FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 3/3/21

Dennis Schroder is a core play tonight with LeBron James and Anthony Davis out for the Lakers. Who else should we target on Wednesday?

The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.

With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.

Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries and COVID-19 situations. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news and we also have player news updates.

We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.

Please note: When I'm referencing a player's value figure, it is the number of fantasy points scored for every $1,000 in salary. Typically, a value figure of 5.0 (meaning, 5.0 FanDuel points for every $1,000 in salary) is the minimum baseline we'll be targeting.

Let's take a look at who you should target on tonight's 10-game slate, which locks at 7:00 PM Eastern.

Slate Overview

This table is via Brandon Gdula's matchup sheet -- it shows the over/under for each game, as well as each team's spread and implied total. The table also includes each squad's offensive rating, adjusted for opponent, as well as opponent-adjusted defensive rating for the opposing team, including the respective league-wide ranks for each of those ratings.

Teams are sorted by their implied total.

Team Opp Over/
Spread Implied
Rank Opp Adj.
NO CHI 237.5 -5.5 121.50 121.5 6 113.5 19
BKN HOU 228.5 -9.0 118.75 126.8 1 109.6 11
GS POR 235.5 -1.0 118.25 107.5 21 121.4 28
POR GS 235.5 1.0 117.25 119.0 7 105.1 3
CHA MIN 232.5 -1.0 116.75 111.5 16 115.0 22
CHI NO 237.5 5.5 116.0 111.9 15 121.9 29
MIN CHA 232.5 1.0 115.75 99.1 29 115.7 25
UTAH PHI 228.0 -3.5 115.75 124.1 3 105.6 4
DAL OKC 223.5 -6.5 115.0 116.2 9 109.4 9
SAC LAL 225.5 -4.0 114.75 114.2 10 99.9 1
ATL ORL 224.0 -4.0 114.0 114.0 12 115.3 24
PHI UTAH 228.0 3.5 112.25 112.6 14 103.2 2
IND CLE 217.5 -5.5 111.50 110.1 18 114.8 21
LAL SAC 225.5 4.0 110.75 109.7 19 124.8 30
ORL ATL 224.0 4.0 110.0 100.1 27 113.6 20
TOR DET 213.0 -7.0 110.0 114.2 11 113.5 18
HOU BKN 228.5 9.0 109.75 97.4 30 115.9 26
OKC DAL 223.5 6.5 108.50 100.6 26 115.2 23
CLE IND 217.5 5.5 106.0 99.3 28 109.4 10
DET TOR 213.0 7.0 103.0 104.0 24 109.7 12

Point Guard


Kyle Lowry ($8,200): As I outlined in the studs to target column, Lowry is in a great position tonight. He's got great form -- he posted 47.4 and 52.2 FanDuel points in his last two and is averaging 1.29 fantasy points per minute over his last seven outings. However, what's key here is that the Toronto Raptors will be without a number of players due to COVID protocols -- Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, and Patrick McCaw are all out. With the first three of those players off the court this season, the veteran point guard has seen an 8.2-percentage-point bump in usage rate, according to RotoGrinders.

Other Studs to Consider (listed in order of preference):
Trae Young ($9,200): Has had 37.1 or fewer in three straight; should make for a solid contrarian play. Has averaged 48.2 fantasy points against bottom-12 positional defenses, and Orlando ranks 29th against point guards.
Malcolm Brogdon ($7,400): Has topped 38 FanDuel points 16 times. Cleveland is fifth-worst against the position over their last 15.
De'Aaron Fox ($8,000): Had amassed 43.2-plus in three straight. Lakers are seventh-worst against the point in their last 15 contests.

