NBA DFS Advice Today: Jayson Tatum A Top Priority

Josh Engleman here to break down everything you need to know about tonight’s NBA DFS slate, including a nugget on Jayson Tatum heading into this evening. Let’s dive right into my NBA DFS advice for today, Thursday, March 14.

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NBA DFS Advice Today: Jumping On Jayson Tatum

PHX (+5.5) @ BOS (228.0) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Phoenix Suns are 5.5 point underdogs in Boston, taking on the Celtics. This game has a 228 point total. 

We’re still waiting on news for Eric Gordon, who’s questionable with a left knee contusion, but his status won’t really matter all that much for Phoenix. This is a matchup against the Boston Celtics, a high-level defense, even without Kristaps Porzingis. Boston also plays the 24th ranked pace, so this is a slower matchup for Phoenix. If I’m going to anything from the Suns, it’s either $6,700 Bradley Beal or $8,800 Devin Booker.

Obviously, if you have a hunch on Kevin Durant, go for it, but I prefer Beal and Booker given their prices. 

For the Celtics, we already know that Kristaps Porzingis is out with his right hamstring strain. Jaylen Brown is also questionable with a left hip contusion. I actually think Boston stands out more than they normally do and could look even better if Brown ends up out, although Brown looks good as well.

Jayson Tatum is my priority coming from the Celtics, $9,800 small forward/power forward eligible. Based on Porzingis not being in and this matchup, I have Jayson Tatum just shy of 1.5 DraftKings points per minute in this matchup. He is my clear best option from Boston, although if Jaylen Brown is able to play, his price and position look fantastic.

I have no issue getting to a $7,000 Derrick White or a $6,600 Jrue Holiday, but they are lesser in status than Tatum and Brown. I think there’s a pretty clear delineation in terms of my priorities for Boston, which goes Tatum, Brown, White, Holiday, and Horford.

LAC (-6.5) @ CHI (215.5) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Los Angeles Clippers are 6.5 point favorites in Chicago, taking on the Bulls. This game has a 215.5 point total.

It’s hard to fully know what we like for the Clippers at this point. James Harden is questionable, as is Kawhi Leonard. Leonard left his most recent game at halftime with back spasms, so his status is certainly up in the air. If everyone is in, I do think Kawhi is the best option from the Clippers. At $8,400, he’s small forward/power forward eligible. Right around 1.2 DraftKings points per minute. He’s a 27% usage, 18% assist rate guy. I have no problem getting to small amounts of Zubac or James Harden or even Paul George, but it seems like Kawhi stands out most. 

Now if Kawhi happens to be out, that will create a huge bump to Paul George, a huge bump to James Harden, and you would likely see Norm Powell look a bit more interesting. If Harden and Kawhi happen to be out, we will be able to create considerable value from the Clippers. 

The Chicago Bulls are on a back to back, which means we don’t have an injury report yet. We did see Coby White take a hard fall late in their game last night, and it is not expected that he plays, but at this time we don’t know that for sure. If Coby White happens to be out, DeMar DeRozan stands out as a primary option on the slate. He’s $8,200 and sees a massive usage and assist rate bump with Coby White being off the floor, considering Zach LaVine is also out.

But it doesn’t stop with DeRozan. Ayo Dosunmu, Nikola Vucevic, Alex Caruso all get an increase to their rates with White missing, and then the expectation would be Torrey Craig stepping into the starting lineup. He is a $3,700 power forward, not the best per minute guy, somewhere in the .65 to .7 range, but his minutes, price, and position will create a nice pay down option on a six-game slate.

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WAS (+7.5) @ HOU (226.5) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Washington Wizards are seven and a half point underdogs in Houston taking on the Rockets. This game has a 226.5 point total.

Washington is still waiting on the status of Richaun Holmes, who is questionable with a big toe sprain. Marvin Bagley, Isaiah Livers, and Landry Shamet continue to be out. If Holmes is back, I would expect him to get the start at center, although he wouldn’t have to, but if he does, he’s a reasonable value option.

Either way, $8,200 power forward/center Kyle Kuzma is the best option you can get to from the Wizards. He’ll be around 1.2 to 1.25 fantasy points per minute in this spot, 30% usage close to a 20% assist rate, and will be playing a sizable amount of time at center. I don’t see many other standout options for the Wizards, although Deni Avdija does pique my interest. He’s a $6,900 small forward, tends to be a position that is difficult to fill. He’s around a fantasy point per minute and plays as many minutes as anyone else on this team. I currently have him projected for 35. 

