NBA DFS Picks Breakdown (Saturday, Mar. 18): Grizzlies’ Offense Has Plenty of Upside

Saturday features a six-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. 

Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.

Use our PrizePicks promo code LABS for a $100 sign-up bonus on NBA player pick’ems.

NBA DFS Point Guard Picks


The 76ers are on the second leg of a back-to-back on Saturday, but fortunately, their starters weren’t pushed too hard on Friday. They cruised to a 39-point win over the 76ers, and James Harden posted a triple-double with 49.25 DraftKings points in 31.4 minutes. Harden had played at least 38.2 minutes in five of his previous six games, so he’s in line for a massive spike in playing time vs. the Pacers.

The Pacers also represent a tremendous matchup. They rank third in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency, and Harden leads all point guards with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +6.97 on DraftKings. The 76ers are also implied for 119.25 points, which is the second-highest mark on the slate.


The Timberwolves suffered a big blow in Friday’s double-overtime loss to the Bulls. Anthony Edwards left the game in the first quarter with an ankle injury, and he is not expected to suit up Saturday vs. the Raptors. The Timberwolves are already without Karl-Anthony Towns and traded away D’Angelo Russell, so they’re expected to be without their top three playmakers from the start of the year.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker played just under 27 minutes on Friday, and he’s currently projected for 28 minutes in our NBA Models. That makes him a very appealing option at just $3,600 on DraftKings. NAW has averaged 0.90 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.08 with a comparable minute projection (per the Trends tool).

Fast Break

Tyus Jones stands out as the clear top option at the position on FanDuel, where his $6,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%. He’s averaged 1.05 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he should continue to handle most of the point guard minutes with Ja Morant out of the lineup. Jones is coming off 51.0 FanDuel points Friday vs. the Spurs, and he draws another outstanding matchup Saturday vs. the Warriors. They’ve played at the fastest pace in the league this season, and Jones torched the Warriors for 49.3 FanDuel points less than two weeks ago.

The Pacers are going to be without Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin, and Chris Duarte on Saturday, so T.J. McConnell should see plenty of minutes at point guard. McConnell has historically thrived when given the opportunity to play extended minutes, and he’s averaged 1.20 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He racked up 43.25 FanDuel points against a tough Bucks’ defense on Thursday, so he’s another excellent option at the position.

NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks


Desmond Bane is coming off 50.0 DraftKings points in his last outing, and like Jones, he should continue to carry additional value with Morant sidelined. He’s posted a team-high 28.1% usage rate in 12 games without Morant this season, resulting in an average of 37.1 DraftKings points per game.

Bane carries additional upside in this matchup vs. the Warriors. Their defense has been absolutely horrendous on the road this season, allowing an average of 124.2 points per game when playing outside Golden State. Only the Spurs have been worse, so the Grizzlies have plenty of scoring potential.


If you’re looking to go cheaper with the Grizzlies, Luke Kennard is a possibility. He’s priced at just $3,400 on DraftKings and $3,900 on FanDuel, and he’s projected for just under 26 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.25 on DraftKings and +2.98 on FanDuel. Kennard isn’t the greatest per-minute producer, but his average of 0.74 DraftKings points per minute over the past month isn’t horrific. He should have a chance to return value against the Warriors.

Fast Break

The Celtics are going to be an important team to monitor heading into lineup lock. They’re playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, which means Al Horford will likely get the night off. Robert Williams remains out of the lineup, while Malcolm Brogdon missed Friday’s game with an Achilles injury. That means they could be pretty shorthanded vs. the Jazz, which would open up a few additional minutes for Derrick White. He’s been a phenomenal role player for the Celtics this season, averaging 0.91 DraftKings points per minute, so he can take advantage of a slightly expanded role.

Klay Thompson was quieter than usual as a scorer on Friday, but he made up for it with 11 boards and five assists. He should be able to score a few more points Saturday vs. the Grizzlies, and Thompson has averaged 1.10 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s underpriced at just $7,300, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 90%.

NBA DFS Small Forward Picks


Jayson Tatum is another potential beneficiary for the shorthanded Celtics. With Williams out of the lineup recently, Tatum has had to take on a much larger role on the glass. He’s pulled down at least 12 boards in three of his past four games, and he has double-digit rebounds in eight of his past 11. With Horford likely joining him on the sidelines, Tatum’s work on the glass will be even more important than usual.

Of course, Tatum is also one of the top scoring threats in the league. He’s averaging 30.2 points per game this season, which is the sixth-highest mark in basketball. When combined with his increased rebounding numbers, Tatum has averaged a stout 1.42 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He has plenty of appeal against a Jazz’ squad that ranks 24th in defensive efficiency.


