NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Sunday, March 31

NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Sunday, March 31

This is the final Yahoo article of the season. I've really enjoyed writing these pieces throughout the last three years, and it's sad it's coming to an end. In any case, we have a great final slate to discuss with nine games starting at 6 p.m. EDT and many top clubs taking the court. There's plenty to discuss, so let's go ahead and get into it.


Jalen Green, HOU vs. DAL ($39)

Houston is the hottest team in the NBA, and Green is the reason for this ridiculous run. The former No. 2 pick has taken over since Alperen Sengun went down by averaging 21 shots and 37 minutes across his last 15 outings. That robust role has led to JG scoring at least 51 Y! points from six of his last eight outings while posting a 53-point average over that span. That means his salary should be $10 higher, especially since he gets to face a disastrous Dallas defense ranking 20th in points allowed while surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing guards.

Cam Thomas, BKN vs. LAL ($27)

Green and Thomas are very similar players as they love to put up shots. Making Kevin Ollie the coach has earned Thomas even more touches as he's averaged 20 shots and 37 minutes since returning from an injury three weeks ago. He's also produced at least 30 Yahoo points in all 10 of those appearances while posting an average of 39. Facing a lackluster Lakers defense only adds to Thomas's intrigue as they sit 23rd in total defense while giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing guards. That was clear when he collected 46 Y! in their one matchup back in January.

Guard to Avoid

Chris Paul, GSW at SAS ($21)

CP3 was moved into the lineup with Klay Thompson and Jonathan Kuminga missing on Friday, though he's expected to return to the bench if either returns. We're going to assume that happens, which means Paul isn't a great value with his diminished role. The former All-Star has managed 27 or fewer Yahoo points over nine of his last 10 games coming off of the bench with a 22-point average in that reduced role. We also saw Paul score 12 and 14 Y! during his two most recent reserve outings earlier in the week while only logging 20 minutes a night.


Jimmy Butler, MIA at WAS ($37)

Butler has posted terrible fantasy showings from his two most recent appearances, but that's going to happen when they're decided by a combined 97 points. We're willing to overlook those outliers because Playoff Jimmy was starting to get hot before that. In fact, he had at least 34 Yahoo points in 15 of his previous 19 games while generating a 44-point average. That's the late-season stud we've become accustomed to, and we expect another big performance against the Wizards as they rank last in points allowed and defensive efficiency. Butler also recorded at least 35 fantasy points in nine of his last 10 matchups with Washington.

Andrew Wiggins, GSW at SAS ($18)

This one scares me, though Wiggins is starting to get hot. The former All-Star has been ice-cold all year, but to see him drop below $20 makes him enticing with the way he's currently playing. Wiggins has produced at least 30 Yahoo points in three straight while showcasing a 46-point masterpiece on Friday. It's impossible to find that from someone this cheap, and it's likely to continue since San Antonio sits 22nd in defensive efficiency and 25th in points allowed.

Forward to Avoid

Gordon Hayward, OKC at NYK ($21)

Why is Hayward still so expensive? I loved him when he was an All-Star, but that's way in the rearview mirror. The trade deadline acquisition has been glued to the bench with OKC while averaging 11 Yahoo points across 17 minutes a night since arriving. That even includes the two most recent games with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out, and we definitely don't want to trust Hayward against an eighth-ranked Knicks' defense.


Kelly Olynyk, TOR vs. PHI ($22)

Toronto has developed into one of the NBA"s worst teams, but it's easy to understand why. They traded Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby while losing RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Jakob Poeltl, Chris Boucher and Scottie Barnes to injury. That's the whole rotation out of the picture, leaving Olynyk with a playmaking role as a 35-minute center. In this newfound role, he's averaging 32 Yahoo points. We saw similar averages in a comparable role with Utah and Houston, which means Olynyk should be closer to $30. Facing the Sixers sounds scary, yet they've been subpar on defense since Joel Embiid and De'Anthony Melton got hurt.

Naz Reid, MIN vs. CHI ($20)

Reid is truly one of the most talented big men in the league, and we love he's seeing an expanded workload in the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns. That's moved him into the starting lineup, where he's averaged averaging 37 Yahoo points in seven starts this year. Reid actually displayed a similar average last year as a starter with a 60-point ceiling. All of that makes it hard to believe he remains so cheap, especially since he'll be facing a 20th-ranked Chicago D.

Center to Avoid

Andre Drummond, CHI at MIN ($25)

Drummond is one of the best per-minute producers in DFS the last decade, though his role is simply too small for someone in this salary range. The big man has played 20 or fewer minutes in 59 of 64 games coming off of the bench while posting a 19-point average across 15 minutes a night. One of his outlier efforts was against Minnesota, but that was when they started Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns. Naz Reid isn't that sort of big as he loves to hang outside the three-point line. That should once again limit Drum to 15-20 minutes, making him impossible to trust with this inflated valuation.