FanDuel NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Thursday (3/11)
Welcome back, NBA. After a brief All-Star Weekend hiatus and a light two-game schedule on Wednesday night, the Association loaded up Thursday with a whopping 11-game slate. Brace yourselves, there is a ton to go over, and we’re going to target games with high-scoring potential along with players that should see additional playing time in the absence of marquee players.
Be sure to follow FantasyProsNBA on Twitter for any last-minute absences that could affect your lineups. Let’s dive into the studs, fades, and value plays for Thursday night.
Most Value Per Dollar
Thursday’s NBA injury report offers a strong signal for which bench players may see an uptick in usage and opportunity tonight. Bam Adebayo will miss tonight’s contest for the Heat with a knee injury, and several players are out due to health and safety protocols. The list includes; Derrick Rose, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Ben Simmons, and MVP favorite Joel Embiid.
To maximize production, try to target matchups with the most scoring potential. For Thursday, this caters to the following games: Celtics/Nets (implied total 234.5), Timberwolves/Pelicans(implied total 239), 76ers-Bulls (implied total 229), Warriors/Clippers (implied total 230), and Suns/TrailBlazers (implied total 226.5). Make sure to check out BettingPros for the final game totals.
Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary.
Clint Capela (C – ATL): $8,500 at TOR
Toronto is missing three starters, leaving Chris Boucher and Aron Baynes to man the interior. Capela will be a nightmare for the Raptors on Thursday as they have let up 51.3 points in the paint over their last three contests. He’s amassed 50+ FD points in two of his previous three games, and he has the upside for another against an inferior Toronto frontcourt.
Victor Oladipo (SG – HOU): $7,700 at SAC
Oladipo is playing on the front end of this back-to-back set for Houston – so use him while you can. He’s also firmly on the trade block, so Houston has more incentive to give the injury-prone journeyman some significant run versus a team that ranks last in fantasy points allowed to the SG position at 55.1 FD points per game. He had one of his best games of the season coming into this game, dropping 33/7/5 with two steals and two blocks versus the Nets. Roll with Dipo, especially when he’s only competing with John Wall for shots.
Norman Powell (SF – TOR): $7,500 vs. ATL
With the Raptors supremely shorthanded, expect Powell to step up on offense. With Siakam, VanVleet, and Anunoby off the floor, Powell’s usage goes up by 6.1% while scoring 4.3 more FanDuel points. He’s gone over 38 FD points in his last three games, and with Toronto lacking firepower, he’s a good bet to eclipse that mark yet again.
Jerami Grant (PF – DET): $7,300 at CHA
Grant’s seen a slight dip in his performance over the last five games, averaging 34.5 FD points compared to 38.6 FD points throughout the season. However, the Hornets are the perfect formula for a course correction, allowing the most points to opposing SF’s this season with 54.5 FD points per contest. Despite being listed at PF in FanDuel, take advantage of the fact that he is actually a small forward that should ball out in this road matchup.
Richaun Holmes (C – SAC): $6,800 vs. HOU
No Christian Wood. No Hassan Whiteside. Holmes is averaging 31 minutes over his past five contests and provides a shade under 5x value over that span (4.9). The Rockets surrender the eighth-most points to the center position this season, which bodes well for Holmes’ outlook as a value play.
Lonzo Ball (PG- NOP): $6,600 vs. MIN
Ball’s salary fell by $300 since March 3rd. However, he’s been accumulating close to 5x value in his previous five games. The Pelicans project to score 123 points and Minnesota is easily the worst team in the league. They play next to no defense, giving him the upside to score between 36 and 49 FD points in a favorable matchup.
Shake Milton (PG – PHI): $4,200 at CHI
Some might assume Tobias Harris will be the greatest beneficiary of Embiid and Simmons being out of the lineup. But it’s Shake Milton. He has the highest usage rate with the All-Stars off the floor, seeing an uptick in usage by 7.1 percent. He’s been delivering close to 6x value in his last five games, making him a viable option against the Bulls.
