FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 4/28/22
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
In what should be the final three-game slate of the season, it's fitting we have three key situations to monitor on Thursday's injury report.
Devin Booker is currently listed out for Phoenix with a hamstring injury. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski expected that and says there's even a possibility he's upgraded for Thursday. How fun.
It's simpler elsewhere. Donovan Mitchell (hamstring) is closer to probable for Utah. He says he's good to go.
Meanwhile, Toronto isn't expecting Fred VanVleet (hip) back for Game 6.
C.J. McCollum ($8,600): McCollum and the Pelicans are facing elimination, so expect the 23.5 shots per game we saw from C.J. in the two play-in games earlier this month. He's shot a dreadful percentage from the field (38.5%) in this series, and as a result, he's the single star guard I'd pinpoint with realistic upside at his salary. He's still rocking a healthy 28.0% usage rate in the first five games against Phoenix.
Tyrese Maxey ($5,500): Maxey's talent is obvious, but at 0.82 FanDuel points per minute in this series, his production has actually been lacking. He's slid behind Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley in salary at this point, though. Those two have role uncertainties whereas it's virtually guaranteed the second-year Philadelphia guard will eclipse 40 minutes tonight. Buying low could be fruitful considering his ability.
Others to Consider:
Chris Paul ($10,200): Prefer him to Luka Doncic with the higher total in NOLA. He's unusable if Booker suits up, though.
Donovan Mitchell ($8,400): Utah's season is on the line, so have to think Mitchell takes at least 30 shots. He will regress favorably above 26.7% from the field in Game 5.
James Harden ($8,900): Like Maxey, the Sixers' offense just has to be in the hands of someone besides Joel Embiid. Embiid's scoring, shot attempts, and rebounding have all dropped considerably since the thumb injury he suffered in Game 3. Harden's 49.5 FanDuel points in Game 4 show he's capable of delivering in Toronto, but the true risk here is he's anecdotally been known to struggle badly in big spots.
OG Anunoby ($6,000): Gary Trent Jr. fell woefully short of expectations in Game 5, and that can happen when 61.2% of your FanDuel output is tied to scoring. Anunoby and Scottie Barnes are both more well-rounded alternatives at lower salaries. Anunoby and Barnes both averaged 0.94 FanDuel points per minute this season during floor situations without VanVleet, and they'll both see upwards of 40 minutes to try and stay alive.
Others to Consider:
Scottie Barnes ($6,500): His floor is incredibly high when he smashed value at this salary last time out while posting just 12 points.
Cameron Johnson ($4,900): Mikal Bridges had his ceiling game without Booker, and he got a salary increase for it. Johnson and Jae Crowder are still full-time value plays, though.
Pascal Siakam ($9,200): I am concerned about Siakam slowing down. He's logged 43.5 minutes per contest in his last four. But, that type of workload won't change in Game 6, so he's on the floor a ton for a guy that averaged a team-best 1.19 FanDuel points per minute this season when VanVleet was off the floor. He's posted at least 23 points and 8 boards in both games since Embiid's injury; that's where I'd peg his floor.
Rudy Gobert ($7,300): Gobert is averaging 1.12 FanDuel points per minute since Luka returned to this series. Despite the internet memes, having a slower ballhandler has helped him be less of a target defensively. Considering we've seen some really terrible games from stars in these playoffs so far, there's a bit of comfort that -- despite even the issues earlier in the series -- Gobert has posted at least 32 FanDuel points in four of the five games.
Others to Consider:
Deandre Ayton ($7,900): If you're playing tournaments, he's got a ceiling if he returns to the rebounding rate we saw in Game 3.
Herbert Jones ($4,800): Ol' Reliable with a 40-minute role. Can also grab blocks and steals. Other low-salaried punts to consider are Danny Green and Royce O'Neale, but hold your breath on huge upside.