FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 2/16/23
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
There's one final injury report to dissect before the All-Star break, which concludes next Thursday. We'll be back at it a week from today.
The Bulls were missing DeMar DeRozan (thigh), Goran Dragic (knee), and Derrick Jones Jr. (groin) on Wednesday, and we'll see if any return to host Milwaukee tonight. The Bucks will be without Pat Connaughton (calf).
Rudy Gobert (groin) and Kyle Anderson (back) have their usual questionable statuses entering the Timberwolves' game with Washington on Thursday. I wouldn't be surprised to see either rest. The Wiz are at totally full strength.
The Clippers will rest Norman Powell an extra day before the break, and they're set to battle a Suns squad with only the same trio of long-term injuries listed: Landry Shamet (foot), Cameron Payne (foot), and Kevin Durant (knee).
As one would expect on a three-game slate, there aren't gobs of top-shelf plays.
Chris Paul ($8,500) is the highest-salaried point guard, and our projections like him well enough with a 5.00 value score. He averages just 37.1 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton on the floor, though.
I'll likely start with Jrue Holiday ($8,000) instead. His salary isn't ideal, but with over 35 FanDuel points in four straight, there's a semblance of assured production there. Mike Conley ($6,200) also has to be in consideration with his new full-time role in Minnesota.
This is a better spot to target value, though. If none of Chicago's injuries return, we can turn to all of Coby White ($4,800), Alex Caruso ($4,700), and Ayo Dosunmu ($4,400). Since he starts, Dosunmu nudges ahead of the others if Dragic returns.
With Norm Powell out, our model doesn't mind a dart at Nah'Shon Hyland ($4,300), either.
With DeRozan out, we'll have plenty of value with Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,500), and I just don't want to stick salary in many other spots.
Antetokounmpo has exceeded 55 FanDuel points in 9 of his last 10 games, eclipsing the 60-point threshold in 6 of those contests. He'll also correlate with all of this value, including Zach LaVine ($8,600).
LaVine is -- obviously -- viable if DDR remains out, but a game theory angle could be to fade him. He only averages 40.8 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with DeRozan off the floor this season and posts 66.4% of his FanDuel output from scoring in that floor condition. One cold night would vault you above a vast majority of the field.
With over 34 FanDuel points in three of his past four, you could also look to Khris Middleton ($6,000), but his role remains a bit concerning with just 24 minutes played in Tuesday's overtime contest.
The Suns have started and prioritized Torrey Craig ($5,700) and Josh Okogie ($5,600) from their gaggle of wings, so both could also be value spots on this slate. Others projecting well include Kyle Kuzma ($7,700), Marcus Morris ($4,600), and Grayson Allen ($4,300).
There is only one player on this slate I couldn't be talked off in any format, and it's Nikola Vucevic ($8,800) if DeRozan sits.
As a guy shooting 51.8% from the field overall this year, Vuc clanked his way to 44.4% shooting and four turnovers in last night's pristine matchup with Indiana. That likely will shave popularity off him tonight, and he still averages a sizable 48.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with DeMar off the court.
With the Clippers' duo now in a timeshare, the only other pivot to consider would be Rudy Gobert ($7,200) if he plays or Naz Reid ($5,200) if Gobert rests. However, I can still see myself in forward spots turning to Kristaps Porzingis ($9,100), who leads Washington in FanDuel points per 36 minutes when at full health (46.5).
Though I didn't touch on him with wings, Chicago's Patrick Williams ($4,700) will be another key value piece at a forward spot. It's a bit concerning he was benched late and held to 29 minutes last night, and his full-time role now appears to be gone. He's averaging just 26.7 minutes per game in February.
Jaden McDaniels ($5,600) and Taurean Prince ($4,700) are two other options for that forward role if Kyle Anderson ($5,700) heads into the break early.