FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 3/21/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Thursday 3/21/24

Since NBA DFS is easier to predict than baseball or football, it would likely get plenty of votes as the best sport to play on FanDuel. Basketball players usually stick to the same minutes and produce at roughly the same rate. Sounds easy, right? Trust me -- it's not!

As a result, NBA daily fantasy is highly reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to ensure that you're up to date with key injuries. Our projections -- which are powered by numberFire -- update throughout the day to reflect current news. You can also turn to numberFire for player news updates as well as a matchup heat map and lineup optimizer to help give you an edge.

On top of all that, here at FanDuel Research, we'll come at you each day with this NBA DFS primer, which breaks down some of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's dive into today's main slate on FanDuel.

Betting lines via the NBA odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. Projections and betting odds may change after this article is published.


Thursday's main slate on FanDuel features six games. For a full breakdown, see numberFire's matchup heat map.

Top matchups:

Other games:


Top Plays

De'Aaron Fox ($9,600) -- De'Aaron Fox only managed 35.3 FanDuel points (FPs) in last night's 34-point drubbing of Toronto. There's risk of another blow tonight, but if the Wiz can keep things competitive, Fox should thrive. Since the All-Star break, Washington leads the league in pace but is dead-last in defensive rating. They've given up the third-most assists over that span, so Fox should have plenty of chances to rack up FanDuel points. His points + assists prop is set at 32.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Keon Ellis ($4,600) -- With Kevin Huerter banged up, Keon Ellis has played at least 27 minutes in five straight games. He's gone over 25 FPs three times in that span, averaging 25.4 FPPG. Sacramento has the slate's second-highest implied total (123.75) in their matchup with Washington, so it's easy to consider Ellis a value. Per FantasyPros, the Wizards have given up the most FPPG to SGs this season. numberFire projects Ellis for 25.7 FPs, making him the top point-per-dollar value on the board (5.58 FPs per $1,000).

Others to Consider

Luka Doncic ($12,800) -- It's hard not to consider Luka Doncic, especially against a Jazz defense that's given up the third-most FPPG to PGs this season. Still, Luka's incredible play comes with a monster salary, and he hasn't been at his best the last three games. The matchup is obviously great, but it's fair to question Doncic's upside given the lopsided spread (Mavericks -14).

Ayo Dosunmu ($7,100) -- Ayo Dosunmu has caught fire with Coby White out the last two games, notching 53.1 and 40.2 FPs. Granted, those came against Washington and Portland -- two bottom-10 defenses -- but tonight's matchup with Houston isn't bad. The Rockets have given up the third-most FPPG to PGs over their last 15 games, so Ayo is a quality mid-range option if White misses again.


Top Plays

Kyle Kuzma ($8,600) -- Kyle Kuzma is active tonight after missing two games. He'd been quiet before the absence, but it's hard to ignore how well he'd been playing prior to that. In his first 10 games out of the All-Star break, Kuzma notched at least 40 FPs nine times. Tonight's date with Sacramento presents a good opportunity to get back on track. Though the Kings are ninth in defensive rating the last 15 games, they've surrendered the third-most FPPG to PFs over that span. Kuzma's points + rebounds prop is set at 29.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Michael Porter ($6,900) -- Michael Porter Jr. has been on fire since the All-Star break, averaging 20.4 actual and 34.6 FanDuel points per game. On paper, matching up with the Knicks isn't great for fantasy, but they've quietly allowed the sixth-most FPPG to SFs over the last 15 games. With 40-FP upside on a nightly basis, Porter is my preferred way to get a share of Denver's offense in a so-so matchup.

Others to Consider

Josh Hart ($7,700) -- A matchup with Denver isn't ideal, but you won't find many mid-range salaries with as much upside as Josh Hart. Over his last 11 games, Hart has hit 60 FPs twice, played 40 minutes nine times, and averaged 42.7 FPPG. Fresh off a triple-double, Josh Hart can rack up FanDuel points in a variety of ways -- just bear in mind Denver has given up the fewest FPPG to SFs on the year. Still, that upside makes him an intriguing play for larger tournaments.

Harrison Barnes ($4,800) -- Looking for value? Target role players facing the Wizards. Tonight, Harrison Barnes gets that luxury. Barnes' production can be hit-or-miss, but he's gone for 28 FPs in three of his last five games, averaging a tick under 30 minutes per game over that span. Washington has given up the most FPPG to SFs and the second-most to PFs on the year, and they're sitting at 30th in defensive rating since the All-Star break. numberFire projects Barnes for 24.4 FPs, making him the second-best point-per-dollar value among SFs (5.08 FPs per $1,000).


Top Plays

Domantas Sabonis ($11,000) -- I'm more than happy to load up on Kings tonight, so we have to consider Domantas Sabonis. The triple-double machine posted 50.4 FPs in 27 minutes last night, so I'm not too worried about a potential blowout in Washington. However, if the Wiz can keep it close, Sabonis could go nuclear. Over their last 15 games, the Wizards are 29th in rebound rate and last in points in the paint allowed and have surrendered the fifth-most FPPG to Cs. Sabonis to record a triple double is +190 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Taylor Hendricks ($5,200) -- Jazz rookie Taylor Hendricks continues to offer a stable floor and has averaged 26.9 FPPG since returning from injury. While Utah is a 13.5-point underdog, points should be plentiful given the 237.5 total. That should benefit the Jazz bigs considering Dallas has given up the fourth-most FPPG to centers over the last 15 games. They're just 19th in rebound rate in that span, offering Taylor Hendricks sizable upset at a low salary.

Others to Consider

Bobby Portis ($7,000) -- Stay tuned for an update on Giannis Antetokounmpo's status, but Bobby Portis becomes uber-appealing if the Greak Freak sits. Portis has gone for 54 and 43 FPs with Giannis out the last two games, though he's been playing well even with Antetokounmpo over the second half. The Nets are a pretty neutral matchup for bigs, but they have allowed the eighth-most points in the paint over the last 15 games.

Dereck Lively ($5,000) -- Both Dereck Lively and Daniel Gafford ($6,900) are viable tonight, though I prefer the lower-salary rookie. Still, a matchup with Utah should allow both bigs to thrive and take advantage of Dallas' slate-high 125.75 implied total. Over their last 15 games, the Jazz have allowed the 10th-most FPPG to PFs and the most to Cs. Having just given up 66.3 FPs to Chet Holmgren, there's plenty of production to go around for either Dallas big man.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.