FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Wednesday (3/31)
The basketball world will turn its attention back to the NBA tonight, as March Madness won’t resume until the weekend. Fortunately, we have a stacked slate of NBA action on tap, and I’m looking forward to what should be some great games.
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 will get underway at 7 p.m. EST, and we have an interesting assortment of projected totals. Only two matchups have ones set above 230: HOU/BKN (230.5) and SAC/SAS (230.5). Of the rest, five are in the 220-230 range, while three sit barely below 220: MIA/IND (218.5), CHI/PHO (218.5), and NYK/MIN (219). As such, I won’t put a ton of stock in betting totals tonight, but I am targeting a Spur.
Injury-wise, the Thunder remain riddled with injuries, and both Luguentz Dort and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will stay on the sidelines. Elsewhere, the Celtics still don’t have Tristan Thompson, and the Jazz will be without Donovan Mitchell. Christian Wood, Zach LaVine, and Jaylen Brown are all questionable, too.
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.
Julius Randle (NYK) $9,300
I don’t usually feature big-name players this high on big slates, but Randle finds himself here due to his surprisingly low salary. He’ll cost you $400 more at DraftKings (and Giannis will cost you $800 less), so he is my go-to stud at power forward here. Randle has flashed slate-winning upside this season, but a string of recent underwhelming performances has moved his salary down into value range. Before the slump, he had been averaging 48.4 FanDuel points per game (FDPPG) after the All-Star Break — that’s good for 5.2x value against this salary. It helps that the Timberwolves play at the NBA’s third-fastest pace, too.
Robert Williams (BOS) $6,300
Time Lord will remain in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future, and just like Randle, he is $400 cheaper at FanDuel than at DraftKings. He has averaged 40.3 FDPPG (6.4x value) over his last three outings, and I suspect that he’ll keep that momentum rolling against the Mavericks. Dallas allows the 10th-most FDPPG to centers.
Derrick White (SAS) $5,700
White posted a respectable 25.1 FD points in San Antonio’s first game against the Kings, and he did so in 31 minutes. However, the last game turned into a bit of a blowout, which limited White’s usage. I suspect that this game should be closer (as do sportsbooks, as the Spurs are 2.5-point favorites for the matchup), and that should help White hit value — especially if this game turns out to be as high scoring as the totals suggest.
Andre Drummond (LAL) $5,200
This is risky, but our projections model likes Drummond tonight. It projects him for 30.2 points (5.8x value) for his Lakers debut, which seems high. However, Drummond averaged 24 points, 14.7 rebounds, and three assists per game against the Bucks this season across three matchups. The veteran center has a high ceiling but absolutely no floor.
Saben Lee (DET) $5,000
With Delon Wright gone, Lee has taken over a spot in Detroit’s starting five. Since then, he has averaged 30.3 FDPPG (6.1x value) despite not having played more than a half-hour. The rookie should see his usage tick up slowly with time, but even his current role is enough to hit value against this price.
Jordan Clarkson (UTA) $5,000
You knew it was coming. Donovan Mitchell won’t suit up tonight, and that will thrust Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson into larger roles. I prefer Clarkson tonight because we just saw him dismantle the Grizzlies — he went off for 42.2 FD points (8.4x value) on 28 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Expect him to be chalky.
No Mitchell. No problem. I want to welcome Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson center stage ????
???? Both will get 30+ minutes
???? MEM 6th in pace
Clarkson w/o Mitchell in 2021:
24.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 0.5 SPG, APG, BPG
Conley w/o Mitchell
19.5 PPG, 7.5 APG, 3.0 RPG
30+ from each today
— Kyle Williams ✪ (@betonthegame) March 31, 2021
Isaiah Roby (OKC) $5,000
The Thunder are still banged-up, and Roby has seen his minutes tick up as a result. He has averaged 27.5 FDPPG (5.5x value) over his last five outings, including three games with 30-plus FD points and another with 40-plus. Also, the Raptors give up the third-most FDPPG to power forwards.
Gary Trent Jr. (TOR) $4,700
Trent had been underperforming for the Raptors, but then he posted 32.3 FD points (6.9x value) against the Pistons. He may not reach that ceiling again tonight, but he should see enough usage against Oklahoma City’s vulnerable defense to hit value.
Bojan Bogdanovic (UTA) $4,500
The Grizzlies allow the most FDPPG to small forwards, and Bogey’s low-end salary makes him worth a risk tonight, especially with Mitchell out. He wasn’t great in the second game of Utah’s two-game set against the Grizzlies, but he went for 21.8 FD points (4.8x value) in the first one. In the two games that Mitchell missed this year, Bogey averaged 19 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists.
Svi Mykhailiuk (OKC) $3,700
Svi started for the Thunder on Monday, and he played his most minutes yet for his new club (27) in the matchup. He turned that increased workload into 20.1 FD points (5.4x value). He doesn’t have a high ceiling, but Svi’s low-end salary gives you the flexibility necessary to dominate tonight’s slate.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Luka Doncic (DAL) $10,500: Doncic will cost you $200 more at DraftKings tonight, and the moderate savings for the NBA’s leader in usage rate (among starters — thanks, Anzejs Pasecniks) makes him worth considering. He’ll play the Celtics and their ninth-worst defense tonight.
- Julius Randle (NYK) $9,300: I already wrote about why I love Randle above, but I’ll emphasize that this should be a much faster-paced battle than a typical Knicks game, and that could help Randle stuff the stat sheet more than usual.
- Nikola Vucevic (CHI) $8,800: Vooch has looked solid since his arrival in Chicago. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him record his first double-double as a Bull against the Suns, as they are on the wrong end of a back-to-back — and they fare worse defensively against centers than any other position.
- Fred VanVleet (TOR) $7,400: FVV has a very affordable salary tonight, and he should pay it off against Oklahoma City’s middling defense. They allow a league-average share of points to shooting guards.
Notable Players to Fade
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) $11,300: As I mentioned earlier, Giannis is much less expensive at DraftKings tonight, and for good reason. The Lakers play rock-solid defense, as they allow the fourth-fewest points per game to power forwards, and they’ll get Andre Drummond tonight, too.
- Domantas Sabonis (IND) $9,200: Sabonis didn’t do much in his last game against the Heat, as he posted just 17 points and 11 rebounds through 35 minutes. That won’t cut it for a price this high, and you should spend the extra $100 to get Randle instead.
- Kyle Kuzma (LAL) $7,200: Kuzma is not worth this price with Drummond around and the Lakers up against the Bucks. He has hit value against this price just twice since the All-Star Break, and you shouldn’t chase the points by featuring him tonight.
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