The NBA Rundown – FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Picks – March 31, 2021 (3/31/21)
In this article, we will be breaking down some of our favorite plays on the slate at their positions. Please note that players on DraftKings have multi-position eligibility and may not always match their position on FanDuel. Remember to always keep your eye on the news as the day progresses as NBA news changes the slate frequently.
Dejounte Murray – This is a rematch of Monday’s matchup where the Spurs fell to the Kings by 17-points. This is also a game that saw the final game total eclipse 247 points. Murray has been shooting well recently, shooting about 47% over his last ten games and over 50% in his last three. The Kings are a team we are going to frequently like to target against as they rank sixth in fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards and are allowing 118.5 points per game. The forever issue with the Spurs is their guard depth is strong and Murray, White, DeRozan, Walker, can all play this hybrid 1-2-3 spot (with Murray and White primarily playing at the PG or SG spot). The health of this team is solid from a guard perspective right now, so there is a little worry about the lack of opportunity. Whenever I have this concern though, Murray plays 32+ minutes, shooting around 18 times, and coming out with 6x value. Murray’s price dropped by $100 on DraftKings, and at $7,000 this is one of my favorite tournament plays for tonight for the matchup. There are a lot of stud players above this price-point, but for price, Murray gives the most value.
Theo Maledon – The Thunder are going to be short-handed at the guard position for this game with SGA and Lou Dort both out with injuries. While the SGA injury could potentially be season-ending, Dort is battling a concussion and his timetable is also unknown. This will leave a lot of the guard minutes to Maledon, Ty Jerome, and Svi Mykhailiuk. This write-up could have featured any of them, but I think Maledon is the most locked into his minutes, as he has seen 28 or more in nine of his last ten games. The issue here is Maledon has been a pretty ineffective point guard, averaging just 3.4 assists on the year, so Ty Jerome is a guy who could take the jump here soon as a pass-first option. No matter who plays the PG or SG position, both will likely absorb a lot of floor time and have a good matchup against a disappointing Raptors team.
James Harden – Harden faces the Rockets at his new Brooklyn home and has scored over 77 fantasy points in each of his last two games. Harden triple-doubled on Monday against the Timberwolves, scoring 38 points with 11 rebounds and 13 assists. There isn’t much to really say here – Harden is playing near 40 minutes a night at 40% usage. I think Kyrie being back helps him in the long run and the matchup with the Rockets holds some fun narratives. Sometimes you don’t need to over-analyze and this is one of those situations.
Jordan Clarkson – The Jazz will be without Donovan Mitchell for this game which will leave some heavy usage and minutes to go around for the rest of this Utah team. Mike Conely should see a boost, but I don’t think the coaching staff is willing to throw too many minutes his way in the grand scheme. With no Mitchell on the floor, Jordan Clarkson holds a usage rate of 31.6% and averages 1.18 fantasy points per minute. Clarson played just 19 minutes in a 40 point win over the Cavs on Monday, so he should certainly be fresh. On the year, Clarkson is averaging 17.2 points per game, and on Saturday against this same Grizzlies team he will face tonight, Clarson attempted 21 shots in 29 minutes. This is the upside I am looking to capture with no Mitchell on the floor tonight.
Kyle Kuzma – There have been two versions of Kyle Kuzma recently, so getting the right one is important. Looking at box scores you can see what I mean – Sunday against the Magic Kuzma attempted 20 shots, scoring 21 points with 11 boards and four assists. But on Friday, Kuzma attempted just seven shots, scoring just four points. A game before that it was 21 shots, scoring 25 points with nine boards. We can see the production here – with no LeBron or AD, Kumza is the guy for the Lakers right now. Kuzma has pulled down eight or more rebounds in his last four games and has two games of seven assists and one game with none. These all over the place, inconsistent statistics are frustrating when it comes to nailing down a fantasy performance, but ultimately I think if Kuzma continues to shoot, he is going to find himself on the right side of value. The outlier was last game against the Magic, of his 20 shot attempts, 15 were from three-point range. The Lakers draw a tough matchup here against the Bucks, but if they are able to keep it close then I can see another game of high volume. The Bucks can push the pace here as they rank third in the NBA in pace of play. The Bucks don’t defend the three-point line all that well, so Kuzma should have plenty of looks – if he chooses to take them.
