NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Kristaps Porzingis is Friday’s Play du Jour (March 24)

Friday’s NBA action wraps up the work week with a robust 10-game main slate beginning 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 Kristaps Porzingis, who should be the offensive focal point for a shorthanded Washington squad.

NBA DFS Picks Today: Friday, March 24

Core Play of the Day — Kristaps Porzingis: Washington Wizards-San Antonio Spurs

Even with 10 games on the docket, Kristaps Porzingis leads the player popularity list across the DFS sites, and he is worthy of being in a majority of our lineups. Bradley Beal (knee) and Kyle Kuzma (ankle) are both out, and with a cherry matchup against San Antonio, it is going to be hard to avoid Porzingis.

For the season, Porzingis is averaging nearly 1.3 fantasy points per minute, and that rate jumps up to 1.5 fantasy points when both Beal and Kuzma are on the sidelines. The Spurs defense is nominal at best, and they are allowing a league-worst 122.2 points per game. Anything less than a 20-10 performance tonight from the Latvian should be considered an abject failure.

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But wait, there’s more … Deni Avdija, Monte Morris and Daniel Gafford should all see additional minutes and offensive opportunities filling in the void left behind by two of Washington’s best players. Deeper down the rotation, Corey Kispert, Delon Wright and Jordan Goodwin are placeholder values who may be replaced as additional news breaks, though they still are positive assets in a game-stack strategy.

San Antonio should also have several appealing fantasy options, as they continue to mail in the remainder of the season. Rookie Jeremy Sochan and veteran Romeo Langford are out, while key contributors Devin Vassell and Zach Collins are questionable. If either of this duo starts, they can be targeted in all DFS formats. If they are out, then Devonte’ Graham, Keldon Johnson and Tre Jones move from average to secondary plays with their positive fantasy point-per-dollar prospects.

Update: Vassell and Collins out, Johnson, Jones, Graham and Doug McDermott available to play.

Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks-Charlotte Hornets

Tonight is the second installment of a back-to-back for the Charlotte Hornets, and after getting dinged up last night, Terry Rozier (foot) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (shoulder) are doubtful to play. Rookie Mark Williams may miss a seventh consecutive game with a thumb issue, and with nothing left to play for, Gordon Hayward may end up getting a maintenance day.

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This is a long way of saying, yes, there may be some blowout risk with Luka Doncic, though with Kyrie Irving (foot) having missed four of the last six games and Dallas having a legitimate chance of climbing out of the Play-In Tournament, this is not the time for the Mavericks to screw around. Doncic himself returned from a five-game absence in style on Wednesday, with a 60-fantasy-point performance, though the Mavs still fell to Golden State by 2 points in Dallas.

If Irving does play, there is a slight damper on Doncic’s prospects, but the tournament upside is undeniable. Salary constraints should not be much of an issue this evening, and if Doncic continues to see single-digit projected popularity, a savvy strategy will be to double up on the field with the 23-year-old superstar.

If Irving is out, Christian Wood, Maximilian Kleber, Josh Green and Jaden Hardy are solid tournament options, particularly with the prospects of extra run in the final frame. Charlotte is also going to be a solid source of value, though we will need more information before taking action. PJ Washington, Nick Richards and Dennis Smith Jr. are on the short list of value plays, with Kai Jones and Svi Mykhailiuk shaping up as strong punts on the evening sub-slate.

Update: Irving in, Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness) out Doncic still on the short list of studs.

Additional NBA DFS Building Blocks Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Not only is Porzingis a strong DFS option, he is worthy of our consideration in the sports wagering market as well. Tonight he has a 40.5 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) prop. The usage has been off the charts when Beal and Kuzma are out, with Porzingis jumping from 29% to a robust 35%. Half of his games with 40 or more PRA have come with one of Beal or Kuzma in street clothes.

NBA Bet Pro has the 27-year-old projected for 33.5 minutes, 29.69 points, 9.56 rebounds and 3.27 assists for 42.52 PRA. There is a 56% likelihood that Porzingis surpasses tonight’s PRA milestone, and the -105 line at BetMGM leads to an excellent 6% expected ROI.

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Milwaukee Bucks-Utah Jazz

Khris Middleton and Jae Crowder have been ruled out for tonight, and it would not be a surprise to see one or more of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday get a rest day as well. Utah has packed up the tents and will be without Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson and Rudy Gay, which should make this an easy victory for Milwaukee as nearly a double-digit favorite on the road.

Depending on who is available for the Bucks, Pat Connaughton, Bobby Portis and Jevon Carter could be emerging value options. Plus Grayson Allen and Joe Ingles have some upside in this “Remember me?!” matchup.

Walker Kessler and Kelly Olynyk each stand out on DraftKings and FanDuel for the Jazz, while Kris Dunn is a fine option on the former site and Talen Horton-Tucker gets the nod on the Blue site.

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Chicago Bulls-Portland Trail Blazers

Chicago is pushing for a Play-In Tournament ticket, so it would make sense if DeMar DeRozan (quad) and Alex Caruso (foot) try to give it a go. If they are in, then the better options from the Bulls will be Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine since they will not have elevated in-game reinjury risk. If they are out, then there will be a trickledown effect to the rest of the rotation.

Update: DeRozan is out, Caruso (foot) still questionable.

The Trail Blazers are also looking at a one last hurrah, though they are getting close to being eliminated from even the final Play-In Tournament slot in an uber-competitive Western Conference. Anfernee Simons (foot) and Jerami Grant (quad) are out through the weekend, so once again Damian Lillard (calf) is being asked to carry the team. He is a prime target tonight, though do not overlook rookie Shaedon Sharpe, who served up a 50 burger against the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday. The 19-year-old is still unpolished, but he should see north of 35 minutes and a dozen field goal attempts tonight.

Jusuf Nurkic (knee) is a game-time decision, as is Lillard, but they are likely to keep powering through until Portland is officially eliminated from the postseason. There are plenty of center options tonight, though Nurkic is coming off two efficient outings and the Q tag is likely to keep him out of most lineups, with this game tipping off at the end of the slate.

Update: Nurkic downgraded to doubtful, Lillard still questionable, Nassir Little (concussion) probable

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks Building Blocks Today

Tonight should be a wild one, with four games beginning at 10 p.m. ET or later. 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 Bet365.

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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