This article is part of our NBA DFS Breakdown series.
This six-game slate has one game that stands out for the wrong reasons. Pistons at Heat has the lowest over/under at 209.0, which is a massive 12.5-point difference compared to the second-lowest over/under, which is 221.5 courtesy of Jazz at Suns. One big injury dominates the slate, and it's Kevin Durant's (ankle) absence against the Rockets.
Let's dive into a breakdown of each contest:
Nets at Thunder
Spread: OKC (-7.0)
The last time these two teams played, Paul George took things to another level, dropping 47 points, 15 rebounds and four assists.
Tuesday's rematch figures to be heated once again, as both teams are looking to climb up the conference standings. Since getting George back from a shoulder injury four games ago, the Thunder are 2-2, while the Nets are 4-2 since the return of Spencer Dinwiddie. The Thunder, who rank third in pace, will be speeding up the Nets in this matchup, as Brooklyn comes in as the 12th fastest team.
The aforementioned return of Dinwiddie has cut into D'Angelo Russell's productivity, as the former is averaging just 32.9 FP over the past half dozen contests – a meaningful dip from the 41.2 FP he averaged when Dinwiddie was out. Dinwiddie himself has been playing well, going for 40-plus FP twice since he's been back. Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs have also found some consistency lately. Allen has posted 30-plus FP in each of the past three, while Kurucs hasn't dipped below 20 FP over the past five.
Paul George still seems to be feeling the effects of his shoulder injury, as he's shooting just 30.6 FG% since his return. Russell Westbrook has benefited from George's on-court influence however, as the former MVP is averaging 52.0 FP over the past four games. DFS users looking for a low-ownership flier from OKC could consider Jerami Grant. He's cooled off a bit lately, but still has 13 games of at least 35 FP under his belt.
Magic at Wizards
Spread: WAS (-2.5)
|Mo Bamba||C||Lower Leg||Out||3/27/2019|
The Wizards have won two of the three prior matchups between these teams this season. Though Washington got the win during the most recent meeting, Aaron Gordon had a standout performance of 22 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and a block in 39 minutes.
Both squads are 4-5 since the All-Star break, though the Magic are playing to make the playoffs, while the Wizards are trending towards a favorable lottery pick. In this matchup, the Magic will benefit from the Wizards fast pace. Orlando checks in as the sixth-slowest squad, while Washington is the seventh-fastest.
There aren't new developments for the Magic fantasy-wise, though it's worth noting Terrence Ross' recent play. He's posted 30-plus FP in each of the past two games, and he's reached that mark in four of his past 14 appearances. He's a constant mid-tier GPP option and shouldn't be ignored on any slate.
Bradley Beal has continued his dominance over the past two games, combining for 124.8 FP against the Kings and the Timberwolves. He's a lock in cash games, as he's slipped below 45 FP just twice in the past 15 games. Washington has also gotten meaningful contributions over the past five games from the likes of Bobby Portis, Trevor Ariza, Tomas Satoransky and Jabari Parker, who have combined for 13 performances of 30-plus FP during this stretch.
Grizzlies at Hawks
Spread: ATL (-1.0)
These two teams haven't faced off since Oct. 19, and the Grizzlies secured a 131-117 victory over the Hawks. Things have obviously changed since then, as, believe it or not, Garrett Temple led the game in scoring with 30 points. Taurean Prince had one of his better games of the year, which makes it tempting to deploy him here despite some inconsistency of late.
The Hawks are 4-6 since the All-Star break, while the Grizzlies have surprisingly managed to win four of the past five games, which includes victories over Portland and Utah. With the Hawks being the second-fastest team in the league, there should be value available on Memphis in this contest, as the Grizzlies are the slowest team in the Association.
Mike Conley has played each of the past three contests after a one-game absence, and he's been on fire, averaging 31.3 points, 7.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals (50.3 FP). Four other players – Jonas Valanciunas, Joakim Noah, Avery Bradley and Delon Wright – have posted at least one 30-plus FP outing across the past three.
