FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 3/17/21

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.

All injury updates are via the NBA's official injury report or numberFire's player news.

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.
WSH SAC 245.5 -3.0 124.25 105.6 24 124.3 30
MIL PHI 237.0 -6.5 121.75 122.4 5 103.1 2
SAC WSH 245.5 3.0 121.25 114.1 14 114.6 27
GS HOU 228.5 -12.0 120.25 106.1 23 110.0 13
DEN CHA 230.0 -6.5 118.25 121.2 7 111.5 19
BKN IND 232.0 -3.5 117.75 125.0 2 108.3 11
PHI MIL 237.0 6.5 115.25 115.8 11 108.2 10
IND BKN 232.0 3.5 114.25 109.8 18 114.3 25
LAC DAL 226.5 -2.0 114.25 122.3 6 113.1 23
DAL LAC 226.5 2.0 112.25 115.1 12 110.5 14
CHI SA 222.5 -1.5 112.0 113.8 15 107.9 9
CHA DEN 230.0 6.5 111.75 111.3 17 111.1 18
MIA MEM 221.0 -2.0 111.50 106.4 22 107.7 8
BOS CLE 214.0 -8.5 111.25 117.1 9 113.3 24
SA CHI 222.5 1.5 110.50 107.8 21 111.1 17
TOR DET 215.5 -3.5 109.50 112.0 16 111.0 16
MEM MIA 221.0 2.0 109.50 108.3 19 104.8 4
HOU GS 228.5 12.0 108.25 99.1 28 106.1 7
DET TOR 215.5 3.5 106.0 104.7 25 110.7 15
CLE BOS 214.0 8.5 102.75 98.8 29 111.6 20

Point Guard


Ben Simmons ($7,900) - Tonight's studs column included two players at the same position -- point guard -- for the first time since I began writing it, and Simmons is the more affordable of the two. The matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks carried an over/under of 237.0, which is the second-highest on the slate. Rostering Simmons is a great way to get exposure to those points. Per RotoGrinders, the 24-year-old is now averaging 1.27 FanDuel points per minute with Joel Embiid off the court, and numberFire's algorithm has him projected for 34.5 minutes. It's worth noting that the Bucks have ceded the 10th-most fantasy points to the position over their last 15 games.

Other Studs to Consider:
Russell Westbrook ($10,400)
- Hasn't scored fewer than 44 Fanduel points in 14 straight. Has outputs of 55.5, 65.3, and 72.0 in three of his last five. Washington has the slate's highest implied total, and Sacramento has allowed the most fantasy points to one-guards over their last 15.
Luka Doncic ($10,200) - Dropped 60 fantasy points on the Clippers on Monday. LA is 26th against point guards in their last 15 contests.
Stephen Curry ($9,400) - Houston is 23rd against the point this season. Golden State does have the fourth-highest implied total tonight, but the blowout potential is concerning.
De'Aaron Fox ($9,100) - Has topped 43 FanDuel points in seven of his last eight. Washington has actually done a decent job against point guards over the last month or so (seventh-best).

Value Play

Jordan Poole ($3,600) - I firmly believe that a two-stud build is the best approach at point guard, but if you choose to in the value direction, Poole is one intriguing option. In his last four games, the 21-year-old has averaged 24.8 FanDuel points in 22 minutes of action. The Rockets have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to the position in 2020-21, per numberFire's DvP tool.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Tomas Satoransky ($3,900) - Has posted 32.9 and 33.7 FanDuel points in his last two games. San Antonio is 27th against the position this campaign.
Delon Wright ($5,400) - Has recorded at least 29.8 FanDuel points in 9 of his last 10 fully healthy games.
Jrue Holiday ($5,900) - numberFire's second-best projected value at point guard. Has only topped 26.9 once in the six games since he's returned.

Shooting Guard


Bradley Beal ($9,500) - If you want to pay up at shooting guard and don't mind a high-variance player, Beal might be your best bet. The 27-year-old produces more than 50 fantasy points on a regular basis, but he has also had fewer than 37 in three of his last six games. Facing the Kings is a treat for any player at any position, and shooting guard is no different, as Sacramento ranks 29th against the position this season. It's worth mentioning that while he does often score in the 50s, Beal doesn't carry the same upside as some other players on this slate -- he's topped 57.1 fantasy points once in his last 23 games. I'd prefer to roster him in cash games over tournaments.

Other Studs to Consider:
James Harden ($11,000) - Has had 57-plus fantasy points in 9 of his last 13. Indiana does rank 12th against point guards and 4th versus shooting guards this season.
Paul George ($7,600) - Has only topped 34.9 twice in his last seven games. numberFire's models have him as the best value play among shooting guards with salaried over $5,500.

Value Play

Caris LeVert ($4,400) - Once again, LeVert is our model's top-projected value on the entire slate. The former Net has seen 26.9 and 29.4 minutes in his two games back, and he's totaled 20.4 and 30.4 FanDuel points in the process. His former squad ranks 23rd against shooting guards this season, and the revenge narrative is certainly there. numberFire's algorithm projects LeVert for 33 FanDuel points tonight, returning a mouth-watering value figure of 7.49.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Donte DiVincenzo ($4,600) - Has put up 24.5-plus in 13 of his last 19 games, including 30.4 and 32.1 in his last two. No team has been more generous to the position over their last 15 games than the Sixers.
P.J. Dozier ($3,500) - Has played 21.7-plus minutes in five straight and has topped 18 FanDuel points three times during that stretch. Charlotte is 26th against two-guards over their last 15 bouts.
Buddy Hield ($6,500) - Has trumped 38 fantasy points in four of his last six, including 41.9-plus in three of them. Throughout their last 15 games, Washington has allowed the ninth-most FanDuel points to the position.

