FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 3/30/22
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
Pack a lunch before reading today's official injury report. An 11-game slate amidst the hardest push for some teams to tank games is pretty hairy.
The Rockets really did give a wholesome effort, but they've shut down Christian Wood (hamstring) and Dennis Schroder (shoulder) for the rest of the season. De'Aaron Fox (hand) and Domantas Sabonis (knee) won't likely play for Sacramento again this season, either. However, Alperen Sengun (leg) is a key replacement piece on the Houston side listed questionable.
Wendell Carter Jr. (wrist) will miss the Magic's trip to Washington on Wednesday. Kyle Kuzma (knee) is doubtful for the home squad.
Cleveland lost Evan Mobley due to an ankle injury on Monday, and he's out Wednesday. They're in a playoff race hosting Dallas.
The usual non-significant Indiana rotational pieces are question marks on their report, but notably, Malcolm Brogdon (rest) is listed questionable again for the Pacers.
Malik Beasley (ankle) will sit on Wednesday, but he's the only key absence as the Timberwolves travel to Toronto.
The Celtics confirmed Robert Williams' long-term absence due to a knee injury on Monday. He's their only absent rotation piece heading to Miami. Duncan Robinson (illness) is the only significant question mark for the Heat.
The Thunder have shut down Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Darius Bazley, Luguentz Dort, and Josh Giddey. Their reserves weren't at full strength Monday, either, as Tre Mann (hamstring) was scratched. Mann is questionable, and the Hawks bring even more value to the table. Both De'Andre Hunter (knee) and Danilo Gallinari (elbow) are questionable for Wednesday.
Memphis visits the Spurs, and two 30-minute roles are in question. Those would be Jaren Jackson Jr. (thigh) for the Grizz and Lonnie Walker (back) for San Antonio.
Oh, the Trail Blazers? Yeah, they're tanking, too. Amidst a half-dozen shut-down players, Trendon Watford (leg), Josh Hart (knee) and Justise Winslow (Achilles) are out again Wednesday. Thankfully, salaries are adjusted here. The visiting Pelicans could be without Jonas Valanciunas (foot) and Larry Nance Jr. (knee).
Finally, JaVale McGee (illness) won't play for Phoenix, and Cameron Johnson (quad) is questionable. That's a huge Western Conference showdown as they battle the Golden State Warriors.
Dejounte Murray ($10,800): There is no wrong answer between Murray and Luka Doncic at the top of point guard, and there's plenty of value to jam them both in. Murray's game total (234.0) is just significantly higher than Luka's (212.5). Memphis and San Antonio are two top-five teams in pace, and that should let the breakout stat-stuffer do his thing for San Antonio. No Ja Morant means the home Spurs are just 5.5-point underdogs in a game that should stay tight.
Aaron Wiggins ($4,700): Most of OKC's rotation got their salaries jacked up after a wild overtime win in Portland. Wiggins was a lone exception despite dropping 39 FanDuel points in 39 minutes. Not only could the rookie play a potential blowout (OKC is a 12.5-point home underdog), but he also should see plenty of semi-aggressive minutes in a close game. He took 19 shots against the Blazers on Monday -- his second time this month hitting that mark.
Keon Johnson ($3,900): I said the Blazers' salaries had increased, but it's only in needed spots. Brandon Williams and Drew Eubanks went bananas in that same overtime bonanza, but both are low FanDuel-point-per-minute players this season. As I said Monday, it's easier to buy Johnson, the rookie that was a huge piece in the Norman Powell trade, and his talent long-term, so I'll continue to buy at even higher salaries than this. Johnson is a favorite of numberFire's model Wednesday, as well.
Others to Consider:
Luka Doncic ($10,400): The Cavs aren't the same defense without Mobley. Doncic can go nuclear here despite the low total.
Davion Mitchell ($7,000): In this elite matchup, his role is worth this lofty salary. He could play a blowout, too.
Terry Rozier ($6,700): Feels like this salary is dormant for an eruption spot. Charlotte has plenty to play for, as well.
D'Angelo Russell ($5,500): His ceiling is unreal at this salary should he take the spotlight from Karl-Anthony Towns any given night.
Jimmy Butler ($7,900): Of 22 teams on the slate, not one produced a small forward worth rostering over $8,000. Butler is hit-and-miss in this chaotic Miami pecking order, but his path to a ceiling is very clear. At 1.16 FanDuel points per minute since returning from injury, Jimmy Buckets has actually outpaced his salary in production for the first time in seemingly months. The problem? A stingy Boston defense awaits, but it is missing Robert Williams to protect the rim entering this one.
Oshae Brissett ($5,900): Brissett isn't popping in numberFire's projections, and I'm not sure why. He's played at least 33 minutes in his last three games and is averaging 1.00 FanDuel points per minute this season. Importantly, Oshae should be unaffected by whatever transpires with Brogdon in the backcourt or Indiana's messy timeshare at center. Denver is a 9.5-point favorite here, but I'm optimistic they don't have the firepower to pull away on the road.
Caris LeVert ($5,200): The Darius Garland era of NBA daily fantasy is over -- at least for the time being. LeVert has occupied a 24.5% usage rate since returning to the starting five, and that's capped Garland at 27.5% in that same time frame. As a result, the two have very different salaries for a decently-similar role. LeVert is numberFire's top-projected wing today, and that makes Luka a slightly more appealing option given he's got a great stacking partner.
Others to Consider:
Harrison Barnes ($5,500): Trio of fun $5,500 plays. Barnes has the best matchup of the three in a full role.
Gary Trent Jr. ($5,500): Trent has the best upside. A sizable 229.5-point total, and it's been a while since his last monstrous game.
Andrew Wiggins ($5,500): Wiggins has the best projection, and it's because he'll continue to see plenty of shots without Stephen Curry.
C.J. Elleby ($4,300): Another untouched Blazers starter pounding minutes. Might outscore Eubanks straight up at $3,200 less in salary.
Nikola Jokic ($11,400): All of this value from tanking has to push salary somewhere, and the clear top option to spend is Jokic. The Pacers and their duo of young centers have the sixth-worst defensive rebounding percentage (70.1%) and have allowed the second-most paint points per game (55.2) in March. As mentioned before, Denver is just a 9.5-point favorite in an elite matchup for the do-it-all big man. He'll be less popular than Monday because of a key alternative.
Al Horford ($6,100): Horford -- and plenty of other Boston starters -- sat on Monday, but he's back to a role that should outpace this salary. He'll be full-time at center, and Horford has averaged 1.06 FanDuel points per minute this season with Rob Williams off the floor. This matchup between two top defenses in Miami could be gross, so limiting his usage to a mini-stack with Jimmy Butler is probably the right call.
Clint Capela ($5,900): The key alternative I mentioned with Jokic? It's Capela, who should be overwhelmingly a free square at center tonight. Not only does Capela have back-to-back games with 40 FanDuel points given Gallinari sat in the frontcourt, but his matchup against the young Oklahoma City centers is absurd. The Thunder have allowed the most rebounds per game to opposing pivots (17.8), and Capela makes his living on the glass (15.28 rebounds per 36 minutes this season).
Others to Consider:
Julius Randle ($7,800): It's not good for my health, but this salary with triple-double upside against Charlotte. I can't fade. You probably should.
Aleksej Pokusevski ($6,300): Still buy Poku over Isaiah Roby long-term in fantasy, but I'd be fine with either here.
Alperen Sengun ($5,800): Not a ton of value at this salary, but he's still a fringe core play if he can suit up through the injury.
Kevin Love ($5,300): Massive upside, low salary, forward eligibility. The single best play at power forward today given Horford's matchup.