NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Saturday, March 18

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Saturday, March 18

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We're teed up for a six-game slate Saturday night that features some intriguing matchups that include Timberwolves-Raptors, Warriors-Grizzlies and Celtics-Jazz battles. One other piece of good news is that the injury report isn't overly extensive, which certainly helps keep a modest player pool in good shape overall.

Slate Overview

For the latest spreads and over-unders, visit RotoWire's NBA Odds page. There, you can also find player props, futures, picks articles and sportsbook bonus codes.

All spreads for Saturday's slate sit at 8.5 points or lower on FanDuel Sportsbook as of early Saturday, including three that sit at 4.5 points or less. Meanwhile, four of the five games with projected totals on the board as of early Saturday profile nicely for DFS purposes, as they sit at 230.5 points or higher.

Injury Situations to Monitor  

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.

Anthony Edwards, MIN (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

If Edwards, who exited Friday's game early, isn't able to play, Austin Rivers and Nickeil Alexander-Walker could see extra run, while the rest of the starting five will see a significant usage bump.

Tyrese Haliburton, IND (knee): OUT

In Haliburton's absence, T.J. McConnell could draw a spot start, with George Hill potentially drawing extra minutes as well.

Jordan Clarkson, UTA (finger): QUESTIONABLE  

If Clarkson remains sidelined, Talen Horton-Tucker and Ochai Agbaji will likely handle the majority of shooting guard minutes.

Kevin Huerter, SAC (hamstring): QUESTIONABLE

If Huerter can't go, Malik Monk and Terence Davis would likely handle most of the shooting guard minutes.

Other notable injuries:

Ja Morant, MEM (suspension): OUT

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (calf): OUT

Andrew Wiggins, GSW (personal): OUT

Steven Adams, MEM (knee): OUT

Malcolm Brogdon, BOS (Achilles): GTD 

Elite Players

We have five players with five-figure salaries that have a chance to play on Saturday's slate – Joel Embiid ($12,000), Jayson Tatum ($10,800), Domantas Sabonis ($10,500), Stephen Curry ($10,200) and James Harden ($10,100).

Embiid went off again Friday night with 70.1 FD points against the Hornets and has now scored over 60 FD points in five straight.  

Tatum showed no limitations from his hip issue Friday while racking up 58.4 FD points across 36 minutes versus the Trail Blazers, and he's scored at least 50.1 in five of the last eight contests.

Sabonis produced a magnificent triple-double versus the Nets on Thursday that netted 64.7 FD points, his second tally over 60 in the last three games.  

Curry scored 31 points Friday night against the Hawks despite a thumb issue and put up over 50 FD  points in three of the previous five contests as well.

Harden had a low-scoring night against the Hornets on Friday but still produced 46.2 FD points thanks to a triple-double, and he's generated at least 41.4 FD points in six of the last seven overall.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Nikola Vucevic, CHI ($9,700)

Vucevic has scored 42.4 to 51.2 FD points in four of the last five games, which should keep him highly rostered Saturday.

Jimmy Butler, MIA ($9,700)

Butler is amid an impressive tear where he's scored 42.7 to 56.6 FD points in the last eight games, a stretch of production that should lock in a high roster rate Saturday.

De'Aaron Fox, SAC ($9,600)

Fox has been a steady fantasy contributor all season and has recently spiked with performances of 46.1, 52.9 and 55.1 FD points in three of the last seven games.

Jaylen Brown, BOS ($9,500)

Brown continued a recent tear Friday night against the Blazers with 43.7 FD points, and he also scored 45.5 to 60.1 FD points in six of the previous seven contests.

Bradley Beal, WAS ($9,100)

Beal is averaging 43.5 FD points over the last 13 games while shooting 48.9 percent, eclipsing 50 FD points in four of those contests. Additionally, he draws an outstanding matchup for shooting guards against the Kings, which have allowed an NBA-high 26.0 offensive efficiency rating and 40.5 percent three-point shooting to two guards.

Key Values 

Tyus Jones, MEM vs. GSW ($6,500)

Jones exploded for 51 FD points across 42 minutes in Friday night's OT win over the Spurs, and despite the back end of a back-to-back after a big workload, I like Jones' prospects against another team that's struggled versus point guards. The Warriors allow the sixth-highest offensive efficiency rating to point guards (28.4), along with the fourth-most assists per game to the position (9.3). Golden State is also conceding 51.2 FD points to the position in the last 15 games, and they just conceded 49.3 to Jones on March 9 across 33 minutes.

Tyrese Maxey, PHI at IND ($6,100)

Maxey's production unsurprisingly fluctuates at times while sharing the floor with the ultra-high-usage combo of Joel Embiid and James Harden, but the third-year guard still carries plenty of upside for his salary. Maxey has delivered over 5x his salary on 22 occasions this season, including a 35-FD-point tally against the Pacers on Jan. 4. Indiana will also continue to be down Tyrese Haliburton on Saturday, and the Pacers are surrendering the third-most assists per game overall (26.2) and sixth-highest three-point shooting percentage (37.3) at home as well.

Mike Conley, MIN at TOR ($5,800)

Conley put together a turn-back-the-clock tally of 51 FD points across 45 minutes in Friday's double-overtime loss to the Bulls. Despite the hefty workload, the veteran could be in position to deliver a strong return on investment Saturday. Anthony Edwards exited Friday's game with an ankle injury – part of the reason for Conley's increased involvement on offense – and he could therefore be in line to sit out Saturday. Conley already went into Friday, averaging 34.5 FD points per 36 minutes without Edwards on the floor, and the Raptors check in allowing 48.2 percent shooting, including 37.7 percent from distance, to point guards. Toronto is also giving up over 45 FD points per contest to PGs, while Conley has delivered over a 5x return on salary on 26 occasions already this season.

ALSO CONSIDER: Talen Horton-Tucker, UTA vs. BOS ($6,800); T.J. McConnell, IND vs. PHI ($5,900); Andrew Nembhard, IND vs. PHI ($5,900); Gary Trent, TOR vs. MIN ($5,200); Kevin Love, MIA at CHI ($4,200)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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