FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Wednesday (3/17)
Last night gave us some thrilling finishes — did you see Portland’s crazy comeback against the Pelicans? — and tonight’s slate will have a hard time living up to the hype.
Each week, I’ll be here to profile some strong value plays, studs, and duds for Wednesday’s FanDuel slate. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, and if you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter at @is_sirois. All matchup data is pulled from our defense versus position tool.
Most Value Per Dollar
Tonight’s 10-game slate features quite a few matchups that should be high-scoring. The BettingPros consensus odds point to three games that should have totals above 230: SAC/WAS (247), MIL/PHI (234), and BKN/IND (233.5). Expect me to feature a handful of players from those teams, although I’m an especially big fan of Wizards and Kings here. Washington plays at the NBA’s fastest pace, and Sacramento has the league’s third-highest over percentage.
Of the other games, three have totals above 225: CHA/DEN (239.5), GSW/HOU (228), and LAC/DAL (226.5). The Rockets continue to offer a bunch of value due to the chaotic nature of their roster, although the potential return of Christian Wood could complicate things. I’m mostly avoiding the two games with totals below 220: BOS/CLE (214), TOR/DET (215.5), and MIA/MEM (219).
On the injury front, Wood could return for the Rockets, but they’ll definitely be without Eric Gordon, and they almost certainly won’t have John Wall or Victor Oladipo. Tristan Thompson has been sent back to the COVID list for Boston, and Marvin Bagley’s fractured hand will keep him out of Sacramento’s games for the foreseeable future.
Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary, ranked in order of how much they’ll cost you.
Bradley Beal (WAS) $9,500
Beal is $900 cheaper than Russell Westbrook tonight, which vaults him onto my list of players with the most value per dollar. Sure, his $9,500 salary cap hit remains high. That’s fine. He hit 5x value against it the last time he took the court, and Sacramento’s awful defense paves the way for him to go off again. They give up the third-most FanDuel points per game (FDPPG) to shooting guards.
Richaun Holmes (SAC) $6,900
If you follow the man Zak Hanshew on Twitter, you would’ve fired up Holmes on Monday for his monster 61-FD point showing. I don’t usually like chasing points, but the Wizards give up the most FDPPG to centers, and the loss of Bagley frees up Holmes to get more usage. He could have another high-ceiling game again tonight.
Kevin Porter Jr. (HOU) $6,300
Porter Jr. is another player that Hanshew has been recommending (and he’s been doing so KPJ was literally still in the G-League), and with Houston’s depleted roster, he should be a valuable asset again tonight. He did play 41 minutes in the front half of Houston’s back-to-back, but with Oladipo likely out, he makes a safe target anyway. Christian Wood’s potential return could mess with the value of other guys like Jae’Sean Tate, so that’s why I’ve left the other Rockets off this list. If Wood continues to sit, the team’s other reserves-turned-starters should have value.
Jakob Poeltl (SAS) $5,600
Poeltl double-doubled in his last time out, and he’ll have an even easier opponent tonight in the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls give up the sixth-most FDPPG to centers, and they just allowed Moses Brown to go off for 20 points and 16 rebounds last night. Look for Poeltl to capitalize on the poor matchup and hit 5x value tonight.
Rui Hachimura (WAS) $5,000
Hachimura spends his minutes between two positions: power forward, where the Kings just lost Bagley, and small forward, to which the Kings give up the seventh-most FDPPG. He should get a lot of run in tonight’s high-scoring battle, and he has hit 5x value against this price in both of his most recent outings.
Nemanja Bjelica (SAC) $4,500
With Bagley out, Bjelica is in line for lots of extra run. He averaged 12 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists across Bagley’s two earlier absences. While I’m a little concerned that he didn’t see more usage when Bagley got hurt against the Hornets, I suspect that he’ll get more run tonight. The Wizards field a mid-pack defense against the position, but that may not matter if this turns into a barnburner.
Daniel Theis (BOS) $4,400
Theis’ salary has crashed due to his decreasing role, but with Tristan Thompson sidelined, he should see plenty of run for now. He even double-doubled in 26 minutes against the Jazz last night. He has an easier task ahead of him tonight, as the Cavaliers surrender the seventh-most FDPPG to power forwards and rank around the league average against centers.
Caris LeVert (IND) $4,400
Uh… why is LeVert’s salary still so low? The man has played 25-plus minutes in both of his games for the Pacers, turning them into 20.4 (4.6x value) and 30.4 FD points (6.9x value), respectively. He’ll play his old team, the Nets, tonight, and they give up the sixth-most points per game to shooting guards. LeVert should be chalk tonight, but he is good chalk.
Tomas Satoransky (CHI) $3,900
Satoransky has made back-to-back starts for the Bulls, and he is averaging 33.3 FDPPG (8.5x value) through those appearances. That’s a phenomenal value at this salary! The Bulls are expected to leave him in their starting lineup over Coby White, so keep riding him at this incredibly low-end price point.
James Wiseman (GSW) $3,800
I’ll end with one somewhat risky play. If Wood suits up, don’t use Wiseman. However, if he doesn’t, Wiseman is a fantastic, low-risk asset at this price. The Rockets give up the ninth-most FDPPG to centers, and Danilo Gallinari just throttled them for 29 points and six rebounds from the five last night.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $11,400: The 76ers remain without Joel Embiid, and that should leave the path to the basket open for Giannis to exploit. With the total for this game set at such a high number (234), the reigning MVP is well-worth his superstar salary.
- Russell Westbrook (WAS) $10,400: I like both of Washington’s star guards tonight, especially with reserves Ish Smith and Raul Neto dealing with injuries. That leaves more minutes for Westbrook and Beal, and that’s fantastic news against the Kings. They give up the fifth-most FDPPG to point guards and the third-most to shooting guards.
- Bradley Beal (WAS) $9,500: See Westbrook, Russell.
- Ben Simmons (PHI) $7,900: With Embiid sidelined, Simmons and Harris have had to pick up the slack for the 76ers. However, their salaries sit below $8,000 for tonight’s game, perhaps due to their recent low-scoring effort against the Knicks last night. We can safely disregard that down game because of tonight’s high total. Rest shouldn’t be an issue for Simmons, either, as he played less than 35 minutes.
- Tobias Harris (PHI) $7,800: See Simmons, Ben.
Notable Players to Fade
- Kyle Lowry (TOR) $8,300: It’s been hard to fade Lowry with most of Toronto’s starters out due to COVID-19, but they’re starting to work their way back. Pascal Siakam has been upgraded to questionable for tonight’s matchup, and the days of massive production from Lowry may be nearing their end. He isn’t worth this salary in what should be a low-scoring battle with the Pistons.
- Ja Morant (MEM) $8,000: The Grizzlies are in for a tough test tonight against Jimmy Butler and the Heat. Miami allows the third-fewest FDPPG to point guards, too, so I would leave Morant out of your FanDuel lineup tonight.
- Jonas Valanciunas (MEM) $7,700: The Heat have also been good against opposing centers. They give up the fifth-fewest FDPPG to the position.
- Collin Sexton (CLE) $7,700: The Celtics and Cavaliers are projected for the slate’s fewest points, and you can find much better values than Sexton at shooting guard. Boston also ranks seventh-best against opposing shooting guards and eighth-best against point guards.
- Jarrett Allen (CLE) $7,500: Again, you can get better value than Cleveland’s starters elsewhere. Avoid the game with the lowest-posted total and target someone like Richaun Holmes instead.
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