FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 3/31/21

Is Ja Morant a worthwhile target on tonight's 10-game slate? What players should we look to roster?

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.
BKN HOU 232.5 -13.5 123.0 123.1 1 112.5 15
SA SAC 230.0 -3.0 116.50 107.4 20 124.1 30
TOR OKC 223.5 -8.0 115.75 111.8 13 111.0 13
MIL LAL 222.0 -9.0 115.50 120.8 5 101.0 1
UTAH MEM 226.5 -4.5 115.50 122.5 3 108.0 7
POR DET 222.0 -7.0 114.50 120.3 6 112.0 14
SAC SA 230.0 3.0 113.50 115.6 10 110.5 12
DAL BOS 224.5 -1.0 112.75 115.9 9 113.3 21
PHX CHI 217.5 -7.5 112.50 116.9 8 112.7 17
BOS DAL 224.5 1.0 111.75 114.5 12 113.6 22
MEM UTAH 226.5 4.5 111.0 107.9 19 104.2 3
NY MIN 218.5 -3.0 110.75 104.9 23 116.6 27
MIA IND 218.0 -2.0 110.0 104.1 25 110.4 10
HOU BKN 232.5 13.5 109.50 97.5 29 115.9 26
IND MIA 218.0 2.0 108.0 110.8 15 107.3 6
MIN NY 218.5 3.0 107.75 101.4 26 105.6 4
OKC TOR 223.5 8.0 107.75 98.6 28 113.8 23
DET POR 222.0 7.0 107.50 104.5 24 123.0 29
LAL MIL 222.0 9.0 106.50 108.9 17 109.7 9
CHI PHX 217.5 7.5 105.0 108.8 18 105.9 5

Point Guard


Ja Morant ($6,800) - As I outlined in today's studs column, Morant is one of the more enticing high-ceiling plays tonight. His salary for this one will be his lowest since last year's bubble, and despite that, he might not see too high a roster percentage. Ja has only managed 16.2 and 28 fantasy points in his last two outings, and if you combine that with the fact that he's facing Utah Jazz, who sport one of the league's best defenses and rank fourth-best against point guards (per numberFire's DvP tool), and that could result in the masses shying away. While that aforementioned 16.2-fantasy-point performance came against Utah, so did a 52.3-FanDuel-point output the day before. Donovan Mitchell is inactive tonight, which has the Jazz favored by just 4.5 in this contest -- that helps Morant's outlook.

Other Studs to Consider:
Luka Doncic ($10,500) - After producing 60+ in three straight, Doncic has failed to top 46.4 fantasy points in his last three. Could be in for an explosion in the game with the slate's tightest spread.
Kyrie Irving ($9,600) - Posted 51.9 fantasy points in his return and how now put up more than 50 in five of his last seven. Matchup is great and Brooklyn has the slate's highest implied total, but the 13.5-point spread increases the blowout risk.
De'Aaron Fox ($10,000) - Has had 49.2+ FanDuel points in 8 of his last 12 outings, including 55.8 and 63.9 in two of his last three. San Antonio is 27th against point guards this season.

Value Play

Jordan Clarkson ($5,000) - With Donovan Mitchell out tonight, Clarkson's role should get a huge bump. On the season, the 28-year-old has a team-high 31.6% usage rate while averaging 1.11 FanDuel points per minute with Mitchell off the court, per RotoGrinders. Clarkson is numberFire's third-best projected value on the entire slate.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Theo Maledon ($5,100) - Usage should be sky-high with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Darius Bazley, and Al Horford out tonight. Toronto is seventh-worst versus one-guards over their last 15 games.
Mike Conley ($6,000) - Should also benefit from Mitchell's absence. Had 33.6 and 47.1 FanDuel points in the two games Mitchell missed earlier this season.
Malcolm Brogdon ($6,600) - One of our model's top point-per-dollar plays at point. Has topped 33 FanDuel points in seven of his last nine.