John Collins has appeared in a trio of contests since being sidelined for three games and, like Mike Conley, he's found success since returning. Over the past three, the sophomore big man is averaging 24.7 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 assists (46.9 FP) in 28.3 minutes. He dropped 62.8 FP against the Nets two games ago, and Trae Young found the bottom of the net in that game as well, dropping 23 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and one steal in 29 minutes. Contributions by other Hawks players have been spotty, though Kent Bazemore has dropped 30 FP in two of the past four contests.
Pistons at Heat
Spread: MIA (-2.0)
Pistons have no injuries
The Pistons are up in this season series 2-1, and they came out on top during the most recent matchup, winning 119-96 on Feb. 23. It was Ish Smith that tore the Heat apart, posting 22 points, nine assists, two rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes.
The Pistons have a ton of momentum at the moment, winning 12 of the past 15 games in looking to lock up a playoff spot. The Heat have also turned things up, winning four of the past five contests. This matchup has, by far, the lowest expected total, as both teams are bottom 10 in pace.
Aside from the usual contributions of the Pistons core three – Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson – there have been two players emerging as fantasy options. The aforementioned Ish Smith has posted at least 20 FP in five of the past six, and he went for 34.5 FP against the Timberwolves on March 6. Luke Kennard has also shot the ball well, and he has three performances of at least 30 FP in the past nine, dipping below 20 FP twice in that stretch.
At this point, we know the Heat represent one of the most egalitarian offenses in the league, so it's no surprise that fantasy production has been spread around over the past five tilts. One trend to note is Hassan Whiteside's minutes diminishing. The big man has averaged just 19 minutes across the past four games, as Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk have taken over the frontcourt. To emphasize how varied the fantasy value has been, here's the list of players that have at least one outing of at least 30 FP across the past five games: Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Dwyane Wade, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo and Rodney McGruder.
Warriors at Rockets
Spread: HOU (-3.5)
|Andrew Bogut||C||Not Injury Related||GTD||3/13/2019|
Impressively, the Rockets own this season series 3-0, and even managed to win the most recent matchup despite James Harden's absence. Chris Paul put on a show, posting 23 points, 17 assists, five rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes.
Houston is one of the hottest teams in the league, having lost one game since the All-Star break. On the other hand, Golden State is 4-5 since the break. In terms of pace, the Rockets are the third-slowest team in the league and should see their possessions increase in this matchup against the Warriors, who are 10th in pace.
On the fantasy front, not much has changed in the wake of the Rockets' winning ways, as it's been largely a function of Clint Capela's return. Notably, he's gone for at least 35 FP in each of the past three games. Kenneth Faried is also back after an extended absence, and he dropped 31.8 FP during Monday's win over the Hornets.
Klay Thompson has played in each of the past two games after a two-game absence. Though the Warriors got an important win over the Nuggets two games ago, they lost to the Suns on Sunday. Thompson himself has played great since coming back – averaging 51.6 FP over the past two – but the other Warriors players have been underwhelming. That said, with Kevin Durant sidelined, value could open up on Golden State. With KD off the floor on the road this season, DeMarcus Cousins and Steph Curry both average over 50 FP per 36 minutes.
Jazz at Suns
Spread: UTA (-7.5)
It's surprising these squads have only faced off once this season considering they're in the same conference. Regardless, Utah got the 116-88 win during the first matchup, which took place Feb. 6. Josh Jackson had one of his best games of the year, racking up 27 points, seven assists, five steals and four rebounds in 38 minutes.
The Jazz have dropped three of the past four games, while the Suns have won four of the past five, including victories over Milwaukee and Golden State. Both of these squads are middle-of-the-pack in terms of pace, so it will be tough to find value solely based on increased possessions.
With Ricky Rubio out the past two games, we've gotten back-to-back 50-plus FP outings from Donovan Mitchell, while role players have stepped up. Notably, Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder and Royce O'Neale all have one game of at least 30 FP over the past pair. All four players represent enticing DFS options against a Suns team that, despite its recent success, has struggled on the season as a whole.
Over the Suns' past five games, production has come from many different players. Devin Booker has two 50-plus FP efforts, while Deandre Ayton and Kelly Oubre have one. Plus, Tyler Johnson has three performances of at least 30 FP. Mikal Bridges rounds things out with three games of 25-plus FP.