FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 2/28/23
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
We're just five days into the NBA's second half, and the injury report is already on fire again.
The Lakers' potential impending surge will certainly be hurt by the absence of LeBron James (foot), who won't play Tuesday or in the near future. D'Angelo Russell (ankle) is also doubtful for Los Angeles in Memphis.
The Kings and Thunder will immediately rematch Sunday's game in Oklahoma City on this slate, but it'll be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) on OKC's side. De'Aaron Fox (wrist) is also questionable for Sacramento.
Washington will likely be down Kristaps Porzingis (knee) on Tuesday. He's doubtful. Monte Morris (back) is also a question mark for the Wizards' tilt in Atlanta.
Jamal Murray (back) is questionable for Denver tonight, but I doubt he faces the lowly Rockets when his services likely won't be required to win. Jae'Sean Tate (rest) will sit for Houston, who also has Kevin Porter Jr. (foot) upgraded to questionable for this one.
Utah will be down its entire starting backcourt with Jordan Clarkson (thumb) and Collin Sexton (hamstring) sitting against the Spurs. San Antonio's injury brigade is largely status quo, but Tre Jones (foot) did merit a questionable tag on Tuesday.
Ivica Zubac (calf) appears to be nearing a return for the Clippers. They're hosting Minnesota, who should get back Rudy Gobert (illness) given the probable listing.
Finally, the Mavericks could get back Maxi Kleber (hamstring) from his extended absence soon. He's officially questionable tonight hosting the Indiana Pacers.
Damian Lillard ($11,200) might be seen as a "sell" off a 71-point scoring outing on Sunday, but in reality, his role is one which can drop 60-plus points at any time.
With Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic both off the floor, Lillard has turned a 41.6% usage rate -- largest on this slate in current floor condition by a mile -- into 60.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. He's actually still a bargain, and Golden State's defensive rating (113.8) isn't close to last year's mark to avoid.
While Luka Doncic ($12,000) is still worth consideration in a pace-up spot with Indiana, we'll largely move to the upper-mid-range behind Lillard. Jordan Poole ($7,600) on the opposite side makes plenty of sense following his salary haircut, and Josh Giddey ($7,700) should continue to thrive in his dominant role missing SGA.
Starting for Gilgeous-Alexander, Isaiah Joe ($5,300) is a solid value option in that same game. Of course, we should also look at Malik Monk ($5,400) and Davion Mitchell ($3,700) if Fox ends up sitting.
Kris Dunn ($4,500) should have his hands full with the Jazz backcourt in shambles, and he can demolish that role. He poured in 41.4 FanDuel points in 23 minutes on Saturday. Others projecting well around Dunn in numberFire's model include Dejounte Murray ($8,500), Mike Conley ($5,600), Dennis Schroder ($5,500), and teammate Ochai Agbaji ($3,900).
Wing is the least fruitful place to spend today with one noted exception.
Lauri Markkanen ($8,600) should be a core stud on this slate. In just 187 minutes without Clarkson, Sexton, or the departed Mike Conley on the floor, Markkanen has seen lifts in usage rate (1.7 percentage points) and FanDuel points per 36 minutes (+2.50). The Spurs have the league's worst defensive rating (120.1) for a reason, too.
Behind Lauri, a couple of mid-range guys are key targets. Kyle Kuzma ($7,500) should be in the mix for plenty of shots with Porzingis sitting, and Keldon Johnson ($7,200) -- for whatever reason -- seems to just stay put in salary. Johnson has eclipsed 31 FanDuel points in six straight, which is a rock-solid floor for the tag in this high-paced affair.
Injuries have created value here, too. Jalen Williams ($6,100) and Luguentz Dort ($5,700) should continue to see scoring boosts without SGA. Talen Horton-Tucker ($5,900) is likely a primary ballhandler for the Jazz in light of their issues, and Malik Beasley ($5,200) will have to carry the scoring load quite a bit for the Lakers.
Others projecting well include Jerami Grant ($6,300), Kyle Anderson ($5,800), and Deni Avdija ($5,400), but add Keegan Murray ($5,200) and Harrison Barnes ($4,900) to that list if De'Aaron Fox ends up resting.
I have a feeling we're about to see top-shelf salaries for Anthony Davis ($11,000) again soon.
Davis is now the lone ranger in Los Angeles' lineup with LeBron out for a while, and he's been a fantasy monster when that's the case a majority of the year. He's posted 61.8 FanDuel points per 36 minutes during floor situations without LBJ. With a 230.5-point total in Memphis, we'll get a good litmus test tonight on where he's at physically.
Domantas Sabonis ($9,600) is another tremendous place to spend salary. He's projecting well now versus a Thunder squad allowing the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing centers, and that'll only increase if Fox does end up missing Tuesday's game.
Those two are forward-eligible, leaving the pivot wide open, but there aren't top-shelf options. Personally, I'd look at Myles Turner ($8,000) against a Dallas team allowing the second-most paint points per game in February, but Daniel Gafford ($6,000) would be the projections' choice in Porzingis' stead.
Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,800) is another Laker likely to benefit from James' absence. He's averaged 49.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with LBJ off the floor and likely locks into a 30-minute role with him gone. Jabari Smith ($5,900) is another high-floor option in this range as he continues to log heavy minutes in Rockets blowouts.
The returning Draymond Green ($6,800) is projecting well today against the Blazers, followed closely by Kelly Olynyk ($6,000) and Memphis' Brandon Clarke ($4,900), as a piece who can help stack the Lakers' key options today.