NBA DFS Advice Today: Valuable Options All Over

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, Monday, March 18.

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NBA DFS Advice Today: Miles Bridges, Yes Please!

CLE (+7.5) @ IND (223.0) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 7.5-point underdogs in Indiana, with the game boasting a 223 point total.

Cleveland will be without Evan Mobley, Max Strus, and likely Dean Wade, who is doubtful. They are also without Donovan Mitchell due to a broken nose.

This presents a fantastic matchup against the Pacers, who rank 25th in defensive rating and second in pace. Caris LeVert stands out as the best option for the Cavs at $6,800, eligible at shooting guard and small forward, having been around 1.1 DraftKings points per minute lately. Craig Porter, at $3,300, fits as a value option, though he could diminish as other game values emerge. Darius Garland, Georges Niang, Isaac Okoro, and Jarrett Allen are all viable options for Cleveland.

For the Pacers, Pascal Siakam and Aaron Nesmith are my preferred options, with Siakam at $7,700 and Nesmith at $5,300. Siakam has been earning 1.2 fantasy points per minute over the past 30 days. Myles Turner is always in play, with the Indiana side being relatively difficult to target as Cleveland plays slow and boasts a good defense.

DET (+16.0) @ BOS (226.0) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Detroit Pistons, 16-point underdogs in Boston, face the Celtics with a 226-point total.

With both teams on a back-to-back, it’s hard to predict availability. For Detroit, Cade Cunningham is the only player I’d consider at volume, priced at $7,900, with 1.33 fantasy points per minute over the last 30 days.

Boston’s scenario is tricky, especially with Jaylen Brown missing yesterday’s game. Al Horford sits out the second half of back-to-backs, potentially leading to value in Luke Kornet and Xavier Tillman.

Jayson Tatum remains the standout for the Celtics at $9,900, offering over 1.4 fantasy points per minute. Depending on injury news, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Luke Kornet and Payton Pritchard, could all be viable alongside Tatum.

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MIA (+2.0) @ PHI (210.0) | NBA DFS Advice Today

The Miami Heat are two-point underdogs in Philadelphia, taking on the 76ers. This game has a 210-point total and is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 PM.

The status of Miami is uncertain as they are coming off a back-to-back. Jimmy Butler did not play yesterday. If he is active for this game, Terry Rozier becomes a focal point at $7,000, eligible as a point guard/shooting guard, with a performance range of 1.0 to 1.05 fantasy points per minute, boasting over a 25% assist rate and usage rate.

Despite a decent enough matchup, the game’s total is on the lower end, compounded by both teams being in the bottom five for pace — Miami at 29th and Philadelphia at 25th. If Jimmy Butler is sidelined again, it may open up more value for the Heat.

For the 76ers, Tyrese Maxey emerges as the premier option, priced at $8,600, eligible as a point guard/shooting guard, offering around 1.2 fantasy points per minute with a 30% usage and a 27% assist rate. Tobias Harris is a game-time decision due to a right ankle sprain. Should he play, he stands as the second option I’d consider from the Sixers. The game also presents a revenge narrative for Kyle Lowry.

In the event Tobias Harris is ruled out, a closer examination of Kelly Oubre and perhaps Buddy Hield at $5,500 could be warranted.

POR (+8.0) @ CHI (213.0)

The Portland Trail Blazers are eight-point underdogs visiting the Chicago Bulls, with a 213-point total for the game tipping off at 8 p.m.

Jerami Grant is listed as doubtful for Portland, and Matisse Thybulle is questionable, while on the Bulls’ side, Alex Caruso is questionable and Coby White is doubtful.

Despite the less-than-ideal game environment, with Portland ranking 23rd in pace and Chicago 28th, leading to a relatively slow matchup, Anfernee Simons at $7,700 appears as a solid choice for Portland. He’s expected to shoulder a significant portion of the offensive duties, delivering 1.05 fantasy points per minute with nearly a 30% usage and assist rate.

Deandre Ayton, on an exceptional recent run, priced at $8,200 and center-only, has been earning 1.36 fantasy points per minute over the past 30 days, though my projection for him is slightly lower at 1.2. Nonetheless, both Simons and Ayton stand out as Portland’s primary options. Additional value could emerge if Matisse Thybulle is ultimately sidelined.

For Chicago, the prospects are more appealing, especially against Portland’s bottom 10 defense. DeMar DeRozan, at $8,300 and eligible as a small forward/power forward, showcases around 1.15 fantasy points per minute with a nearly 30% usage rate and over a 25% assist rate. Alex Caruso, if participating, especially with an uptick in minutes due to Coby White’s likely absence, poses as an attractive option at $6,200, benefitting from optimal positional eligibility as a shooting guard/small forward.