Taurean Prince started the second half in place of Edwards on Friday, and he finished with just under 25 minutes of playing time. He didn’t take advantage from a fantasy perspective, scoring just 8.25 DraftKings points, but he’s a good bet to return value if he sees that much playing time vs. the Raptors. Prince has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.58 with a comparable salary and minute projection.

Fast Break

Sticking with the Timberwolves, Kyle Anderson has been absolutely balling of late. He’s flirted with a triple-double often over the past two weeks, and he’s managed to pull it off in two of his past four games. Overall, he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +9.67 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. His price tag is up across the industry, but he should be one of the team’s primary facilitators if Edwards is sidelined.

Zach LaVine is an interesting tournament option on FanDuel. He’s increased his production to 1.14 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in seven straight games. He leads the position with 13 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $8,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%. His matchup vs. the Heat isn’t ideal, but it should keep his ownership very reasonable.

NBA DFS Power Forward Picks


The Grizzlies have played in a bunch of blowouts recently, which has kept Jaren Jackson Jr. from being able to spread his wings. They finally played in a competitive contest on Friday, and Jackson responded with 43.25 DraftKings points over 42.8 minutes.

I wouldn’t expect another 40+ minutes for Jackson on Saturday, but he should be able to improve his per-minute efficiency. He’s averaged 1.25 DraftKings points per minute for the year, and the Warriors are an exploitable matchup. He stands out as an excellent stud target on DraftKings, where his $7,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%.


Grant Williams could move into the Celtics’ starting lineup if Horford is inactive, and he should see a boost in playing time even if he comes off the bench. Williams has averaged just under 30 minutes in 11 games without Horford and Robert Williams this season, resulting in an average of 23.09 DraftKings points. That’s more than enough to pay off his $3,800 salary on DraftKings.

Fast Break

Xavier Tillman’s playing time is trending in the wrong direction, playing 24.5 minutes or less in three straight games. However, his price tag on FanDuel has also decreased, and his current $5,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%. Tillman has still averaged 1.02 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and his matchup vs. the Warriors comes with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.26. Ultimately, he shouldn’t need a ton of playing time to return value in this spot.

Pascal Siakam has struggled recently, but he finally managed to turn things around in his last contest. He finished with 53.8 FanDuel points, snapping a string of eight straight games with a negative Plus/Minus. His price tag has dipped to just $8,600 on FanDuel, and he continues to carry the largest workload in basketball. He leads the league in minutes per game, and with the Raptors fighting to improve their postseason standing, that shouldn’t change on Saturday.

However, our PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy simulations aren’t particularly impressed with Siakam’s scoring potential in this matchup:

NBA DFS Center Picks


Joel Embiid was the clear top stud on Friday’s slate, and he fits that description once again on Saturday. He torched the Hornets for 69.75 DraftKings points in just 29.2 minutes, and he now has scored at least 61.75 DraftKings points in four of his past five games. His ceiling projection on Saturday is nearly seven points higher than every other player in our NBA Models, and Tatum is the only player within 10 points.

Embiid is poised for another massive outing vs. the Pacers, who have been extremely generous towards opposing centers this season. They’ve allowed the third-most fantasy points to the position, and Embiid owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.27. As long as he’s in the lineup on the second leg of a back-to-back, there’s no reason not to go back to the well in this matchup.


Rudy Gobert will almost certainly be questionable on the Timberwolves’ injury report, just like he has been for most of the season. However, that hasn’t stopped him from suiting up in eight straight games. Gobert has started to turn around his season from a fantasy perspective, increasing his production to 1.29 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s coming off 55.25 DraftKings points on Friday, and he’s scored at least that much in two of his past four games.

Gobert isn’t technically a “value” at $7,200, but he still stands out as one of the best per-dollar options at the position. He leads all centers in projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings, just barely edging out Embiid.

Fast Break

Draymond Green is about as consistent as it gets for fantasy purposes. Most of his value comes from the peripheral categories, so you can pencil him in for around 30 DraftKings points on most nights. That makes him a reasonable option at his current price tag across the industry.

Trey Lyles is questionable with a shoulder injury, and he was out of the lineup two games ago. That said, that’s been the only thing to slow him down recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in his past 11 games, despite regularly playing less than 20 minutes. He’s increased his production to 1.11 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to potentially return value. That’s particularly true on DraftKings, where his $4,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%.

2023-03-18 17:09:52