FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 3/6/20

If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.

With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.

Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.

We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's take a look at who you should target on today's main slate.

The Slate

Away Home Over/Under Home
Atlanta Washington 247.5 -3.0 122.25 125.25 6 5
Orlando Minnesota 233.5 +2.5 117.25 115.75 27 3
Miami New Orleans 233.0 -1.5 115.75 117.25 26 4
Portland Phoenix 230.5 +3.5 117 113.5 11 9
Milwaukee L.A. Lakers 228.5 -1.0 113.75 114.75 1 13
Memphis Dallas 226.5 -6.5 110 116.5 7 18
San Antonio Brooklyn 223.5 -3.5 110 113.5 16 10
Utah Boston 220.5 -2.0 109.25 111.25 21 17
Oklahoma City New York 219.0 +7.0 113 106 20 23
Indiana Chicago 210.5 +3.0 106.75 103.75 25 15

Point Guard

According to both pricing and our projections, there's a clear top three at the point tonight with Luka Doncic ($10,700), Trae Young ($9,900) and Damian Lillard ($9,000), though Doncic and Young are both questionable with illnesses as of early Friday afternoon. All three have fantasy-friendly matchups and could smash. Of the trio, our models like Doncic best in terms of raw points (56.3) and point-per-dollar value (5.26 per $1,000) in a pace-up clash with the Memphis Grizzlies.

We have Young scoring just 4.89 FanDuel points per $1,000, worst of the three, but the ceiling is undeniable in a dream matchup with the Washington Wizards. The score was 152-133 the last time these two met, and the total is at a gaudy 147.5 -- 14.0 points clear of any other game. The sample is small (nine games), but Young has been lights out this season when getting at least three days off before a game, which is his situation tonight, posting averages of 33.0 points and 10.0 assists while attempting 11.0 three-pointers per game in the split.

Elsewhere, with Malcolm Brogdon (hip) doubtful and both T.J. Warren and Victor Oladipo questionable, T.J. McConnell ($3,800) looks like one of the night's best value plays. We have him pegged for 32.1 FanDuel points in 33.0 minutes, good for 8.46x value, by far the best clip on the slate, and that's with our algorithm accounting for Warren and Vic playing.

Our models also really like Markelle Fultz ($5,000). On the road at the Minnesota Timberwolves (3rd in pace), the Orlando Magic (27th) are in a massive pace-up spot, and this game has a 233.5-point total. The 'Wolves allow the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing floor generals. We project Fultz for 29.1 FanDuel points. At 5.83 points per $1,000, he's the best value at the position among players priced above $4,500 as he should benefit from the absence of Evan Fournier.

Shooting Guard

When I was talking about the Wizards-Hawks game earlier, your mind should've jumped to Bradley Beal ($10,100), who rocked Atlanta for 52.3 FanDuel points in said 152-133 shootout. Both teams are in the top seven in pace, and the Hawks are surrendering the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to shooting guards. While the stars from this game should be chalky, you might just have to swallow that chalk with Beal. We project Beal for 50.6 FanDuel points, 6.6 more than any other shooting guard.

The position is full of solid plays tonight, however, so if you want to fade Beal at his lofty salary, there are plenty of other appealing options. One of those is Jimmy Butler ($7,900), who our models forecast for 43.7 FanDuel points, good for 5.53 per $1,000. Butler and the Miami Heat (26th in pace) in a big pace-up game against the New Orleans Pelicans (4th). The Pels give up the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to two-guards.

Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward will be on the sideline again for the Boston Celtics, so we can turn back to Marcus Smart ($6,100). Sans those two, Smart struggled a bit at high ownership on Wednesday night, which -- when coupled with a tough matchup versus the Utah Jazz -- could scare away the masses, but we have Smart totaling 34.1 FanDuel points (5.6x) in this one. Prior to his 26.4-FanDuel-point game last time out, Smart had been scorching hot, posting outputs of 47.2, 51.5, and 46.1 FanDuel points in his previous three games.

