FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 2/15/23
Since it's much simpler to predict than baseball or football, daily fantasy basketball would get plenty of votes as the best sport to play on FanDuel. Players usually stick to the same minutes and produce at roughly the same rate. Sounds easy, right?
As a result, NBA daily fantasy is highly reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to ensure 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.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.
We'll also come at you with this primer daily, 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
|New Orleans||LA Lakers||234.5||115.3||119.3||15||3|
Per Wednesday's official injury report, the Celtics' value brigade could continue tonight.
In addition to Jaylen Brown's continued absence, Jayson Tatum (illness) is uncertain to go with Detroit in town. To make matters worse, Derrick White (ear) didn't travel with the team back from Milwaukee. However, Marcus Smart (ankle) was upgraded to questionable, and Al Horford (knee) has a shot to suit up after missing last night's game. The pieces are in motion here.
With one last shot to play before the break, LeBron James (ankle) is officially questionable for the Lakers. They're hosting the Pelicans, who might be down C.J. McCollum (ankle) themselves.
Joel Embiid (foot) has his usual bogus questionable listing, but it's unlikely he misses tonight's high-profile showdown with Cleveland.
Denver has quietly excused Jamal Murray (knee) from four straight, and he's questionable again on Wednesday. Teammate Aaron Gordon (ribs) is a question mark as well. They'll host Dallas, who potentially could be without Christian Wood (illness), Tim Hardaway Jr. (hamstring), and Reggie Bullock (illness).
The Bulls will be without DeMar DeRozan (thigh) on Wednesday, and Alex Caruso (foot) is questionable. They're traveling to Indiana, and the Pacers could be down Myles Turner (back) for a second straight contest.
Tyler Herro (knee) will miss a second straight game for Miami. The Heat are also still down Kyle Lowry and Victor Oladipo, yet Duncan Robinson (finger) may return to the depleted backcourt in Brooklyn.
The Spurs are still down Tre Jones (foot), but Jeremy Sochan (back) played their last game. They might also be down Doug McDermott (Achilles) for another contest.
Finally, John Collins (hip) has a chance to return for Atlanta tonight as they host the Knicks.
The defense-optional contest in Charlotte has to thrust LaMelo Ball ($9,900) to the top of the hierarchy today.
Ball dropped 30 points and 15 assists in 41 minutes on Monday, and he's third in the NBA during February in overall touches. He's going to be driving a significant amount of Charlotte's work inside the 242.5-point total.
Of course, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,500) will work against a Rockets squad allowing the most FanDuel points per game to point guards, too. SGA cooked Houston for 70.8 FanDuel points just 11 days ago. Josh Giddey ($7,800) has eclipsed 40 FanDuel points in both meetings with Houston this month, too.
We saw the ceiling of Tyrese Haliburton ($8,900) re-emerge on Monday, and he could be a piece we're targeting with key Bulls on the other side in Indiana. Our projections also shine favorably on Dejounte Murray ($8,500), and he fits our theme of repeat matchups, too. Murray cooked the Knicks for 62.2 FanDuel points last month.
In terms of value, we're waiting on Boston here. Malcolm Brogdon ($5,600) should be a great piece no matter what, but Marcus Smart ($6,300) could work if he's able to return Wednesday. There could be limitations there, so Payton Pritchard ($4,000) might also see work. With an injury status and the returning Smart, I'll happily sit out the Derrick White experience at $7,000 today.
Ayo Dosunmu ($4,400) should see a lift without DeRozan for the Bulls, and he and Brogdon headline our projections in terms of per-dollar value. Others close behind include Jordan Clarkson ($6,600), Jaden Ivey ($6,000), Bennedict Mathurin ($5,000), and Coby White ($4,200). White is especially interesting if Alex Caruso ($4,500) sits.
Jayson Tatum ($10,800) isn't officially out on Wednesday, and he'd save us the hassle of scrambling toward Boston value if he suits up to attack the Pistons' 117.9 defensive rating.
However, in Boston's last game before the break against such a bad opponent, it's unlikely he plays. That likely makes the first viable spot down Lauri Markkanen ($8,200), who could do some damage in a high-scoring affair with Memphis.
This positional group picks up behind him, though. Brandon Ingram ($8,100) has had an insane 34.4% usage rate with McCollum and Zion Williamson off the floor entering this revenge spot in L.A. I'd classify him as viable with McCollum and a near lock without him.
At 40.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes, Zach LaVine ($7,600) has also seen a gigantic boost with DeRozan off the floor. Keldon Johnson ($7,400), with a 27.5% usage rate in San Antonio's current starting five, is one more name to consider here.
For a second consecutive day, Sam Hauser ($4,800) is your best Boston value option at wing, and Patrick Williams ($4,700) is another key name to watch here in light of DeRozan's injury. Max Strus ($5,000) can also work, but don't expect 20 shots and 7 boards from the perimeter scorer on Wednesday -- especially if Duncan Robinson returns.
Josh Hart ($5,900) and Gordon Hayward ($5,600) are also two value options for game stacks we've touched on so far.
We've got some issues at the top here.
Nikola Jokic's game has a high total we like to see (233.0), but returning teammates could impact his workload, and he's failed to eclipse 56 FanDuel points in three of his past five as is. Gordon's return would all but squash him. As for Joel Embiid, that 212.5-point total in Philadelphia is pretty rancid for daily fantasy.
My favorite top big man is actually Julius Randle ($9,300), and I love mini-stacking him with Dejounte. The interior is where to attack Atlanta; they're ceding the third-most FanDuel points per game to power forwards. I also avoid the Knicks' mess at center that way.
Nikola Vucevic ($8,600) is also another reason I can't clog the pivot with Jokic and Embiid. Vucevic's matchup is excellent against the Pacers, and he's averaging a gaudy 49.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with DDR off the floor. The everpresent upside of Alperen Sengun ($7,800) also lurks against a Thunder squad allowing the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to centers.
In the game of the day, Zach Collins ($6,400) and Mark Williams ($5,700) both eclipsed 29 minutes in their last contest. That's pretty terrifying to fade given the environment and both averaging over 37.7 FanDuel points per 36 minutes this year.
Boston makes waves here, too. Al Horford ($5,500) could return from rest tonight, and Grant Williams ($5,000) would be the largest beneficiary without Tatum. Jabari Smith ($5,600) is also likely the way I target the OKC matchup to leave room at the center spot for Vucevic and Mark Williams in tournaments.