Nicolas Claxton (C – BKN): $4,000 vs. BOS
The young center reached double-figures in his last two contests, scoring 16 and 17 points, respectively. More importantly, he’s averaging 1.36 FD points per minute with a 21.6 usage rate. That’s a bit absurd considering his teammates are James Harden and Kyrie Irving. At only $4K, he’s well worth the investment against a Boston frontcourt that’s been mediocre at best.
Dwight Howard (C – PHI): $3,800 at CHI
Howard’s nearly averaged a double-double in four starts this season, averaging 8.3 points with 9.0 rebounds. Joel Embiid’s absence allows Howard to see a healthy dose of minutes against a weak Bulls frontcourt. Howard has issues getting into foul trouble, but he should be an excellent cheap option if he can stay on the floor.
Precious Achiuwa (SF – MIA): $3,500 vs. ORL
Bam Adebayo will sit this one out, allowing for Achiuwa to get more run for the Heat. When Bam missed two games earlier this season, the rookie averaged 13.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Kelly Olynyk will be a popular play tonight, but Achiuwa has more upside to produce relative to his salary.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- James Harden (SG – BKN): $11,500 vs. BOS You can’t fade the beard in a primetime bout against one of the best teams in the East. Harden’s on a tear, averaging 1.52 FD points per minute, leading to 55.5 FD points per game in his last five contests. This game will be a shootout with a projected game total of 234.5. Fit him into your lineup.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (PF – MIL): $11,300 vs. NYK There is no one on the Knicks roster that can guard Giannis. He’s averaging a gaudy 57.6 FD points per game in his last five contests, and despite New York’s stingy defense, the former MVP went for 27 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists in their first meeting this season. Enough said.
- Karl-Anthony Towns (C – MIN): $9,500 at NOP Another per-minute dynamo, KAT, is averaging 1.41 FD points per minute in his last five games while averaging 46.1 FD points per contest. He’ll be running and gunning against a Pelicans team that plays minimal defense, and at under $10K, this is incredibly cheap for KAT’s 50+ point ceiling.
- Zach LaVine (SG – CHI): $9,400 vs. PHI Luckily for LaVine, he won’t face one of the best defenders in the NBA. He’s fresh off his first All-Star appearance and poised to continue his elite play. His 31% usage rate will come in handy against a Philly defense that is awful on the road. Don’t be surprised to see LaVine go off for a 30-piece against the East’s top team. He’s averaging 39.5 FD points in his last five games, but his ceiling is 50+ in this one.
- De’Aaron Fox (PG – SAC): $8,500 vs. HOU Fox is scorching hot as of late, averaging 49.5 FD points over his past five games, good for 5.9x value over that span. The Rockets rank in the bottom-10 in FD points allowed to opposing PG’s and Fox is elite. He’s averaging a cool 26.2 points, 10.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds, with 1.2 steals in his past five contests, and with two bad teams playing against one another, expect Fox to go off.
Notable Players to Fade
- Luka Doncic (PG – DAL): $10,400 at OKC Doncic is playing on the second leg of a back-to-back set, and the last outing between these two teams had an underwhelming game total of 165 points. Luka put up a triple-double in Wednesday’s win over the Spurs, but he’s only provided 4.4x value in his last five games, and with Dallas surging, Doncic may play fewer minutes in this contest.
- Devin Booker (SG – PHX): $7,700 at POR He’s coming into tonight’s contest probable after a knee injury kept him sidelined for the All-Star game. However, Booker went off in their last meeting for 34 points in a blowout victory. Can D-Book replicate this outing? I dont think so. Booker’s only provided 4x value over his last five while failing to score over 20 points in each of his previous two games. He’s not 100%, and it may take him a few games to get back to mid-season form.
- Damian Lillard (PG – POR): $10,000 vs. PHX It’s not going to be Dame Time when Phoenix comes to town for the second time in less than a month. The Suns did a great job picking up Lillard at half-court last game, forcing the ball out of his hands and making his teammates step up. Well, they didn’t, and Portland ended up getting blown out. While Thursday’s tilt may not produce the same outcome, it’ll be hard for Lillard to live up to his $10K salary against a top-5 defense.
Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. Our Lineup Optimizer allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players. We’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.