100, if Kawhi Leonard is out), Deni Avdija ($3,400, if Bradley Beal is out)
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $8,500
Harris had a down showing vs. the Lakers on Thursday (37 DKFP), but Joel Embiid (knee) is still out and this a revenge game situation against the Clippers. In total, Harris is collecting a team-best 42.1 DKFP per game in the 13 games that Embiid has missed in 2020-21, and the Clippers are dealing with a slew of injuries, most importantly Kawhi Leonard ($8,800; foot, questionable).
Nonetheless, Harris is going to handle a hefty usage rate tonight and is always a threat for 45-50 DKFP when Embiid is out of the equation.
Other Options: Jayson Tatum ($8,400), Brandon Ingram ($8,000), Richaun Holmes ($7,500)
Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons, $5,900
The Wizards’ coaching staff has finally realized that they need to give Hachimura a large amount of work, with the second-year forward gaining 38.1 minutes per game in his past seven. During this stretch, Hachimura has surpassed 30 DKFP five times, with two performances above 40 DKFP.
The 23-year-old is always going to be a viable target with this type of volume, and he would see an obvious boost if Beal can’t give it a go. When the pure scorer has been off the court in 2020-21, Hachimura has seen his usage rate leap over 6.5 percentage points, pushing him to 1.0 DKFP per minute.
Other Options: Marcus Morris ($4,600, if active), Juancho Hernangómez ($3,700)
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls vs. San Antonio Spurs, $9,500
Vucevic will make his Bulls debut on Saturday night, and I highly doubt he gains much attention in GPPs. There really is no reason why the All-Star wouldn’t instantly receive a large role right out the gate with Chicago, and one of the best possible matchups for a center is on tap for Saturday night, with Vuce going against the Spurs.
Currently, San Antonio is surrendering the second-most DKFP per game to opposing centers, and Vucevic could easily destroy this weak frontcourt for over 50 DKFP, especially if Zach LaVine ($8,500; ankle, questionable) is unable to suit up. I prefer paying down at center for cash games, but for GPPs, Vucevic is one of my preferred targets.
Other Options: Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,700), Christian Wood ($8,500), Kristaps Porzingis ($7,900, if active and Luka Doncic is out)
Robert Williams, Boston Celtics vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $6,600
Last night was our first taste of Williams as the Celtics’ new starting center and he didn’t disappoint, tallying 41.25 DKFP across 27 minutes vs. the Bucks. The versatile big man notched seven defensive stats as a member of the first unit, and his efforts were a big reason why Boston ran away with this win. If the contest stayed close, Williams would have gotten over 30 minutes, and with Daniel Theis shipped off to the Bulls and Thompson still away from the team, the elite fantasy producer needs to be in our lineups again tonight.
For the month of March, Williams is leading the Celtics with an immense 1.46 DKFP per minute, and he is a must-play until Thompson returns.
Other Options: Al Horford ($6,300), Ivica Zubac ($5,900), Dwight Howard ($5,600), Kelly Olynyk ($3,500, if active)
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