NBA daily fantasy picks: March 2
A busy 11-game slate greets the daily fantasy owner on Wednesday, and with that comes a number of choices. As is to be expected, six point guards cost at least $9,000, with three of those—Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and John Wall—all running fantasy owners $10,000 or more. There are as many five-figure point guards as shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards combined, something we’ve come to expect on a daily basis in DFS basketball contests. The question for fantasy owners is whether or not they should plunk down all that cash at the always deep point guard position?
PG: John Wall ($10,000) @ MIN: We say yes, especially given Wall’s recent production in a matchup with the Timberwolves. It’s hard to fade Westbrook any time he takes the floor, but we weren’t able to fit him in with our high-priced center also on the books. Wall makes a fine pivot after pouring in 37 points against the 76ers his last time out. The Timberwolves, meanwhile, have surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points per game to point guards.
SG: Will Barton ($6,000) vs. LAL: The good new for Barton is he continues to play plenty of minutes, racking up at least 30 in four of his last six games, and no fewer than 26 in any of those contests. Unfortunately, his production has waned significantly. The Lakers, however, could certainly be the cure for what ails him. They’ve given up the third-most fantasy points per game to shooting guards this year, and Barton has already had a lot of success against them. In two matchups with the Lakers, he’s averaging 17.5 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block.
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($8,400) vs. IND: Antetokuonmpo has officially jumped a level, and it has been a whole lot of fun to watch him turn into a consistent weapon for the Bucks. He’s coming off his second triple double of the season, a ridiculous 18-16-11 performance in which he also had four steals and two blocks, adding up to 60.7 fantasy points. It was his second 60-point outburst in his last four games, and he has scored at least 40 points in five of his last 10. Don’t worry about Indiana’s solid small forward defense. Antetokuonmpo is matchup-proof.
PF: Bobby Portis ($4,400) @ ORL: Taj Gibson suffered a hamstring injury in Chicago’s loss to Miami on Tuesday, and all signs point to him missing Wednesday’s game in Orlando. Portis should be the main beneficiary, and perhaps this is the prod Fred Hoiberg needs to give the rookie out of Arkansas consistent minutes. He has played at least 25 minutes five times in his last 10 games. In those games, he averaged 13.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 27.1 fantasy points. He could easily get 30-plus minutes against the Magic on Wednesday.
C: DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900) @ MEM: “Cousins or Westbrook” is a choice that we already had to make once this week. On Monday, we went with Westbrook, and he rewarded us with a triple double and 57.1 fantasy points. Cousins was awfully good that night, too, going for 35 points, 12 boards and 55.9 fantasy points. Wednesday night leads us in the center’s direction. Yes, Memphis has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to centers this season at 41.43. However, in the last three weeks—in translation, without Marc Gasol—they’ve given up 46.05 fantasy points per game to centers, 11.2% higher than their season average. They won’t have any answer for Cousins on Wednesday night.