Shooting Guard


Fred VanVleet ($7,400) - FVV is affordable and gets a titillating matchup. Tonight, the Toronto Raptors will be squaring off against the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that's allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to shooting guards over their last 15 games, per FantasyPros -- and they'll be doing so with the slate's third-highest implied total (115.75). VanVleet is coming off a game in which he produced just 26.5 fantasy points, but in the six games prior, he had totaled at least 40 FanDuel points four times. As an added bonus, the 27-year-old has become somewhat of a bounce-back artist -- in his 13 games following a sub-34-FanDuel-point output, he has averaged 44.1 fantasy points, eclipsing 40 in all but three of those efforts. numberFire's algorithm has VanVleet putting up 41.4, which makes him the second-best point-per-dollar play among the 34 players with a salary of $7,300 or higher. Given the news that Kyle Lowry won't play tonight, FVV's outlook becomes even brighter.

Other Studs to Consider:
James Harden ($11,500) - Has eclipsed 60 FanDuel points in 10 of his last 17, including three straight. Like Irving, matchup is ideal but carries plenty of blowout risk.
DeMar DeRozan ($7,700) - Sacramento ranks 27th against two-guards this season. DeRozan has eclipsed 40 FanDuel points in 11 of his last 18 efforts.
Zach LaVine ($7,200) - Is questionable and has a brutal matchup but is numberFire's fourth-best projected value at the position.

Value Play

Ty Jerome ($4,100) - As I mentioned above, the Thunder will be without SGA, Dort, Bazley, and Horford for tonight's matchup. Jerome managed 27.1 FanDuel points on Monday with each of those players inactive, and he has recorded at least 22.6 in 8 of his 14 outings this season. Over their last 15 games, no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing shooting guards than the Raptors.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Tyrese Haliburton ($5,600) - Has dropped 35.5, 37.2, and 39.8 FanDuel points in three of his last five games. In their last 15 contests, San Antonio has been 11th-most-generous to the position. Our model's top-projected point-per-dollar play at the position.
Svi Mykhailiuk ($3,700) - Has trumped 20 fantasy points in three of his last five games and gets a tasty matchup tonight. numberFire's third-best projected value.
Gary Trent ($4,700) - Took him all of three games to get acclimated with the Raptors, as he totaled 32.3 fantasy points in 37.9 minutes on Monday. Volume should rise with Lowry out. OKC is fifth-worst against the position over their last 15 contests.

Small Forward


Jimmy Butler ($9,000) - While our algorithm has at least three players projected for more than 40 fantasy points at every other position, Butler is the only one predicted to do so at small forward. The veteran has cooled down since a seven-game stretch in which he racked up at least 51.4 FanDuel points in each contest, though he has managed 41.5, 44, and 47.5 in three of his last four. numberFire's algorithm projects Butler to garner 47.1 fantasy points tonight, which is 8.2 more than any other player at the position.

Other Studs to Consider:
RJ Barrett ($7,300) - Had racked up at least 37.9 fantasy points in five of his eight games prior to Monday's dud. Minnesota is third-worst against small forwards throughout their last 15 games.
Jaylen Brown ($7,700) - Has scuffled in his last three but had accumulated 43.7 or more in the five games prior.

Value Play

Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,500) - The hype has died down considerably since his red-hot start in a Houston Rockets uniform, but our algorithm likes him tonight. numberFire's projects MPJ for 31.1 FanDuel points tonight, and I'd expect that projection to jump if John Wall were to be declared out (he's currently questionable). Remember, this is a player who -- not too long ago -- had a five-game stretch where he dropped 42 or more fantasy points four times.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
OG Anunoby ($6,600) - Has at least 31.5 FanDuel points in six straight and should see a bump in volume with Lowry out and Norman Powell having been traded.
Patrick Williams ($3,600) - In addition to all the players they dealt at the deadline, Chicago could be down LaVine, Garrett Temple, and Coby White. Williams has exceeded 20 fantasy points in 10 of his last 17 games. He's numberFire's top-projected value at the position.
Justin Holiday ($3,800) - Had posted 19+ fantasy points (what he needs for our baseline value figure of 5.0) in 31 of his 45 games this season.

