3 NBA FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Thursday 3/16/23

One of the keys to finding success in daily fantasy basketball is uncovering potential value plays.

If you're looking to roster a stud player or two, you need to consider squeezing one of these lower-salaried options into your lineup.

Let's take a look at some players who can help fill in the gaps in your lineup on FanDuel tonight, using numberFire's daily fantasy basketball projections as a guide.

Josh Okogie, SF/SG, Phoenix Suns

FanDuel Salary: $5,100

There isn't much in the way of value on tonight's five-game slate, so we have to take savings where we can get it whenever it's tied to a semblance of a secure role or upside. The combination of both is pretty rare tonight, so it's generally one or the other for value plays on Thursday.

For Josh Okogie, his path to fantasy success is tied to his role. In terms of projected minutes per $1,000 in salary, Okogie ranks second among all options with a salary at or below $6,000 tonight.

Okogie has started 12 straight games for the Phoenix Suns, who are hosting the Orlando Magic tonight in a game with a slate-low 228.5-point total. While it's a slate low, it's not a true outlier. Plus, the Suns are favored by 7.5, giving them an implied team total of 118.0, tying them for fifth on the slate.

The Magic are just 20th in defensive rating, and in eight starts against teams outside the top 10 in defensive rating, Okogie has averaged 31.3 minutes, 13.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.8 combined steals and blocks for a viable 22.6 FanDuel points per game.

Harrison Barnes, SF/PF, Sacramento Kings

FanDuel Salary: $5,300

The only player with a better projected minutes-per-dollar value than Okogie is Harrison Barnes, whose Sacramento Kings have the same implied team total (118.0) as Okogie's Suns. The main difference is that they are in a game with the slate's highest total (238.0) and a tighter spread (2.0 points). That's more fantasy-friendly overall.

Barnes is projected for 34.0 minutes and 27.6 FanDuel points in this matchup against a team that is just league-average in defensive rating since the All-Star break.

Barnes has been sensitive to defensive opponents all season (i.e. really struggling against top-10 defenses), so this should be the right spot for him to convert those minutes into fantasy points for our squads.

Like Okogie, the path to a good game from Barnes is minutes-related safety.

Gary Trent Jr., SG, Toronto Raptors

FanDuel Salary: $4,700

Here's where we take a different approach. The case for Gary Trent Jr. is less tied to safety and more to the upside.

That's not to say that he won't play minutes (he's projected for 25.1 and has averaged 25.7 over his past five games) but rather to call attention to the up-and-down nature of his output.

In his past five games, Trent Jr. has (starting most recently) scored 20.6, 8.4, 13.9, 14.2, and 44.0 FanDuel points. That 44.0-fantasy-point game came from 26 real points on 18 shot attempts across 35.4 minutes.

The shot volume potential for Trent Jr. helps separate him from others in the $4,000 range. He's projected for 11.3 field goal attempts, most of anyone with a salary below $5,500.