FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 3/2/22
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 basketball is very reliant on a player's 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 and Key Injuries
If the NBA's official injury report had a loyalty club, it would be poppin'. Most of the significant notes aren't new ones.
Finally, Malcolm Brogdon returns for the Pacers tonight. His absence Monday was more of a rest precaution than aggravating his injury once more. Both Lance Stephenson (ankle) and Chris Duarte (toe) are questionable to join him in the lineup.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,000): OKC is frighteningly shorthanded, but they've hung tough in three games without Giddey and Dort thus far. Shai should be a tremendous play if they extend it to a fourth in Denver. Gilgeous-Alexander has an absurd 16.5 percentage-point gap in usage rate between himself and the next-highest Thunder starter in the last three games, but he's kept scoring at a hyper-efficient 61.2% with the added volume. In short -- he is carrying this OKC squad.
Malcolm Brogdon ($6,300): Let's try this again. Honestly, Brogdon resting on Monday should have been more intuitive with the back-to-back situation. He's already confirmed in for Wednesday, though, and in what should be a full-time role pacing at 1.17 FanDuel points per minute next to Tyrese Haliburton thus far, he's under-salaried for this contest as well. The 232.5-point total in Orlando is awesome, but there are few ways to target it with confidence. Brogdon is one of them.
Cameron Payne ($4,100): The season-long fantasy basketball darling finally steps onto the court after being hoarded off waivers last week. In daily, his salary hasn't adjusted for what should be a decent role. In his first game back in weeks, it's unlikely Payne pounds 30-plus minutes, but that's especially for one specific reason -- a 13-point spread against Portland. All Suns' options carry a bit of that risk, and Payne off the bench could potentially be impacted worse than others.
Others to Consider:
LaMelo Ball ($8,000): A 219.0-point total despite the pace-down spot, and he's been underperforming his role without Gordon Hayward for too long.
Anfernee Simons ($6,700): I'm slightly optimistic Portland can hang tight against a Suns team without Chris Paul. He's under-salaried for four quarters.
Alec Burks ($4,600): 33-plus minutes in back-to-back games since the Knicks shut down Kemba Walker. Could easily outperform this mark.
Gabe Vincent ($4,000): Not flashy, but still in a full-time role in Lowry's stead. Easily the best value option at guard factoring in Burks and Payne's concerns.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300): On a slate filled with large spreads, the 4.5-point one in Milwaukee makes for the best environment on the slate. Giannis followed up a February in which he averaged 1.82 FanDuel points per minute with 69.2 FanDuel points in just 28 minutes blowing out Charlotte. The Heat's ability to keep pace should offset the tougher defensive matchup, and no star at present can match the realistic 60-plus FanDuel point upside Antetokounmpo brings to every slate he's on.
Jimmy Butler ($8,400): Butler isn't struggling like his FanDuel box score would indicate; he's just deferring. Butler took fewer than 15 shots in 8 of the 11 contests Miami played in February. His floor is significantly aided by the extra playmaking duties when he shifts to point guard in lineups without Lowry. He picks up 1.05 assists per 36 minutes in that floor condition this season. Butler is a triple-double threat inside of the Heat's solid 111.0 implied team total.
Josh Hart ($6,000): In a limited space without Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers have leaned heavily on Anfernee Simons and Hart. Simons saw a 7.4-percentage-point increase in usage in February when Nurkic was off the floor, and Hart's increase was 5.4 percentage points in a small window after the trading deadline. Both, though, have seen salary decreases following consecutive blowout losses to Golden State and Denver. The 13.0-point spread in Phoenix makes it a risk once more, but the reward is great if they cover.
Others to Consider:
Khris Middleton ($7,300): The Heat have historically forced the ball out of Giannis' hands. 21.0 points and 6.5 assists against Miami this season.
Miles Bridges ($7,100): Just went for 57.5 FanDuel points on Sunday. This salary foolishly dismisses his upside despite floor concerns. Awesome for tournaments.
Tyler Herro ($6,200): If Miami keeps it close, they'll need points from somewhere. Herro's team-high 29.4% usage without Lowry is a solid candidate.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($4,600): I like Donovan Mitchell, but this is the safer way to target Utah's scoring in a game that could easily blow out.
Domantas Sabonis ($9,600): The single-center dynamic of FanDuel makes for interesting decisions like this. Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are better process plays in a vacuum than Sabonis, but amidst heavy spreads for both, they also deny me the two top overall plays on the slate at center. Sabonis can fill forward instead, and foul trouble on Monday hurt his overall FanDuel score, but he's still posted 1.33 FanDuel points per minute with Sacramento. The 4.5-point spread in New Orleans is much safer, too.
Rudy Gobert ($7,800): Gobert, personally, is the top overall play on the slate. The NBA's leading rebounder should have no trouble with a small, young Rockets frontcourt that just let Ivica Zubac post 16.3 points and 12.3 boards per game in a three-game mini-series with the Clippers. Averaging 1.31 FanDuel points per minute, it would be surprising in this soft a matchup if Gobert doesn't have this salary paid off in three quarters. That's a true indication of an under-salaried player.
Jarrett Allen ($7,200): No player in the NBA is a more perfect fit to match up with the Hornets than Jarrett Allen. He's an offensive rebounding specialist, and Charlotte is second-to-last in defensive rebounding percentage (70.5%) and allows the most second-chance points per game (15.1) in the NBA. Allen posted 29 points and 22 rebounds in Charlotte last month as a result. His recent cold spell in tougher matchups could keep his popularity in check entering this dream matchup.
Others to Consider:
Evan Mobley ($7,200): Allen soaked up all the boards in their meeting last month with Charlotte. Mobley can take advantage of those weaknesses, too.
Deandre Ayton ($6,800): The second-best play on the entire slate. Portland has no true center. Payne's return should lead to a less Devin Booker-centric offense, as well.
Aaron Gordon ($5,500): Much better spot to attack Denver's frontcourt than Jokic. The 13.0-point spread is less of a concern at this mark.
Herbert Jones ($4,500): Still in a 30-plus minute role and has posted at least 20 FanDuel points in three straight. Solid runback option to Sabonis.