FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 3/15/22
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
This small slate has a big name missing.
Ja Morant (back) is listed doubtful on today's official NBA injury report for the Grizzlies. That completely shuffles their usage tree.
On the other side, Malcolm Brogdon (concussion) is a key starter in question for Indiana. The Pacers' usual trio of Goga Bitadze (foot), Lance Stephenson (ankle), and Chris Duarte (toe) are all question marks as well. Realistically, they're listed that way for rest/tanking purposes each game.
Jalen Suggs is officially out for the Magic with an ankle injury, and Gary Harris (knee) might join him. For Brooklyn, Seth Curry is questionable with an ankle issue as well.
The Miami Heat will be without Caleb Martin as they host the Pistons on Tuesday. Detroit will be missing Hamidou Diallo (finger), and Killian Hayes (thigh) is listed as questionable.
Finally, the second-biggest name comes in the nightcap. C.J. McCollum is questionable for the Pelicans as he still tries to clear COVID-19 protocols. The Suns will be without Cameron Johnson (quad) on the other side.
Cole Anthony ($5,800): For better or for worse, Anthony rises to daily fantasy relevance with his backcourt mate, Jalen Suggs, sidelined. There's a different dynamic here, though, that makes him far from a lock-button option at this salary -- Markelle Fultz. Fultz isn't seeing minutes himself to be relevant, but Fultz's productivity has dipped Anthony to 0.88 FanDuel points per minute when the two share the court together. He's still a good play, but think twice about exposure levels in tournaments.
Tyus Jones ($4,200): There is no thinking twice here. Jones has stepped into Morant's role several times this season, and with Ja off the floor this season, Jones has filled in admirably with 0.96 FanDuel points per minute. He commands a low usage rate (18.6%), so he can be paired with other Memphis options, and there are very few paths to failure at this salary in the projected full-time role he'll receive.
Others to Consider:
Kyrie Irving ($10,000): The studs on this slate are capital-A awful, but I'd absolutely use Irving at this lower salary that Kevin Durant at his.
Tyrese Haliburton ($8,800): If Brogdon sits, Haliburton is the very top stud on the slate. Triple-double potential. Except...
C.J. McCollum ($8,500): If McCollum can return, he is the top stud on the slate. Ball-dominant 33.9% usage with Brandon Ingram off the floor this season.
Desmond Bane ($6,600): Other than Tyus Jones, the Memphis situation is far from straightforward. Dillon Brooks returned last game to just 25 minutes, so his role is just slightly ambiguous. At a lower salary, Brooks is the priority, but don't forget about Desmond Bane just because of the higher mark. Bane's 1.07 FanDuel points per minute without Morant on the floor are actually slightly better than Brooks (1.06), and he'll be on fewer rosters in tournaments.
Franz Wagner ($5,500): Ultimately, I don't trust Cole Anthony as much as the reliable rookie. While Fultz hasn't done wonders for Wagner's production either (0.78 FanDuel points per minute sharing the floor), his minutes aren't nearly in jeopardy like Anthony's potentially are. If McCollum's return torches some of the value with the Pels' wing players, Wagner is a fine mid-range cog.
Others to Consider:
Jimmy Butler ($8,500): numberFire's model believes Butler to be the best option above $8,000 going away. I'm concerned about a dropping usage rate and a 12.5-point spread.
Buddy Hield ($7,100): He's cleared 40 FanDuel points twice with no Brogdon. A sneaky option below Butler and above the Memphis guys.
Dillon Brooks ($5,000): Upside is definitely limited in a sub-30-minute role, but he'll get his. 29.7% usage rate with Morant off the floor this season.
Bam Adebayo ($9,200): Personally, Adebayo's multiple paths to a ceiling in a tremendous matchup make him the top star of the day. Adebayo can contribute with points, boards, assists, blocks, or steals, and the Detroit Pistons are bottom-10 in all of those categories allowed to centers. Even in three quarters of work, I could see Adebayo getting to 45-plus FanDuel points. Brooklyn's duo and Devin Booker are wildly inconsistent, and Jimmy Butler has just been more passive lately.
Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,400): Small slates like this are where you need to make a stand, and mine will likely be close to 100% Jackson Jr. in any build short of 20 lineups. Jackson is the clear stud when Ja Morant is off the floor for Memphis this season. He posts team-high marks in usage rate (30.7%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.30). That production is worth $8,500, but there is risk here given the Grizzlies' coaching staff just seemingly doesn't want to play him in a full role. They may have to on Tuesday.
Others to Consider:
Deandre Ayton ($7,600): I'd rather take my Phoenix swipes here than Booker. New Orleans allows the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to centers.
Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,800): This salary doesn't match his game log. He may not even carry popularity as people chase Mohamed Bamba's spike game.
Marvin Bagley III ($5,300): 30-plus minutes in back-to-back games. He and Jerami Grant both work assuming a tighter spread in Miami than projected.