FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 2/28/21

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 on FanDuel:

The Slate

Golden StateLA Lakers224.5-4.0110.25114.25224
New YorkDetroit211.0-0.5105.25105.753026

Stick around a laptop if you plan on making lineups for Sunday, as there is enough injury news that the slate could turn on its head. Trae Young is the highest-salary question mark of the slate, as he is truly questionable with his adductor strain. Jaylen Brown is questionable for the Boston Celtics due to a knee injury, and it is notable that the Celtics are facing the lowly Washington Wizards, which may increase the chances Brown rests. Tyler Herro is also questionable with his hip injury for the Miami Heat.

Plenty of big names are already on the shelf, as well. Pascal Siakam will miss Sunday's game due to COVID-19 protocols, which opens up a large amount of usage for the Toronto Raptors. Victor Oladipo will rest the first half of the the Houston Rockets' back-to-back on Sunday, as well. In a surprisingly targetable game for fantasy, the Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings will both be without a key contributor, as Charlotte will be missing Devonte' Graham (kneecap), and Sacramento will be without Tyrese Haliburton (calf)

Point Guard

Ja Morant ($7,100): Normally point guard has a star with a five-digit salary who is the lead story, but this salary on a player this explosive and with this upside makes Morant a top priority. Morant has already surpassed 40 FanDuel points four times in February, and that is amidst recovering from an ankle injury and the Memphis Grizzlies' troubles with COVID-19 protocols. His usage (29.7%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.19) the last two weeks are still elite for this salary tier, and Morant sees the Rockets on Sunday, a team that has given up the fourth-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards.

Dennis Schroder ($5,800): The struggling Los Angeles Lakers could not get their starting point guard back fast enough. Schroder returned after missing four games due to COVID-19 protocols, and he posted a respectable 29.6 FanDuel points against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Schroeder is the clear second option behind LeBron James with Anthony Davis still on the shelf, holding a solid 28.9% usage and 0.93 FanDuel points per minute. The Lakers see a huge pace increase on Sunday against the Golden State Warriors, which only helps his cause.

Other Notable Plays: John Wall ($8,800), Coby White ($6,000), Goran Dragic ($5,500)

Shooting Guard

Terry Rozier ($6,800): February has been an up-and-down month for Rozier. Ultimately he leads all Charlotte starters in the past two weeks with a 24.0% usage rate, and Rozier is shooting 53.3% (and 45.7% from three-point land) for the month as a whole. The results have not been consistent, but that overall package is worth a look. With Devonte Graham out, LaMelo Ball will start again, but Rozier has not suffered next to ball, actually seeing very tiny bumps in usage and FanDuel points per minute in the split. Rozier is affordable access to what should be a great fantasy environment.

Buddy Hield ($5,600): With Tyrese Haliburton out, Hield is facing much less of a risk of losing his minutes, although they have mostly remained solid in this wonky Kings rotation (33.6 minutes per game in his last five contests). Amidst trade rumors, Hield might be pressing, as the largest reason for his recent productivity decline has been his shooting. Hield is shooting just 33.3% from the field in February, but in the last month, Hield shot 41.7% from three-point range (and 40.1% overall), which would indicate his upside is still there. Perhaps this matchup with Charlotte -- who allows the fourth-most points per game to opposing shooting guards -- gives him the opening to get going.

Other Notable Plays: Devin Booker ($7,700), Andrew Wiggins ($6,500), Kevin Huerter ($5,300)

Small Forward

Jimmy Butler ($9,500): Don't look now, but Miami is alive and well, and their recent surge has been on the back of their star player. Butler leads all Heat starters with a 27.6% usage, and he is averaging what would be a career-high 1.42 FanDuel points per minute the past two weeks. The Heat have also faced three top-10 teams in terms of defensive rating in that span, and the Hawks are far from that level with the eighth-worst defensive rating in the NBA. After scoring more than 55 FanDuel points in back-to-back games, Butler got a justified bump in salary. His per minute production right now is mirroring Luka Doncic or Giannis Antetokounmpo, whom daily fantasy players would happily roster at this salary.

Norman Powell ($6,300): Pascal Siakam will miss Sunday's game due to COVID-19 protocols, and that opens the door for plenty of Raptors frontcourt members for their battle with the Chicago Bulls. Take your pick of Powell, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher, or some combination of all three, but no Toronto player has benefitted more than Powell the last two weeks when Pascal Siakam has been off the floor. Powell sees a 6.8-percentage-point usage increase and totals 0.20 more FanDuel points per minute when Siakam has sat the last two weeks. Powell has also already been playing well when starting for Kyle Lowry, as he has gone for at least 38 FanDuel points in four of the last seven contests.

Other Notable Plays: RJ Barrett ($5,200), Saddiq Bey ($5,100)

Power Forward

Draymond Green ($7,800): In a reference to the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz -- Draymond Green is back. Green has broken 47 FanDuel points in each of his last three games, and he will likely need another big outing if the Golden State Warriors are going to knock off the Lakers. It really is a statistical anomaly that Green is averaging 11.9 assists per 36 minutes with just an 11.5% usage rate the past two weeks, but with him averaging 11.3 assists per game in a February sample of 13 games, there is a relevant sample that indicates Green has a very unique role inside the Golden State offense. Given his triple-double upside, Draymond is still worth checking out even this elevated salary.

John Collins ($7,000): Targeting another Toronto forward like Chris Boucher is the easy pairing with Green in cash or single-entry tournaments, but Collins is certainly more interesting in multi-entry tournaments -- especially if Trae Young ends up sitting. For the year, Collins sees a 5.1-percentage-point usage boost with Young out, an increase that ranks only fourth on the team overall but is second among players who will be on the floor Sunday since both De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish out. Miami has struggled to defend opposing frontcourts outside of centers, as they have allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing power forwards.

Other Notable Plays: Chris Boucher ($6,600), Patrick Williams ($5,400), Jarred Vanderbilt ($4,400)


Deandre Ayton ($7,000): Center is a difficult choice on Sunday with several good options sandwiched between Karl-Anthony Towns and a really poor value play tier. At least on the surface, Ayton has two huge advantages over some of the other centers in the $7,000 salary range, as he has legitimate 40 FanDuel-point-upside, which he has flashed six times in the last 20 games. He may be able to tap into that against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have permitted the most FanDuel points per game to opposing centers this season -- largely tied to giving up the second-most offensive rebounds and second-chance points in the NBA.

Other Notable Plays: Mason Plumlee ($7,200), Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,800)

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.