NBA DFS Picks for March 6

Doug Norrie
Sports Illustrated

It’s a big Tuesday for the NBA, highlighted by the marquee matchup between the Rockets and Thunder. There are also games with significant playoff implications, including Heat-Wizards and Pelicans-Clippers. DFS considerations span the whole schedule, and plenty of teams are in good spots on Tuesday. Let these plays and Lineup Lab's PlayerLab help get you rolling with lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Point Guard

Kemba Walker, vs. 76ers (FD: $7,800, DK: $7,600)

Projected Points: FD: 42.27, DK: 43.42

The Hornets are in the equivalent of an NBA’s no-man’s land, caught between making the playoffs (they won’t get there) and the top of the lottery (they won’t get there, either). Instead, they’re stuck trying to win games in a season that’s effectively lost. It’s kept them in games of late, however, and Walker’s been called on for heavy minutes. His price doesn’t completely reflect the opportunity he receives, and he’s just two games removed from a 31-point, five-assist night against these very 76ers. His usage has been through the roof in the short term with 20-plus shot attempts in his last two games. Philadelphia doesn’t defend opposing point guards all that well, and Walker is in a good spot for heavier shot volume.

Rajon Rondo, vs. Clippers (FD: $6,500, DK: $6,200)

Projected Points: FD: 32.03, DK: 32.42

Rondo went through a long stretch (basically the entire month of January and part of February) where his minutes, rotations and performance had as high a standard deviation as you’ll ever see from a regular starter. But that’s smoothed out in the recent term, and he’s seeing mid-30s minutes on the regular. He has averaged 13 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in his last four games, making him a nightly triple-double threat. The Clippers are incredibly weak defending opposing backcourts, and Rondo should see continued steady run.

Shooting Guard

Lou Williams, vs. Pelicans (FD: $8,000, DK: $7,700)

Projected Points: FD: 42.8, DK: 44.37

This Clippers-Pelicans game came close to getting the “Game Stack Alert” tag, with the only real issue being the two teams’ player prices having trended toward their uppermost limits. That means we need to make smart decisions about lineup construction around easily the most DFS-relevant game of the night. The Clippers only have three NBA-ready guards on the roster right now (I’m not counting Sindarius Thornwell), and Williams’s usage remains exceptionally high. He’s running bad from beyond the arc over his last four games (3-for-21), helping to keep his price in check. When those numbers regress to his season average, he can obliterate these prices. The Pelicans run at a top-10 pace and play below-average defense. This is a great scoring spot for Sweet Lou, and he makes a solid stack with Anthony Davis (more on him later) and Rondo.

J.J. Redick, vs. Hornets (FD: $4,900, DK: $5,200)

Projected Points: FD: 25.14, DK: 26.6

Shooting guard is an incredibly thin position on Tuesday. When that’s the case, we typically find ourselves paying down into some cheaper value. Sometimes the less expensive plays open up during the day with reported injury news. Other times we are left with lower-to-middle tier guys like Redick who play steady, if not huge, minutes. Charlotte struggles to defend the wings, and Redick should see open looks in his 32-minute expectation. Redick puts up double-digit shot attempts per game and can catch fire from three with the best in the league. Of course, his DFS value is almost entirely scoring-dependent, but this is a buy-low opportunity, especially on FanDuel.

Small Forward

Justise Winslow, vs. Wizards (FD: $4,300, DK: $4,200)

Projected Points: FD: 21.4, DK: 21.37

Winslow’s role has been toyed with all season, as Erik Spoelstra plays matchups and rotations as fluidly as any coach in the game. He’s gone back and forth between the starting unit and the bench depending on the matchup, but with Wayne Ellington banged up, Winslow’s minutes have been steady. His value is wrapped up in his ability to contribute lightly across all aspects of the box score. He can pile up steals (helping his FanDuel value quite a bit) and rebounds well enough for a wing. The recent scoring is a little bit of an outlier, but as long as he’s playing mid-to-high 20s minutes, these prices are solid for cash games.

Robert Covington, vs. Hornets (FD: $5,500, DK: $4,900)

Projected Points: FD: 27.17, DK: 26.87

With Covington, you are hoping for two things: threes and steals. That’s a volatile approach to DFS considering they both rely heavily on the flow of the game, among other factors. But small forward is just as thin Tuesday as shooting guard, so we’ll want to spend down here, as well. Covington draws a Hornets team allowing 7% more scoring and 11% more rebounding than league-average to opposing wings. We are making a grab at the scoring upside with the hope that open looks materialize.

Power Forward

Anthony Davis, vs. Clippers (FD: $12,300, DK: $11,600)

Projected Points: FD: 62.99, DK: 63.04

Davis has been a man on a mission over the last month, averaging an absurd 33 points and 13 rebounds per game while leading the Pelicans on a nine-game win streak. This is a high-leverage Western Conference matchup with only two games separating the Pelicans and Clippers. Davis is the clear big-money play on this slate, and the only question is whether we can afford his upper-tier salaries. I think it’s a pretty easy call against the Clippers who will try to front him with either DeAndre Jordan (a problem around the perimeter) or Tobias Harris (hopelessly undersized).

Dwight Powell, vs. Nuggets (FD: $5,700, DK: $5,500)

Projected Points: FD: 28.73, DK: 27.82

FanDuel forces us to roster two power forwards, which can make the pickings a little slim. Powell saw reduced minutes against the Pelicans because of some mismatch issues and foul trouble against Anthony Davis. But as a starter the three previous games he went for 26, 32 (in regulation) and 33, with an average 12 points and 11 rebounds. Those numbers, with some assists and the random steal, puts him right around 5x points per dollar. Denver does improve defensively with Paul Millsap, but on the season they rank 25th in defensive efficiency and have struggled to keep opponents off the glass. As long as Powell sticks in the starting lineup, he should bounce back in this matchup.

Center

Clint Capela, vs. Thunder (FD: $7,500, DK: $6,800)

Projected Points: FD: 40.16, DK: 40.68

Capela has turned into something of a revelation for the Rockets this season, shoring up the interior defense, rebounding at a close-to-elite rate, and working near-unstoppable pick-and-roll offense with Harden. In Houston’s last meeting with the Thunder, Capela finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds in only 30 minutes after a two-game absence. His role has solidified since then, and as long as he can stay out of foul trouble against Steven Adams he should see about 7-10% more court time than he did in that game. His DraftKings price is near close to a lock for cash games, especially considering the added bonus for double-doubles.

Enes Kanter, vs. Trail Blazers (FD: $6,500, DK: $7,000)

Projected Points: FD: 31.77, DK: 33.53

If you want to find the personification of a textbook GPP play, look no further than Kanter. Few other players have the same kind of per-minute fantasy scoring ability, and fewer still are more at risk to lose minutes for no apparent reason. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 13 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes. The story, however, is the range of those minutes, with a low of 17 and a high of 30. When he pushes to the right side of his bell curve, you get performances like Friday against the Clippers (18 points, 14 rebounds). That brand of numbers will help you take down tournaments at these prices. But, remember, he’s anything but safe.

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