FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 4/8/22

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
New YorkWashington225112.75112.252623
Oklahoma CityLA Lakers226.5110.75115.75126

As the Lakers' season stumbles to a close, don't expect a shift in their team section on today's official injury report. All of LeBron James (knee), Anthony Davis (foot), Russell Westbrook (shoulder), and Carmelo Anthony (illness) sat last night; I wouldn't expect any to suit up against the tanking Thunder, who will likely sit Tre Mann (hamstring) on both stops of this L.A. road trip.

Fred VanVleet should return off a night of rest, but OG Anunoby (thigh) is out due to injury. Other Raptors may rest with Houston in town.

The Cavaliers are potentially going to get back Evan Mobley (ankle); he's officially questionable. They're in Brooklyn, and Seth Curry (ankle) will be in doubt, per usual.

New York will be missing Mitchell Robinson (illness) again on Friday in Washington. Quentin Grimes (knee) is questionable for the Knicks. The Wiz will also rest Kristaps Porzingis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with little to play for.

Alex Caruso (back) is questionable for the Bulls as they host Charlotte. Gordon Hayward (ankle) will remain out for the Hornets.

The Mavericks could potentially get Maxi Kleber (ankle) back, but they won't need him to best Portland.

Finally, the Miami Heat announced they'll be without P.J. Tucker for a while with a knee issue. He obviously won't play Friday.


Luka Doncic ($11,400): While the 17.5-point spread here is terrifying, Portland is the worst defense in the league currently. They've held the league's worst defensive rating (123.1) since March 1st while playing at its 13th-fastest pace. With many stars resting, injured, or in weird matchups (like Trae Young), Luka should be overwhelmingly popular with three quarters to work against this defense. I wouldn't get cute trying to fade him in fear of a blowout.

Malik Monk ($5,400): While Monk wasn't the star of last night's show against the Warriors, he did his part with 43.4 FanDuel points in 37 minutes. He'll likely continue to see heavy playing time as the Lakers' stars sit the rest of the season. In the long run, Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker should produce similarly as the lead facets of the offense, but Horton-Tucker will be heavily rostered in most formats after last night's 40-point game. Don't forget Monk.

Zavier Simpson ($4,700): Simpson spent some time in the G-League with the Lakers organization, so this is officially the saddest revenge game of all time. Jokes aside, Simpson has seen at least 38 minutes at point guard in both games with Oklahoma City, and the youngster should keep that role as OKC attempts to lose both of their final games. He's showed off some crafty skills, too.

Others to Consider:
LaMelo Ball ($8,800): Monstrous game last night against Orlando; another favorable matchup against the Bulls at a lower salary.
Jrue Holiday ($8,200): On a back-to-back, I think Giannis Antetokounmpo will rest. Jrue is a great play against Detroit if he suits up.
Zach LaVine ($6,900): This salary has dropped too far in the best environment of the day. A 232.0-point total in Chicago.
Terry Rozier ($6,500): The same environment as LaVine and Ball, and he also posted 42.1 FanDuel points in just 26 minutes on Thursday.


Kevin Durant ($11,700): While K.D. is objectively over-salaried, this slate has ridiculous amounts of value and nowhere to put the extra salary. Don't get me wrong -- at 1.44 FanDuel points per minute in April, Durant absolutely has the single-night upside to pay off this salary, but his usage rate (30.8%) has also lagged behind Kyrie Irving's in this stretch. Both are viable while playing nearly 40 minutes a night as Brooklyn pushes for the playoffs.

Khris Middleton ($7,200): Middleton isn't popping anywhere now, and the Bucks probably do want to win this game. However, against the lowly Pistons, Giannis likely won't be needed to do it, and just a 5.0-point spread in this one leads me to believe oddsmakers are expecting Milwaukee to be at less than full strength. Middleton averages a team-best 1.32 FanDuel points per minute during floor situations without Giannis.

Rui Hachimura ($4,500): With the Wiz resting Porzingis and KCP, Hachimura should shine in Washington's frontcourt. He's already approaching a full-time role with at least 28 minutes in four of the last five games. Porzingis is one of the most productive fantasy basketball players per minute in April, so his absence should help Rui build on his so-so 0.83 FanDuel points per minute rate this season.

Others to Consider:
Caris LeVert ($5,600): He regularly scores more than 30 FanDuel points, and this is a revenge spot against Brooklyn. Weird salary.
Gary Trent Jr. ($5,300): Trent may rest as well, but he's a top-shelf priority if Pascal Siakam or Scottie Barnes is out.
Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,600): The type of value play who can go nuclear if it somehow stays close with Portland.
Talen Horton-Tucker ($4,000): No secrets here after 40 real-life points on Thursday. He's a must if the Lakers' stars sit.


Bam Adebayo ($8,000): With both Giannis and Siakam likely to rest against weak foes, spending up on big men is challenging. Adebayo's low salary stood out given that he's eclipsed 42 FanDuel points in three of his last five. Miami could also choose to rest starters with a two-game stranglehold on the East's top seed. Atlanta is a bottom-10 team in defensive rebounding rate (70.4%) since March 1st. That's a quality matchup for Bam if he goes.

Isaiah Roby ($6,500): Although Roby carries some risk after playing only 26 minutes in a blowout loss on Wednesday, he's still a quality option assuming a larger workload against the Lakers. He's been immune to the latest wave of Thunder benchings, and Olivier Sarr is no longer with the team. This situation is incredibly volatile given OKC is pulling every possible string to lose, so be careful with Roby or Jaylen Hoard at salaries that aren't exactly values anymore.

Jericho Sims ($4,800): With Mitch Robinson feeling under the weather, Sims will likely draw another start at center, and he'd be my choice at the pivot in a single-entry lineup. Knicks fans are high on Sims, and it's easy to see why as he generated 10 points and 13 boards in 34 minutes against the Nets. Washington has the fifth-worst defensive rating since March 1st (118.1), and they're resting their rim protector, Porzingis. There should be points in bunches on both sides of this tank-off.

Others to Consider:
Nikola Vucevic ($7,100): With no injury impact, Vooch is still shining in numberFire's projections. A godly matchup against Charlotte.
Alperen Sengun ($7,000): If Siakam rests, Toronto's interior defense tanks. Sengun has 36-plus FanDuel points in every game back from injury.
Drew Eubanks ($6,000): Can't believe this salary got so low. He's a great mini-stack with Luka and holds forward eligibility.
PJ Washington ($5,400): Another mid-range piece to stack Charlotte and Chicago. Played 33 minutes in last night's blowout.