FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 4/5/22
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
After last night's great NCAA Men's National Championship, the NBA returns with 12 games and a packed official injury report.
It starts (as most do) with LeBron James (ankle). The Lakers' playoff hopes are diminishing by the second, and James is likely primarily focused on maintaining his lead for the NBA's scoring title. He's a total question mark. Anthony Davis (foot) is questionable, too.
Elsewhere, the Spurs visit the Nuggets in a game with massive seeding consequences in the Western Conference, but Dejounte Murray (illness) won't play.
The four Grizzlies starters who rested on Friday are back, but Dillon Brooks (hip) might take the night off against Utah.
Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) is out for Orlando on Tuesday. Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs also have ankle issues. They -- along with Cole Anthony (toe) -- are questionable. The visiting Cavaliers haven't ruled out Jarrett Allen (finger) yet -- for whatever that is worth.
Indiana isn't trying to win, so don't expect Malcolm Brogdon (back/rest/tanking) to play. Goga Bitadze (foot) left Sunday's game early, so he likely won't be pushed, either.
The Nets are potentially shutting down Seth Curry (ankle), and the team is also without Goran Dragic (COVID-19 protocols) on Saturday.
Kyle Lowry (soreness) and P.J. Tucker (knee) are both questionable for the Miami Heat as they host Charlotte.
Those same Raptors are hosting Atlanta on Tuesday, and they'll potentially be without OG Anunoby (thigh). The Hawks may be sans Danilo Gallinari (knee) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee); both are questionable.
Finally, Patrick Beverley (ankle) sat out Sunday's game, and he's questionable for a home tilt with Washington. Jaden McDaniels (ankle) is also doubtful for the Timberwolves.
Teams I'd watch for potential star resting spots throughout the day are Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Phoenix.
Trae Young ($10,000): Especially with no Dejounte Murray on this slate, Young stands out on a night when there is plenty of value to get to him. Honestly, the MVP discussion is missing the Hawks' stalwart. He's eclipsed 55 FanDuel points on 11 separate occasions since February 1st, and unlike many of the MVP leaders, that's not juiced with rebounds. Atlanta is now in a firm play-in position, but they are still playing to win in Toronto and could be down two of their key scoring options other than Young.
Vit Krejci ($4,300): Krejci appeared to be the saturation point where the Thunder couldn't get production out of a starter, but then, he dropped 11 points and 8 assists to smash value on Sunday. He's played at least 32 minutes and -- for now -- appears to be in a starting spot over Lindy Waters III. If he's in the lineup once again, Krejci has inherent upside from just being on the court so much against a Portland defense that had the worst defensive rating in the NBA in March.
Tre Jones ($3,700): After cashing in as the chalk du jour on Sunday, Jones will be a fan favorite once more. He's likely to start and play 30-plus minutes again for a Spurs team that is still trying at maximum effort. He's got a solid matchup; Denver has allowed the third-most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards (49.5) despite playing at just the 20th-fastest pace in the league. numberFire's top-projected point-per-dollar play at guard isn't going to fly under the radar.
Others to Consider:
Kyrie Irving ($9,000): If Kevin Durant or Chris Paul get the night off, use Irving or Devin Booker in bunches next to Trae.
Fred VanVleet ($7,400): With 44-plus FanDuel points in three straight, VanVleet's shooting slump is vehemently over. Atlanta is a bottom-10 defense, too.
D'Angelo Russell ($5,300): Posted at least 22 real-life points in back-to-back games, and the Wiz are another bottom-10 defense.
Tyrese Maxey ($5,300): James Harden could be a rest candidate against the tanking Pacers. Maxey would shift to the primary ballhandler.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,100): Giannis was ruled out from a probable status on Friday, so we're not out of the woods yet. But, it appears he's in line to suit up in Chicago, and that puts him on the menu with plenty of value to get here. Facing a stingy Mavericks defense in his last contest, Giannis was held to fewer than 55 FanDuel points for just the third time in the last 14 games, but he's averaged 1.70 FanDuel points per minute in three prior meetings against the Bulls this season. A 60-burger is not far-fetched.
Jimmy Butler ($7,600): While he's been perhaps the least reliable star in fantasy this season, Butler's prospects significantly improve in situations where Kyle Lowry sits. He's averaging 1.41 FanDuel points per minute with Lowry off the floor this season, and that production rate would blow this salary to smithereens. Charlotte's defense has improved from its league-worst mark around the All-Star Break, but they still had the 11th-worst defensive rating (115.9) in March.
Caris LeVert ($5,400): Sometimes, FanDuel salaries just seem to be sticky. Despite averaging 0.99 FanDuel points per minute in a full-time role since moving into the starting lineup on March 26th, LeVert's salary hasn't really budged. He even posted his lowest total (23.4) in a blowout. There's just not a lot of drama with LeVert, and his 24.7% usage rate in this span makes it hard to see a path to failure outside of an absurdly poor shooting effort.
Others to Consider:
Oshae Brissett ($5,900): Not sure why he returned when Indiana is tanking, but 30-plus minutes and FanDuel points in both games since coming back.
Gary Trent Jr. ($5,100): Under-salaried. He's posted more than 25 FanDuel points in 10 of his last 16 games.
De'Andre Hunter ($4,600): If both of Atlanta's other wings are out, Hunter sees a team-best boost of 0.09 FanDuel points per minute without them.
Ignas Brazdeikis ($3,500): If Franz Wagner is ruled out, his fellow Michigan alum started and saw 37 minutes at minimum salary last time out.
Joel Embiid ($11,600): Ultimately, Embiid could make a frightening MVP statement in this matchup, and it seems to matter deeply to him. Indiana was bottom-six in March in all of defensive rating, defensive rebounding rate, and paint points allowed per game. They completely lack quality size, and the most dominant inside force in the game is coming to town. Embiid torched Cleveland for 83.9 FanDuel points in 38 minutes on Sunday, and the Cavs are much better defensively inside than Indiana is.
Anthony Davis ($7,600): LeBron may sit for scoring-title purposes against an excellent Suns defense. However, if A.D. is out tonight, it's just the Lakers waiving the white flag on a nightmarish season. It could happen, but we could also -- once again -- get a full-time role from Davis without LeBron at a salary that is way too low. Averaging 1.31 FanDuel points per minute this season, Davis should be closer to a five-digit salary than this mid-range mark.
Alperen Sengun ($5,800): The player I've affectionately nicknamed "Baby Jokic" returned from injury with 14 points and 15 rebounds on Sunday. Tuesday, he'll battle a Brooklyn squad that posted the worst defensive rebounding rate (66.9%) in March. The spread in this one is 17.0 points. However, not only should that go down if Brooklyn rules out a star, but Sengun plays blowouts. With forward eligibility, he's a no-brainer type of option -- even with 12 games on the slate.
Others to Consider:
Bam Adebayo ($8,400): Charlotte has been bottom-three in second-chance points all season. Adebayo could post a huge double-double.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,300): Blowouts tanked his production for a while, but with 48-plus FanDuel points in back-to-back contests, he's back.
Aleksej Pokusevski ($6,100): Finally posted the triple-double we were waiting for on Sunday. The awful Blazers' D could make it back-to-back ones.
Isaiah Jackson ($4,600): Huge upside if he starts without Bitadze, and the salary is low enough to alleviate foul-trouble concerns.