Power Forward


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) - There's potential for the two-time MVP and FanDuel's second-leading scorer to be a bit of a leverage play tonight. Antetokoumpo hasn't topped 44.7 in any of his last three, and he's maxed out at 55.1 in his last five -- that could lead to a bit of a depressed rostership. Prior to this uncharacteristic "slump," the Greek Freak had exceeded 56 fantasy points in 17 of his previous 23 efforts, including more than 60 on 11 different occasions. numberFire's algo projects Giannis for 58.2 FanDuel points against the Los Angeles Lakers, making him the top-projected scorer on tonight's slate.

Other Studs to Consider:
Kristaps Porzingis ($8,500) - Has pegged the opposition for 47.3, 53.8, and 58.1 FanDuel points in his last three. Boston is 21st against power forwards over their last 15 contests.
Pascal Siakam ($8,300) - Has 41.5+ FanDuel point in four of his last seven. OKC is 25th against power forwards in 2020-21.
Domantas Sabonis ($9,200) - Has considerable upside but Miami is tough on the position. Was held to 35.7 and 36 fantasy points in two prior matchups this campaign.

Value Play

Isaiah Roby ($5,000) - Roby has excelled this season without Al Horford on the court, but now SGA, Bazley, and Dort will also be missing from the rotation. The youngster has topped 30 fantasy points in four of his last seven outings, and he should be able to do so again versus a Raptors interior that ranks 23rd against power forwards this season.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Maxi Kleber ($4,100) - Has at least 20.9 fantasy points in 7 of his last 14, and the Celtics have struggled to defend power forwards recently.
Nicolas Claxton ($4,600) - Hasn't surpassed 18.5 in any of his last three but is numberFire's top-projected value at the position.
Jerami Grant ($6,600) - Has performances of 30.2, 32.9, 38.4, and 44.3 in four of his last seven. Portland is 19th versus power forwards this season.



Christian Wood ($7,700) - Not only is Wood our model's top-projected scorer at center tonight, but he's also numberFire's second-best point-per-dollar play at the position. Wood has produced 39.3, 41.2, and 47.6 FanDuel points in three of his last five outings, and our algorithm has him putting up 46.2 tonight. A matchup with the Nets certainly doesn't hurt -- Brooklyn is 25th against the center position in 2020-21.

Other Studs to Consider:
Rudy Gobert ($8,200) - Averages an impressive 1.44 FanDuel points per minute with Mitchell off the court this season, including a 70.5-fantasy-point outing. Memphis has ceded the fifth-most fantasy points to the five-position over their last 15 games.
Nikola Vucevic ($8,800) - Pegged the Suns for 54.8 fantasy points a week ago as a member of the Orlando Magic. Now faces them with a supporting cast that's banged-up.
Bam Adebayo ($9,400) - Has amassed 54.5, 55, and 63.3 FanDuel points in three of his last five games. In their last 15 games, Indiana is 24th against the center position.

Value Play

Andre Drummond ($5,200) - Drummond was averaging 1.44 FanDuel points per minute before the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to shut him down to look for a trade. At that rate, he would only need to play 18.1 minutes to return five-times value at tonight's salary. numberFire's algorithm has the big man producing 32.3 FanDuel points in 23.1 minutes of action in his Lakers debut, making him the top-projected point-per-dollar play on the entire slate.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Robert Williams ($6,300) - Has accrued 39.8, 43.1, 45.2, 47.8, and 51.3 in 5 of his last 10 games, and he's topped 30 in three of the other five. Dallas is 17th against centers this season.
Moses Brown ($6,700) - Has garnered 44.4 and 46.6 fantasy points in two of his last three, and Toronto is a below-average defense against the position this campaign.
Chris Boucher ($4,900) - Ceiling always keeps him relevant, especially in tournaments. Over their last 15 games, OKC ranks 23rd against centers.