Daily Fantasy

NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: March 20

FantasyPros considers the best player values for DraftKings and FanDuel NBA DFS for Monday's slate.

Kelly Olynyk and the Utah Jazz host Sacramento for the last game on Monday’s slate. 

The Western Conference is in absolute chaos right now, and it’s hard to know who will make the postseason. We have nine teams battling for seven spots, and all of them are within 4.5 games of one another. I’ve never witnessed anything like that with only three weeks remaining, and it makes every DFS card critical from here on out.

Injury Report

As of 10:30 a.m. ET:

  • Lonzo Ball (knee) OUT
  • Tyrese Haliburton (knee) OUT
  • Bennedict Mathurin (ankle) Questionable
  • Chris Duarte (ankle) Questionable
  • LaMelo Ball (ankle) OUT
  • Mark Williams (thumb) OUT
  • Anthony Edwards (ankle) Questionable
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) OUT
  • Andrew Wiggins (personal) OUT
  • Luka Doncic (quad) Questionable
  • Steven Adams (knee) OUT
  • Brandon Clarke (Achilles) OUT
  • Ja Morant (suspension) OUT
  • Kevin Huerter (hamstring) Questionable
  • Trey Lyles (shoulder) Questionable
  • Collin Sexton (hamstring) OUT
  • Jordan Clarkson (hand) OUT

Core Plays

Joel Embiid (PF/C – PHI): $11,600 DraftKings, $11,800 FanDuel
Embiid has jumped Nikola Jokic as the MVP frontrunner, and it’s easy to understand why when digging into his numbers. The big man has scored at least 54 DraftKings points in 11 of his last 13 games while posting a 62-point average in that span. That’s not far off of his absurd 58-point season average, and it’s unlikely that Chicago will slow him down. Embiid has at least 59 fantasy points in three of his last meetings with the Bulls.

Myles Turner (C – IND): $7,300 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel
The Hornets are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing big men and are lapping the field in that statistic. That’s been on full display in Turner’s two matchups with Charlotte, scoring 46 and 50 DraftKings points against them. We also love that since Turner is expected to see a more significant role in this matchup.

Kelly Olynyk (PF/C – UTA): $5,700 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
This big man is not getting enough credit. He’s stepped into a much bigger role since the Jaden McDaniels and Mike Conley trades, scoring at least 27 DraftKings points in nine of his last 12 games. Olynyk is also averaging 31 DK points per game in that span and is stuffing the stat sheet on a nightly basis. The matchup with Sacramento is the best part of this, though, with the Kings ranked 28th in defensive efficiency ratings.

Cash Game Considerations

Stephen Curry (PG – GSW): $9,800 DraftKings, $10,000 FanDuel
Curry has been carrying the load for Golden State recently, and they need him to go off in this must-win road game. The sharpshooter has scored at least 36 DK points in all eight games since his return from an injury, averaging nearly 50 fantasy points per game in that span. Those totals should be easy to duplicate against a 29th-ranked Rockets defense, especially since they’re surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing point guards.

Domantas Sabonis (PF/C – SAC): $10,400 DraftKings, $10,700 FanDuel
Sabonis isn’t quite in the MVP discussion, but he’s not far behind. The big man has scored at least 41 fantasy points in 45 of his last 48 games while generating a 49-point average in that span. He’s been even better recently, averaging 65 DK points per game across his last four outings. It’s hard to imagine that he can duplicate that, but it should be easier since Utah allows the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers. In their two matchups this season, Sabonis has scored at least 51 DK points in both.

TJ McConnell (PG – IND): $6,100 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
Now that Tyrese Haliburton is out for the next week, McConnell should step into a 30-minute role as the primary playmaker off the bench. That’s led to McConnell scoring at least 30 fantasy points in five of his last six games. That’s what we’ve seen all year when he’s stepped into a more prominent role, averaging 38 DK points per game in the 14 games he’s played at least 24 minutes. Getting to face Charlotte is sensational, too, with the Hornets ranked 21st in defensive efficiency and 24th in points allowed.

GPP Targets

Dennis Smith Jr. (PG/SG – CHA): $5,000 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
It’s hard to understand why Smith remains so cheap on DraftKings. This guy has stepped into a huge role since LaMelo Ball got injured, averaging 29 DK points per game across 28 minutes a night over his last 13 outings. That’s all you can ask for from such an affordable player, but we’ve seen this guy average over 30 DK points per game when he plays at least 25 minutes earlier in the year. Indiana is an incredible matchup as well, ranked 26th in defensive efficiency.

Jordan Nwora (SF/PF – IND): $5,400 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
The Pacers stumbled into a gem with Nwora. The trade deadline acquisition has scored at least 31 DraftKings points in four of his last five games. That’s amazing from a sub-$6K player, and it’s clear he’s locked into a 30-minute role with his new team. We also don’t mind that Charlotte surrenders the most fantasy points to opposing forwards this year.

Xavier Tillman (PF/C – MEM): $5,400 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
The Grizzlies frontcourt has been eviscerated by injuries, but Tillman has done a wonderful job of filling in for Brandon Clarke and Steven Adams. With those two out, Tillman is averaging 29 DK points per game across his last 13 outings. That’s a tasty total from a $5,500 player, and we have to assume he’ll continue to play 30 minutes a night with how shorthanded this team is right now. He’s played Dallas twice over the last month, scoring 25 and 28 DK points in those friendly matchups.

Value Plays

Nick Richards (C – CHA): $5,100 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
Richards is a bit risky with how he played last week, but this guy has been filling in at center since Mark Williams got injured. Before his last two games, Richards scored at least 32 DK points in three straight outings. He posted that 37-point average across 30 minutes a night, making it hard to believe someone with that sort of upside is this cheap. Facing the Pacers makes it even more beneficial, with Indiana allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers.

Mitchell Robinson (C – NYK): $4,500 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
Robinson is averaging nearly 30 DK points per game this season and should be $6K on both sites. The big man has been playing nearly 30 minutes a night and can perform at an $8K level with that sort of opportunity. Getting to face the Timberwolves is terrific, too, with Minnesota ranked fourth in pace and 20th in total defense.

Advantageous Pricing


Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.