• Welcome back! It is Friday, March 22 and we have seven games to break down for tonight’s card. We have a lot of March Madness going on tonight and that is why I am here to funnel you the information while you can remain firmly planted on your couch immersed on basketball. On a more serious note, this is a great time to capitalize on those who want to get action, but whose focus and research is in other places. I love college basketball, but my priority will always be the NBA.

    A lot of tonight’s lineup construction will be dependent on how you correlate your plays. For instance, if you are targeting a few of the value options starting over there in Memphis it makes sense to play a bigger name on the other side of the ball in hopes it remains close. If you are targeting a one-off in this game because you are worried about a blowout it makes sense to choose an option whose minutes would be safer regardless of score or comes in as a superb value.

    Let’s jump right into this.

    Point Guard

    Russell Westbrook vs. Raptors $10,800 – We are going to have some studs to spend up on and if I am choosing one it’s Westbrook. I want exposure to this game and we just watched these two teams play two days ago. It went how one would imagine; Paul George struggled with Kawhi Leonard guarding him. Those are generally the only two guys I target from the Thunder and tonight it’s narrowed to one.

    Rajon Rondo vs. Nets $6,800 – Trying to peg the rotation or minutes for anyone on the Lakers is difficult, but we know there is going to be value somewhere and the matchup is solid. Rondo’s minutes have been consistent and when he gets the minutes he generally produces. Rondo generally explodes with the counting stats and it will only easier to get assists with the update that LeBron James is expected to play.

    Delon Wright vs. Magic $4,900 – The matchup is slightly rough against a stout Magic defense, but we have so many injured bodies on the Memphis side of the ball that I am obligated to mention a few. Wright played 40 minutes in their last game in which Avery Bradley out and now we have the news that Mike Conley is being listed as doubtful. Wright will likely be the chalky play, but we could pivot to Tyler Dorsey or Justin Holiday as well for some value.

    Shooting Guard

    D’Angelo Russell vs. Lakers $8,300 – He’s just been on fire as of late and he gets a revenge matchup versus the team that moved him two summers ago. There is without a doubt some bad blood here, regardless of what anyone says, but even if we take that away we still have a fair price and great matchup for a guy who could break a slate. Expect his ownership to be high, but he is going to be hard to fade.

    Fred VanVleet vs. Thunder $5,200 – No Lowry means fire up your shares of VanVleet. He should be chalky again, but he did just drop 36 DK points on the Thunder two days ago. We have cheap options we could pivot to, but this game should stay close and competitive; the same can’t be said for some of the Memphis value guys.

    Small Forward

    Kyle Kuzma vs. Nets $6,500 – LeBron James coming back should give Kuzma a few more open looks, which he could definitely use after shooting 39 percent from the field over the last five games. The Nets can’t rebound and with LeBron James back we also have to imagine they run Kuzma at the five for stretches.

    Rudy Gay vs. Rockets $5,400 – I generally do not target Gay, but I do not love a lot of the options at small forward tonight. If this game goes small he should see more than 30 minutes. The Spurs have been playing like the Spurs as of late and I am expecting Pop to do what he has to do in order to keep this game intact.

    Bruno Caboclo vs. Magic $3,500 – He played massive minutes in the last game and there are even fewer bodies for the Grizzlies tonight. I never feel confident in Bruno, but he offers upside with his rebounding and defensive abilities. We have to keep in mind that when he did play big minutes it was a one-point game and it a solid matchup versus the Rockets. We do not have that same avenue here, but a solid pivot could be Chandler Parsons if you are worried about it getting out of hand. He should play at least 22 minutes regardless of a blowout. Both of these plays are risky, but if you need to save money they are there.

    Power Forward

    Kevin Love vs. Clippers $7,700 – I do not love the price tag, but Love is no longer on the injury report and is playing one of the league’s worst rebounding teams in the Clippers. We want to know Love is playing 30 minutes before we pay this price tag, but he was questionable with a head injury coming in, nothing lower body or shoulder related. Every option listed at small forward is also power forward eligible on DraftKings if this is a spot where you’d rather save than spend up.

    Pascal Siakam vs. Thunder $7,200 – Siakam is coming off of a great performance against the Thunder and with Kawhi Leonard likely guarding Paul George we should see Siakam draw Jerami Grant. Siakam handles the ball more with Lowry out and it is a home game on a night where he just received the NBA Cares Community Assist award. I’m guessing something small during the pre-game for him, but it’s a small-added narrative – he is a great play regardless.

    Center

    Nikola Vucevic vs. Grizzlies $9,600 – Anytime Vucevic and Nikola Jokic are on the same slate we tend to see Vuc’s ownership dip. He may not offer as high of a ceiling as Jokic, but he has been one of the most reliable fantasy contributors this season. The plays in this game are going to come down to whether or not you think it stays close enough for the starters to play all four quarters. We have to keep an eye out on the other center in the game as well. Joakim Noah (knee) was added to the injury report Friday morning and if he were forced to miss, we may see big minutes from Jonas Valanciunas again, vaulting him into consideration.

    Clint Capela vs. Spurs $7,400 – Capela has performed well against the Spurs this season. In three games he is averaging a massive 20 points and 17 rebounds for just fewer than 50 DK points per game. It is a fair price tag and there is not a lot else to love or trust at center tonight.

    Hassan Whiteside vs. Bucks $5,000 – Whiteside offers tournament value coming off of the bench in limited minutes. We’ve seen him put up some massive double-doubles and his price has come down to a point he peaks my interest. If Bam Adebayo were to miss Whiteside would vault into consideration, but otherwise he is a GPP flier.

    As always you can find me on Twitter @MikeApotria with any of your questions or comments.  A big thank you to those who competed in Wednesday’s “Beat the Expert” contest. I got smoked, but it is always a blast.

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