FanDuel & DraftKings NBA Daily Picks: Fantasy lineup & advice 3/17/18

It is a busy Saturday in the NBA with 11 games on the docket, so let's sift through the pile and find a value-packed five-man lineup for daily fantasy purposes.


PG - Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers vs Detroit Pistons

Sticking with the hottest team in the NBA is almost a sure-fire way to find value picks, and Lillard has consistently been among them since the All-Star break. The Trail Blazers point guard has averaged 30.5 points and 6.5 assists in the last ten games of Portland's 11-game winning streak, hitting 41.0 percent of his 3-point shots and 43.5 percent overall.

Even when Lillard has an off night, like he did against Cleveland on Thursday night when he made seven of 20 shots, he compensated by hitting all nine of his free throws and dished out nine assists as he finished with 24 points. 

Lillard had 20 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first meeting between the teams and has a strong track record against the Pistons, averaging 25.7 points, 7.3 assists and 6.0 rebounds in the last six meetings while connecting on 49.5 percent of his shots.

Also consider: Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans vs Houston Rockets

Playing the Rockets has been a treat for the Pelicans point guard, who has the freedom to move off the ball with Rajon Rondo running the offense. Holiday has averaged 23.8 points and 6.8 assists in the last four games between the teams, shooting a torrid 64.5 percent (40 for 62) in that span. He has totaled 58 points and 12 assists in the two meetings in 2017/18, highlighted by a season-high 37 points in New Orleans' 130-123 loss December 11.

SG - James Harden, Houston Rockets @ New Orleans Pelicans

Picking James Harden against the New Orleans Pelicans is a solid way to load up on points and assists. The Rockets All-Star guard has been a better playmaker than teammate Chris Paul in two meetings with the Pelicans this season, racking up 28 assists and eight steals while scoring 49 points.

Harden has gone four for 19 from 3-point range in his two games since sitting one out to rest a sore left knee, and he went one for nine from deep in Houston's last visit to New Orleans. That, though, may be the lone shortcoming Harden has in this matchup as he has averaged 30.5 points, 12.3 assists and 8.1 rebounds in the last eight meetings between the teams, recording two triple-doubles and posting double-digit assist totals in the last six contests.

Also consider: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards vs Indiana Pacers

The hedge here is Beal follows up his stellar effort against Boston with another such performance versus Indiana in a game with playoff implications for both. Beal had 34 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds Thursday night, and his all-around offensive game picks up when he runs the offense. 

He has recorded seven or more assists in eight of his last 13 games, and in those contests, he has averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 assists, and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 43.6 percent from 3-point range and 51.6 percent overall. Beal has 43 points and 14 assists in two games versus Indiana this season, raising his career marks to 16.7 points and 2.8 assists in 16 contests while shooting 39.4 percent from beyond the arc.

SF - LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls

Cleveland's chase of Indiana in the Central Division means LeBron James can't take any nights off, and the injuries that have ravaged the Cavaliers of late mean he may have to dominate offensively out of necessity.

That's good news for daily fantasy players because James has thoroughly dominated the Bulls in three meetings this season, averaging 30.3 points and 9.3 assists while shooting 58.6 percent overall and eight of 15 from 3-point range. He also has three triple-doubles and five double-doubles among his last ten games overall, averaging 30.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 9.0 assists in that span while knocking down 53.7 percent of his shots.

James carries a streak of 14 20-point games versus Chicago, averaging 28.4 points, 7.6 assists and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 54.0 percent.

Also consider: Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks @ Milwaukee Bucks

The second-year Hawks forward has been given the green light to shoot from anywhere, and coach Mike Budenholzer has been encouraging Taurean Prince to take more attempts on the perimeter. He has responded hitting 16 of 33 from 3-point range while averaging 27.3 points in his last three contests.

Prince has totaled 28 points on just 11-of-32 shooting in the two previous meetings with Milwaukee this season, but that was before Atlanta's offense shifted to make him the focal point. It may be a risk, especially when Bucks forward Khris Middleton has averaged 25.3 points while shooting 60.9 percent in his last three games, but Prince's range gives him a slight edge here.

PF - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs Atlanta Hawks

Antetokounmpo has totaled 48 points, 29 rebounds, and nine assists while shooting 56.8 percent in Milwaukee's two wins over Atlanta this season, giving him career marks of 17.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 16 career matchups. The Bucks forward has double-doubles in the last three meetings and six of the last nine.

Also consider: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans vs Houston Rockets

Davis has a triple-double and ten double-doubles in the last 11 games he has finished on the court for the Pelicans after totaling 21 points and 14 rebounds in Thursday night's loss to San Antonio. In his last 12 games, Davis has averaged 32.4 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.8 blocks and 2.3 steals as the Pelicans have gone 10-2 in those games.

He missed the first game against Houston with a groin injury but totaled 27 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and five blocks in a 115-113 victory January 26. Davis has a streak of three double-doubles against the Rockets entering this contest with totals of 84 points and 42 rebounds, giving him lifetime marks of 19.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game over 19 meetings.

C - Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets @ Memphis Grizzlies

It is very difficult to find a better option in the pivot than Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who continues to rack up triple-doubles. He recorded his eighth triple-double of the season last time out, totaling 23 points, 12 rebounds and ten assists in Denver's 120-113 victory over Detroit on Thursday night.

Jokic has recorded seven of the triple-doubles in his last 21 games, during which he has averaged 19.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 8.0 assists while shooting 54.2 percent. The underrated part of this run is the 6' 10' center has also connected on 34 of 72 from 3-point range. He battled foul trouble his last game against Memphis, finishing with nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists.

Jokic has totaled 51 points, 29 rebounds and 16 assists in Denver's three wins this season and has averaged 12.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in nine lifetime meetings.

Also consider: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves @ San Antonio Spurs

It is three double-doubles running for Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns after he totaled 37 points and ten rebounds in Tuesday night's win at Washington, giving him an NBA-best 58 double-doubles on the season. Towns has been steady in two games versus the Spurs this season, notching double-doubles in both while compiling 44 points and 29 rebounds on 18-of-33 shooting.

Towns is one rebound shy of recording double-doubles in all nine of his games against San Antonio, averaging 18.9 points and 13.3 rebounds in those games.

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Chris Altruda

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Chicago-based sportswriter and Brooklyn native who has no stomach lining left since his rooting interests are Marquette basketball, N.Y. Jets football and Ottawa Senators hockey. Also enjoys Premier League/Champions League/international soccer and the bloodletting known as playoff overtime hockey.

 

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