FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 3/9/20
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.
With Antetokounmpo out, the Milwaukee Bucks will -- rightly -- be popular tonight. Eric Bledsoe ($6,200) has a 32.6% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.39 FanDuel points without Giannis. Those rank him second and first, respectively, among point guards on tonight's short slate.
The savings with Milwaukee will let us get to Trae Young ($9,600) against the Charlotte Hornets. Young comes at a slight discount and hasn't cracked 30 minutes or FanDuel points in two straight games. Young also hasn't shot even 40% from the field in any of his past five games. With the other matchups on the board, Young's ceiling is untouchable by other point guards on the slate.
Khris Middleton ($7,000) has averaged 39.8 points per 100 possessions in games without Giannis along with a 32.9% usage rate. Those numbers are 30.8 and 25.8% with Giannis. He and Bledsoe are shaping up as the best values on the board. Donte DiVincenzo ($4,200) is also viable. He has played at least 23.3 minutes in five straight games and played 28.8 without Giannis in their last game.
Kevin Huerter ($5,000) has played at least 32.8 minutes in five straight games with double-digit shot attempts in all of them. The FanDuel production has followed: 27.3, 46.8, 34.0, 36.7, and 28.0 FanDuel points. He'd have paid off his $5,000 salary in each of those with room for more. The only problem with his matchup against the Hornets is a reduced pace.
Small forward -- without Giannis -- is more deep and equal than it is gleaming with standout plays. That's not to say that there aren't good plays, but it's more that we have plenty of options.
Pascal Siakam ($7,900) should take precedent due to his ceiling -- despite his matchup with the Utah Jazz, who are actually just 18th in defensive rating since January 1st. Siakam's heavy, heavy minutes lead to a floor and ceiling that's worth paying up for at small forward.
Behind Siakam, my model ranks the small forwards as follows: Cam Reddish ($4,600), Joe Ingles ($4,200), Miles Bridges ($5,700), and Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,800), and Will Barton ($5,300). There isn't much differentiating them, so that feels like a cop out. However, because of that, I'd rather just take the savings with Reddish and Ingles in most cases. For what it's worth, Ingles and Barton are easily numberFire's favored values early in the day.
Core Plays: Pascal Siakam, Cam Reddish
Secondary Plays: Joe Ingles, Miles Bridges
Tournament Plays: Bojan Bogdanovic, Will Barton
Collins has put up at least 46.4 FanDuel points in six of his past eight games and now faces the Hornets, who are the most generous power forward defense on the slate in terms of FanDuel points per game allowed. Ibaka has played 29.9 and 35.8 minutes in two games since returning from a layoff due to a knee injury. Ibaka recorded double-digit rebounds and shots in each of those games while posting 36.1 and 38.5 FanDuel points. His ceiling relative to his price remains high despite his matchup.
Only five centers are projected for at least 16 minutes tonight (all of whom are projected for at least 22). That puts a premium on guys like Rudy Gobert ($8,400) and Nikola Jokic ($9,700), who project for 30-plus minutes each. That elevates their floor and ceiling relative to the rest of the position in terms of raw totals. There's a real opportunity cost in avoiding each, but we do have a solid value play.
Cody Zeller ($4,300) ranks as an elite value play in numberFire's projections against the leaky, uptempo Hawks. Zeller has played 19.3, 24.6, and 27.6 minutes in his three games since returning but has had only six shot attempts in each. The Hawks are very generous to centers, allowing more FanDuel points per 48 minutes than any other matchup offers tonight.