• Welcome back to another edition of my Friday DFS picks on DraftKings! It is March 15 and we have eight games on tonight’s slate to break down. It is going to be an interesting night with all of the value that should be available, but a lot of the news needs to be monitored throughout the day. This is an early look and we have to be able to adjust to the news.

    A big thanks to everyone who came out and competed in our Wednesday “Beat the Expert” contest. It is always a ton of fun and the community we have here at HoopBall is no joke.

    I listed some of my favorite plays by position, but to be honest I love the guys in the “Honorable Mention” section as much as I do the guys at their positions. We have plenty of point guards to choose from and the mid-tier price range is where I am looking to attack tonight.

    Let’s jump right into this!

    Point Guard

    Ish Smith vs. Lakers $3,900 – Reggie Jackson rolled his ankle in the Pistons’ last game, the same ankle that had been nagging him all season. He is currently being considered questionable and while Jackson downplayed the injury, these ankle injuries tend to blow up the following day or after the game once a player takes his shoe off. If Jackson sits Smith would vault into chalky, free-space territory.

    Emmanuel Mudiay vs. Spurs $4,200 – Dennis Smith Jr. is out, so iit seems safe to assume Mudiay will play 32+ minutes. I do my best to avoid the Knicks at all cost, but this may be a spot to give a second look.

    Kemba Walker vs. Wizards $8,200 – We got burned in this spot not too long ago by Walker, but I am not afraid to go back to the well. Hopefully the sour taste he left people with lowers his ownership. He is by no means a must-play because of the other guard options we have on this slate and the other options we have to play on the Hornets side of the ball.

    Shooting Guard

    Devin Booker vs. Rockets $8,100 – I have a rule when it comes to Booker. When they are facing a good team I completely avoid him, unless I am playing a few players on the other side. I never one-off play Booker because any game involving the Suns could get out of hand. That being said, the Suns have been competitive lately and in any game they are, it is safe to assume that it is because of Booker’s play. So if I am playing any James Harden, Chris Paul or Clint Capela, I will likely have Booker in there as well.

    Lou Williams vs. Bulls $7,100 – Sweet Lou is always a fantastic tournament play. He comes off of the bench with a massive usage and draws one of the better matchups for the day. For some odd reason, people tend to shy away from players who come off of the bench and I try to take advantage of that. These teams met up earlier in the season and Williams dropped 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for 66.5 DK points. I by no means expect another triple-double, but the 30 real life points could be in play again. Danilo Gallinari is currently questionable and if he were forced to sit out than Williams vaults up my board even more.

    Small Forward

    Kyle Kuzma vs. Pistons $6,200 –If you are asking me if I feel comfortable playing any Lakers the answer is no, but if I have to choose one it’s Kuzma. The minutes should be secure and the shot attempts should be there for him. You could say the same for Rajon Rondo, but he needs others to hit their shots to really get his assist value and Lakers do not seem like a team with a ton of scorers surrounding Rondo. I am not forcing Kuzma into lineups, but I will have some shares of him at small forward.

    Marvin Williams vs. Wizards $4,600 – This is a game that will be worth targeting. We already know Kemba Walker is in play in this matchup, but he isn’t the only one playing in a pace-up spot. With (likely) no Zeller I am expecting Williams to see a few extra rebounds. He missed the last game due to an illness so he may fly under the radar, but the price is fair and he offers some eligibility at a position I am not to fond of.

    JaMychal Green vs. Bulls $3,600 – Green started for Gallo last game and did pretty well with the minutes. If we hear Gallo is out again than Green may be one of the best value plays on the board. Problem with that is this game is the last one of the night and we may not have the news by then.

    Power Forward

    Blake Griffin vs. Lakers $7,700 – This is simply because of price. I think Andre Drummond has the better matchup on paper, but how is Griffin only $7,700 in this matchup? He is by no means a must-play, but there is a lot worse you could pick than Griffin at under $8,000.

    Bobby Portis vs. Hornets $6,100 – Portis has some risk involved, but that is what makes him great for tournaments. He has dropped at least 40 DK points in three of his last four games and the Hornets will be without their best frontcourt defender in Cody Zeller. This game will have a high total and we already know the Wizards need to win games to keep their playoff hopes alive. I am not going overboard, but a few shares of Portis seems right in the spot.

    Nemanja Bjelica vs. Sixers $4,600 – We are going to want all the news before considering Bjelica. Marvin Bagley made his return last game, but Bjelica was inserted into the starting lineup. We could see the same lineup today with the Sixers playing with a little more size. This is also a back-to-back for the Kings and we could see them rest or limit Bagley.

    Center

    Joel Embiid vs. Kings $9,900 – Embiid is in a great spot and has a great price. This is a matchup he should crush and as of now Ben Simmons is currently being considered questionable. If Simmons were to miss we would see everyone one the Sixers get a boost. We have another great center we could spend our money on, but I am not shying away from Embiid.

    Andre Drummond vs. Lakers $8,800 – This is just a smash spot for Drummond. The price tag is more than fair and they Lakers have an abysmal frontcourt. The only thing that is stopping me from locking in Drummond is Griffin’s price tag and the other centers we have available.

    Willy Hernangomez vs. Wizards $3,200 – No Zeller and we saw Hernangomez start in his place last game. This is a dream matchup on paper versus the Wizards and what it comes down to is Hernangomez’s minutes. He is generally a point per dollar smasher and even in 24 minutes he could produce some pretty solid production.