Houston heads into its second game without Alperen Sengun. We also don’t have Cam Whitmore, and this Houston team looks exceptional. This is a matchup against the 30th ranked defense and number three team in pace. This is about as good as it gets if you’re looking for DFS plays, and I see five primary options from the Houston Rockets. First of which is Fred VanVleet, $8,300 point guard, expected to play 38 minutes and sees a sizable bump in usage and assist rate with no Sengun. I have him projected for 24% usage and a 33% assist rate. 

I would also like to get to a lot of Jalen Green. He’s $7,700 in point guard/shooting guard eligible. 32% plus usage when Sengun and Cam Whitmore are not on the floor and Green is playing with the other rotation pieces. That is a massive change to Jalen Green’s rates and it should stand out even more here against Washington, but I don’t want to draw the line there. Jabari Smith, Dillon Brooks, and Amen Thompson all look like standout options. Houston looks like the clear best team to roster of any team on today’s slate.

PHI (+8.5) @ MIL (220.5)

The Philadelphia 76ers are 8.5 point underdogs in Milwaukee, taking on the Bucks. This game tips off at 8 pm and has a 220.5 point total.

No news for Philadelphia’s rotation. This should be the same guys that played last time out. I don’t really want to get to much from Philly. Tyrese Maxey still looks good at $8,500, 1.2 DraftKings points per minute knowing that Joel Embiid is still off the floor. Kyle Lowry would be the alternative at $4,900, in and around .8 DraftKings points per minute, 14% usage which is quite low but a 26% assist rate.

For Milwaukee, Malik Beasley is questionable with back spasms. Both Giannis and Patrick Beverley are probable and Khris Middleton is still out with his left ankle sprain. I would have no issue paying up for the $11,400 Giannis Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia’s power forward/center eligibility 1.6-1.65 DraftKings points per minute, 33% usage, 34% assist rate, 17% rebounding rate. I think Damian Lillard looks fine at $8,600. Keep a close eye on the ownership relationship between Lillard and Maxey as I think both guys look similar. 

And then $5,200 Brook Lopez would be a completely reasonable center play for today’s slate. If Malik Beasley happens to be out, you would see a value bump to someone like Pat Connaughton and potentially to someone like AJ Green who is the flat minimum $3,000 salary.

DAL (+10.0) @ OKC (237.5)

The Dallas Mavericks are 10-point underdogs in Oklahoma City, taking on the Thunder. This game has a 237.5 point total and tips off at 10 pm.

This one is hard to dig into to start the day. As Luka Doncic left last night’s game early with a hamstring strain, the expectation would be for him to not play, although Dallas is in the thick of this playoff race, so I am not making any distinction to Luka Doncic yet. Obviously, there will be massive, massive value created if Luka Doncic doesn’t play. 

Kyrie Irving would see the biggest bump, as would a $4,000 Tim Hardaway, whose minutes have been reduced recently. I would expect to see him greatly increase his minutes load, at which point he would become one of the best value plays on the slate. I also would have no issue grabbing some shares of Daniel Gafford, who’s at $4,900 and hasn’t missed a shot in what feels like weeks. 

But ultimately, this all comes down to the news on Luka Doncic’s status, which we will need from the first injury report. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City gets a fantastic matchup against a bottom 10 defense and top 10 team in pace. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sits at $10,400, he’s point guard only, and looks like my preferred pay-up option in this game, even if Luka Doncic plays. Because of this matchup, 1.6 DraftKings points per minute for Shai, 30+% usage, and a 30% assist rate. I would also like to get to Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and Lu Dort.

NYK (-11.5) @ POR (206.5)

The New York Knicks are 11.5 point favorites in Portland, taking on the Trail Blazers. This game has a 206.5 point total and tips off at 10 pm. The Knicks are still without Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, but everybody else is available for this one. 

Portland is on a back-to-back, but the assumption should be that everybody is in, including Jerami Grant, who did miss their most recent game, which was yesterday. We will need that news to see the true impact.

For the Knicks, my eye is on $9,000 Jalen Brunson, a 1.3 DraftKings points per minute player in this matchup. He does look quite similar to Damian Lillard and Tyrese Maxey, so ownership will tell a big story. Both Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo seem like reasonable GPP plays, but not exactly priorities, including if Jerami Grant is back. 

My favorite option for Portland is DeAndre Ayton, $7,700 center. He’s at 1.4 DraftKings points per minute over the last 30 days. I’m nowhere near that number, but he still grades out as the best Portland option. 21% usage, 13% assist rate, 23% rebounding rate. He’s owning the boards right now. If I’m getting to anybody else from Portland, it would be Anfernee Simons. But the Jerami Grant news could create some additional value.

Hopefully you found our NBA DFS Advice Today column helpful, including our nugget on Jayson Tatum.

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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