Saddiq Bey – I don’t necessarily think Bey is the most exciting player to roster nightly, but what I can say is his price remains very low on FanDuel and just $5,500 on DraftKings. Bey has played 30 or more minutes in seven straight games and has eclipsed 4.5x value in five of those seven. The usage isn’t super high here, hovering around 20%, but we did get a price drop on DK – putting him at his lowest price in his last six games. Jerami Grant’s minutes have been low as he has returned from a quad injury, and the guard situation is becoming a youth movement. In fact, this entire team has been a youth movement, knowing they are out of the race but getting guys valuable minutes. Bey is a kid I really like, but has been apprehensive to shoot a ton. However, he hasn’t been shy from shooting from three as he has six or more attempts in seven-straight games. I primarily like Bey on FanDuel at $4,800 as a cost-saving player with upside. The Blazers have been able contain opposing forwards, but they are allowing opponents to shoot 48% from the field and 38% from three which ranks more towards the back of the NBA.
Jayson Tatum – Since the All-Star break, Tatum has averaged 26.3 points per game on 49% shooting. Over his last two games, we have seen mega volume out of Tatum, attempting 52 shots combined and playing 38 or more minutes in each game. Jaylen Brown remains questionable here and is a big key to Tatum’s big shooting averages, though regardless if Brown returns, Tatum still has some value. Evan Fournier had a forgettable Celtics debut, going 0-of-10 from the field. Last game out for Tatum, we got 40 minutes at 30% usage and 58.75 fantasy points and the pricing needle did not move too much, only going up by $100. If Jaylen Brown misses again, this is one of my favorite plays on the entire slate – if Brown returns, Tatum still lands in GPP territory for me. There is a decent selection of PF on this slate, with Giannis, Randle, Porzingis, and Holmes, but I think for price alone, Tatum at $1,000 cheaper than Randle gives him the edge.
Aleksej Pokusevski – I touched on the injuries to the Thunder earlier in the Maledon write-up, but ultimately the biggest benefactor for me is Pokusevski. The 19-year-old has played 31 or more minutes in his last four games and attempted 17 shots last game against Dallas. With SGA and Dort out, the shots are going to be there to take and Poku is one of the brightest up-and-coming stars in the NBA (in my opinion). This is a prime developmental time for Poku and the Thunder and it appears he is locked into the 30-34 minute range every night. Whether it be at the three or four, the Raptors have struggled against both this season – but especially so at the four, as they have allowed the third-most fantasy points to power forwards this season. Poku is still cheap on each site and I view his floor in the 30 fantasy point range without SGA and Dort.
UPDATE: Poku has been ruled out tonight due to health and safety protocols.
Andre Drummond – Alright, so this one is risky but we are playing DFS and that’s sometimes the name of the game. Andre Drummond signed with the Lakers last week and Frank Vogel not only confirmed he would play in this game, but that he would start right away. Drummond has been out of NBA action since February 12th, but alternatively, as long as his conditioning has stayed, he is going to be as fresh as ever. The Lakers need big man minutes, as Montrezl Harrell isn’t meant to be a guy playing over 30 a night. Typically I would think that the Lakers would ease Drummond back into action, but the fact he is starting makes me think he could reach 30 minutes tonight. The Bucks are short-handed tonight with Bobby Portis and PJ Tucker both out, and though Brook Lopez is a strong defensive center, there is virtually no one on the court to challenge Drummond for rebounds on the Lakers side. This may hurt Kuzma a bit, but ultimately I think there is a big chance for Drummond to make an impact right away and we likely won’t see a price as cheap as $7,800 on him going forward and at just $5,200 on FanDuel this is a GPP play only, but it has high upside at potentially low ownership.
Nerlens Noel – Noel has eclipsed 4.5x value in each of his last four games and has gone over 6.5x value in three of them. With Mitchell Robinson likely done for the year, Noel is seeing starters minutes again (and starting) – playing 30 or more minutes in three of his last four games. Noel has pulled down 11 boards over his last two and should be locked into 30 minutes per night unless some anomaly with Taj Gibson happens. Tonight’s matchup against Minnesota should produce higher points than normal, though KAT could pose a bit of issue. In the end though, Minnesota ranks 2nd worst when it comes to stopping centers – allowing the second-most fantasy points to them in the league.