FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 2/25/23

In a great matchup versus a Spurs' team ranked last in defensive rating, Utah's Lauri Markkanen is third among forwards with 41.6 expected FanDuel points. Who else ranks as an elite play for Saturday's main slate?

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.

Team Opp O/U Spread Implied Total Injuries
NO NY 224 3 110.5 Daniels questionable
CHA MIA 226.5 4.5 111 Washington doubtful
PHI BOS 225 1.5 111.75
BOS PHI 225 -1.5 113.25
NY NO 224 -3 113.5
IND ORL 232.5 2 115.25
MIA CHA 226.5 -4.5 115.5 Love probable, Lowry OUT
SA UTAH 240.5 9.5 115.5 Sochan probable / Johnson questionable / Jones, Vassell OUT
DEN MEM 235.5 2 116.75 Gordon OUT
ORL IND 232.5 -2 117.25
MEM DEN 235.5 -2 118.75 Adams OUT
UTAH SA 240.5 -9.5 125 Olynyk, Gay questionable / Sexton OUT


LaMelo Ball ($10,500): At his highest salary in 2023, Ball will challenge a tough Miami Heat defense ranked third in FanDuel points (43.7) allowed to his position and fifth in defensive rating. Despite his difficult matchup, Charlotte's star stands second among guards with a 46.2 fantasy projection.

James Harden ($10,000): Since the start of February, Harden's FanDuel salary has increased by 6.3% while averaging 1.32 FanDuel points and a 27.1% usage rate. In two previous meetings versus a Boston Celtics' team ranked fourth in defensive rating, Harden has played well against his Eastern Conference rivals, averaging 30.5 real-life points and 51.6 FanDuel points.

Ja Morant ($9,900): In an underrated spot versus a Denver Nuggets' unit allowing point guards to score 26.2 real-life points and 49.4 FanDuel points per game, Morant's FanDuel salary stands at his lowest point during February. The 23-year old is ranked first among guards with 47.1 expected FanDuel points.

Tyrese Haliburton ($8,800): Indiana's All-Star is producing 1.21 FanDuel points per minute and a 23.2% usage rate since his return on February 2nd while his FanDuel salary has dropped by 3.2%.

Jamal Murray ($8,300): In 151.4 minutes with today's current inactives, Murray sees a 0.12 boost to 1.29 FanDuel points per minute with a 31.9% usage rate. At his second highest salary point this month, Murray ranks sixth among guards with 38.6 expected FanDuel points versus a Memphis team allowing 46.7 per game.

C.J. McCollum ($7,600): At his median salary in February, McCollum stands seventh among guards in value with a 4.82 rating and a 36.6 fantasy projection against a New York Knicks' defense ranked 23rd (48.9) in FanDuel points allowed per game to his position.

Jordan Clarkson ($6,900): Utah's guard has seen his salary move up 7.8% to his highest point this month after he recorded 24 real-life points on Thursday. Clarkson's fantasy output increases by 0.13 to 1.18 FanDuel points per minute with today's expected rotation.

Markelle Fultz ($6,900): In an appealing opportunity against an Indiana Pacers' team ranked eighth in pace and 25th in defensive rating, Fultz's FanDuel salary stands at his highest during February. In 296.6 minutes this month, the 24-year old is producing 0.99 FanDuel points per minute and a 22.0% usage percentage.

Buddy Hield ($6,300): At his second lowest salary this month, Indiana's three-point specialist is ranked fourth in value among guards with a 4.93 rating and a 31.0 fantasy projection versus an Orlando Magic rated sixth in opposing three point percentage.

Franz Wagner ($6,000): In 324.9 minutes with today's expected starting lineup, Wagner is producing 0.81 FanDuel points per minute with 20.2% usage rate.

Talen Horton-Tucker ($5,900): Even at his highest salary this season, Horton-Tucker is fifth among guards in value with a 4.93 rating and a 29.1 fantasy expectation. The fourth-year guard is averaging 1.13 FanDuel points and a 22.8% usage rate with today's injuries.


