FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 3/31/22
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
Unfortunately, we're beyond the days of passing LeBron James as a formality on the official injury report.
LeBron's ankle issue has him out of action once again Tuesday in Utah. The Lakers aren't expected to get Anthony Davis (foot) back given his doubtful status as well. Yikes.
The Jazz will be without Hassan Whiteside (foot), and Bojan Bogdanovic (leg) is a definite rest candidate against the shorthanded Lakers.
Evan Mobley (ankle) will sit once again for Cleveland as they complete their back-to-back. The hosting Hawks also played Wednesday, so their injury report isn't final, but watch Danilo Gallinari (elbow) after he sat yesterday.
The final note is that Cory Joseph is questionable for Detroit with a back issue, and his absence would open up a few minutes in the Pistons' backcourt.
Trae Young ($9,900): Other than Young's ability to be up-and-down, there's really no reason to fade him on Thursday's slate. He played just three quarters on Wednesday in a total romping of Oklahoma City. The total in Cleveland is a sporty 225.5, and it's because the Cavs aren't the defense they were to start the season. In fact, they have the seventh-worst defensive rating in March (117.0). Young's pristine offensive role gets a slight bump if Gallinari sits, too.
Seth Curry ($4,600): Curry is a full-time player for Brooklyn, and they're great to include in these high-totaled shootouts on small slates. The Nets and Bucks have a 243.5-point projected total that stomps all other games on this slate, but getting to its best pieces is going to be tricky. Curry goes a long way towards that, and his upside to score is much better than the well-projected, low-production timeshare of Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu in Chicago.
Others to Consider:
Russell Westbrook ($8,000): A 13.0-point spread in Utah sounds like a disappointing blowout, but he'll be a solid play if somehow they keep it close.
Tyrese Maxey ($5,900): Great way to target Philadelphia. Not impacted by blowouts; at least 28 minutes in every single game since February 1st.
Jordan Clarkson ($5,500): Similar story to Maxey with at least 26 minutes in his last 10 games no matter what. High floors without sacrificing upside.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,900): Giannis, as usual, is a tremendous process play. Getting to him will be a challenge. The most significant injury news is with the Lakers, and Frank Vogel went 12 men deep in a bizarre rotation on Tuesday. If you can pinch pennies to find your way up to Antetokounmpo, do so. He's posted 1.82 FanDuel points per minute in March, and this is arguably his best combination of a low spread and high total all month.
Caris LeVert ($5,200): LeVert was overwhelming chalk at this salary on Wednesday's 11-game slate. He might encroach 80% drafted in tournaments on Thursday's smaller one. Since LeVert entered the starting lineup last Saturday, he's turned a solid 26.3% usage rate into 0.99 FanDuel points per minute. He's under-salaried in this spot, and he should -- should -- eat into Darius Garland's production once Garland's red-hot shot cools down.
Others to Consider:
DeMar DeRozan ($8,300): Back-to-back games over 30 points, and the Clippers have struggled defensively in March.
Saddiq Bey ($5,700): Full-time mid-range plays will be crucial to jamming in studs on this slate. Bey is one with 30-point scoring upside.
De'Andre Hunter ($5,000): If Gallinari plays, I'd roster him over Hunter at this salary, but whichever gets the power forward nod should be in a good spot.
Nikola Vucevic ($7,700): Here's the reality of Joel Embiid on this slate -- there is very little value to get to him, and there are dozens of paths to the Sixers winning big without a stellar game from their pivot. In that event, Vucevic stands out in a matchup we've targeted all season. The Clippers just are a very small squad and hold the fifth-worst defensive rebounding rate (70.8%) in the NBA. With at least 32 FanDuel points in his past six, the floor is high for Vooch.
Lauri Markkanen ($5,700): Markkanen's 24.7 FanDuel points stand out as a disappointment on Wednesday, but his role was a massive success. Moses Brown entered the starting lineup, and -- most importantly -- kept Kevin Love outside of it. In an incredibly-limited sample with Love, Mobley, and Jarrett Allen off the floor this season, Lauri is averaging 1.11 FanDuel points per minute. His box score should turn around if his 41.7% shooting last night does, as well.
Others to Consider:
Isaiah Hartenstein ($6,400): I hate part-time players, but 1.18 FanDuel points per minute this month and at least 22 minutes in five straight. That'll work.
Marvin Bagley III ($6,300): Isaiah Livers is back, and Bagley was benched for Braxton Key last game. He still has a path to the offensive explosions we saw earlier this week.
Clint Capela ($6,000): Capela wasn't to blame for last night. Just 20 minutes played in a total thrashing of OKC. Projected well for good reason.