Nikola Vucevic and Ayo Dosunmu are also strong considerations, expected to log substantial minutes. Should Caruso be unavailable, bench guards from the Bulls might step into more prominent roles, contingent upon starting lineup adjustments.

MIN (-8.0) @ UTA (222.0)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are favored by eight points against the Utah Jazz, with an overall game total of 222 points. This matchup is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tip-off.

Minnesota’s lineup carries some uncertainty with Kyle Anderson, Rudy Gobert, and Monte Morris all tagged as questionable. Despite the matchup being favorable, the overall DFS appeal of the Timberwolves could be diminished if they’re at full strength due to pricing adjustments.

Anthony Edwards, now at a $10,000 price point and eligible as both a shooting guard and small forward, is worth considering due to the pace and defensive aspects of the matchup, but his higher price tag warrants caution. Rudy Gobert, priced at $7,900 and available at center, offers around 1.1 fantasy points per minute, making him a potential pivot based on the final injury report.

Utah faces potential lineup changes with Lauri Markkanen listed as questionable after missing multiple games; his return could significantly alter the Jazz’s dynamics. If Markkanen plays, priced at $7,900 and eligible as a small forward/power forward, he emerges as Utah’s top option, expected to deliver around 1.05 to 1.15 fantasy points per minute in a challenging matchup against Minnesota.

Markkanen’s presence or absence will greatly influence Utah’s strategy and DFS viability, potentially leading to value plays across their roster in his continued absence.

NYK (+4.5) @ GSW (212.5)

The New York Knicks, 4.5-point underdogs, are in Golden State to play the Warriors, with the game holding a 212.5-point total and a 10 p.m. tip-off.

OG Anunoby is questionable for the Knicks, with the rest of the usual roster expected to be available for both the Knicks and Warriors. Jalen Brunson appears as a standout option for New York, valued at $9,000 and operating around 1.3 fantasy points per minute, making him a key player for the Knicks.

Isaiah Hartenstein, at $5,200, center only, could potentially benefit from a favorable rebounding scenario, positioning him as a viable option. Secondary considerations could include Donte DiVincenzo and OG Anunoby if he’s active.

For Golden State, navigating this matchup is challenging due to the Knicks’ high defensive rating and the slowest league pace, complicating the DFS potential. Steph Curry, at $8,800 and eligible as a point guard, could be an intriguing, lower-ownership GPP target, given his potential for 1.25 fantasy points per minute.

MEM (+9.5) @ SAC (224.0)

The Memphis Grizzlies are 9.5-point underdogs visiting Sacramento to face the Kings, with the game showcasing a 224-point total and set to tip off at 10 p.m.

Desmond Bane is back for Memphis, yet, despite what could be considered a decent matchup, the Grizzlies’ pricing doesn’t offer much in terms of DFS appeal. The primary options if considering anyone from Memphis would be $8,200 Desmond Bane, $8,400 Jaren Jackson Jr., or $6,200 Santi Aldama.

However, overall, the Grizzlies seem somewhat unappealing for DFS purposes, even as they reintegrate their second-best player. Conversely, Sacramento presents a more favorable DFS outlook. Domantas Sabonis, priced at $10,500, emerges as one of the more attractive pay-up options, boasting a rate north of 1.5 fantasy points per minute with considerable contributions across usage, assists, and rebounds.

Keegan Murray, if he plays after missing their last game, priced at $5,500 and listed as power forward only, ranks as the second-best option from Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox also stands out at $8,900, having scored 1.35 fantasy points per minute over the last month, making him a strong contender even with a projection slightly under 1.3.

ATL (+8.5) @ LAL (227.5)

The Atlanta Hawks, facing the Lakers as 8.5-point underdogs, have a 227.5-point total for their late 10:30 PM game.

With Atlanta on a back-to-back, roster status might mirror the previous day, making Jalen Johnson at $7,500 a key play for Atlanta, albeit in a generally underwhelming team context. Dejounte Murray remains a central figure but his $9,800 price could limit DFS appeal. The Lakers’ lineup hinges on the statuses of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

Davis would be a prime pick in a favorable matchup, paralleling Domantas Sabonis for potential DFS impact. The decision between Davis and Sabonis may lean on ownership and lineup construction, while LeBron, at $10,300, might be challenging to roster despite the matchup’s appeal.

Hopefully you found our NBA DFS Advice Today column helpful, including our nugget on Miles Bridges.

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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