Daily Fantasy Basketball Advice: Lineup picks for Friday, March 17

Sporting News

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Welcome back my NBA DFS friends, and thanks for coming by today to check the out the daily fantasy basketball strategy for DraftKings and FanDuel. It’s going to be a fun night, so, please, wherever you are celebrating, be safe! There’s going to be even more to celebrate after we plug in these lineup winners.

It couldn’t be more fitting, that on St. Patrick’s day, the team that stands out most on tonight’s slate is the Boston Celtics, who are without Isaiah Thomas. The rest of their lineup is underpriced--and playing the Brooklyn Nets --but we’ll get to that in a moment. Thought the coincidence was worth mentioning, and maybe some luck of the Irish takes us to the top of a tournament!

Just a reminder to check out RotoQL. We have theDFS tools you need to build your bankroll and crush some contests. Chief among them is our RotoQL NBA lineup optimizer, which has been delivering winning lineups left and right lately. Give RotoQL a try before it's too late!

MORE: Friday DFS Playbook |DFS Lineup Builder

Also, give me a look on Twitter at@MLoveDFSfor more DFS notes and analysis, including late lineup pivots and up-to-the-minutenews, andbookmark the Sporting News Fantasy DFS page.

NBA point totals for Friday

Lookingat the highest projected point totals for that night's games is a good way to narrow your possibilities when putting together a lineup. You'll get a better idea of the games that will likely provide some of the biggest DFS performers.

Houston at New Orleans: O/U 227.5

Orlando at Phoenix: O/U 220

Boston at Brooklyn: O/U 219.5

Milwaukee at LA Lakers: O/U 213

Chicago at Washington: O/U 209.5

Minnesota at Miami: O/U 206.5

Dallas at Philadelphia: O/U 203.5

Toronto at Detroit: O/U 199.5

Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup core plays

Point Guard: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (DraftKings: $4,900, FanDuel: $6,300)

With Isaiah Thomas already ruled out for the weekend because of a bone bruise in his knee, there will be multiple Celtics in play, especially against Brooklyn. I’ll admit, I’m more interested in Smart on DraftKings where he is a greater value, but since he is shooting guard eligible on FanDuel, you’re still getting a fair deal at a difficult-to-fill position. Brooklyn really has been the goldmine matchup, so you might as well start your nights asking yourself if the Nets are on the slate, and if so who from their opponent do you want to target for easy fantasy points. It’s been a bonus lately that their young players have been keeping games close, forcing a full allotment of minutes for whomever we target against them. Smart is going to be the chalk, and I’m sure he’ll be discussed all day, but it honestly shouldn’t matter. If you’re playing cashing games don’t try to get cute --plug him in and take your easy return.

Other Options: Tyler Ulis, Brandon Jennings

Shooting Guard: Devin Booker (DraftKings: $7,200, FanDuel: $6,900)

Playing in the second highest implied total of the day, Booker is in a great spot going up against the Magic, who are coming off a late game last night. I really like what Booker has been doing lately, shooting the ball a ton and getting much better looks as Phoenix tinkers with its rotation. His minutes are locked in, playing at least 35 in each of the past fivegames. I expect this game to be close, as neither of these teams blow opponents out, so Booker should see his full workload. I think Tyler Ulis will also be very popular tonight, so I’m hoping that draws the masses away from Booker.

Other Options: Bradley Beal, Avery Bradley

Small Forward: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls (DraftKings: $8,800, FanDuel: $8,700)

Butler has not been playing well recently, so even with the injury to Dwyane Wade, I was hesitant to go with him here. But the Bulls are still pushing for the playoffs, and if they’re going to get there, Butler has to be their leader. While the Wizards play decent defense, Butler has still had good performances his last few outing against them, so I don’t think we should necessarily be scared away by above average DVP rankings from Washington. The Bulls just lost Wade, and although they’ve played quite a few without him this year, it may still take a game or two for them to click and find outwho makes up for the loss. I think in the first game without him, everyone on the team will look to Butler, and if he’s definitely the guy, I’ll take my chances.

Other Options: Jae Crowder, Andrew Wiggins

Power Forward: Anthony Davis (DraftKings: $10,200 FanDuel: $11,200)

It looks like there will already be enough value on the slate today to play two stars, so why not get exposure to the highest projected total of the night? The Boogie-AD experiment is tricky, and I honestly haven’t deployed anyone from the Pelicans too often since they made the trade. But if recent trends continue and Davis is going to see around 40 minutes tonight, I can’t overlook the opportunity in this game environment. The optimizer already seems to favor him, and once you plug in some of the value, you almost have to choose from the higher priced guys. It will be interesting to see how popular Davis is, as their aren't many studs available. Let’s just hope he stays healthy and doesn’t ruin our nightearly.

Other Options: Jon Leuer, Rondae Hollis- Jefferson

Center: Al Horford, Boston Celtics (DraftKings: $6,100 FanDuel: $6,500)

I think I could have written up at least four different Celtics today, as it’s just that good of a spot. Horford has been playing better ball recentlyafter a pretty bad stretch in the middle of the season. It’s not surprising that the Celtics are using this time to find and fix the problems they have as they prepare for a playoff run. Not only has Horford had two great games against the Nets earlier this season, but he’s also about $1,000 cheaper than he was in those matchups. Playing in point totals over 215 like tonight’s, Horford has met or exceeded value 75 percentof the time. My problem with Horford has always been his lack of rebounding, but luckily, Brook Lopez isn’t known for his willingness to grab boards either, so maybe a few extra fall into Horford’s hands. I just want exposure to this game, and Horford seems like an easy way to help you load up on Celtics.

Other Options: DeMarcus Cousins, Alan Williams

Friday's Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup example (FanDuel)

*NOTE: The above lineup was created at 12 PM ET and isan example of how to plug a core into the RotoQL Optimizerand build around it. Do NOT ever play a lineup without checking injury/lineup news before lock.

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