FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 3/11/22
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
A 10-game slate brings much more movement on today's official NBA injury report than yesterday.
At the top, LeBron James (knee) is questionable again. Amidst a series of playing or not with no distinct trend, stay malleable around the Lakers today.
The NBA's COVID-19 protocols have been significantly dialed back, but C.J. McCollum entered them and is out Friday for New Orleans.
Christian Wood (illness) has missed two straight games for Houston and is questionable again on Friday. He's joined by teammates Jae'Sean Tate (ankle) and Dennis Schroder (ankle). On the Dallas side of that affair, Jalen Brunson (foot) and Dorian Finney-Smith (arm) are unsure to suit up.
The Cavaliers will officially be without Jarrett Allen (finger) for potentially the rest of the season. They're in Miami tonight, and Jimmy Butler (illness) is also a key status to watch. Caleb Martin (Achilles) is questionable for the Heat as well.
Anthony Edwards returned for the Timberwolves on Wednesday, but he's listed as questionable Friday in Orlando.
The Suns will be missing Cameron Johnson (quad) on Friday.
Bojan Bogdanovic (leg) is out Friday for the Jazz.
Finally, the Clippers are in Atlanta, but they'll still be without Robert Covington (personal matter).
Luka Doncic ($10,700): The red-hot Rockets have become a daily fantasy hotbed now that they're more competitive. They still combine the league's top pace with the league's worst defensive rating (116.1), and in steps one of the top fantasy basketball producers in the sport. Dallas (29th in pace) also sees a giant uptick in possessions given their own slow tempo. Doncic has eclipsed 65 FanDuel points in two of his last four contests. Don't be surprised if it becomes three times in five.
Donovan Mitchell ($8,200): The Bojan Bogdanovic injury is actually huge for Mitchell. Mitchell sees usage rate (2.7 percentage points) and production (0.12 FanDuel points per minute) increases with Bogdanovic off the floor this season, and Bogie's big nights directly coincide with Mitchell's dips. It makes sense; they're both scorers. With a 229.5-point total in San Antonio for this one, don't forget about Mitchell when loading up on Dejounte Murray.
Devonte' Graham ($4,300): The DFS location of the day matches FanDuel's World Fantasy Basketball Championship. Both are in NOLA with C.J. McCollum out of the lineup, and Brandon Ingram has been down for a few games already. This leaves the offensive hierarchy wide open, but Graham has a 24.2% usage rate without those two on the floor this season that he's turned into 0.83 FanDuel points per minute. He's the best candidate to fill most of McCollum's void.
Others to Consider:
Devin Booker ($10,300): Beyond his personal beef with the Toronto mascot, his role without Chris Paul is tremendous. Guard is loaded today.
LaMelo Ball ($7,600): 1.5-point spread in New Orleans between two poor defenses. An eruption game at this salary would be fatal to fade.
Kyle Lowry ($6,200): Worth checking out if Jimmy Buckets ends up out of Miami's lineup. Passable play even if he suits up.
Jose Alvarado ($3,900): 1.03 FanDuel points per minute with no C.J. or Ingram is higher than Graham. Intriguing pivot.
LeBron James ($10,900): Small forward is going to undulate most throughout the day. Three key options are questionable, including LeBron. With Jayson Tatum at a five-digit salary with a fully healthy roster, James is really you're lone consideration above $9,000 without predicting zaniness. The Wizards have the fifth-worst defensive rating in the NBA since the trading deadline, and James is averaging 1.43 FanDuel points per minute in March. He's the clear top forward if he can go.
Jaylen Brown ($7,300): With Tatum so high-salaried, Brown is a quality target. The two have just alternated offensive roles all season. Tatum's usage rate on the year is 32.5%, and Brown's is 30.3%. There just isn't enough of a gap in their range of outcomes to justify upwards of a $3,000 salary gap, and it's a decision that likely will need to be a correct one on Friday. The Pistons have the seventh-worst defensive rating since the deadline. Watch the 13.5-point spread here, though.
Marcus Morris ($5,300): Morris broke out of his prolonged shooting slump in a massive way on Wednesday. He poured in 10-of-15 from the field against Washington, and that stopped the slide of his salary for nearly a month. He's still in a full-time role for the Clippers, and he'll look to build on that effort in Atlanta on Friday. The Hawks have allowed the eighth-most points per game to small forwards (21.9) in the NBA.
Others to Consider:
Jimmy Butler ($7,800): A tremendous salary if he can suit up. However, his "if" is the largest of the questionable group at small forward.
Anthony Edwards ($6,400): He seemed much more effective in a three-quarter blowout of Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Believe he will give it a go.
Franz Wagner ($5,500): Odd Orlando rotation on Wednesday. All starters were benched. It gave Wagner a needed salary reduction assuming it doesn't happen again.
Evan Fournier ($4,200): I think Fournier still has a full-time role? Three straight blowout outcomes for the Knicks. If he does, this salary is way too low.
Bam Adebayo ($8,600): Blowouts can be so useful for salary reductions. The last two by Miami have dropped Adebayo to a mark that is more than fair considering he's averaging 1.22 FanDuel points per minute this season. Notably, that spikes to 1.35 during floor situations without Jimmy Butler, and Butler is a total question mark for Wednesday. The Cavs could become a great matchup for bigs now without Allen; Goga Bitadze posted 15 points and 9 boards in just 18 minutes against them on Wednesday.
Jonas Valanciunas ($7,500): Valanciunus finally returned to a full-time role on Wednesday with Ingram out of the lineup. Now, he's probably the leader of New Orleans' attack overall. That's great news against a Charlotte team that is fourth-worst in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage (70.7%). They allow the most second-chance points per game (14.9) as well. In one lineup, there is no thought to turning down J.V. at the pivot position in a spot to detonate the slate.
John Collins ($6,200): Any pick followed by "allow me to explain" likely isn't a wise one...but allow me to explain. Collins and Clint Capela burned all as both were limited to just 20 minutes when Atlanta went small in Milwaukee, but both could return closer to full-time roles against the Clips. Collins played 32 minutes on Monday. The Clippers allow the sixth-most paint points per game (49.8) and have the fifth-worst defensive rebounding percentage (71.1%) in the NBA. This is a phenomenal bounce-back spot at a low salary.
Others to Consider:
Robert Williams ($7,700): Detroit is so small inside, and check Williams' last box score navigating foul trouble. An elite floor here.
Wendell Carter Jr. ($7,300): Like Wagner, the weird rotation was good for Carter's salary. 1.17 FanDuel points per minute since February 1st.
Kristaps Porzingis ($6,000): May rest this game. Not sure, but he's stepped into a massive scoring role for Washington. Buy low on this salary.
Herbert Jones ($4,300): Jones is probably the bronze medal for Pels' scoring options in a full role already. He'll be popular.