    More than Honorable Mentions

    Chris Paul vs. Suns $6,900, Jusuf Nurkic vs. Pelicans $7,400, Elfrid Payton vs. Blazers $6,600

    As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments. Now go crush tonight!

Fantasy News

  • LeBron James - F - Los Angeles Lakers

    LeBron James played through a left knee contusion on Sunday and put up 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as the Lakers beat the Kings by a score of 111-106.

    James looked like he'd miss some time after coming up limping from a slip-and-fall on Friday but powered through and might've unofficially ended Sacramento's faint playoff hopes. He played 35 minutes and rounded out his big performance with two steals, a block, three 3-pointers and marks of 9-for-22 from the field and 8-of-9 at the charity stripe. There will be more nights off in Bron's future but the big minutes here have us hopeful that he'll be able to deliver top-flight lines whenever he's active.

  • JaVale McGee - C - Los Angeles Lakers

    JaVale McGee continued his late-season surge in Sunday's win over the Kings, going 8-of-8 from the field for 17 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and five blocks in 29 minutes of action.

    A missed free throw was the only thing standing between McGee and a perfect night. He disappeared for parts in the middle of the season but is back looking like the early-round stud he was to open the campaign. That's two straight monster games and three in his last five, so McGee should be locked and loaded into all fantasy lineups the rest of the way.

  • Kyle Kuzma - F - Los Angeles Lakers

    Kyle Kuzma tied for the team lead with 29 points in Sunday's home win.

    Kuzma led the Lakers to a big third quarter that ultimately was enough to hold off the Kings, and he rounded out his line with six boards, a block and five threes on 10-of-22 from the field. He also logged a team-high 40 minutes and might be the safest Laker to use in fantasy down the stretch. He's a late-middle round guy because of his weak stat set but we're not expecting Kuzma to get the same maintenance days that the other, older Lakers will.

  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - G - Los Angeles Lakers

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drew a start with Reggie Bullock (right foot) out on Sunday night and posting 16 points (5-of-15 shooting), seven rebounds, four assists and four 3-pointers in 33 minutes.

    Caldwell-Pope will be a standard-league option for points, threes and steals if Bullock continues to sit but if the Lakers are at full strength he's a low-end specialist and waiver wire fodder. Lance Stephenson was the big winner off the bench with eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes but there's no need to react to that in any way, shape or form. If the Lakers give a timeline for Bullock it would really clear up the decision on KCP, so hope for some news on that front tomorrow morning.

  • Rajon Rondo - G - Los Angeles Lakers

    Rajon Rondo played 37 minutes on Sunday night but only turned it into three points, five rebounds, nine assists and a steal.

    Rondo's only make on six attempts did come from behind the line, but there's not enough here to hang on unless you're in need of assists. The fact that he does have four games next week keeps him closer to the radar than he would otherwise, but Rondo has alternated big and moderate-minute games over his last five. It wouldn't be surprising if the Lakers dialed back on his time with their season over, adding a little bit more risk in case you weren't feeling frisky enough. Alex Caruso had six points and two boards in 18 minutes tonight as the backup point guard.

  • De'Aaron Fox - G - Sacramento Kings

    De'Aaron Fox set a new career-high with six steals in Sunday's loss to the Lakers, salvaging an otherwise lackluster night that included nine points on 3-of-16 shooting, four rebounds, six assists, a block and a 3-pointer.

    Fox's shooting probably tanked a few fantasy teams this week, as owners could only watch their percentages dip in the final game on the last night of weekly matchups. That said, it's still been a wildly successful season overall and Fox brought home quality numbers outside of the scoring categories.

  • Marvin Bagley III - F - Sacramento Kings

    Marvin Bagley had a big game in Sunday's loss to the Lakers, scoring 25 points (10-of-19 FG) to go with 11 rebounds, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers.

    Bagley logged 36 minutes tonight, falling two short of a career-high while forcing Willie-Cauley Stein and Nemanja Bjelica into observer roles for most of the night. Keep him locked into lineups as he should continue to feast even with the Kings bowing out of the playoff race. The 3-of-8 from the line tonight hurts, but everything else looks to be coming together quite nicely.

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic - G - Sacramento Kings

    Bogdan Bogdanovic had his highest scoring game of the month on Sunday night with 17 points, four assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers in 30 minutes against the Lakers.

    Bogdanovic scored 28 points on February 27 but prior to that, his last game with 17 or more points was on February 13 — the last one before the All-Star break. He's really hit the brakes over the last couple of months but tonight's work is far more indicative of what we expect to see from Bogdanovic. Hopefully he can get back on track to end the season.

  • Buddy Hield - G - Sacramento Kings

    Buddy Hield finished Sunday's loss to the Lakers with 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and five 3-pointers on 6-of-21 from the field.

    A big chunk of Hield's fantasy value comes from his ability to shoot efficiently (.462 on the season), at least relative to most of his positional peers, but he just didn't have it tonight. The Kings' playoff hopes took a major blow in this one and they might opt to give him a night off once they're officially eliminated given the immense role he's played all season, but until that happens Hield is a set-and-forget player.

  • Harrison Barnes - F - Sacramento Kings

    Harrison Barnes was quiet on Sunday, going 3-of-7 from the field for 10 points with four assists and two triples.

    This is what happens when a volume scorer doesn't get any volume. It's surprising that he didn't get more looks with Sacramento's backcourt having a terrible night from the field but Barnes had been a pretty reliable scorer up to this point with double digits in every game in March and 15 or more points in all but one game prior to this one. Keep him in lineups if you need help in that department.