FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 4/21/22
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
There is one singular injury to watch on this slate, but it's a whopper.
Luka Doncic is questionable to play Game 3 in Utah for the Mavericks. Doncic sat out both games in Dallas with a strained calf, but a game-time decision listing could mean we don't know his status until well after lock.
This helper will be written on the assumption Doncic does not play. With the Mavs winning Game 2, Doncic can still return on Saturday at much closer to full strength with a shot to steal one of the games in Salt Lake.
Donovan Mitchell ($9,000): "Spida" is shining in numberFire's projections after averaging 1.14 FanDuel points per minute in Dallas and playing 41 minutes in both contests. He's a tremendous play at this salary, but there's actually a bit of a blowout concern I have in this spot. The spread is already 7.5 in the Jazz's favor while likely baking in some probability Luka plays, and Utah's +10.0 net rating at home this year was the best in the NBA. If Luka sits, it obviously increases the chances of a blowout.
Klay Thompson ($6,200): Though he's yet to erupt in the scoring column like Jordan Poole or Stephen Curry, Thompson has played the most minutes this series (64) of that trio. His ability to play forward helps him stay on the court in the PTSD lineup. All three should be decently viable with Golden State likely facing a much stiffer test in Denver as just 3.5-point favorites.
Others to Consider:
Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,000): Historically, more productive and higher usage without Luka than what Jalen Brunson gets. Both are total cross-offs if Luka goes.
Monte Morris ($5,000): Denver's best effort of the series is coming tonight. Small salary for a 30-minute role.
Desmond Bane ($5,400): Despite massive popularity, Bane and Dillon Brooks saw salary decreases following a lopsided 28-point win for the Grizzlies in Game 2. Even into the playoffs, Memphis is playing 10 guys in their rotation, but the safest assumption is Bane and Brooks still have roles of 30-plus minutes if a game were to stay close. Another close game (1.5-point spread) with plenty of points (236.0) is projected today in Minnesota.
Royce O'Neale ($4,100): O'Neale's Game 2 performance on Monday was an illustration of my playoff NBA DFS motto -- minutes are king. As a primary defensive stopper with minimal offense in his repertoire, O'Neale averaged just 0.66 FanDuel points per minute in the regular season. He still pays off this near-minimum salary doing that in 37 minutes -- just as he did Monday with 28.2 FanDuel points.
Others to Consider:
Dorian Finney-Smith ($5,300): Pounding minutes (66 through two games) and his non-scoring role won't change with Luka.
Dillon Brooks ($5,100): Brooks was less popular than Bane at a lower salary on Tuesday and performed worse. Use that knowledge in tournaments.
Nikola Jokic ($11,400): Even as one of the biggest doubters of his MVP campaign, Jokic is going to pour his soul into taking this one in Denver tonight. Believe it or not, he really hasn't under-produced his regular-season standard in the playoffs, posting 1.69 FanDuel points per minute. He just didn't pay off a $12,000 salary and was ejected from Game 2. This lower mark in what should be a tighter game will help his bottom-line results.
Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,600): The T-Wolves strategy has been posting Karl-Anthony Towns against Triple-J and hoping to get him in foul trouble. It's worked; Jackson has played just 50 minutes and accrued 9 of a possible 12 fouls in this series so far. However, if Jackson avoids foul trouble, the consequences of fading him in tournaments could be dire. He's averaging 1.33 FanDuel points per minute in the playoffs -- higher than DeMar DeRozan or Brandon Ingram.
Others to Consider:
Draymond Green ($6,700): Just a 10.8% usage rate in the two games thus far, but a full role at power forward that most don't have.
Aaron Gordon ($5,100): Morris and Gordon are two of Denver's full-time role players who could see a massive production boost at home.