FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 3/13/22

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

Team Opp Over/
Spread Implied
Pace Opp


The top value of the day among guards is looking like Devonte' Graham ($5,700) once more. Graham put up 39.3 points in 34.0 minutes on Friday and is projecting to be a chalky mid-range play again -- even with a salary hike of $1,400. His New Orleans Pelicans have a middling implied total for the slate, too. They've got plenty of value to go around, so we haven't heard the last of the Pels.

Cameron Payne ($6,500) sets up for a sizable role today while Chris Paul and Cameron Johnson remain out. Without those two on the floor, Payne maintains a FanDuel-point-per-minute average of 1.04 with a 24.0% usage rate, via RotoGrinders' CourtIQ tool. He ranks second in my value-based projections today.

Yes, there are more value options at guard -- Jalen Suggs ($5,000), Tre Mann ($5,200), and Cole Anthony ($5,800) -- but we also have some high-salaried options. That's the theme of the day: plenty of value to get to some studs.

The top play among the stars, for me, is Trae Young ($9,900) against the Indiana Pacers while his Atlanta Hawks hold the highest implied total of the main slate. Young is rating out as 22.9% likely to lead all guards in FanDuel points and is 75.6% likely to finish top-five, per my simulations.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,300) and -- to a lesser degree -- Russell Westbrook ($7,600) also are viable, but Young, Graham, and Payne are a cut above the rest of the position.


A lot of the best value plays overall are among bigs (those listed as PF, C, PF/C, or C/PF), so I'm going to jump there rather than looking at the forwards next.

Jaxson Hayes ($4,200) and Herbert Jones ($4,400) -- both PF-only plays -- lead the bigs in my model for today by a good margin. Across 10,000 slate simulations, Hayes finished as the top big value at a 33.4% clip, and Jones did so 18.8% of the time. The value for the Pelicans remains strong (and we're not done just yet!).

Mohamed Bamba ($4,400) is yet another big option at a low salary, though he's a center-only option, which lessens his viability (more on that in a second). Bamba is coming off of a 32-minute, 47.4-FanDuel-point outing on 10 of 15 shooting. He is projected for 25.9 minutes today.

The reason Bamba loses some luster is that you can't play him with Joel Embiid ($10,700), as both are just centers. Embiid is set to dominate the bigs today in fantasy scoring. He's projected for 51.1 FanDuel points by numberFire's model. His ceiling outcome (68.6) is 17.0 points higher than any other big's ceiling, based on my sims. He's also 61.1% likely to lead the slate in FanDuel points at the position.

Oher big plays who pop include Clint Capela ($5,800), Brandon Clarke ($4,200), Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,700), Deandre Ayton ($7,000), and Steven Adams ($6,100).


Remember how I said we weren't done with the Pelicans yet? That's because we have to talk about Naji Marshall ($3,900), whose position is small forward only. Marshall is projected for 27.2 FanDuel points by our model at numberFire at a near-minimum salary. He's 32.6% likely to lead forwards in value in my sims. Trey Murphy III ($4,000) is also viable but is a tier behind Marshall.

Once more, there is plenty of value on the slate with Chris Duarte ($4,800), De'Andre Hunter ($4,700), Eric Gordon ($3,900), Talen Horton-Tucker ($4,200), and Matisse Thybulle ($3,800) showing mostly minimal separation between them from a projections standpoint.

That, then, leaves the studs and discussion around whether they are worth their salaries.

James Harden ($10,000) and LeBron James ($10,900) are worth it.

Harden has a slightly better salary-adjusted value rating in my numbers than LeBron, but LeBron is flashing a higher ceiling (63.9 to 60.0). James is 46.6% likely to lead forwards in FanDuel points. Harden is 32.9% likely. Combined, it's 79.5% likely one of them leads a value-heavy position.

As with all three positions (we've got Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at guard, Embiid at center, and James and Harden at forward), we have plenty of value but should make sure we get those studs, too. Embiid and Young are my stud priorities.