FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 3/2/21
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 and COVID-19 situations. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news and we also have player news updates.
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.
Nikola Jokic ($11,000) - Tonight, we have just six games, which is not a small slate, but we can't make up for slate-changing upside when it pops. We could get that from two guys in the same game -- especially from Jokic, given the rest of the center position.
We get a matchup between two DFS studs with Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300). Jokic ranks third in the NBA in FanDuel points per minute (1.59). The Milwaukee Bucks rank 11th in adjusted FanDuel points per minute allowed to centers, which isn't a great matchup, but it's not an outlier to be concerned about.
That's especially true when we're getting Jokic in a game with a 236.0-point over/under. That's a 12.5-point boost from the Denver Nuggets' average over/under this season (223.5). For Denver to keep it close to the 6.5-point spread, Jokic will have plenty of fantasy points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) - I mentioned that Jokic is third in FanDuel points per minute, but Giannis is first (1.66). The Bucks are also getting a boost to their average over/under (by 5.9 points, up from 230.1). And further, the spread of -6.5 (for the Bucks) is down a smidgeon from their average number of -8.0. Antetokounmpo has been on a tear of late and has produced 34.6 minutes and and an astounding 60.6 FanDuel points since the start of February over 15 games. Injected into another strong fantasy matchup, Giannis gets priority with Jokic over the other studs for me.
Nerlens Noel ($5,500) - Noel and the New York Knicks are in a less appealing game, for sure, as they are 2.5-point underdogs against the San Antonio Spurs, who played last night. Noel is fresh off a 40.2-point FanDuel outing against the Detroit Pistons, a very plus matchup against the power forward position, over 39.6 minutes. Noel is averaging a sturdy 0.96 FanDuel points per minute, and we are projecting him for 34.0 minutes. He's a value at that salary and is numberFire's top value of the day (as of Tuesday morning).
Paul George ($7,900) - We've got a similar opportunity-cost discussion at shooting guard that we have at center and power forward because it's primarily Bradley Beal ($10,200), DeMar DeRozan ($8,200), Devin Booker ($8,000), and George at the top. George is numberFire's preferred value among the four, along with Beal, so those two stand out. George and the Los Angeles Clippers are up against the Boston Celtics, who do rate as a tough matchup (eighth against shooting guards when adjusted for opponent). However, the Clippers have been one of the least affected teams by opponents, based on my adjustments. They're ranked second in adjusted offensive rating and have outperformed their opponents' defensive rating in 77.8% of their games, a league-best.
Dillon Brooks ($5,200) - Brooks and the Memphis Grizzlies are in a very positive matchup with the Washington Wizards, who rank 27th in adjusted defensive rating. Brooks' fantasy production hasn't been anything incredible this season (0.90 FanDuel points per minute), though that should get bumped up against a weak defense (we project him at a 0.94-FanDuel-point-per-minute rate tonight). Brooks actually has the fourth-best floor value among shooting guards tonight.
Ja Morant ($7,100) - Sticking with the Grizzlies' guards, Morant is one of my favorite plays on the board. The Wizards rank 28th in adjusted FanDuel points per minute allowed to opposing point guards. That's a good sign for Morant to bust out of a mini-slump (28.9, 36.3, 24.7 FanDuel points over his past three). Morant has averaged 1.22 FanDuel points per minute against bottom-10 point guard defenses (compared to 1.08 against all other opponents) this season. You can also pair him with Russell Westbrook ($9,600) for a game stack.
Derrick Rose ($6,200) - Our model likes the point guards in this Knicks/Spurs game, and that includes Rose, who is projected for 4.84 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary against what my model shows as the best possible point guard matchup in the NBA. Rose has averaged 1.09 FanDuel points per minute on the full season. Our model also likes the Spurs' guards, but it's unclear if Derrick White ($5,200) will return. If he does, he's a great play. If not, Patty Mills ($3,900) and Dejounte Murray ($8,800) get boosts.
Others to Consider: Russell Westbrook ($9,600), Chris Paul ($7,900), Dejounte Murray ($8,800), Derrick White ($5,200; if he plays), Patty Mills ($3,900),
Khris Middleton ($7,400) - Middleton is, by default, the best play at small forward, I think. LeBron James ($10,800) is a great tournament pivot because of his high salary and poor matchup relative to the other stars on Tuesday's slate, but that's not a primary route. Middleton is part of that promising Nuggets/Bucks game and is projected for 5.17 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary, the best value among all small forwards, via numberFire's model.
Michael Porter Jr. ($6,300) - MPJ is yet another piece of that promising game. He has averaged 33.6 FanDuel points per game over 35.8 minutes per game over his past four, which is a small sample, but the Nuggets' injury list is getting long. We're projecting Porter Jr. for 29.9 minutes, which I'd figure gets bumped up throughout the day. Even without a bump in projected minutes, he's got a value projection of 4.80 and a per-minute projection of 1.01 FanDuel points.