Daily Fantasy Basketball 2015: DraftKings Optimum Lineup Picks for March 11

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MARCH 8:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder grabs a rebound against the Toronto Raptors on March 8, 2015 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)
Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder are playing Wednesday night, which means fantasy managers are inserting Russell Westbrook into their daily lineups. 

When a dude earns five triple-doubles in six games, it's worth the hassle of assembling a roster around the game's most expensive superstar. By the way, he tallied 43 points, seven assists and eight rebounds in the lone bout that fell short of the milestone.

This, however, is common knowledge to anyone with a DraftKings account. Tournament participants may feel compelled to look elsewhere to break from the herd, and everyone else still needs seven more guys to create a winning combination.

Point Guard

Russell Westbookvs. LAC$12,500Michael Carter-Williamsvs. ORL$6,500
Chris Paul@ OKC$10,300Aaron Brooks@ PHI$4,800
Damian Lillardvs. HOU$8,200Ray McCallum@ CHA$4,200
Prices via DraftKings.com

Just be grateful Westbrook doesn't literally cost an arm and leg. Averaging 67.5 DraftKings points over the last 10 games, the fantasy monster remains valuable despite a sizable $12,500 price tag.

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Find a way to make it work. If not, at least pay up for another stud. Facing Westbrook's Thunder, Chris Paul will bounce back from a rare off night during which he scored two points. At $8,200, Damian Lillard is a profitable play given a high-flying shootout against the Houston Rockets.

PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 14:  Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers and Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers stand on the court on January 14, 2015 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and ag
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Digging deeper, Aaron Brooks is finally delivering the way gamers expected in light of Derrick Rose's absence. He has mounted 28 and 26.5 DraftKings points, respectively, during the last two games. Point guards post the third-most fantasy points against the sloppy Philadelphia 76ers, so consider Brooks a solid guard or utility play.

Ray McCallum has also warmed up to the starting spotlight, registering 12.3 points, 4.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds over the last four games. Replacing Darren Collison as the Sacramento Kings' first-stringer, the 23-year-old faces off against the Charlotte Hornets, who rank No. 24 against point guards.

Shooting Guard

Eric Bledsoe$7,600vs. MINArron Afflalovs. HOU$4,500
Klay Thompson$7,100vs. DETGary Neal@ PHO$4,000
J.J. Redick$5,700@ OKCLance Stephensonvs. SAC$3,500
Prices via DraftKings.com

The Minnesota Timberwolves place last in defensive rating and DraftKings points relinquished to shooting guards. The Phoenix Suns play at the second-fastest pace behind the Golden State Warriors, all of which bodes well for Eric Bledsoe on Wednesday night.

Speaking of the Warriors, Klay Thompson has snapped out of a shooting funk that moved his listing down from $8,000 on Feb. 24 to its current $7,100. After shooting 31.4 percent through four March outings, he has rebounded by going 17-of-32 during the past two slates, sinking seven of 12 three-point attempts.

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 6: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors shoots against Charlie Villanueva #3 of the Dallas Mavericks on March 6, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downl
Noah Graham/Getty Images

By RotoGrinders' calculation, the Kings have allowed the most fantasy points to shooting guards. The polarizing Lance Stephenson spars against them after averaging 22.3 DraftKings points in three games since March 6. 

At $3,500, he's a lottery ticket worth purchasing. 

Small Forward 

Tobias Harris@ MIL$6,900Jeff Green@ BOS$5,000
Andrew Wiggins@ PHO$6,800Tony Snell@ PHI$4,000
Nicolas Batumvs. HOU$6,400Maurice Harkless@ MIL$3,500
Prices via DraftKings.com

With Wesley Matthews out for the season, Nicolas Batum has assumed a larger role in the Portland Trail Blazers offense. Averaging 38.0 minutes over the last three tilts, he's finally showing some life with 17.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists for 40.3 DraftKings points.

In an otherwise underwhelming season, Batum once again deserves everyone's attention.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 7: Nicolas Batum #88 of the Portland Trail Blazers goes for the lay up against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game on March 7, 2015 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and ag
Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

Yet he's not the only playable mid-level small forward. Jeff Green enters a return to his old stomping grounds riding consecutive outings with over 30 DraftKings points. The Memphis Grizzlies will have to accelerate their slow tempo to keep up with the high-paced Boston Celtics, who issue the fourth-most DraftKings scoring to small forwards.

For those who want to shove aside the numbers and scream "Revenge game," that's cool too.

Power Forward

Pau Gasol@ PHI$8,600Kenneth Fariedvs. ATL$6,900
Paul Millsap@ DEN$7,800Nikola Mirotic@ PHI$6,200
Zach Randolph@ BOS$7,000Adreian Payne@ PHO$4,000
Prices via DraftKings.com

Per RotoGrinders, the 76ers cough up 21.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and 47.7 DraftKings points per game to power forwards. Their struggles against big men present two Chicago Bulls choices in Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic.

Over the last 10 days, the cheaper Mirotic has generated 32.8 DraftKings points compared to Gasol's 37.2. While the former would prove valuable by hitting that mark, the latter must veer into the 40s to justify the $8,600 asking price.

Nikola Mirotic's Last Seven Games

There are better top-shelf power forwards who will procure a better return on investment than Gasol. For $7,000, buy low on Zach Randolph, who averages 35.8 DraftKings points per game this season.

Boston allows 21.3 field goals per game from nine feet or closer, giving Z-Bo the perfect opponent to push around down low. Although his scoring has dwindled as of late, don't rule out a 20-10 evening.

MEMPHIS, TN - FEBRUARY 27:  Zach Randolph #50 of the Memphis Grizzlies goes to the basket DeAndre Jordan #6 of the Los Angeles Clippers on February 27, 2015 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees tha
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Paul Millsap gets the Denver Nuggets, who surrender the most DraftKings points to power forwards. On the other end, Kenneth Faried is averaging 15.0 points and 11.6 rebounds during the previous five contests. 

If Adreian Payne comes close to Monday's 16 points and 15 boards through 37 minutes, he'll delight owners for $4,000. 


Al Jeffersonvs. SAC$7,600Enes Kantervs. LAC$5,800
Marc Gasol@ BOS$7,500Nikola Pekovic@ PHO$4,700
Brook Lopez@ MIA$6,100Steven Adamsvs. LAC$3,500
Prices via DraftKings.com

Marc Gasol's skills don't translate as well to exploit Boston's weaknesses, yet he's a solid play for a reasonable $7,500. In exchange for a lower ceiling, gamers get a higher floor from a steady producer.

For those already committing to some of the previously listed studs—come on, how can you not play Westbrook?—cut expenses at center with Nikola Pekovic. Following five straight double-doubles, he quickly depreciated his soaring stock by scoring seven points in two games combined.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 4: Nikola Pekovic #14 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots against the Denver Nuggets on March 4, 2015 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or usi
David Sherman/Getty Images

Before panicking, his minutes returned closer to normal on Saturday and Monday, resulting in better efforts from the big man. Payne, Gorgui Dieng and Kevin Garnett are battling for playing time in a crowded frontcourt, but Pekovic should receive enough touches to make a decent dent.

Advanced stats courtesy of NBA.com unless otherwise noted.