Small Forward


Kawhi Leonard ($9,300) - Kawhi's in a similar boat as Beal in the sense that his ceiling just hasn't been there for quite a while. In fact, Leonard has only recorded more than 58.1 FanDuel points twice all season, and he hasn't topped 53.1 in any of his last 12. All that said, the 53.1-point performance did come against these very same Dallas Mavericks two days ago. The Mavs have now given up the fourth-most fantasy points to small forwards over their last 15 games. The Clippers' implied total for tonight is 114.5, which is good for eighth-best on the slate.

Other Studs to Consider:
Jimmy Butler ($10,800) - Is averaging 58.5 FanDuel points over his last seven. Memphis is second-worst against small forwards this season.
Gordon Hayward ($7,300) - Has topped 50 fantasy points in two of his last four. Denver is 26th versus small forwards in 2020-21.
Jaylen Brown ($7,300) - Put up 50.5 FanDuel points in a much tougher matchup yesterday. Comes in at his lowest salary of the season.

Value Play

Kevin Porter Jr. ($6,300) - Porter Jr. is the first of two Houston small forwards that will be listed in this section. While Christian Wood is returning for the Rockets, he'll likely be limited and the team will also be without Victor Oladipo, John Wall, Eric Gordon, David Nwaba, and P.J. Tucker, while Danuel House Jr. and Ben McLemore are questionable. In his first four games as a member of the Rockets, Porter Jr. has amassed 20.9, 42.0, 47.8, and 48.6 FanDuel points -- the latter of which came with both Oladipo and Wall off the court. As an added bonus, the Warriors are 22nd against small forwards this season.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Kenyon Martin Jr. ($5,000) - Had 30.8, 37.3, and 39.5 FanDuel points in three games before last night's "dud". Posted a 25.6% usage rate with 'Dipo and Wall off the court five days ago.
Joe Harris ($3,800) - Only needs 19.0 for 5X value and has topped that number 28 times this season.

Power Forward


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400) - Did you think we weren't going to talk about fantasy's highest-scoring player? Of course not. Giannis is averaging 60.72 FanDuel points per game over the last four weeks, good for 5.55 more than any other player on this slate. The Greek Freak has topped 60 fantasy points in 14 of his last 23 efforts, including 12 outings with 64.7 or more. Milwaukee's implied total comes in third on the slate, so there's no reason to think that Giannis will cool off tonight.

Other Studs to Consider:
Tobias Harris ($7,800) - Has accrued 49.2, 52.3, and 57.0 FanDuel points in three of his last five games with Embiid out of the lineup.
Bam Adebayo ($8,300) - Had 40-plus FanDuel points in 16 of the 20 games prior to his injury. Bam is not listed on Miami's injury report after returning to action last night.

Value Play

Daniel Theis ($4,400) - With Tristan Thompson out last night, Theis erupted for 37.2 FanDuel points in 26.3 minutes of action, and he has similar upside tonight. numberFire's algorithm projects the big man to record 26.4 FanDuel points, making him the best point-per-dollar play at the position. Theis will be going up against a Cleveland Cavaliers defense that ranks 11th-worst against power forwards and fifth-worst against centers over their last 15 games.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Marcus Morris ($3,700) - Entered the starting lineup on Monday and racked up 28.2 fantasy points in 30.6 minutes. Head coach Ty Lue said that Morris will remain in the starting lineup.
Nicolas Claxton ($3,800) - Has garnered more than 20 fantasy points in five of his last seven. Indiana is 20th against power forwards and 26th versus centers this season.
JaVale McGee ($3,500) - His 35.1 last night made it five times in seven games that he'd surpassed 18 FanDuel points. Needs 16.5 for 5X.



Richaun Holmes ($6,900) - This is a perfect storm of form meets reasonable salary meets titillating matchup. Holmes pegged the Hornets for 61 fantasy points on Monday, making it his fourth consecutive game with more than 35. Tonight, he'll face a Wizards team that's surrendered the second-most fantasy points to the opposition's centers this season. We want to invest as much as we can in the matchup between the Kings and Wizards, and Holmes is an excellent investment in his own right.

Other Stud to Consider:
Nikola Jokic ($11,200) - numberFire's algorithm has the Serbian outscoring all other centers by 18.7 FanDuel points. Jokic has topped 61 FanDuel points in four of his last seven games. The matchup is not one to shy away from

Value Play

Drew Eubanks ($3,500) - Eubanks will be going up against a Chicago Bulls defense that ranks dead last against centers over their last 15 games. In his last three outings, the 24-year-old has averaged 21.9 minutes and 26.6 FanDuel points. He's certainly in play at the minimum salary.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
DeAndre Jordan ($4,300) - Indiana ranks 26th against centers and Jordan has at least 21.3 fantasy points in 8 of his last 12 games, including 30.8-plus in four of his last nine.
Jakob Poeltl ($5,600) - Accumulated 42.4 FanDuel points on Monday. Faces a Bulls team that's been the most generous to fives over their last 15 contests.
Myles Turner ($6,100) - Has 32.3 or more fantasy points in 7 of his last 12, including 41.2-plus in 5 of those games. Brooklyn ranks 25th against centers this season.