FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 3/14/22
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
All things considered, Monday's official injury report is quiet for a nine-gamer.
In a great game environment in Sacramento, the key name to watch will be Zach LaVine. He's questionable for Chicago with a knee injury.
That same description fits Toronto's Fred VanVleet. VanVleet's absence could be seismic with the Lakers' defense at perhaps its lowest point.
Rudy Gobert (foot) is now questionable for Utah entering a high-octane matchup with the Bucks. His late addition is noteworthy. Milwaukee is getting their center, Brook Lopez, back for limited action on Monday.
Caris LeVert has been out with a foot issue for Cleveland, but he's upgraded to questionable. Lauri Markkanen (ankle) is also questionable for the Cavs.
Speaking of upgraded statuses, the Warriors are getting Draymond Green back in limited minutes against Washington.
John Collins will be a game-time decision with a finger issue for Atlanta.
The Nuggets could be missing Aaron Gordon (foot) when they travel to Philadelphia.
Patrick Beverley was elbowed in the ear on Friday, and he's still questionable recovering from the contusion entering the Timberwolves' Monday visit to San Antonio. His backup Jordan McLaughlin (groin) is also questionable.
Finally, the Thunder could be without key wings Kenrich Williams (knee) and Aaron Wiggins (illness) against the Hornets.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,000): Monday has five totals in excess of 230 points. With plenty of options, I want to stick to them as best as possible. This salary for SGA doesn't even feel prohibitive considering how much of the OKC offense is wrapped into him. Since Josh Giddey went down, Gilgeous-Alexander has posted 1.58 FanDuel points per minute behind a team-high 34.5% usage rate. The 9.5-point spread is tolerable considering Charlotte's defensive woes.
Donovan Mitchell ($8,200): The 235.0-point total in Utah is one that both teams -- as self-perceived title contenders -- should get up for. That makes Mitchell incredibly interesting at this salary, personally. Notably, Mitchell averages 1.27 FanDuel points per minute at home, but the Jazz (+318 point differential at home) usually bludgeon teams in their building, leading to blowouts. The defending champs should keep pace as 1.5-point road favorites, so "Spida" is a great pivot off LaMelo Ball.
Devin Vassell ($5,200): The highest total of the day is in San Antonio, but Vassell's salary has me just the slightest bit cool on Dejounte Murray. The backcourt mates inherently eat into each other's upside, and as numberFire's model indicates, Vassell is just a much better value at his salary. Since the Spurs traded Derrick White, Vassell has put forth 0.87 FanDuel points per minute in a full-time role. This contest between two teams that are top-five in pace should be a barnburner.
Others to Consider:
Dejounte Murray ($10,900): He and Vassell can absolutely work together, but if Vassell drops 30, it would cap Murray's ceiling to ultimately win a tournament.
D'Angelo Russell ($7,200): The salary has slid amidst this 9-for-32 stretch from the field, but he's got a great role in that Wolves-Spurs contest.
Mike Conley ($5,100): Similar story to Vassell and Murray where he and Mitchell likely won't go nuclear together. Still both quality options.
Brandon Williams ($5,000): The Blazers are 13.5-point road dogs. I'm sticking to full-time players that see time in blowouts. He's one.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,600): On Saturday against the Dubs, the Bucks had nothing going. Giannis had 12 potential assists, but just 3 were converted. Hopefully, that high-profile letdown will lower his popularity entering a prime spot (235.0-point total) with the Jazz. Antetokounmpo is still averaging 1.77 FanDuel points per minute in March. I'm less concerned about Brook Lopez's return for Giannis than I am for Bobby Portis, who likely falls out of the starting lineup and a full-time role.
Miles Bridges ($7,000): Bridges is a sweet mini-stack with SGA. A near triple-double Friday in New Orleans ended Bridges' streak of five straight contests under 40 FanDuel points. It was just a bizarre downward blip; he averages 1.06 FanDuel points per minute with Gordon Hayward off the floor for this entire season. The Thunder allow the third-most FanDuel points per game to opposing small forwards (43.4), so Miles shouldn't face a brutal test in this one.
Amir Coffey ($3,900): "Hot Coffey" might be tonight's key value play. This game environment (211.0-point total) is awful, but Coffey has slid into the Clippers' lineup for Terance Mann and played at least 35 minutes in back-to-back games. Honestly, he's underwhelmed considering his ability, failing to reach the 20-FanDuel-point mark in either of them. He's slipped over 35 FanDuel points three times since January 15th, so don't doubt his upside despite the poor total.
Others to Consider:
DeMar DeRozan ($9,600): If LaVine sits, he's on alert for 40 real-life points in Sac-town. A great pivot from the top forwards.
Harrison Barnes ($6,100): Heavy minutes for the Kings but light on the production. Does the 234.5-point total bring it out of him?
Tobias Harris ($5,900): Absurd that Tobi has a sub-$6,000 salary. Low total in Philly, but his projections are stellar for a reason.
Darius Bazley ($5,400): 34-plus minutes in back-to-back games. I'll never fade him below $6,000 in a full-time role. Solid player.
Joel Embiid ($10,700): This slate is unfortunately loaded to a point where the showdown of star centers is a subplot. Embiid and Nikola Jokic face off in Philadelphia, but I have no interest in the latter. Embiid has drawn 646 free throw attempts this year. Any center against him is at reasonable risk of finding foul trouble, and "The Joker" isn't an MVP candidate for his work on that end of the floor. At a lower salary, I'm still not in love with Embiid's new dynamic with James Harden, but he's an easy choice of the two studs.
Domantas Sabonis ($8,600): It's been a little while since Domas has suited up following a suspension and a personal matter, but it's a good landing spot to face the Bulls. Chicago has allowed the sixth-most FanDuel points to opposing power forwards this season (46.1), and the total here is mouth-watering. Sabonis has had up-and-down results in purple, but an outing in February against Chicago that netted him 51.5 FanDuel points provides the assurance he can post an "up" evening on Monday.
Trendon Watford ($5,900): Watford isn't a stellar process play at this salary, but the short Portland rotation should be a DFS hotbed on this slate. It's a risky one. They're 13.5-point underdogs to a Hawks squad that doesn't play a ton of defense. There are still two notable ways to access it without risk; both Watford and Brandon Williams usually play in blowouts as well. Josh Hart has major floor concerns in a lopsided affair, but those two starters really don't.
Others to Consider:
Pascal Siakam ($8,400): This salary feels low in a great matchup. If VanVleet sits, I'll be in. 27.6% usage rate in March.
Nikola Vucevic ($7,800): Sacramento is bottom-five in rebounding and paint points. A great option whether LaVine goes or not.
Jakob Poeltl ($7,100): The T-Wolves are dead-last in defensive rebounding. Enter the big man with a reduced salary.
Jaden McDaniels ($4,700): Karl-Anthony Towns will be tough to get to at a loaded center position. His value-play frontcourt mate is a great consolation prize.