NBA

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

Without LeBron James, which Lakers will fill the void and produce against the Pelicans?

With six games to choose from on Tuesday's slate -- which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST -- let's look at the top options across all five positions for NBA DFS.

Be sure to check out our projections, which are updated throughout the day as news breaks, and our other DFS tools such as advanced stats and a matchup heat map.

Here are some of the top plays on today's DraftKings slate. As always, good luck.

Point Guard

James Harden ($11,000) - Harden is listed as questionable to play on Tuesday, but don't let that scare you off. If he's in the lineup, he's money against Portland. Brooklyn is already without both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, which will mean heightened usage for Harden. So far this year, the Bearded One has averaged a massive 1.70 DraftKings points per minute thanks to a 34.5% usage rate -- up from 18.9%, according to NBA Wowy. Even at his high salary, anything above 32 minutes should bring back value.

Dennis Schroder ($6,600) - Tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers are set to play their first game without the injured LeBron James. That means that they'll be without both LeBron and Anthony Davis, leaving others to step up and lead the offense. Schroder is a top candidate, possessing a 27.9% usage that trails only Montrezl Harrell when the team's dynamic duo is sidelined. A matchup against the league's 28th-ranked defense -- the New Orleans Pelicans -- should boost his floor and ceiling under these advantageous circumstances.

Shooting Guard

Jordan Poole ($5,600) - The Lakers stars aren't the only two out of the lineup tonight. Stephen Curry is going to miss a third straight game as a product of his tailbone injury, and that should again mean more opportunities for Poole. Over the last two games he's accounted for 1.05 DK points per minute on a 21.4% usage rate, all while averaging 25.5 points and 38 DK points per game. He's managed to get up 36 shots in his 76 minutes, and there's no reason for him to slow down as the Warriors play host to the 76ers. Poole's scoring upside is worth a long look with little value at the backcourt slots.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($4,400) - Not only is Lonzo Ball questionable due to an injury, but because of his involvement in trade talks we should see him held out for this evening's matchup with the Lakers. That should translate to another start, as well as sizable minutes, for the second-year guard. In the last game without Ball he was able to convert 31 minutes into an efficient 20 points and 32.25 DK points. In the case that the Lakers lack the firepower to keep up, he might pop off as part of a potential blowout.

Small Forward

RJ Barrett ($6,600) - Believe it or not, but the Knicks find themselves in one of -- if not the most -- the most fantasy-friendly matchups, facing the Washington Wizards on their home floor. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the over/under is set at 225.5 points, and a 2.5-point line in their favor, gives New York a 113.75 implied total. That's more than nine points higher than their season average and much closer to the 120 the Wizards allow on a nightly basis. Barrett should especially thrive. Washington allows the second-most DK points per game to shooting guards, according to FantasyPros' data.

Talen Horton-Tucker ($5,500) - When LeBron went down on Sunday, Horton-Tucker stepped up and garnered 28 minutes for the shorthanded Lakers. On 16 shot attempts, he managed to go for 17 points and a total of 31.5 DK points. On Tuesday, it would be surprising if he doesn't start, and in his only other start this season he logged 30 minutes in route to just 8 points and 20.25 DK points. Expect him to shoot better than 3-for-12, though, and play more of a factor as a playmaker against the Pels.

Power Forward

Julius Randle ($9,900) - The positional matchup doesn't make Randle as much of a no-brainer play as his teammate, but the up-tempo matchup bodes well for him here. The Wizards play at a pace more than eight possessions quicker than the Knicks, who rate in the very bottom of the league in that category. In their only prior meeting that allowed Randle to produce a monster 24-point, 18-board double-double and finish with 55 DK points. Given his even hotter recent form, you can feel comfortably rostering Randle in all formats.

Kyle Kuzma ($6,800) - Let's just say you should be stacking Lakers sans Bron and AD. Kuzma has been on a tear of late without Davis, averaging 16.4 points and 32.7 fantasy points in the last seven contests. With LeBron out of the picture, too, it won't be surprising if he gets up 15 to 20 shots on a consistent basis. He too should benefit from a 222 over/under on the road in New Orleans.

Center

Montrezl Harrell ($6,800) - The more the merrier, right? While it's true that James and Davis open things up, Marc Gasol's absence should do the most for Harrell. He recently showed out with some monster games while Gasol was on the COVID list, and now we could see the veteran big miss time as he gets back into playing condition. When all three players have sat down Harrell has averaged a cool 1.31 DK points with a 28% usage rate and 16.2% rebounding rate. If the Lakers keep it close he should eat with a full complement of minutes.

Deandre Ayton ($5,900) - Harrell is the far superior play (assuming Gasol sits), but if you want to differentiate yourself or simply want to roster two centers you can't go wrong with Ayton. His salary is far too low for his season-long average and recent performances. Averaging a double-double and 33.3 DK points on the year, the big man is fresh off of a 41-DK-point game and has at least 30 fantasy points in 6 of the last 10. It's as simple as that.


Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.