Jayson Tatum ($11,000): Boston's superstar is ranked fifth overall with 45.6 expected FanDuel points versus a Philadelphia 76ers' team rated first in fantasy production (36.9) allowed to his position. Tatum's production has been uneven in this particular matchup, producing 58.4 and 37.1 FanDuel points in two earlier encounters.

Jimmy Butler ($9,600): Despite consecutive lackluster performances, Butler's FanDuel salary has moved up 2.1% to his highest point during 2023. Miami's forward is averaging 1.19 FanDuel points per minute and a 27.4% usage rate in his last 250.3 minutes.

Julius Randle ($9,300): After producing 46 real-life points and 56.4 FanDuel points on Friday, Randle's FanDuel salary has remained the same. The Knicks' big man is second among forwards with 42.8 expected FanDuel points versus a New Orleans Pelicans' unit ranked fifth (41.5) in fantasy production allowed to his position.

Lauri Markkanen ($8,600): In a great opportunity versus a San Antonio Spurs' defense ranked last in the league, Utah's All-Star is rated ninth overall with 41.6 expected FanDuel points. Markkanen's fantasy production is boosted by 0.08 to 1.26 FanDuel points per minute with today's expected rotation.

Jaren Jackson Jr. ($8,500): Since the start of February, Jackson Jr.'s FanDuel salary has increased by 10.3% while producing an efficient 1.44 FanDuel points per minute. The Grizzlies' defensive leader is ranked fourth among forwards against a Nuggets' team giving up 44.3 fantasy points to his position.

Brandon Ingram ($7,800): New Orleans' star is rated second among his positions in value with a 5.01 rating and a 39.1 FanDuel point projection even at his second highest FanDuel salary this month.

Zach Collins ($6,800): In his last five starts, Collins is producing 1.16 FanDuel points, 0.30 rebounds, and 0.14 assists per minute while his FanDuel salary has jumped by 36% since February 10th.

Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,700): Orlando's big man has scored at least 13 real-life points in his last seven appearances while averaging 1.01 FanDuel points per minute and a 21.8% usage rate during this time period.

Brandon Clarke ($5,300): The 26-year old should be a popular value option if he remains in a starting role with a 4.83 rating and a 25.6 fantasy projection. In eight starts this season, Clarke is averaging 11.5 real-life points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 26.0 minutes.

Kevin Love ($4,000): In a great spot against a Hornets team ranked 23rd in defensive rating, Miami's veteran is numberFire's top value option on Saturday with a 6.12 rating and a 24.5 fantasy projection.


Joel Embiid ($12,000): Despite a tough matchup against a Celtics' defense ranked third (47.4) in fantasy production allowed to centers, Philadelphia's offensive leader is second overall with 53.2 expected FanDuel points. "The Process" has been held under his 33.0 real-life point average in both meetings versus Boston this season, recording 26.0 and 28.0 points on 19.5 average shot attempts.

Nikola Jokic ($11,800): At his second highest salary in 2023, "The Joker" is today's top overall option with 58.5 expected FanDuel points versus a Memphis defense allowing 51.5 to his position. Denver's leading MVP contender is averaging an eye-popping 1.72 FanDuel points with today's current inactives.

Bam Adebayo ($9,100): Even at his highest salary this season, Miami's versatile big man has a great opportunity for a ceiling performance against a Hornets' team allowing the most fantasy production to the five position. In this particular matchup, Adebayo is averaging 42.8 FanDuel points and 19.7 real-life points on 16.0 shot attempts.

Walker Kessler ($7,400): Since his long-term promotion to Utah's starting lineup on January 10th, the Jazz rookie has produced 1.25 FanDuel points, 0.10 blocks, and 0.39 rebounds per minute despite a low 13.6% usage rate.