NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 3/8/20

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 break down today's main slate:

The Slate

Away Home Over/Under Home
Spread
Away
Total
Home
Total
Away
Pace
Home
Pace
Miami Washington 231.5 +5.0 118.25 113.25 26 4
Dallas Indiana TBD -7.0 TBD TBD 18 25
Orlando Houston 233.5 -9.0 112.25 121.25 27 5
San Antonio Cleveland TBD +4.0 TBD TBD 15 21
Detroit New York 210.5 -5.5 102.5 108 28 23
Toronto Sacramento 228.5 +5.5 117 111.5 14 24


A couple of totals are absent on FanDuel Sportsbook as we await crucial news on the slate, including the status of Indiana Pacers starters Victor Oladipo and T.J. Warren, as well as Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond.

Point Guard

Kyle Lowry ($7,600): With Fred VanVleet still very questionable for Sunday's game with his nagging shoulder injury, Lowry commands the Toronto Raptors' back court, which is evident with his 24.4% usage rate without VanVleet on the floor. He also continues to see huge minutes, averaging 36.0 per game in March. That leaves with him a high floor against a Sacramento Kings squad that has given up the fifth-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards.

Aaron Holiday ($4,000): With Malcolm Brogdon already ruled out, and starters Victor Oladipo and TJ Warren also questionable, the Pacers will be looking for a spark plug in their attack, and that has been Aaron Holiday when he has been given the opportunity this year. He had 9 points and 4 dimes on Friday in 33 minutes, but that was with Oladipo playing. At only $4,000, a starting point guard playing 30-plus minutes is always worth consideration -- but especially so against a high-pace Dallas Mavericks team.

Other Notable Picks: Collin Sexton ($7,000), Elfrid Payton ($6,200), Markelle Fultz ($5,000)

Shooting Guard

Bradley Beal ($10,100): Until further notice, it will be hard to pass on the consistent usage and offensive production of Bradley Beal for a terrible Washington Wizards team. Specifically, Beal is fifth in the NBA in usage (34.4%) and is averaging 24.5 shots per game in March. "Only $10,100" is an interesting phrase, but Beal is averaging 55.52 FanDuel points in his last five games, including surpassing 60 FanDuel points twice. He is worth the salary again Sunday.

Jimmy Butler ($8,000): While Beal will have to post numbers against a tougher Miami Heat defense, his counterpart Jimmy Butler definitely will not. The Wizards are dead last in points allowed and second-worst in field goal percentage allowed. That is good news for the Heat's leading ball handler (25.6% usage), coming off a 55.6 FanDuel point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. The Heat's rotation can be volatile, but Butler's role is in no question in a game expected to stay closer than conventional wisdom might say, as Miami is only a five-point road favorite.

Other Notable Picks: DeMar DeRozan ($7,800), Terrence Ross ($5,200), Duncan Robinson ($4,600)

Small Forward

Harrison Barnes ($4,800): Harrison Barnes never falls under the category of a sexy pick, but he definitely continues to see huge minutes for Sacramento, playing over 30 in every game since February 12th despite several blowouts and rotation changes. Barnes should be a gigantic component of the front court against the Raptors, who allow the seventh most FanDuel points to opposing small forwards. It is tough to pass on the reliability and floor of Barnes, still under $5,000, in this spot.

Cedi Osman ($4,100): Reliability also describes the Turkish forward Osman, who with Kevin Porter Jr. on the shelf, has ballooned to a role that has allowed him to average 40.0 minutes his last two games. No one would confuse Cedi for an integral offensive piece, which is why he is only averaging 26.1 FanDuel points in that spread. Even matching that against the San Antonio Spurs, however, would get the job done, and he is projected to hit 24.9 fantasy points by numberFire currently before Porter Jr. has been ruled out.

Other Notable Picks: Pascal Siakam ($8,100), Kent Bazemore ($4,300), Justin Holiday ($3,700)

Power Forward

Domantas Sabonis ($8,300): With Malcolm Brogdon on the shelf, someone might expect a guard to vault into the lead usage spot for the Pacers, but it is actually their All Star big man Sabonis. Sabonis has a 24.8% usage rate without Brogdon and Oladipo on the floor, and that could increase even more than the historical trend with TJ Warren and Jeremy Lamb both set to miss as well. Sabonis sees a substantial pace upgrade against the Dallas Mavericks, and the versatile stat-stuffer is a great option with a high floor.

Aaron Gordon ($7,100): This is a confusing price point for Gordon. Although he did miss a game against the Portland Trail Blazers due to injury on Monday, he is still averaging 43.18 FanDuel points over his last six games. He seems locked in for a huge role in a high-pace contest as well, as the small ball lineup of the Houston Rockets definitely does not threaten the production of the stretch four like it does Orlando center Nikola Vucevic. Gordon would approach must-play territory on a slate without so many quality options at the position.

Other Notable Picks: Bam Adebayo ($8,200), Christian Wood ($7,900), Kevin Love ($7,800; if he plays)

Center

Tristan Thompson ($5,100): The Cavs are in a full tank mode, which makes their rotation a nightly adventure, but Tristan Thompson is the marquee play at center if two conditions exist. The first is the continued absence of Andre Drummond, who is questionable after missing three games with a calf injury. Second would be the resting of forward Kevin Love, who has failed to play on the second leg of a back-to-back on four occasions this year. Even with Kevin Love, Thompson provided great value seeing 37 minutes against the Denver Nuggets Saturday, where he pulled down 13 boards and scored 9 points, and his role would only increase in the event Love missed.

Other Notable Picks: Myles Turner ($6,200), P.J. Tucker ($4,200)


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.