NBA DFS Advice Today: Cashing On Chet Holmgren

Josh Engleman here to break down everything you need to know about tonight’s NBA DFS slate, including a nugget on Chet Holmgren heading into this evening. Let’s dive right into my NBA DFS advice today, Friday, March 22.

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NBA DFS Advice Today: C.R.E.A.M. Chet Holmgren

BOS (-13.0) @ DET (223.0) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Boston Celtics are 13-point favorites in Detroit, taking on the Pistons. The game has a 223-point total and tips off at 7 p.m.

It’s hard to dig into Boston right now. Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Kristaps Porzingis, and Jayson Tatum are all questionable. Depending on who’s in or out will greatly change where the value lies for Boston, particularly in a matchup against the Pistons, who rank 26th in defense and 5th in pace.

If everybody happens to be in, my focus would really only be on Jayson Tatum. He’s a $9,900, small forward/power forward eligible, and projects around 1.4 fantasy points per minute in this spot, with a north of 30% usage and 25% assist rate.

The Pistons are without Simone Fontecchio, Quentin Grimes, Isaiah Stewart, Ausar Thompson, and now Stanley Umude, who fractured his ankle in the Pistons’ last game. This should create some value for the Pistons based on the starting lineup, but we don’t have any overwhelmingly good plays.

Troy Brown is a potential option at the minimum $3,000 salary, but he is also an incredibly poor per-minute performer. You need every minute you can get. Otherwise, your other option would be another value play in Chimezie Metu, who’s $3,700 power forward center eligible and just recently made his Pistons debut.

OKC (-15.0) @ TOR (229.5)

Oklahoma City Thunder are 15-point favorites in Toronto, taking on the Raptors. The game has a 229-point total and tips off at 7 p.m.

Oklahoma City appears to have their entire normal rotation available today. This is a great matchup against Toronto, who is incredibly short-handed, has a bad defense, and plays at a neutral pace. There are no immediate stand-out options for the Thunder, however, their entire starting lineup is more than rosterable.

Whether that’s Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, all five guys look like plays that you should be willing to get to for today’s slate. We don’t have a ton of value yet today, so someone like Shai could look better by the end of today. Chet Holmgren, who is $7,400 in center only, is my preferred option, 1.3 fantasy points per minute over the last 30 days, and is coming off a monster performance last time out.

Toronto is still without Immanuel Quickley, who is out for personal reasons, along with the rest of the guys that have been out lately. Gary Trent sees the biggest bump in rates with everybody out. He’s $6,200 shooting guard only, but should be around a fantasy point per minute, even in this difficult matchup, because of a huge bump to his usage rate. Gradey Dick would be my second option from Toronto, with Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji looking like secondary plays.

NOP (+4.0) @ MIA (205.5) – NBA DFS Advice Today

The New Orleans Pelicans are 4-point underdogs in Miami taking on the Heat. The game tips off at 8pm and has a 205-point total. This is the lowest total on today’s slate.

The Pelicans are likely going to be without Brandon Ingram, who left last night’s game with a knee injury. Unfortunately, we do not have an injury report yet for the Pelicans, but assuming Ingram’s absence, we do create a small amount of value on C.J. McCollum, who’s $6500 in point guard only, but does see a sizable bump to usage and assist rate with Brandon Ingram off the floor.

There are incremental improvements for Zion Williamson, Trey Murphy, and Herb Jones, but I don’t think anybody else stands out more than McCollum. Bam Adebayo missed the previous game for Miami but is listed as questionable for today. Nikola Jovic and Caleb Martin should both be available. Duncan Robinson is out once again with Left Facet Syndrome, which sounds made up.

This is a pretty bad spot for Miami. Both teams play slow. New Orleans has a top 5 defense. As I see it, only Terry Rozier and Jimmy Butler look like potential secondary options. If Bam Adebayo happens to be out once again, we will try to find some value with either Nikola Jovic, Thomas Bryant, or potentially Orlando Robinson.

CLE (+6.0) @ MIN (209.0)

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 6-point underdogs in Minnesota. This game has a 209-point total and tips off at 8 p.m.

Cleveland is still without Donovan Mitchell, Evan Mobley, Max Strus, and Dean Wade. Prices have continued to rise for the Cavs with these guys out. So value is relatively limited, particularly in a matchup against the league’s number one defense. Also, Cleveland right now playing at the slowest pace, while Minnesota plays at a neutral pace.

Isaac Okoro has been playing big minutes with everyone out. He’s a $4,500 small forward. Terrible per minute guy, around .7 fantasy points per minute. But the minutes, price, and position make him the most attractive Cavalier option. Caris LeVert has been playing incredibly well with these absences, 1.12 fantasy points per minute over the past 30 days and a near 35% assist rate. But with his price rising, he looks more like a good play instead of a great play.

We’re not totally sure of what the Minnesota Timberwolves will look like today with Anthony Edwards, Rudy Gobert, and Naz Reid all questionable. Gobert has missed the previous 3 games and 4 of his last 5, while Naz Reid missed the most recent appearance on March 19th. If everyone happens to be in, my eye immediately goes to Anthony Edwards. He’s $9,700 shooting guard small forward eligible and will be around 1.35 fantasy points per minute in this match-up, seeing a sizable usage rate bump with the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns.

If we happen to get Rudy Gobert and or Naz Reid out, we may be able to create some additional value elsewhere, but as of now Edwards is the lone priority from the Wolves.

MEM (+6.0) @ SAS (209.0) – NBA DFS Advice Today

Things are rough for Memphis with Desmond Bane listed as doubtful with back soreness. Luke Kennard is still out for personal reasons. John Konchar and Scotty Pippen are both listed as questionable. We’re also still not expected to see Vince Williams who is doubtful with left patellar tendonitis.