Small Forward

LeBron James ($10,200) and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100) are in their own stratosphere tonight at small forward. We have both faring well -- 10-plus more fantasy points than anyone else at the position -- but it's Giannis who really stands out, per our models. We project the Greek Freak for a whopping 60.0 FanDuel points (5.41x), and despite his expensive price tag, he's actually our third-best point-per-dollar play at small forward. In a game with a 228.5-point total -- one that should be close (1.0-point spread) -- fade Giannis at your own risk.

Cam Reddish ($4,300), who is probable after missing Atlanta's last contest, is a cheap way to get exposure to the fantasy heaven that is the Hawks-Wiz matchup. Reddish's FanDuel game log over his past five -- 12.6, 38.3, 27.1, 9.2 and 38.7 fantasy points -- tells you exactly how volatile the rookie can be. He could be on the high end of his ceiling in this spot, though, and we project him for 22.5 FanDuel points (5.22x).

Power Forward

Power forward is pretty great tonight, with six players -- Anthony Davis ($10,400), Jayson Tatum ($9,500), Kristaps Porzingis ($9,400), Domantas Sabonis ($8,300), Bam Adebayo ($8,100), and John Collins ($8,400) -- projected for at least 40.0 FanDuel points, according to our algorithm. You can make a strong case for any of them. I love me some Tatum, though. With Brown and Hayward off the floor this season, Tatum sports a monster 36.4% usage rate and is scoring 1.36 FanDuel points per minute. The matchup against Utah is no fun, but Boston's 111.25 implied total isn't too shabby. Our models have Tatum at 48.6 FanDuel points, a touch over 5x value (5.11).

It's looking like Brogdon will sit, and if one (or both) of Warren or Oladipo are out, too, Sabonis could feast on the Chicago Bulls, who give up the second-most FanDuel points per game to power forwards and the third-most to centers. With Brogdon off the court, Sabonis carries a 24.8% usage rate and puts up 1.27 FD points per minute. With Warren and Brogdon off, those numbers rise to 26.7% and 1.41, respectively. How the Indiana Pacers' injury situation shakes out will impact Sabonis' outlook, but even if Warren and Oladipo play, he can pay off this price tag.

Maxi Kleber ($4,900) is the best point-per-dollar four-man, per our models. Dallas will be without Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness), and the Mavs might also be sans Dorian Finney-Smith, who exited early last game. With those two off the court this year, Kleber averages 0.94 FanDuel points per minute. Sped up against Memphis, Kleber is projected for 27.6 FanDuel points -- 5.64 per $1,000 -- and our models have both Hardaway and Finney-Smith playing, so that projection should rise based on the recent THJ news. Kleber has gone for 37.4 and 37.5 FanDuel points across his last two outings, seeing 33 and 39 minutes while amassing eight total blocks in that span.


We're going to have to pay down somewhere, and center might be the place to do it.

It's Aron Baynes ($4,900) SZN. With Deandre Ayton (ankle) doubtful, we project Baynes to log 30.6 minutes and post 31.2 FanDuel points, which comes out to a sparkling 6.37 per $1,000. When Ayton is off the floor this year, Baynes has recorded a 20.9% usage rate and scored 0.98 FD points per minute. He's the third-best point-per-dollar play among all positions, per our models.

Wendell Carter Jr. ($4,100) is another enticing value center. Our algorithm is all over the rookie, projecting Carter for 25.8 FanDuel points (6.29x) in a date with the Pacers. On the flip side of this game, Myles Turner ($6,000) could pop, too, depending on whether or not Oladipo and Warren play. As we said earlier, it's a great matchup for Indiana's bigs.

If you want to spend up at the five, Nikola Vucevic ($8,400) is in a money spot. Minnesota gives up the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to centers, and it's a significant pace-up matchup for the Magic. We have Vucevic projected for 42.9 FanDuel points (5.23x).