FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 3/19/21

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 7:30 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.
PHX MIN 233.0 -11.0 122.0 117.9 8 116.1 27
BOS SAC 233.0 -7.0 120.0 114.4 11 125.2 30
UTAH TOR 230.5 -5.0 117.75 121.8 2 112.8 17
BKN ORL 224.0 -10.5 117.25 125.1 1 113.4 22
DEN CHI 225.5 -7.0 116.25 121.7 3 112.3 16
DAL POR 227.0 -3.5 115.25 115.0 9 121.2 29
MEM GS 220.5 -8.5 114.50 107.5 20 106.7 5
SAC BOS 233.0 7.0 113.0 114.0 12 113.6 23
TOR UTAH 230.5 5.0 112.75 112.2 13 106.3 4
POR DAL 227.0 3.5 111.75 119.4 6 113.4 21
MIN PHX 233.0 11.0 111.0 102.2 26 107.1 7
MIA IND 215.5 -4.0 109.75 103.2 25 110.2 11
CHI DEN 225.5 7.0 109.25 110.6 17 111.9 15
HOU DET 214.0 -2.0 108.0 96.2 30 112.9 19
SA CLE 211.0 -4.5 107.75 107.8 19 114.9 24
ORL BKN 224.0 10.5 106.75 98.3 28 115.4 25
GS MEM 220.5 8.5 106.0 106.0 22 107.9 8
DET HOU 214.0 2.0 106.0 105.3 23 111.7 13
IND MIA 215.5 4.0 105.75 109.7 18 105.4 3
CLE SA 211.0 4.5 103.25 97.4 29 109.0 10

Point Guard


Luka Doncic ($10,400) - As I outlined in my studs to target column, I won't be passing on Luka tonight. As someone who possesses one of the highest ceilings on the slate and usually has a salary in the $11,000 territory, rostering him when he's this affordable is a must. Doncic has dropped 60.0 and 73.7 in his last two games, and his matchup tonight should allow him to keep this heater going. The 22-year-old will go up against a Portland Trail Blazers team that's allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season, per numberFire's DvP tool.

Other Studs to Consider (in order of preference):
Kyrie Irving ($9,100) - Orlando ranks 29th against point guards and 28th versus shooting guards this season. Kyrie has at least 47.7 in 6 of his last 12.
De'Aaron Fox ($9,200) - Has posted 43.2-plus in eight of his last nine, including 47.3 or more in six of those games. Boston is a middling matchup for point guards.
Damian Lillard ($10,300) - Has topped 50 FanDuel points in four of his last six. Had 52.1 against Dallas in February.

Value Play

Jordan Poole ($4,600) - The Golden State Warriors will likely be down Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre, James Wiseman, and Eric Paschall -- that's...a lot of bodies. In his last five games, Poole has put up at least 22.5 FanDuel points four times, including 33.2 and 37.1 in the two games he saw more than 24 minutes. numberFire's algorithm projects him for 25.1 minutes of action, and even that might be conservative.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Delon Wright ($5,600) - Has at least 29.8 FanDuel points in 10 of his last 11 healthy games, including six outputs greater than 35. Houston is fifth-worst against point guards over their last 15 games.
Chris Paul ($6,900) - Remains under-salaried. Has 36.7 or more fantasy points in 17 of his last 25. Minnesota has surrendered the most fantasy points to point guards this season.
Nico Mannion ($3,500) - numberFire's second-best projected value on the entire slate. Has topped 17 fantasy points in three of his last five and should see a big uptick in minutes.
Derrick White ($4,800) - Low-floor/high-upside play. Has 34.3, 44.8, and 45.4 FanDuel points in three of his last six and 18.2 or fewer in the other three. Cleveland is 24th against the point in their last 15 outings.

Shooting Guard


Devin Booker ($7,500) - Booker brings a rock-solid floor and ceiling combination for a player at this salary. In his last 17 games, the All-Star has recorded fewer than 32 fantasy points just once. During that stretch, he's racked up 43.8 FanDuel points seven times, including outputs of 46.8 and 57.5 against these very same Timberwolves. The Phoenix Suns have the highest implied total on tonight's slate, and the 22-year-old is an excellent way to get exposure to those points.

Other Studs to Consider:
James Harden ($11,300) - Has put up 56.3, 62.0, 66.0, 75.3, and 78.5 FanDuel points in five of his last six games. Orlando is bottom-three against both guard positions in 2020-21.
Donovan Mitchell ($8,000) - Has topped 50 in three of his last five games. Toronto has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to two-guards over their most recent 15 contests.

Value Play

Andrew Wiggins ($5,200) - With Curry, Oubre, and Wiseman likely inactive, Wiggins is in a prime position to be a core play on tonight's 10-gamer. With Curry and Oubre off the court this season, Wiggins leads Golden State with a usage rate of 29.2%. Over their last 15 games, the Memphis Grizzlies have given up the 13th-most fantasy points to the opposition's shooting guards. numberFire's algorithm projects the 26-year-old to be the best point-per-dollar play at the position and fourth-best on the entire slate.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,200) - Should see more minutes with Dorian Finney-Smith out again. Has topped 21 FanDuel points (what he needs for 5X) 24 times this season. Portland is second-most-generous to shooting guards over their last 15 games.
Josh Jackson ($4,800) - Has more than 30 FanDuel points in five of his last nine games. Rockets are 27th against the position this campaign.
Marcus Smart ($5,000) - Has trumped 27 fantasy points in two of his last four and faces a Sacramento Kings team that's 29th versus shooting guards.

