FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 3/7/22
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
|LA Lakers||San Antonio||235||116.5||118.5||6||5|
Star injuries that popped up over the weekend headline the situations to monitor from Monday's official injury report.
The most key scenario of the day is in Denver. The Warriors are resting Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Klay Thompson all at once. The Nuggets may also contribute to the value there with Will Barton (ankle) questionable following a sprain on Sunday.
San Antonio's Dejounte Murray played a full game in Charlotte on Saturday, but he's listed questionable with an apparent calf issue from that one. Devin Vassell (groin) is in the same boat.
On the other side of that, LeBron James (knee) continues to be listed as questionable, but he dropped 56 on Golden State this weekend with the same status. I think he'll be okay.
Nikola Vucevic (hamstring) is questionable for the Bulls.
The Timberwolves are unlikely to get back Anthony Edwards; he's doubtful with his knee injury. Patrick Beverley (knee) is also questionable. On the other side, the already-shorthanded Trail Blazers are going to be without Anfernee Simons (quad).
Jalen Brunson (foot) and Maxi Kleber (ankle) are both questionable for Dallas.
Also, the Hawks might be sans Kevin Huerter (shoulder) for Monday.
Trae Young ($9,700): With injuries at the top, Young might have a higher salary in this spot, but it's a good one. He's in a pristine spot as a seven-point road favorite against the Pistons, and the game has a sporty 225.5-point total. Detroit has allowed the third-most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards (49.6), and Atlanta's lack of defensive prowess should keep him on the floor for a full night's work. With the enormous value on the slate, the raw upside of points is what matters here.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,700): The mid-range will have tumbleweeds rolling through it on this slate loaded with minimum-salary value, but KPJ is a nice mini-stack to Jimmy Butler when dipping your toe into it. He's objectively under-salaried here at 1.00 FanDuel points per minute this season in an improving offense. The 15-point spread in Miami is alarming, but you're only getting to Butler -- and therefore KPJ -- with an assumption it stays decently competitive anyway. This isn't the way to go in cash games.
Jordan Poole ($4,700): This is the way to go in cash games. The Dubs have rested Curry, Wiggins, and Thompson all at once twice this season, and Poole has scored at least 30 points with at least 20 shots. He steps into Steph's role. The guard rotation is exactly as we've seen in those games sans Gary Payton II (out currently), so there should just be a handful of minutes spread evenly between Poole, Moses Moody, and Damion Lee. All three should see 30-plus minutes.
Others to Consider:
Luka Doncic ($10,700): With raw scoring upside in mind, no guard fills it up like Luka. Probable with a toe injury.
Donte DiVincenzo ($4,400): 30-plus minute role feels less useful with the Dubs' value, but he's an interesting pivot.
Moses Moody ($3,500): Just a personal preference of upside, but he and Lee both topped 20 points last month against the Spurs without Steph.
Keon Johnson ($3,500): 30-plus minute role as-is, and he could see blowout run. It will be a blowout in Minny. Period.
James Harden ($10,400): Harden's 24.7% usage rate with the 76ers this season would be the lowest since his 2012 season with Oklahoma City. He's shared the love in the "City of Brotherly Love" with 12.0 assists per game since joining the Sixers. While that's also tremendous, it also makes his floor a little bit less stable; that's a very similar dynamic to what we see with Chris Paul. I'd be nervous on a normal slate, but he's a candidate for a monstrous triple-double on this one when just hunting upside.
Jonathan Kuminga ($4,600): Kuminga is the singular best play on the slate. The rookie has been more assertive about his offense with Golden State's stars. He's posted at least 15 points in eight different contests since February 1st. He'll likely find his way up the pecking order without them. Kuminga still paid off this salary with 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists the last time Curry and Wiggins rested, and that was in just 29 minutes off the bench. A better effort could be in store against Denver.
Otto Porter ($4,100): The one new wrinkle to this dynamic for Golden State is Porter's return. Porter, with his chronic foot issue, was also a DNP last time the Dubs were without Steph, Klay, and Wiggins. He is listed as active for this one, but his role is totally unclear. His role could be great, but I'd likely steer clear if he wasn't starting. Realistically, the Warriors are punting this game's outcome with all the other participants, so it would be zero surprise to see this game fully handed over to their younger players.
Others to Consider:
LeBron James ($10,200): I feel better about James than Murray giving it a go, but the 235.0-point total in San Antonio is one to target.
Jimmy Butler ($8,000): No Kyle Lowry still. Houston's league-worst defense on deck. Can the broken superstar turn it around in this spot?
Bojan Bogdanovic ($4,100): He dropped 35 points on Sunday. Don't expect a repeat, but this salary is still too low for a full-time role.
Malik Beasley ($3,600): One of my favorite pivots away from the Warriors if Beverley sits. Likely starts and plays 30-plus for the T-Wolves.
Nikola Jokic ($10,800): If you're targeting Golden State's value in tournaments, you want those pieces to play a full game. If they are competitive enough to do so, there's probably next-to-no chance Nikola Jokic doesn't go nuclear in a full-time role as well. Jokic posted 92.9 FanDuel points on Sunday -- the highest of any player this season. Far from a prohibitive salary, he correlates with most of today's top values in just an eight-point spread. Stars don't get much better than this.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,200): Though I'm drawn to potentially using Jokic in every lineup, I can't ignore KAT after he posted 70.5 FanDuel points on this same Portland squad Saturday. The Blazers just don't have a true center, and Towns should match close to that 2.07 FanDuel points per minute from that game any time he's on the floor Monday. The issue? Towns is a 14.5-point home favorite, and Anfernee Simons won't be available to drop 38 points like Saturday. His blowout risk is enormous.
Trendon Watford ($3,700): Both Watford and Greg Brown should see extended run off Portland's bench, and while they may be getting victimized by Towns on the defensive end, they'll have their chances to answer. Minnesota is dead last in defensive rebounding percentage in the NBA. Notably, both Watford and Brown played late together last Thursday in Phoenix when the Blazers lost by 30. Given the heavy spread, if you're going at Portland options, they better be ones with reasonable assurance to play in garbage time.
Others to Consider:
Domantas Sabonis ($9,000): Per-dollar value? Awful. The chance to lead power forward in overall scoring? Tremendous, and that's what's needed.
Julius Randle ($8,400): Exact same story as Sabonis. The 232.0-point total in Sacramento should allow for some upside, too.
Kevon Looney ($4,700): Played 27 minutes to check Jokic last time they faced Denver. Should see decent run given the Warriors' shorthandedness, too.
Greg Brown ($3,600): Couldn't be closer between him and Watford. I'll alternate both based on the remaining salary in tournaments.