FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 3/24/22

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

Away Home Game
ChicagoNew Orleans227112.5114.51118

With the back-to-back in Memphis, we're still waiting for news on Ja Morant given today's official injury report. He's missed two straight with a knee issue but is totally uncertain for Thursday.

On the other side of that one, Indiana may be without key big men Jalen Smith (illness) and Isaiah Jackson (head). Jackson left last night's game with recurring concussion symptoms; I'd deem him closer to doubtful.

In Toronto, Gary Trent Jr. (toe) is questionable, and he's surprisingly joined by OG Anunoby (finger), who has been sidelined since February 16th.

Brandon Ingram (hamstring) is doubtful for the Pelicans, but the visiting Bulls may also be down their small forward with DeMar DeRozan (hip) questionable.

Finally, Milwaukee's Khris Middleton will miss a second straight contest due to a wrist injury. On the other side, Kyle Kuzma (knee) will be shelved for the Wizards.


Zach LaVine ($7,200): With Chicago reeling and DeRozan struggling, it would be no surprise to see him sit in NOLA on Thursday. The Pels are two-point favorites with that ideology baked in. In that event, LaVine will take an absurd number of shots. He's already surpassed DeRozan in usage rate this month, and he's posted a whopping 33.6% usage rate during floor situations without Deebo this season. With this salary dropping, he's the top overall priority at guard if DeRozan sits.

Tyus Jones ($5,100): FanDuel has taken some of the fun out of waiting on Morant's status. Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, and Jones all saw salary increases expecting Morant to be out again Thursday. The other two I wouldn't even consider good plays at their marks, but Jones can still work. He's posted 30 FanDuel points in back-to-back contests without Morant. However, he will be popular, and we've seen some stagnant, inactive showings from him this season. Proceed with caution in tournaments.

Others to Consider:
Devin Booker ($9,400): He broke hearts last night, but he still has posted 1.32 FanDuel points per minute without Chris Paul.
Jrue Holiday ($8,200): Still sees a 5.4-percentage-point increase in usage with no Middleton. Blowout on Tuesday doesn't change that.
Alex Caruso ($4,400): Low-upside, high-minute value play, but dual-guard eligibility means he'll just be used with Jones as chalk. Not a pivot.


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400): I just can't roster Nikola Jokic in such a brutal matchup, but Antetokounmpo's 233.0-point total in Washington is actually higher. With no Middleton, Giannis has only seen slight bumps in production, but he's a good play on his own here. He still posted 1.92 FanDuel points per minute on Tuesday, but Chicago just failed to keep pace in a fashion to give him his own workload. That concern is here again with the Wiz, but he'll be in a great matchup as long as it lasts.

**Editor's Note: Antetokounmpo is now OUT on Thursday due to a knee issue. If Jokic isn't feasible at center, Pascal Siakam and Kristaps Porzingis are decent alternative at forward.**

Buddy Hield ($5,600): Unfortunately, taking in data can cause missed opportunities in NBA DFS. Hield had been limited in minutes in four straight games before Malcolm Brogdon rested Wednesday, and Hield exploded for 50.1 FanDuel points in a full 37 minutes of action. That will make him popular, and Brogdon returns, so there's a risk the minutes tightening happens once more. However, numberFire's projections and I largely agree -- he's tracking for a role better than this salary in the long run.

Others to Consider:
Caris LeVert ($4,900): Three first-quarter fouls nuked his outing against the Lakers. Could be a massive value if he gets hot off the bench.
Rui Hachimura ($4,600): Likely to start for Kuzma again and played 29 minutes. High-totaled affair with the Bucks should produce points.
Will Barton ($4,200): The league's best defense should slow down Jokic as they have done historically. As a result, I love plenty of the Nuggets "others" tonight.


Deandre Ayton ($6,800): Part of the distaste for Jokic at the slate's highest salary is what a phenomenal option both Ayton and Nikola Vucevic are if the injury news swings their way. Ayton saw a salary decrease following his 35-point, 14-rebound effort on Wednesday. He's got that single-game upside, and he's posted 1.12 FanDuel points per minute for Phoenix since CP3 exited the lineup at the All-Star break. Other than extra popularity off last night's huge showing, he's hard to avoid.

Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,600): There was one Memphis option that didn't see a salary increase, and he's the very best one this season. JJJ has posted team-best marks in usage (30.3%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.28) with Morant off the floor this season. Last night, Jackson navigated 4-for-13 shooting to still manage 33 FanDuel points in 33 minutes. Personally, that's his floor in a 30-minute role. Tonight would be a fantastic chance to see the ceiling, and I'll get here even if Ja plays.

Others to Consider:
Evan Mobley ($7,500): His production has dropped like his salary, but Toronto is a bottom-five team in rebounding. Could be a bounce-back spot.
Nikola Vucevic ($6,700): The numberFire model's darling boy of the day. He has huge upside if DeRozan can't go. If DDR plays, I'll be higher on Ayton.
Aaron Gordon ($4,900): Would have mentioned Goga Bitadze, but he doesn't hold the upside Ayton and Vucevic do. Another fine choice for a Denver "other" here with A.G.