Small Forward


Jaylen Brown ($7,500) - After not exceeding 36 FanDuel points in seven straight, Brown has amassed 50.5 and 50.6 in his last two games, respectively. It only gets better from here, and tonight the Celtics will have the privilege of going up against the Kings. This season, Sac-Town's 118.5 defensive rating is 2.5 points worse than any other team in the league, according to Oh, and they also rank 24th against small forwards. numberFire's algo projects Brown to be the second-highest scoring player at the position.

Other Stud to Consider:
Jimmy Butler ($10,600) - Had averaged 58.5 fantasy points in the seven games prior to Wednesday's dud. Indiana has been quite stingy to small forwards lately (fourth-best).

Value Play

Kent Bazemore ($3,500) - Yup -- another player from the Golden State Warriors. Bazemore comes in at the minimum salary and is our model's top-projected value at the a mile. Memphis ranks 28th against small forwards this season, and Bazemore is primed to feast. In the five games this season that the 31-year-old has garnered at least 23 minutes of action, he has averaged 28.9 FanDuel points. numberFire's has him going for 24.7 in 27.2 minutes tonight.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Saddiq Bey ($4,300) - Fresh off a 51.4-fantasy-point performance on Wednesday. Has now eclipsed 24 in 9 of his last 15. Rockets are average against the position.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($7,000) - Has racked up 42.0, 44.3, 47.8, and 48.6 FanDuel points in four of his five games with Houston. Is an elite play if John Wall doesn't suit up again.
Mikal Bridges ($4,900) - Dropped 40 on Minnesota last night. Wolves are now third-worst against the position over their last 15 contests.

Power Forward


Bam Adebayo ($8,000) - Power forward is loaded tonight, so there's a chance that Bam goes overlooked. The big man will be going up against a Pacers team that's eighth-worst against power forwards and sixth worst versus centers in the span of their last 15 games. Adebayo would need 40 FanDuel points to achieve 5X value, and that's a number he reached or exceeded in nine straight games before his injury.

Other Studs to Consider:
Jayson Tatum ($8,900) - Will likely be the chalk at the position. Matchup against Sacramento is as good as it gets. Has topped 46 in 9 of his last 13.
Christian Wood ($8,100) - Dusted off the rust with 34.8 fantasy points in 26.3 minutes on Wednesday. Upside should be through the roof against a Detroit team that's dead last against power forwards this season.
Domantas Sabonis ($9,300) - Has 46.0, 48.8, 58.7, and 62.6 FanDuel points in four of his last five games. Has been relatively matchup-proof lately.

Value Play

Daniel Theis ($4,200) - Theis dudded on Wednesday night with just 10.1 FanDuel points but still played 25.6 minutes. Tonight's matchup against the Kings is as titillating as it gets -- they rank 26th against power forwards over thier last 15 games. Prior to Wednesday, Theis had gone past in four of seven games.

Other Mid-Range and Value Plays:
Draymond Green ($6,600) - Has had 39.8 or more fantasy points in six of his last nine, including five outings with 44.4-plus. Should see a bump in volume with Curry and Oubre likely out.
Aaron Gordon ($5,400) - Put up 33.5 last night in a much tougher matchup. Our model's third-best value play at the position.
Maxi Kleber ($3,800) - Should see huge minutes with Finney-Smith, Willie Cauley-Stein, and James Johnson out. Has 21.9-plus in four of his last seven.



Nikola Jokic ($11,000) - Over their last 15 games, no team in the Association has ceded more fantasy points to opposing centers than the Chicago Bulls. Facing Jokic won't help that. Fantasy's second-leading scorer faced Chicago to start the month of March and dropped a ridiculous 77.3 FanDuel points. That's the kind of upside we're talking about here.

Other Studs to Consider:
Nikola Vucevic ($9,700) - Brooklyn is 25th against centers this season. Vuce has at least 46.6 fantasy points in 22 games this season.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,600) - Has more than 50 fantasy points in three of his last four games, including 64.0 last night against these same Suns.

Value Play

Robert Williams ($5,700) - Williams has been on fire lately, trumping 30 FanDuel points in 9 of his last 14 games. With Tristan Thompson out on Wednesday night, Williams produced season-highs in minutes (26.6) and fantasy points (51.3). Thompson is out again tonight. The Kings have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to fives in 2020-21.

Other Mid-Range and Value Options:
Mason Plumlee ($5,700) - Has amassed at least 31.8 in 13 of his last 19 games. Houston has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to centers this season.
Kevon Looney ($3,800) - Totaled 22.2 fantasy points on Wednesday with Wiseman out. The rookie is out again tonight.