FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 2/23/23

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

Away Home Game
Denver Cleveland 223 110.3 112.8 19 30
Detroit Orlando 227 110.0 117.0 13 17
Boston Indiana 232 120.0 112.0 20 5
Memphis Philadelphia 229.5 113.0 116.5 2 25
New Orleans Toronto 226 110.3 115.8 15 24
San Antonio Dallas 237 111.5 125.5 5 29
Oklahoma City Utah 240 120.5 119.5 4 11
Golden State LA Lakers 238.5 116.5 122.0 1 3
Portland Sacramento 240.5 117.0 123.5 23 10

The injury report is quieter than normal after an entire week off for the NBA's All-Star break, but it's a good opportunity to reset teams' current rotational issues, too.

The Warriors are still without Stephen Curry (leg) for now, and Andrew Wiggins (personal) will also miss tonight's game in Los Angeles.

Jamal Murray (knee) is questionable for the Nuggets but expects to play. Denver will be without Aaron Gordon (ribs), though. Ricky Rubio (knee) will sit out the front leg of the back-to-back for the opposing Cavaliers.

Zion Williamson (hamstring) remains out for the Pelicans tonight in Toronto, and the host Raptors have OG Anunoby (wrist) officially listed as questionable to return from his nine-game leave.

The Trail Blazers are in Sacramento to open the second half, but they'll be without Jusuf Nurkic (calf), Anfernee Simons (ankle), and Justise Winslow (ankle) -- just as they were before the break.

Memphis remains without Steven Adams (knee), and Luke Kennard (illness) will join him wearing street clothes tonight in Philadelphia.

Expect a thick San Antonio injury report for the rest of the year as tanking ticks up, and they have Devin Vassell (knee), Isaiah Roby (ankle), Romeo Langford (thigh), and Khem Birch (knee) listed as out today. Both Tre Jones (foot) and Jeremy Sochan (quad) are questionable tonight in Dallas. The Mavs remain without Maxi Kleber (hamstring).

Finally, Collin Sexton (hamstring) is the lone listing of note in tonight's Jazz-Thunder clash.


In a projected high-scoring affair with injury changes boosting his role, Damian Lillard ($10,500) stands well above the rest at guard tonight.

Lillard's clunker before the break broke a streak of four straight games of more than 50 FanDuel points, and that mark is firmly on the table considering he averages 58.4 per 36 minutes with both Nurkic and Simons off the floor this year. That's come on an absurd 40.6% usage rate, too.

The silver medal belongs to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,200), who is looking to wrap up the Most Improved Player award in the second half, and SGA carries his usual hefty usage rate (32.4%) into a projected shootout with the Jazz -- a game featuring a 240.0-point total.

I'll want Boston pieces against the Pacers' 115.2 defensive rating, so Tyrese Haliburton ($8,600) -- below his season-long median salary -- makes a ton of sense as a bring-back option. One of those Boston pieces is Marcus Smart ($6,300), who might be a touch undervalued after returning from injury one game before the break.

Collin Sexton was injured four minutes into Utah's last game, which sprung Jordan Clarkson ($6,400) into a team-high 21 shots, and Ochai Agbaji ($3,900) logged 38 minutes. Both are key value pieces on this slate, and they benefit from a juicy game environment.

C.J. McCollum ($7,600), Markelle Fultz ($6,500), Jaden Ivey ($5,900), Killian Hayes ($5,500), Donte DiVincenzo ($5,300), and Shaedon Sharpe ($4,500) project well at their post-break salaries, too.


There's no team in playoff mode yet quite like the Lakers are, and LeBron James ($10,100) just has far too low of a salary if that's the case.

In a larger sample, James has eclipsed 50 FanDuel points in 11 of his last 14 games in which he's played at least 30 minutes, and his floor in that span is 41.0 FanDuel points. The 238.5-point total might be a bit high given the Lakers' projected drop in pace without Russell Westbrook, but there will still be points to be had in L.A.

The break has brought the return of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown ($8,500) together in Indiana, but as the daily readers know, I'll always prefer Brown with a gap in salary this big ($2,200). The scoring roles are similar between Tatum (33.0% usage rate) and Brown (31.4%), and the gulf in FanDuel production isn't as great as you may assume, either. Tatum (48.5 FanDuel points per 36) is just a modest bit above J.B. (41.9).

Eclipsing 40 FanDuel points in four of his last six, Brandon Ingram ($7,800) could provide a bit of value in Toronto, and Scottie Barnes ($7,300) and Gary Trent Jr. ($6,300) are both projecting reasonably well -- especially if Anunoby sits.

Without much value, the mid-range area will be vital at all positional groups, and I see Paolo Banchero ($7,200) as a great start against Detroit's second-worst defensive rating (118.1). Franz Wagner ($5,800) is another option from Orlando, and he's eclipsed 31 minutes in nine straight.

The Portland-Sacramento shootout will also be a key place for value at wing. Jerami Grant ($6,100), Harrison Barnes ($4,600), and Cam Reddish ($4,100) are all gleaming via our projections. Keldon Johnson ($6,900), Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,500), Talen Horton-Tucker ($5,600), and Dillon Brooks ($5,000) are also under-salaried out of the break, per our model.


Nikola Jokic has quietly fallen short of 55 FanDuel points in four of his last six, and he's got key teammates returning in tonight's game (assuming Murray suits up), which also happens to be against the toughest matchup in terms of FanDuel points allowed to centers. If there was ever a night to comfortably fade him, it would be tonight.

I'll save my salary for Domantas Sabonis ($9,600) opposite Lillard at the top. Portland, still without Nurkic, is allowing the sixth-most FanDuel points to centers, and the total in Sacramento (240.5) stands above the rest. He's an easy first choice.

There's data to be collected on how Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam fit together in Toronto's new-look frontcourt. Poeltl dropped 30 points in 36 minutes in his first start back with the Raptors, but that was with Gary Trent out. As of this morning, I'm not sure who starts, but Poeltl capped Siakam to just 42.8 FanDuel points in that one.

Walker Kessler ($7,000) and Kelly Olynyk ($6,100) are the new duo in Utah's frontcourt, and they're set to face a Thunder team that's allowed the ninth-most FanDuel points per night to centers. The Jazz rotation was cleared out considerably at the deadline, so I'd guess both keep that role. Juan Toscano-Anderson got 25 minutes in their last game; it's that thin for them at present.

Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,100) is an awesome value play on this slate. Vanderbilt projects for a full role with the Lakers moving forward, starting and logging 28 minutes in his last game. He's averaging 38.4 FanDuel points per 36 with the Lakers so far.

Evan Mobley ($7,400), Draymond Green ($6,800), Zach Collins ($6,700), and Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,400) are projecting well today. Boston's duo of Al Horford and Robert Williams also fit that description, but their minutes have been sporadic the past couple of weeks. It's hard to justify reaching for either on a nine-game slate.