NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Dejounte Murray + Celtics Value (March 17)

Saturday brings a four-game featured slate tipping off at 6 p.m. ET on 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. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Dejounte Murray and Victor Wembanyama, plus plenty of Celtics and other recommended options.

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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Sunday, March 17

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Dejounte Murray: Hawks at Clippers

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 48.79 | FanDuel: 46.57
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 8.2% | FanDuel: 18.5%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9800 | FanDuel: $9800

Dejounte Murray has performed well in the absence of Trae Young, which should be no surprise. This season, in 1,132 minutes alongside the former lottery pick, Murray averaged a tick shy of 1 fantasy point per minute. That rate jumped up to 1.3 fantasy points per minute when he was flying solo, and we have seen him with 55-plus fantasy points in three of the last four games.

Yes, those games were against the Jazz, Trail Blazers and Grizzlies, but they were also on the road. In an interesting twist, over the last 10 games, the Clippers have allowed 116.0 points per 100 possessions, which is the seventh=worst rate in the league and also below the Grizzlies (112.6) and Trail Blazers (114.9) in the same timeframe.

James Harden has missed the last two games with a sore left shoulder, and he is questionable for tonight. It would not be a surprise to see him get one more day off, as the remaining Clippers should hold serve at home. Norman Powell left Friday’s game with a bruised left leg, and he is questionable as well. Paul George sees a sizable increase in his fantasy efficiency when Harden is off the court, and Kawhi Leonard also benefits. The Atlanta defense is about 5 points per 100 possessions better without Young on the court, but this is still an advantageous matchup.


Victor Wembanyama: Spurs vs. Nets

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 53.07 | FanDuel: 53.73
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 9.1% | FanDuel: 14.4%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $10,300 | FanDuel: $11,000

Once Tatum and/or Brown are ruled out tonight, we should see Victor Wembanyama pick up some popularity, as there will be one fewer player in the top tier.

On Friday, Wembanyama played 33 minutes, which was the second most of his career, and he was also working through some foul trouble. It would seem that as long as games are competitive and he is doing well, he should stay in the 30- to 32-minute range.

The Nets got worked over yesterday in Indiana by the Pacers, losing 121-100. Cam Thomas (32) and Dennis Schroder (31) were the only players who saw more than 30 minutes, as the starters were all benched with four minutes to go in the game. That is not a good or a bad thing when it comes to the Brooklyn defense since it has slid down the rankings into the bottom third of the league over the last fortnight.

San Antonio is favored by a bucket at home tonight, and the Spurs have a 110 team total, which is right around their average. Devin Vassell, Tre Jones and Keldon Johnson are all fine tournament differentiators in the 10% to 15% popularity range.

Nic Claxton and Mikal Bridges are potential DFS options, in addition to Thomas and Schroder, with just eight teams comprising Sunday’s player pool.

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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games

Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards

Update: Jaylen Brown is out, Jayson Tatum indicated to be playing as of 12:10 p.m. ET.

Once again we will be rolling out the opposing team against the Wizards, who are 10.5-point home dogs. Boston has a commanding 9.5-game lead over the rest of the Eastern Conference and the best record in the league, with 52 wins and just 14 losses. We already know that the Celtics rest key players on back-to-backs, and considering they host Detroit tomorrow, we should see ample run for the reserves both nights.

Kristaps Porzingis will miss his fifth consecutive game with a hamstring injury, and Derrick White is out with a hand “injury.” Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each have ankle issues, so expect one or potentially both to sit. If only one is getting the night off, expect those roles to reverse on Monday.

It would seem like Jrue Holiday will be playing, which makes him a top selection, along with Brown or Tatum. Al Horford is going to get one of the nights off, so it makes sense to only trust him if he is in the starting lineup. The real fun begins with the understudies who will be elevated to starter-level minutes.

Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser are the two standout value plays for Boston at this time. If Tatum is out and Horford in, then Big Al should be a part of our plans. If one of that pair is out, preferably Tatum, then Xavier Tillman, Luke Kornet and Oshae Brissett will enter the picture as viable punts. If one of this trio ends up starting, that will push them to being equals with Pritchard and Hauser.

After a surprise 110-108 victory in Miami last Sunday that saw the Wizards attempt to fritter away a 10-point lead by not scoring for the final 2:45 of the game, Washington has dropped three straight, including last night’s 127-98 drubbing in Chicago. That makes tonight the third game in four nights and the fifth in the last eight days.

Deni Avdija was listed as a starter but ultimately scratched after his knee did not feel right in the final warmups. Sadly, this was not announced until after lock, which is annoying considering the NBA is incapable of starting at the stated time. Somehow the NFL, MLB and even NHL can all start on time, but not the Association.

Avdija had a midday upgrade from questionable to probable, so who knows what to really trust tonight? If he is listed as a starter, then it will make sense to go back to the well — it just will not feel great. Kyle Kuzma played 29 minutes last night and nearly 31 on Thursday, which are below his usual mid-30s, as the starters were benched en masse with three minutes to go last night and with 7:45 remaining in the final frame on Thursday.

Tyus Jones was out last night with a sore back, so we will need to wait on an update for tonight. Jordan Poole moved back into the starting lineup as his replacement, with Corey Kispert stepping into the first five as the last minute addition for Avdija. While Boston has a good defense, the more regulars who are serving as spectators tonight, the better off the mediocre Washington offense will be. Pretty much any starter is in play tonight for the Wizards, with Poole and Kispert still holding value on the short slate if they return to the second unit.

Jared Butler was mediocre at best in his 22 minutes as the backup point guard, logging just 5 points, one assist, one steal and three turnovers. Justin Champagnie actually performed well, seeing extra run as a wing backing up Bilal Coulibaly and Kispert. He ended up with 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four “stocks” across 25 minutes. That is an outlier performance, but it should cement his opportunities going forward as part of the mop-up crew.


Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Kelly Olynyk looks like someone to target in the sports wagering market. The under for his 24.5 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) prop is currently available at odds of -120 on bet365 and 125 on DraftKings.

By using OddsShopper to do the heavy lifting when researching favorable bets, we can easily take advantage of outliers in a situation such as this since getting the best number can bring a 6% to 8% difference for this wager. Be a savvy shopper!

Per the true odds of -131 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a steady 4.0% positive expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Olynyk projected for 38.4 minutes, 12.02 points, 6.46 rebounds and 4.70 assists for 23.18 PRA. While this is below the 24.5 threshold, keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection. This is also demonstrated in the 57% projected win probability.

Though the Raptors are extremely thin with Jakob Poeltl, Scottie Barnes and Chris Boucher all out with injuries and RJ Barrett away from the team, this is a tough matchup for the remaining Toronto rotation. We just saw these teams square off on Friday, with Olynyk playing 26 minutes and fouling out. Prior to his disqualification, he tallied 10 points, nine rebounds and three assists for 22 PRA. In his six games since joining the starting lineup, he has averaged 29.0 minutes, 15.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists for 26.2 PRA per game. That includes games where the former Gonzaga standout dropped the hammer on New Orleans, Portland and Detroit, three teams that are far worse on defense than the Magic.

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Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Live Before Lock Show starting at 5 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate. Brought to you by PrizePicks – new users, use this link to receive a $100 first deposit match AND – ONE FREE MONTH of OddsShopper Premium! Full details here.

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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