Value Play

Dennis Schroder ($5,500): This is relatively straightforward -- in addition to Anthony Davis, the Lakers will be without LeBron James and possibly Marc Gasol and Kyle Kuzma as well. In 119.5 minutes with James and Davis off the court this season, Schroder is averaging an additional 0.16 FanDuel points per minute. In his last six games without Davis in the lineup, the 27-year-old is averaging 33.6 FanDuel points per game. As an added bonus, Schroder will be facing a Sacramento Kings defense that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency this season, per If you can't get up to Schroder's salary, Alex Caruso ($4,100) is also worth considering.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Theo Maledon ($4,200): Hamidou Diallo and George Hill are out. Maledon has fantastic upside against a Dallas defense that's allowed the most fantasy points to point guards over their last 15 games.
Jordan McLaughlin ($3,600): Has totaled at least 19.8 fantasy points in 8 of his last 10. Charlotte ranks 23rd against the position.
Coby White ($6,000): New Orleans is 28th versus point guards over their last 15. White has racked up more than 31 FanDuel points in 6 of his last 10, including 4 of his last 5 outings.

Shooting Guard


James Harden ($11,200): There are many factors that make Harden a really tough player to fade tonight. First, there's the revenge narrative -- he facing a Houston Rockets team that he spent eight seasons and change with. This is the same Houston team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to shooting guards over their last 15 games. Second, Harden's form has been fantastic. He's fresh off a season-high 75.3-point performance on Monday, and he has accrued at least 59.6 in 7 of his last 11 games. Finally, the Brooklyn Nets have the second-highest implied total on tonight's slate, and Harden's a great way to get exposure to those points.

Other Studs to Consider:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,200): Has amassed at least 49.3 fantasy points in four of his last nine. Mavs are seventh-worst against shooting guards in their last 15 contests.
Donovan Mitchell ($8,200): Philadelphia ranks 25th versus the position. Mitchell has topped 41 fantasy points in 8 of his last 12.

Value Play

Talen Horton-Tucker ($3,900): This season, in a team-high 179.3 minutes with LeBron and Davis off the court, Horton-Tucker has a usage rate of 28.0% to go with a 1.19 FanDuel-point-per-minute average (0.27 bump). In the 13 games in which he's seen 20 minutes or more, the 20-year-old has averaged 21.7 fantasy points per game, and that includes four outputs of 25.5-plus. Horton-Tucker is our model's top-projected value at the position. Oh, did I mention that the Kings rank 30th against the position?

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Ty Jerome ($3,600): In his first two games of the season, Jerome has gone off for 19.2 and 30.5 FanDuel points. Dallas is 30th against point guards and 24th versus shooting guards throughout their last 15 games. Lu Dort ($3,900) is also worth considering.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,300): Luka Doncic is doubtful tonight, and THJ has averaged 28.7 FanDuel points in his last 15 games without Doncic in the lineup.

Terence Davis II ($3,500): With Toronto seemingly missing half its roster, you can also substitute DeAndre Bembry ($3,800) or Yuta Watanabe ($3,500) and it'll be justified.
Terrence Ross ($5,500): Has eclipsed 30 in 8 of his last 11. Atlanta ranks 23rd versus two-guards this season.

Small Forward


Norman Powell ($6,800): Given the options at small forward, Powell will go under the category of "stud" tonight. The sample size is tiny, but with Siakam, VanVleet, and Anunoby off the court this season, Powell's 33.2% usage rate is tops on the team. As it is, Powell has managed at least 38.1 FanDuel points in four of his last six games, and his ceiling increases trifold tonight. As an added bonus, Detroit is surrendering the sixth-most fantasy points to small forwards in their last 15 games.

Other Stud to Consider:
Brandon Ingram ($7,800): Has topped 40 FanDuel points in 9 of his last 15. That said, Chicago has been seventh-best against the position this season.

