FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 4/1/22

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
LA ClippersMilwaukee228110.25117.75177
DetroitOklahoma City221.5113108.51312
PortlandSan Antonio231108123134
New OrleansLA Lakers230116114208

Some positive news for Lakers fans on today's official NBA injury report -- both LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (foot) are questionable and targeting a return to play.

Of next-to-most importance, Memphis might be letting up as the season concludes. Desmond Bane (ankle), Tyus Jones (hand), Steven Adams (calf), and Jaren Jackson Jr. (thigh) are all doubtful for Friday's contest against Phoenix.

Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) is actually the next highest-salaried absence; he's out for Orlando.

The tanking Pacers will see if they can get away with resting Malcolm Brogdon again. Goga Bitadze (foot), Isaiah Jackson (head), Chris Duarte (toe), and Oshae Brissett (back) are also on the report at questionable or worse.

Along with their laundry list of shutdowns, the Thunder ruled out Tre Mann (hamstring) again. The visiting Pistons lost Marvin Bagley III (hip) in Thursday's game, and he's a question mark at best for Friday.

The Kings and Rockets will battle again in Houston, and the only change to the lineup could be the return of Alperen Sengun (leg) for the home side.

Finally, my other favorite tanking team -- the Portland Trail Blazers -- will shockingly once again sit Justise Winslow (calf) among shutdown players like Josh Hart, Trendon Watford, and others. Salaries are adjusted here, but the popularity does always seem to be high.

As a word of advice, be picky tonight. Minimums required to cash in most formats could exceed 375 FanDuel points with dozens of stars and the Grizzlies' quality value options.


Luka Doncic ($11,300): Doncic is arriving in the MVP conversation -- and better late than never. He turned a 36.8% usage rate in March into 1.58 FanDuel points per minute. He's objectively over-salaried here considering the gap in his floor and his alternatives, but the name of the game will be raw points from stars on this slate. With five contests over 60 FanDuel points last month, Doncic can bring that type of ceiling on any given night.

De'Anthony Melton ($5,600): Many daily fantasy players know that Melton has been actually better than Tyus Jones. He's played over 25 minutes just once in his past six games, yet he sits at this salary and has for a week. Melton averaged 1.15 FanDuel points per minute in March, and now he's the primary ballhandler with Jones and Desmond Bane out of the lineup. This salary isn't a no-brainer, but he's been so productive that the path to upside is obvious.

Aaron Wiggins ($4,700): OKC's rotation is down to eight guys, and enough of them still have fair salaries after getting slapped by Atlanta on Wednesday. That would normally be a concern from Friday, but they've got the rest advantage against a Pistons squad that played last night. You can really choose any of them, but the talented rookie Wiggins has scored over 25 points in two of his last nine contests. That's the upside we'll need on this slate.

Others to Consider:
Dejounte Murray ($10,800): Love the player and the matchup. Don't love the 15.0-point spread.
Davion Mitchell ($7,300): Routinely cruising past 40 minutes at 1.06 per minute since De'Aaron Fox went down. Still a fair salary.
Vit Krejci ($4,500): Another 30-minute Thunder rookie, but we haven't seen much upside...yet.
John Konchar ($4,000): Under-the-radar Memphis option that's bizarrely a rebounding ace (8.96 boards per 36 minutes this season).


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800): The Clippers were a bottom-10 defense in March, and that was capped by allowing a 50-piece to DeMar DeRozan a night ago. The Bucks also played last night, and it allowed Giannis to nudge ahead of Nikola Jokic with 1.82 FanDuel points per minute in March -- the most of any player. There's curiously just a 7.5-point spread in this one, and if Paul George keeps the Clippers close, Giannis' night could be another 60-burger.

**Editor's Note: Antetokounmpo and Paul George were among several Bucks and Clippers ruled out of Friday's contest. Check numberFire's projections for up-to-date value recommendations and star alternatives.**

Dillon Brooks ($5,700): Brooks will be popular on Friday, but -- perhaps -- he won't be as popular as he should be. Kyle Anderson is a lower salary, but Brooks (32.7%) has the highest usage rate on the team when Jones, Bane, and Ja Morant have been off the floor all at once this season. That mark is even higher than point guard De'Anthony Melton (24.7%). At reasonable salaries, "all of them" is the answer to Memphis options in tournaments.

Jae'Sean Tate ($4,000): At astronomical popularity, Tate was a total dud in just 24 minutes on Wednesday with Alperen Sengun sitting. That was due to foul trouble, so there is a path to 30-plus minutes for Tate in a stellar game environment, but Houston has also zero incentive to put their best lineup out there at present. He's an interesting option, and he won't come at near the cost in terms of a communal draft percentage that he came with on Wednesday.

Others to Consider:
Paul George ($9,800): George could rest Friday, and that tanks this whole game. 34.4% usage rate in a solid environment if he plays, though.
Anthony Edwards ($6,800): Any of Minnesota's big three are fair mini-stack candidates to Jokic. Edwards could easily drop 30 real-life points.
Harrison Barnes ($5,300): He's continually burned all as chalk. Still a near-40-minute role against the leaky Rockets D.
Kyle Anderson ($4,200): Averaging 2.95 blocks plus steals per 36 minutes this season. He could break this slate without scoring a point.


Nikola Jokic ($11,600): Jokic would be in play by default because of all the "scrubs" available to jam in stars, but he's also in a world-class matchup himself. Minnesota's 70.7% defensive rebounding rate this season is third-worst in the NBA. The T-Wolves have held Jokic to 52.4 FanDuel points per game across two prior meetings, but nine turnovers played a key role in those suppressed totals. He's still the massive favorite to lead center in scoring.

Trey Lyles ($5,400): An immense amount of popularity should be concentrated in Houston after the squads combined for 239 points on Wednesday. Lyles had 24 of those points across 37 minutes, and he's just out-producing Harrison Barnes at the moment. Damian Jones also played 34 minutes, but there are just more competitors for his role at the pivot. Lyles is projected well by numberFire to keep it rolling on Friday.

Brandon Clarke ($4,400): Considering salary and upside, Clark is my favorite Memphis option across a half-dozen quality ones. At 1.14 FanDuel points per minute this season, Clarke only trails Morant and Jaren Jackson in general productivity; he's just often buried behind Jackson on the depth chart. The former lottery pick from Gonzaga should be in store for a massive amount of minutes with just nine Grizzlies projected to be active.

Others to Consider:
Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,500): Towns is averaging 1.36 FanDuel points per minute this season in a full role. This salary is just way too low.
Aleksej Pokusevski ($6,200): Both Poku and Isaiah Roby should see big-time frontcourt minutes again, but Jeremiah Robinson-Earl's return makes it less certain.
Alperen Sengun ($5,700): Worth prioritizing if he ends up active. If he sits, Bruno Fernando is a good option in his stead.
Xavier Tillman ($4,300): Likely starts at center for the Grizz but has forward eligibility to jam in Jokic or Towns. Sweetness.