FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 3/23/21

Ben Simmons looks like a stud worth targeting. Which other players should we focus on tonight?

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 six-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.
POR BKN 236.0 -4.5 120.25 119.5 6 115.7 25
BKN POR 236.0 4.5 115.75 124.8 1 122.7 29
NO LAL 223.0 -6.5 114.75 119.2 7 101.2 1
NY WSH 225.0 -2.5 113.75 104.9 23 116.0 26
DEN ORL 217.5 -7.0 112.25 121.7 4 113.7 21
WSH NY 225.0 2.5 111.25 106.2 21 106.1 6
PHI GS 216.5 -3.0 109.75 111.7 13 106.0 4
MIA PHX 218.0 -1.0 109.50 103.0 25 106.0 3
PHX MIA 218.0 1.0 108.50 117.6 8 106.4 7
LAL NO 223.0 6.5 108.25 110.9 15 120.3 28
GS PHI 216.5 3.0 106.75 105.6 22 102.9 2
ORL DEN 217.5 7.0 105.25 98.9 28 112.3 17

Point Guard


Ben Simmons ($8,200) - As I mentioned in today's studs column, Simmons is a worthwhile target tonight. On the season, the 24-year-old is averaging 1.21 FanDuel points per minute with Joel Embiid off the court, according to RotoGrinders. In three of his last six games with the big man inactive, Simmons has dropped 48.0, 53.7, and 72.8 FanDuel points -- the upside is clearly there. This matchup between the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors features the teams that play at the second- and third-fastest pace among the 12 teams playing tonight. In other words, there should be no shortage of possessions for the purpose of fantasy production. numberFire's models project the Australian to be the third-highest scorer at point guard as well as the best point-per-dollar play at the position.

Other Studs to Consider:
Damian Lillard ($9,400) - Ceiling should be quite high. Brooklyn has been surprisingly tough on point guards lately (third-best), but Portland has the slate's highest implied total.
Chris Paul ($7,500) - Has topped 40 FanDuel points in three of his last four. Matchup isn't a gimme.

Value Play

Jordan Poole ($6,500) - In his last three games, Pool has racked up 33.2, 33.4, and 41.3 fantasy points. His role certainly won't shrink tonight with Stephen Curry still out. The Sixers rank 17th against point guards this season, and Poole's volume should make him a relatively safe option regardless of the matchup.

Other Mid-Ranger and Value Options:
Lonzo Ball ($6,800) - Currently questionable. Has posted 35.8, 37.1, and 44.1 fantasy points in his last three efforts. Lakers are second-worst against point guards over their last 15 games.
Alex Caruso ($3,600) - Our model's second-best projected value at point. New Orleans has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to point guards this season.

Shooting Guard


James Harden ($11,300) - The Brooklyn Nets will take the court tonight without both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. With those two off the court, Harden rocks a 35.4% usage rate while averaging 1.61 FanDuel points per minute. He has surpassed 56 fantasy points in 11 of his last 18 games, including a 78.5-point outing last Wednesday without Irving and Durant in the lineup. Tonight, the Beard will be squaring off against a Portland Trail Blazers team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency among the 12 teams that are playing tonight, and in 2020-21, they've allowed the most FanDuel points to opposing shooting guards, per numberFire's DvP tool. numberFire's algorithm projects Harden to outscore the third-best shooting guard by an eye-popping 22.9 fantasy points, and we have him outscoring everyone else on the slate by 5.1.

Other Stud to Consider:
Devin Booker ($7,700) - Has managed at least 44.8 in three of his last six games and has posted fewer than 32 just once in his last 20. Miami does rank eighth-best against the position.

Value Play

Andrew Wiggins ($6,800) - In the last two games with Curry out, Wiggins has erupted for 36.8 and 65.6 FanDuel points. Tonight, he'll be matched up against a Philly defense that's allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing two-guards over their last 15 games. As I mentioned in the Simmons blurb, the pace of this game makes it one worth targeting.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Bruce Brown Jr. ($4,000) - Averaging 26.7 FanDuel points in the 19 games he's seen 23 or more minutes. Should see plenty of work with Irving and Landry Shamet out.
Furkan Korkmaz ($3,500) - Has totaled at least 19.5 FanDuel points in six of his last nine and should see more minutes with Seth Curry inactive.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($4,900) - Garnered 33.1 fantasy points on Sunday. Will once again be worth considering if Lonzo Ball is out.

