FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 3/25/22
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
Not as much danger lurks on Friday's official NBA injury report as one might expect for a seven-game slate.
Karl-Anthony Towns is the biggest name on the list, but the Timberwolves' center has played through a forearm injury in two straight.
The day's lowest-totaled game has its most injury news. In Miami, the Heat have a laundry list of questionables including Jimmy Butler (ankle), Tyler Herro (knee), P.J. Tucker (knee), Duncan Robinson (Achilles), and Caleb Martin (knee). The visiting Knicks could be without both starting big men once more; Julius Randle (quad) and Mitchell Robinson (back) are questionable.
The Wizards complete their back-to-back in Detroit, and Kyle Kuzma is unknown and at risk of a fourth straight missed game due to a knee injury.
The Blazers are in full-blown tank mode, and that's left Josh Hart (knee) and Justise Winslow (Achilles) questionable for Friday. Anfernee Simons (quad) is unknown at this point, but he's unlikely to return from a nine-game absence Friday.
Finally, Robert Covington (hand) is questionable for the Clippers. L.A. also announced that minutes restrictions would apply moving forward to Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, and Nicolas Batum.
Luka Doncic ($10,400): Doncic sat Wednesday against Houston with a listed ankle injury, but it may have been just rest against the 18-55 Rockets. He'll return in a great fantasy matchup. The 30th-paced Mavericks -- slowest in the league -- leap upwards to face the fastest-paced T'Wolves in Minnesota. The uptick in possessions will only help Doncic, and the stat stuffer is still averaging 1.51 FanDuel points per minute in March despite totals much lower than the 228.5-point one here.
Klay Thompson ($6,600): Jordan Poole's takeover has lowered some of the Golden State salaries entering this pristine matchup with the Hawks. However, Thompson averages the same amount of FanDuel points per minute (1.11) as Poole this season during floor situations without Stephen Curry. The bottom line with the three Dubs options in the helper today-- I would play them at this salary with Steph. Poole, therefore, doesn't dissuade me from their 109.0-point implied team total.
Kris Dunn ($4,800): Dunn got the nod over Brandon Williams on Wednesday, but both ended up playing as Portland's tank-a-thon took Justise Winslow out of the game early. If they can hang any closer than the 37-point loss on Wednesday, Dunn is exclusively the only guard below $5,000 with a path to a full-time role at present. I still have hopes for the former top pick out of Providence, and so does Portland. He's posted a respectable 0.92 FanDuel points per minute with the team so far.
Others to Consider:
Trae Young ($9,800): He's always viable at a four-digit salary -- but especially to help stack the Golden State options.
Terry Rozier ($6,500): LaMelo Ball and Rozier's orbit in opposite places. Always buy the dip for similar long-term production.
Kyle Lowry ($6,100): If the injury news blows up in Miami, and most options sit, he's a core play.
D'Angelo Russell ($5,900): Usage dip is real. He doesn't have the same role as before. This is approaching "play because of minutes and talent" territory, though.
Jimmy Butler ($8,000): What's the opposite of the gift that keeps on giving? That's been small forward in recent weeks, and Friday's doozy includes four of the top seven options with an injury status. Butler is amongst them, but if he plays, he's a clear favorite of numberFire's projections. At this salary, his floor is not a concern. He's posted at least 36 FanDuel points in five of his six full March contests. That's a small sample given his injury issues this month, but it's as good as you'll find at the top.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,900): Tanking impacts NBA daily fantasy in multiple ways. Not only is Portland routinely opening value on their side, but they're a can't-miss target on the other side. The Blazers' 124.6 defensive rating in March is dead-last by a country mile. That brings in the Rockets' top options, and even though he's suffered slightly from Jalen Green's emergence, Porter is still averaging 0.99 FanDuel points per minute in a full-time role this month. His matchup brings upside.
Royce O'Neale ($4,100): O'Neale represents a solid practice in NBA DFS. Low point-per-minute options should generally be off the table, but this environment should welcome any player in a full-time role if they're as close to minimum salary as Royce is. The 229.0-point total here is a direct product of the Jazz -- 15th in pace themselves -- playing up to the 4th-in-pace Hornets. Every Knicks starter paid off against them Wednesday, and the Jazz starting five could be the same way.
Others to Consider:
Anthony Edwards ($7,200): I know I won't get to Towns today, so D'Lo and Edwards are reduced salaries can help mini-stack Luka.
Andrew Wiggins ($6,400): Another lower-salaried Warrior that could easily lead them in scoring.
Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,500): Benefits from the same pace-up spot as Luka -- and he's one of few salaries that stayed put after the Dallas value torched Wednesday's slate.
Kevin Huerter ($4,200): Hawks beyond Trae? Tricky. Huerter has a path to a full-time role at this low salary, but it's incredibly volatile at near-full health.
Joel Embiid ($11,200): Embiid and Nikola Jokic have endured brutal matchups this week that's made us deviate from our usual process, but Embiid ends his week with a cupcake. The Clippers have struggled so badly with size that they've ceded 73.2 FanDuel points per game to Embiid and Jokic across four prior contests. With Jokic off the slate, Embiid is the clear standout in the middle in this dream matchup, and the 5.5-point spread should keep things tight for him to see most of it.
Christian Wood ($8,400): Like KPJ, Wood is viable given his outlier matchup. Specifically, Portland's 67.0% defensive rebounding rate in March is second-worst in the league. It's no surprise given the Blazers are running career backup Drew Eubanks at center a majority of the time. Wood exploited another bottom-five team in paint points and rebounding (Indiana) for 32 points and 13 rebounds a week ago, and Houston is -- unbelievably -- the 3.5-point favorite here.
Draymond Green ($5,200): Before resting Wednesday in Miami, Draymond leaped to 29 minutes against Orlando. The key takeaway from that is that he's approaching full capacity again, and this is a good time to buy low. Green is amongst the top-projected power forwards of the day with the capability of getting it done multiple ways -- including with blocks or steals. He's a low-salaried, quality addition when stacking up this contest.
Others to Consider:
Bam Adebayo ($8,300): One of the few Heat players not fighting an injury. Viable at this salary even if most play. Tremendous if they don't.
Julius Randle ($8,000): This salary is dropping fast as he's been injured. If he doesn't go, Obi Toppin should be a key priority once more.
Rudy Gobert ($7,600): Second-chance points are his primary form of offense, and Charlotte surrenders the most in the NBA.
Jarred Vanderbilt ($4,200): Low-salaried way to add to a stack involving Luka. He's got a path to 30 minutes with Jaden McDaniels still out long-term.