Now, because of this matchup against an average at best defense, but second in the league pace, Memphis does have some interesting options but I don’t think that anybody immediately stands out more than the others. I think there are six separate plays from the Grizzlies who all look similar relative to salary. The starting lineup will be very important based on this information.

If you’re looking to get to Memphis, your options are GG Jackson, Jake LaRavia, Jaren Jackson Jr., John Konchar, Santi Aldama, and Scotty Pippen. But picking one guy out of that list becomes difficult. It’s natural to want to go to Jaren Jackson as he has the highest ceiling of anyone on Memphis but if you’re looking for additional value you have multiple positions and price tiers to work through.

While the matchup for San Antonio is appealing, the Memphis Grizzlies defense does look solid when Jaren Jackson is available. That leaves me two options from San Antonio and they are the two best players for the Spurs.

Victor Wembanyama is a $10,600 center scoring north of 1.75 fantasy points per minute. He has a 33% usage rate, 24% assist rate, and 18% rebounding rate. Your alternative to Wemby or simply play them together would be Devin Vassell. $7,300 point guard shooting guard eligible, playing 37 minutes a night or more in competitive matchups right around a fantasy point per minute.

IND (+4.5) @ GSW (239.5)

The Indiana Pacers are four and a half point underdogs in Golden State taking on the Warriors. This game has a 239 point total, which is the highest on the slate and 10 points higher than the next closest game. It tips off at 10 pm.

The Pacers are at full strength for right now but don’t have any immediate standout options. They look similar to the Memphis Grizzlies in that they have a few options that look similar relative to salary. Whether that’s shooting guard small forward Aaron Nesmith at $5,100, $6,500 center Myles Turner, or potentially $7,800 Pascal Siakam. It’s a nice matchup for the Pacers with a lot of potential scoring but no immediate overwhelming value that stands out.

The only real injury news we’re waiting on for Golden State is a questionable tag on Moses Moody. Which really won’t matter for today. I see Steph Curry standing out as the best Warrior option, $8,600 in point guard only. But because of this matchup, against the number 25 defense, number one team in pace, but a respectable offense. You could expect a competitive matchup that should create additional scoring opportunities and possessions for Curry. Who projects for me north of 1.35 fantasy points per minute. With a 32% usage rate. Jonathan Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski would be my secondary options

LAC (-13.0) @ POR (217.5) – NBA DFS Advice Today

The LA Clippers are 13 point favorites in Portland, taking on the Trailblazers. The game tips off at 10pm and has a 217 point total.

Terance Mann and Norm Powell are both questionable. They also both missed the most recent Clippers game. If everyone happens to be in, I don’t see a play that I would prioritize anywhere from the Clippers. You can always work in James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, or Paul George into a lineup, but I don’t believe they are providing much value in this spot. The most likely scenario is that I will get to a minimal amount of the Clippers. I expect the Clippers to look like one of the least owned teams on the slate, especially if Mann and Powell happen to be in.

Portland still has a doubtful tag on Jerami Grant, who has a right hamstring strain. We’re also waiting on a questionable tag for right ankle soreness on Matisse Thybulle, who missed their most recent game. Unfortunately for us, there is some value on Portland, even in a difficult matchup against the Clippers. Particularly the slow Clippers, who are 28th in pace at current time. $7500 point guard/shooting guard Anfernee Simons is my preferred option. While he’s scoring dependent, 28% usage and a 30% assist rate allow him to pull the most value of anyone for the Blazers.

Scoot Henderson has stepped into the starting role and is not supposed to have any sort of minutes limit. He’s a roughly .95 fantasy point per minute guy, and a guy that Portland is just simply trying to get more playing time. Deandre Ayton has been exceptional as of late, and Kris Murray provides a bit of value at a small forward position that is difficult to fill.

PHI (+8.5) @ LAL (224.0)

The Philadelphia 76ers are 8.5 point underdogs in Los Angeles, taking on the Lakers. The game tips off at 10.30pm and has a 224 point total.

Tobias Harris is questionable with a right ankle sprain for the 76ers. Harris has missed the previous three outings with this injury. If he happens to be back, it does limit the amount of value for Philadelphia. Tyrese Maxey would be my primary option. He’s $8,700 point guard only, projected for around 1.2 fantasy points per minute.

Anything else for Philadelphia looks like a tertiary piece at best. If Harris happens to be out again, we will see a large increase to the projected minutes of Nic Batum, an increase to the usage of Kelly Oubre, and potential value coming from filling the 33 minutes projected for Harris.

The Lakers obviously have a questionable tag on LeBron James. Anthony Davis is listed as probable. Everyone else that is normally available for the Lakers is available. I see the best option from the Lakers as Anthony Davis. He’s $10,300 but power forward center eligible. The power forward eligibility will carry the most weight in this spot and he will be just shy of 1.5 fantasy points per minute.

I find the $10,200 price tag on LeBron James to be difficult to get to and I would likely rather pay up for SGA if I need to pay similar salary or Jayson Tatum at a less than 10k price point. Anyone else for the Lakers is unappealing.

Hopefully you found our NBA DFS Advice Today column helpful.

Josh is Contributor for where he hosts video and writes content regularly across the primary sports of MLB, NBA, and NFL as well as contributing to the development of models and projections for soccer. He originally started producing projections & articles for Reddit's r/DFSports in 2014 where he built a loyal following that brought him to where he is today. Josh is most known for his elaborate Excel spreadsheets, which he shares in all of his video content. You can find him on Twitter or hanging out in Stokastic's Premium Chalkboard. You can contact Josh by emailing [email protected].

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