Small Forward


Brandon Ingram ($7,600) - Ingram has trumped 40 fantasy points in 9 of his last 18 outings, and he's managed at least 36.9 in 12 of those contests. On Sunday, the 23-year-old exploded for 54.2 FanDuel points while seeing his third-highest usage rate of the season. That was undoubtedly a product of Lonzo Ball not suiting up, but it's entirely possible that Ball misses tonight's contest as well. Meanwhile, while the Los Angeles Lakers rank third-best against small forwards this season, they're likely to struggle more against the position without LeBron James in the lineup.

Other Stud to Consider:
Jimmy Butler ($9,500) - After averaging 58.5 FanDuel points over a seven-game stretch, Butler has cooled off over his last three with an average of 40.2. Phoenix is second-stingiest against small forwards this season.

Value Play

Rui Hachimura ($5,200) - In four of his last five games, Haichimura has had performances of 31.0, 32.8, 38.9, and 50.7 FanDuel points. Tonight, the Washington Wizards will take on a New York Knicks whose weakest link on the defensive end might just be limiting forwards. Over their last 15 games, New York has allowed the 14th-most fantasy points to small forwards and 12th-most to power forwards. numberFire's algorithm projects the 23-year-old to be the third-best value at the position.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
RJ Barrett ($6,200) - Has amassed 31.3-plus fantasy points in 7 of his last 10. Washington is 26th against small forwards over their last 15 games.
Michael Porter Jr. ($6,500) - Has had 30-plus FanDuel points in 10 of his last 11, including 6 outings with at least 33.8. Orlando is 26th versus small forwards in 2020-21.
Joe Harris ($4,700) - Has 25.3, 26.1, and 34.2 fantasy points in his last three. Should see a bump in volume with Kyrie out.

Power Forward


Bam Adebayo ($8,000) - While the Suns might not be a good matchup for power forwards -- they're sixth-stingiest against the position this season -- that's not too concerning for Bam. In nine matchups against teams that are top-eight against the position, Adebayo has averaged 44.9 FanDuel points per game, including just one output (38.2) with fewer than 40. As an added bonus, the 23-year-old has eclipsed 40 fantasy points in 12 of his last 14 games. At tonight's salary, Adebayo would only need 40 to return 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary).

Other Studs to Consider:
Julius Randle ($10,000) - Has surpassed 50 fantasy points in 6 of his last 10 games, including five outputs of at least 56.5. On the season, Washington has ceded the seventh-most fantasy points to power forwards.
Tobias Harris ($8,800) - Has at least 42.8 fantasy points in five of his last six games without Embiid, including performances of 49.2, 52.3, 57.0, and 60.2. Golden State is 27th against the positon this campaign.

Value Play

Nicolas Claxton ($4,600) - In his last 10 contests, Claxton has bested 20 FanDuel points 8 times, including five efforts of 27.1 or more. Given that this matchup between the Blazers and Nets has an over/under that's 11 points higher than any other game, we'll want plenty of exposure to it -- Claxton is a cheap way to get there.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Jae Crowder ($3,900) - Has surpassed 20 fantasy points in six of his last eight games. Ceiling isn't high, but he's relatively safe if you need a filler.
Aaron Gordon ($6,300) - Has accumulated 33.5 and 47.2 FanDuel points in two of his last three and Denver is bottom-10 versus both forward positions throughout their last 15 contests.
Draymond Green ($7,000) - Low floor, but has collected at least 39.7 FanDuel points in 7 of his last 11. Not really matchup-dependent.


Nikola Jokic ($11,000) - If you want to avoid the chalkiness of Harden (I wouldn't advise it) while still rostering that same sky-high ceiling, Jokic is probably your best bet. Now, there is some buyer beware here -- the Magic are third-toughest on opposing centers this season, and the Serbian is averaging just 43.2 fantasy points in six matchups against top-seven positional defenses. That said, Jokic is averaging 7.34 more FanDuel points per game than anyone on this slate not named James Harden, so it'll be tough to find that upside elsewhere.

Other Stud to Consider:
Montrezl Harrell ($7,000) - Has at least 37.7 fantasy points in six of his last seven games. Should see increased usage with LeBron out.

Value Play

James Wiseman ($3,700) - The rookie had put up 20.4, 22.8, and 30.2 FanDuel points in three of the four games prior to his brief absence, and he only needs 18.5 to achieve our baseline value figure of 5.0 tonight. The Sixers have been a tough matchup for fives all season, but that should ease up a bit without Embiid locking down the paint.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Dwight Howard ($5,400) - Is averaging 30.9 fantasy points in his last eight games without Embiid in the lineup, including five outputs of 30.4-plus. Golden State is 26th against centers this season.
Mitchell Robinson ($4,900) - High-risk, high-reward play in his second game back. Faces a Washington interior that's allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing fives in 2020-21.