NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Damian Lillard is Looking for One Last Hurrah! (March 22)

Wednesday’s NBA action marks the middle of the work week with a 10-game main slate locking at 7:00 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups, including Damian Lillard, who is trying to drag Portland into the postseason.

NBA DFS Picks Today: Wednesday, March 22

Core Play of the Day — Damian Lillard: Portland Trail Blazers-Utah Jazz

Time is running out for Portland, with just 11 games remaining on the regular season schedule and a four-game deficit to be made up to remain in contention for a Play-In Tournament ticket. The Trail Blazers are in the midst of a six-game slide, and they will be without Anfernee Simons (foot) and Jerami Grant (quad).

It is going to be the Damian Lillard show until further notice or the Blazers are eliminated from postseason contention. Across his last 11 games, with a variety of teammates out of commission, Lillard is averaging 37.1 minutes and 22.9 field goal attempts, including 12.3 from behind the arc. In this stretch, he has recorded 35.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.5 combined blocks and steals.

Though the Jazz have won four of their last five games and are on the cusp of the Play-In Tournament, it seems like they are ready to throw in the towel on the season. Lauri Markkanen was out for the last game, and he is questionable tonight; still, Utah has been installed as a 6.5-point home favorite. Over the last eight games, the Jazz have ceded an average of 121.3 points in regulation to opposing teams.

Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton remain out for the Jazz, so looking to their secondary options is a savvy strategy. If Markkanen starts, he is a solid selection; if he is out, Kelly Olynyk, Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji will get a boost. The elevated salaries and inconsistent performances for Talen Horton-Tucker and Kris Dunn make them tournament longshots on the 10-game slate.

Jusuf Nurkic finally had a good game after struggling to shake off the rust from a five-week layoff. He can be employed as part of a game-stack for added synergy, but there are better standalone center options in tonight’s 20-team player pool. Trendon Watford is mildly appealing if he draws a start; otherwise he is a dart throw, along with Cam Reddish and Matisse Thybulle.

Update: Lauri Markkanen active tonight.

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Centers of Attention

My oh my, the center position is loaded tonight, and the savvy gamer is going to want to work in two on DraftKings and utilize any multi-position eligibility that is available on FanDuel.

Focusing on the players that are only center-eligible, here are some quick thoughts:

Joel Embiid and Nikola Vucevic: Philadelphia lost in a double-overtime thriller 109-105 in Chicago on Monday. Tonight is the rematch, and it will be interesting to see how things unfold after the key contributors for both teams logged north of 40 minutes just 48 hours ago. Embiid is making his case to garner his first NBA MVP trophy, while Vucevic continues to author impressive games against the team that drafted him.

Nikola Jokic: The Wizards are on a back-to-back, having lost to the Magic 122-112 in Orlando on Tuesday. They will be without Kyle Kuzma, and there is a chance that Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal may get the night off, with the Washington postseason hopes fading fast. Yes, there is some blowout risk for Jokic, but he also has the NBA record for the fastest triple-double in league history and is fully capable of reaching that milestone in one half of play.

Anthony Davis: Davis is powering the Lakers towards the playoffs, and tonight he will not have to worry about Deandre Ayton, who is out with a hip injury. Davis should be in the mix for 50 fantasy points, and there is room for upside if things go his way.

Jakob Poeltl: This is a great matchup for Poeltl, who is a double-double waiting to happen. Though he does not have more than a mid-40s fantasy point ceiling, he should have a 30-fantasy-point floor and a clear path to the 40-fantasy-point plateau against Myles Turner and company.

Rudy Gobert: There is a chance that Karl-Anthony Towns returns to action tonight; if he does, cross Gobert off the list of options.

Bismack Biyombo and Jock Landale: Though this duo will be filling in for Ayton, they can be avoided since there are so many better raw point options at this position. There is no need to get cute and hamstring lineups with the low upside. Save this pair for the late-slate or single-game contests tonight.

Additional NBA DFS Building Blocks Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Nikola Jokic is worthy of our consideration in the sports wagering market, with his 33.5 points + assists prop. This season he is averaging 24.7 points and 9.9 assists for a combined total of 34.6 per game.

This season, the two-time reigning NBA MVP has tallied 34 or more combined points and assists on 31 of 64 (48.4%) occasions, with another nine games of 32 or 33.

Latest NBA DFS Content

NBA Bet Pro has the 27-year-old projected for 35.5 minutes, 25.86 points and 10.12 assists for a combined 35.98 total. There is a 58% probability that Jokic exceeds this threshold, and the -115 line at BetMGM leads to a steady 4% expected ROI.

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San Antonio Spurs-Milwaukee Bucks

This is the second game of a back-to-back set for the Spurs, so expect them to rest several key players. The main focus should be on Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Zach Collins and rookie Jeremy Sochan, who were all out last night but have been listed as available for tonight. Tre Jones, Doug McDermott and Romeo Langford are the likely rest candidates tonight, with Devonte’ Graham and Malaki Branham having a decent chance of joining them. Focus on the San Antonio starters as the safest options.

Update: Tre Jones, Devonte’ Graham, Doug McDermott, Romeo Langford ruled out.

Currently the Bucks are 17.5-point home favorites, so there is a strong likelihood that some combination of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday will get the night off. We will need to have further news before determining which Milwaukee players are going to be the discounts du jour, though Bobby Portis, Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton and Jevon Carter would be the most likely to outperform their current salaries.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks Building Blocks Today

Tonight is a frontloaded slate with eight games tipping off within 60 minutes, followed by one game at 9 p.m. ET and the final matchup at 10 p.m. ET.

Get ready for the slate with all of the latest analysis and information by tuning in to the Stokastic Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock shows at 4:45 p.m. ET on YouTube, brought to you by PrizePicks.

Eric MacPherson
Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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