FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 3/7/20

Jonas Valanciunas draws a fantasy-friendly matchup with the Hawks, giving him plenty of appeal on Saturday. Who else should you roster?

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 break down today's main slate:

The Slate

AwayHomeOver/UnderHome SpreadAway TotalHome TotalAway PaceHome Pace
PhiladelphiaGolden State227+2.0112.5114.51912

There are missing totals and spreads in a couple of games on the board as we await significant news on the slate, such as Atlanta Hawks star guard Trae Young, as well as Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond.

Point Guard

Damian Lillard ($9,400): Dame is back, which is great news for the Portland Trail Blazers as they're chasing a playoff spot. With Lillard back on the floor after a prolonged injury, the concern is always minutes. Lillard has averaged 33 minutes per game since returning, which is right in line with a normal starter, even though Lillard's usually at a league-leading 36.7 minutes per game. Assuming he is not surprisingly ruled out for rest on the second night of a back-to-back, Lillard should return to his pre-injury production, too, when he averaged 30.7 points per game and 8.7 assists in February. At under $10,000, he is a solid option at a star salary.

Jamal Murray ($6,500): The Denver Nuggets' rotation is deep, but despite that, Jamal Murray is actually playing more minutes. He's averaging a Lillard-like 36.3 minutes per game in March, but the only problem is his production from February hasn't followed. Murray averaged 1.07 FanDuel points per minute in February, and he can get back to that level and smash value against a Cavs that has allowed the most FanDuel points to point guards in the NBA.

Other Notable Picks: De'Aaron Fox ($7,900), Collin Sexton ($6,700), Mike Conley ($5,400)

Shooting Guard

Kevin Huerter ($5,300): Trae Young is highly questionable with an illness, which is why the other member of the Hawks' starting backcourt launches into consideration. The cheaper Jeff Teague has been a low point-per-minute player this season (0.92), but Huerter has shown himself worthy as he did on Friday night, when he dropped 14 points and 11 dimes facilitating against the Washington Wizards. He will see another high-pace, exploitable opponent today in the Memphis Grizzlies, who have surrendered the third-most FanDuel points to opposing shooting guards.

Bruce Brown Jr. ($5,000): The tanking Detroit Pistons have a rotation totally in flux, and Bruce Brown returns to it Saturday. Conventional wisdom says Brown would return to the rotation in a major way, as he averaged 34.1 minutes per game in February, although that was before the emergence of Brandon Knight and the signing of Jordan McRae. If he were to claim the same role, Brown would be an affordable option as a guy seeing large minutes at a weaker position on the slate.

Other Notable Picks: Dillon Brooks ($4,800), Gary Harris ($4,500), Jordan McRae ($3,800)

Small Forward

Tobias Harris ($7,300): With Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid still out, Tobias Harris is the final max player left standing for the Philadelphia 76ers. Harris obviously sees a production increase without the two, and he leads the Sixers in usage without them (26.8%). That would explain his production the last four contests as he's averaging 43.1 FanDuel points per game in that span. He feels like a must in all formats at this price tag as the feature piece in the marquee game of the evening in which he should see all of his minutes as a 2.0-point road favorite.

Cam Reddish ($4,400): Reddish was the star of Friday night's battle with the Wizards, coming off the bench to drop 28 points in only 29 minutes. As a result, he will be popular tonight, but he appears to be fully healthy again after returning from a back injury. If Young is out, it's worth plugging in Reddish. The rookie sees a huge spike to a 23.2% usage rate with Young off the floor.

Other Notable Picks: Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,600), Will Barton ($5,100) De'Andre Hunter ($4,800)

Power Forward

John Collins ($8,400): The Hawks' leader in usage without Young is actually neither of Huerter or Reddish but talented big man Collins at 25.0%. He battled significant foul trouble to still drop in 26 points and 10 rebounds against Washington on Friday. Collins now gets to set his sights on a Memphis team without Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke at the four spot, and even with those two, Memphis is dead last FanDuel points allowed to opposing power forwards. On a slate without many five-figure stars, Collins should warrant significant attention.

Al Horford ($6,500): The strange trajectory of Horford's season continues, as he was benched in late February but now due to injury is back to his full load of work again, seeing 32.7 minutes per game in the month of March. He has made the most of them, filling the stat sheet to the tune of 35.9 FanDuel points per game in his last five contests -- never dipping below 30 FanDuel points in any of them. His consistency is welcome at a position with little of it on this slate, and he sees a Golden State Warriors team that has not been great against fours, allowing the fourth-most FanDuel points to the position.

Other Notable Picks: Kevin Love ($7,200), Nemanja Bjelica ($4,800), Paul Millsap ($4,700)


Jonas Valanciunas ($7,100): The injures to Jackson and Clarke have opened the door wide open for Jonas Valanciunas to see run in the Grizzlies' frontcourt. Problem is, since February 24th against the Clippers, when Clarke got hurt, Memphis has played just one game decided by fewer than 15 points. That makes it tough to project JV's role, but the point-per-minute monster is currently projected to play at least 28 minutes, according to our numbers, and against the team giving up the most FanDuel points to opposing centers in the league, his production could be monstrous.

Other Notable Picks: Rudy Gobert ($8,200)

Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.