NBA DFS Picks 3/18: Harden the Interruption
Today is a great day – not necessarily for our employers, but a great day nonetheless. In between golf and college basketball, while you are recording new lows in productivity – please pardon the interruption of the madness – we have another eight game slate of NBA games to get ready for.
PG: Ricky Rubio
Is it crazy that on a night with a ton of point guard depth I’m turning to Ricky Rubio? Probably – but hear me out. Rubio has actually been a really solid fantasy performer, despite his inefficiencies as a shooter and overall offensive player. The matchup tonight with the Houston Rockets is no longer a “must avoid” as Patrick Beverley has taken a step back as a defender and given the high total associated with this game, I’m giving you the green light on Rubio. His price is super accessible and on a night with so many stars, you’re going to want the ability to reach up and grab one. Known for his assist numbers, Rubio has actually carved out his career high assist per-36 minute number this year (10.4) and has a double-double in each of his last three games. He’s still a lousy shooter, but he’s getting enough baskets to keep you content and will add in a plethora of peripheral statistics to almost certainly get you near value.
SG: James Harden
Harden is a maniac. Not only is he often the least owned superstar, but he plays perhaps the most scarce position in the game from a fantasy perspective. Aside from positional scarcity – the best part about using Harden is that you know what you’re going to get. He averages nearly 38 minutes per game this season, carries a career high 32.8 usage rate, and gets to the free throw line more than anyone else in the game. In case you didn’t know, he’s shot more than 100 free throws more than DeMarcus Cousins, who is second on the list. This game currently has a total stretching towards 224, and while the Rockets are nearly nine point favorites – I’m not concerned about a blowout derailing Harden’s fortune. Oh yeah, and he has an infinite ceiling, don’t be afraid to use him.
SF: Chandler Parsons
Talk about positional scarcity? Outside of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, you’ll be scratching your head to find a suitable SF tonight. That is why I’m turning to Parsons, who carries a pleasant upside to go with an accessible price tag. Don’t get caught up in Parsons last game, as his nine field goal attempts against the Cavs was his lowest number of shots taken in a game in the last month. Per-36 minutes this season, Parsons is averaging 13 field goal attempts, five coming from beyond the arc to go along with a 20.5 usage rate. He gets the pleasure of squaring off with Steph Curry and the Warriors tonight, giving a nice little boost to his pace as well as the total tonight. The Mavs are nearly nine point home dogs (ouch!) but in order to keep pace with the Warriors, Parsons will have to be shooting early and often from beyond the arc. He doesn’t offer a ton of cushion in terms of peripheral statistics, but he is a capable passer (nine assists last game). On a night with a ton of scoring, you’ll need to find lower ownership, high ceiling players like Parsons to fill out your roster.
PF: Anthony Davis
I know I already recommended one superstar, but I’m not sure I can pass up Anthony Davis in this spot. The Blazers are not known for their defensive presence and despite middle of the pack numbers in terms of opposing fantasy points per game against PF, I’m not moving away from Davis. Unibrow is the ultimate tournament play, as he’s highly volatile, but possesses an insane upside given his ability to produce absurd totals in nearly every statistical category. There is no one on this Blazers’ team that will be able to keep Davis in check and so long as he doesn’t injure himself, he should be in for a great night. In his last five games, Davis has been monstrous, posting nearly 29 points a game to go along with 13 rebounds per contest. I think he’ll provide a similar floor, with an even higher upside in a game that figures to have plenty of scoring (216.5 o/u) with a tight spread (1.5).
C: Enes Kanter
In order to afford all of the studs that I’ve listed, you’re going to need to scrape the bottom of the barrel a little bit. Kanter isn’t quite in “pond-scum” salary range, but he’ll provide you plenty of salary relief given a below middle-tier salary. It has taken some time, but it appears over the last 4-5 games that Kanter may be carving out a consistent role for a Thunder team that has lacked an offensive presence at center for a long time. In his last five games, he’s averaged 22.8 minutes per game to go along with a double-double 17 points and 11.4 rebounds. The scary part about using him (especially as his price has risen) is the fear of inconsistent minutes and the necessary per-minute production he requires while he is on the floor. Never fear though, as he’ll fit well into a tournament lineup given a solid per-minute upside. Take a chance!