FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 3/14/21
If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. 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. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.
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.
Let's break down today's main slate on FanDuel:
|LA Clippers||New Orleans||236.0||+6.0||121.00||115.00||24||19|
Rinse and repeat for the Toronto Raptors on the second half of their back-to-back. The team will still be without Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and other bench players as they continue to fight through COVID-19 protocols. That should once again open up significant usage for Toronto's makeshift "Big 3" of Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, and Chris Boucher, but all of those players have been appropriately salaried as the Raptors have been in this situation for the last couple of weeks.
The rest of the injury news comes largely from a single game. The Miami Heat will be without star center Bam Adebayo due to his knee injury, and the Orlando Magic will be sans three of their starters, as well, with Evan Fournier (groin), James Ennis (calf), and Aaron Gordon (ankle) all remaining sidelined. The Magic could also be without sixth man Terrence Ross, who is battling a knee injury.
The Houston Rockets also remain very cautious in a lost season, as Christian Wood, John Wall, and Danuel House Jr. are all out. However, the latest additions to that list of extensive players missing are Eric Gordon, who injured his groin on Thursday, as well as P.J. Tucker, who just does not want to be in Houston anymore -- and who could blame him? David Nwaba is also questionable with a wrist sprain.
Trae Young ($9,000): The Atlanta Hawks' entire rotation is essentially up for grabs outside their starting floor general, and he is beginning to heat up. Young has scored at least 28 actual points in each of his last three games, and a meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers should help that, as Cleveland has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. Young has scored at least 50 FanDuel points 10 times in his last 25 games, and he is in his usual strong places in usage (33.0%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.36) over the past month.
Coby White ($5,900): There is a strategy in marketing called "charm pricing," which is why many items at a store end in 99 cents. I feel like the same may apply today to White, who seems far more desirable below $6,000 than he does above it. That is for good reason, though, as White has surpassed 30 FanDuel points eight times since February 1st, and a 30-fantasy-point night is good enough to his value -- 5 points per $1,000 in salary -- at this salay. He has a great matchup against the wounded Raptors, who give up the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards to begin with and are missing their best defensive player. At 32.0 minutes per game in March, White is also one of the few Bulls without a severe minutes question mark. White is coming off the bench Sunday, but if anything, that limits his time with Zach LaVine, allowing the young point guard more time with the ball in his hands.
Paul George ($7,800): George has been in and out of the lineup frequently, but he has been productive when he has entered the starting five, as he has scored 40 or more FanDuel points in 7 of the last 15 contests he has played. The New Orleans Pelicans have the third-worst defensive rating in the NBA, so the Los Angeles Clippers are one of the most desirable teams to stack up on the entire slate, and George at a slight discount from his normal salary is a great place to do so. Later in his career, PG13 does a ton of scoring around the perimeter, and that makes him a tremendous fit against New Orleans, who gives up the most three-point makes per game in the entire league (15.4) despite playing at just the 19th-highest pace.
Anthony Edwards ($6,500): Some solid contributions from Ricky Rubio aside, the Minnesota Timberwolves' backcourt currently revolves around the 2020 top draft pick. In fact, Edwards leads all Timberwolves starters in usage (31.5%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.08) coming out of the break -- and that includes Karl-Anthony Towns. The rookie has parlayed that into 37.6 FanDuel points per game in his past six contests, which means that even at lower efficiency than you'd hope for (shooting just 40% from the field in March), Edwards is still at too low of a salary for his current role. The shooting guard spot has plenty of value options tonight, but I will have a hard time passing on George and Edwards due to the clear paths to upside.
Jimmy Butler ($10,300): As a Heat fan that watches their games, even I am taken back by Butler's recent performances. Butler has scored at least 27 real-world points and dished out at least 8 assists in each of his last five games, establishing an entirely new floor for himself in a new salary tier. No Miami player is even close to Butler's 32.7% usage and 1.63 FanDuel points per minute the past two weeks, which makes him especially hard to pass up against an Orlando squad that will be missing several top players and allows the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing small forwards. Many daily fantasy players are probably waiting for Butler's bubble of production to pop, but his underlying role supports his recent output -- especially while Bam Adebayo remains sidelined.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($6,000): One of the all-time steals in an NBA trade may be upon us. Porter was dealt to Houston for just a second round pick in January, but with so many players injured or disgruntled, Porter has hopped into the rotation for the Rockets. He has made a splash in those two games, averaging 45.3 FanDuel points per game with some special highlights mixed in. Porter's role also supports his production moving forward, as his 27.6% usage and 1.36 FanDuel points per minute during this span is actually far closer to a player in the $9,000 salary tier than it is someone in this $6,000 salary tier. He did play with Victor Oladipo in his first game of action, so Oladipo's expected return Sunday does not necessarily ding KPJ too much.
Chris Boucher ($7,200): Maybe it takes Boucher a few more minutes to channel his basketball powers, but coming off the bench is no issue for the lanky power forward, who led Toronto in minutes Saturday despite his bench role, though the lopsided scoreline likely aided his cause. Toronto's battle with COVID-19 has opened the door to Boucher to finally see regular playing time, as he has now logged at least 24 minutes in each of his last five games. That has always been the concern with Boucher much more so than his production, as he leads the loaded Raptors in FanDuel points per minute on the entire season (1.22) but has just been getting few minutes. Boucher did need a couple of stitches after Saturday's contest, but it does not appear to be serious enough to keep him out of action Sunday.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($4,500): Orlando is missing so many bodies that there has to be some value in here somewhere. The veteran Aminu is the flier personally, but Chuma Okeke and Chasson Randle are worth mentioning, as well. Aminu has actually started the last seven games for the Magic but has failed to eclipse 25 minutes in any of them for one problematic reason -- his shooting has been dreadful. Aminu has shot only 34.0% -- and 30.0% from deep -- since returning to the team in late February, so it is totally understandable why he has been on the bench late in closer games. In his last full season two years ago, Aminu shots 43.4% from the field (and 34.3% from deep), which is far from tremendous but is much better than the current 8-for-29 stretch that he is on.
Enes Kanter ($6,800): Seeing regular playing time, Kanter is once again an incredibly valuable fantasy asset. The Turkish big man has pulled down 11 or more rebounds in nine straight games, which is difficult for even for the top centers in the league. As a result, he has averaged 36.0 FanDuel points per game in that span. Being so consistent on the glass is helpful for projecting DFS success, because then his scoring directly correlates to upside, and matchups are the best place to target. Those matchups do not get much softer for a center than a date with Minnesota, who allows the second-most points in the paint per game (52.2) and has also ceded the sixth-most second-chance points in the league (14.6). Kanter had 36.2 points last night against these same T-Wolves.
Other Notable Plays: Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,100), Kelly Olynyk ($4,500)
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.