Value Play

Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,400): The trickle-down effect of Doncic not playing should reach Finney-Smith as well. As it is, Finney-Smith has recorded at least 23.0 FanDuel points in five of his last nine games, and he would only need 22.0 for 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary). Luckily for him, he'll be facing an Oklahoma City Thunder team that ranks 30th against small forwards this season. Finney-Smith is our model's top-projected value at the position. For many of those very same reasons, Josh Richardson ($4,600) is in play as well.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Danuel House Jr. ($4,200): Two duds in a row, though the last one was due to injury. David Nwaba is out while Eric Gordon is questionable. House is in play if he's active.
Justin Holiday ($4,500): Has topped 20 fantasy points in 10 of his last 12, including 6 outputs of more than 28. Doug McDermott, Jeremy Lamb, and Domantas Sabonis are all questionable for Indiana.
Derrick Jones Jr. ($5,100): Had averaged 29.6 fantasy points in six games prior to Monday's dud. Golden State ranks 23rd against small forwards.

Power Forward


Zion Williamson ($8,900): I mentioned Zion as a top target in today's stud piece, and there's good reason for that. New Orleans has the highest implied total on tonight's nearly three points. Williamson has exceeded 45 fantasy points in 8 of his last 10 games, and the only two in which he failed to reach that number were in matchups with the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz. Our model projects Zion to be the highest-scoring power forward on tonight's slate.

Other Studs to Consider:
Kristaps Porzingis ($7,800): Averaged 52 FanDuel points in nine games without Doncic on the court last season. Has topped 40 fantasy points in 8 of his 16 games this season with 25 minutes or more. OKC is fifth-worst against power forwards in their last 15 games.
Domantas Sabonis ($9,200): Is currently questionable. Has topped 50 FanDuel points in 6 of his last 12 efforts.

Value Play

Chris Boucher ($6,600): Is this the game where Boucher finally gets the minutes he deserves? It's hard to imagine a minute total below 30 barring foul trouble for the 28-year-old. Boucher has posted at least 36.7 FanDuel points on 12 different occasions this season, and he could easily make that 13 against a Pistons defense that ranks dead last against power forwards this season.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
PJ Washington ($5,800): numberFire's top-projected value at the position. Had erupted for 43.0 and 66.8 FanDuel points prior to Monday's dud. Minnesota has surrendered the most fantasy points to the position over their seven games.
Jae'Sean Tate ($4,900): No Christian Wood. No DeMarcus Cousins. No David Nwaba. Danuel House Jr. and Eric Gordon questionable -- Tate could be in for a big workload against a subpar Brooklyn defense.
Markieff Morris ($4,000): Has put up 26.2 and 28.6 FanDuel points in his last two and should take on more of a load with LeBron and (possibly) Gasol out.
Marvin Bagley III ($6,200): Hassan Whiteside and Tyrese Haliburton are out while Buddy Hield is questionable. Usage should be there against a banged-up Lakers team.



Nikola Vucevic ($9,900): Vuce's matchup could get a whole lot better if Clint Capela (foot) is declared out. Atlanta is 14th against the position on the season, so it's not like we have to completely fade Vucevic if Capela is active, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. The 30-year-old has eclipsed 50 FanDuel points with ease in 7 of his last 13, including 5 outputs of 62-plus.

Other Studs to Consider:
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,700): Has topped 46 fantasy points in four of his last six. Charlotte's interior defense is nothing to write home about.
Joel Embiid ($10,400): Embiid's floor and upside (60.7-plus in three of his last seven) makes him worthy of consideration in any matchup, even one against Utah.

Value Play

Justin Patton ($3,800): The studs at center tonight don't have the juiciest of matchups, so paying down at the position is certainly an option. Patton has had at least 20 FanDuel points in three of his five games, including a season-high 29.7 in 31.6 minutes (also a season-high) on Monday. Brooklyn ranks 23rd against centers this season, which certainly doesn't hurt Patton's outlook.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Montrezl Harrell
($6,400): Has a 28.1% usage rate and averages 1.39 FanDuel points per minute with AD and LeBron off the court this season. Sacramento is 26th against centers this season.
Steven Adams ($5,100): Chicago is dead last against centers in their last 15 games. Adams has had performances of 37.6 and 44.5 FanDuel points in two of his last four outings.
DeAndre Jordan ($5,100): Houston is second-worst against centers since they released DeMarcus Cousins. DJ has had outputs of 31.6, 38.1, and 47.2 in three of his last five games.