FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 3/1/23
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
|LA Lakers||Oklahoma City||229.5||114.3||115.3||4||6|
We've got eight teams on a back-to-back on this slate: Chicago, Brooklyn, Memphis, Houston, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, and Portland. It's not what we know now from those teams' official injury reports that scares me; it's what we won't know until later.
As of now, we know it'll be a tough climb for OKC without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Not only has he battled ankle and abdomen issues, but he entered COVID-19 protocols yesterday. He's comfortably out, and the opposing Lakers' D'Angelo Russell (ankle) is doubtful to return on this leg of the back-to-back.
The huge news of Monday's slate was a broken ankle for Charlotte's LaMelo Ball. He obviously won't play this one, and PJ Washington (foot) is also doubtful to face a Phoenix squad debuting Kevin Durant.
Kevin Porter Jr. (foot) didn't return on Tuesday, but his upgrade to questionable last night implies he's close. We'll see if the Grizzlies or Rockets rest anyone else having played last night.
The Pistons are still down Isaiah Stewart (hip) and Jalen Duren (ankle), but they'll get Jaden Ivey (personal) and Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles) back. Isaiah Livers (ankle) is doubtful tonight against the Bulls.
New Orleans has two starters, Josh Richardson (quad) and Jonas Valanciunas (calf), listed as questionable tonight, but in Portland, we won't know about them until after lock. Larry Nance Jr. (ankle) and Jose Alvarado (leg) are already out.
Finally, given they're still without Kyle Lowry, Miami's backcourt could be even thinner if Max Strus (ankle) sits through his questionable listing.
**Editor's Note: Los Angeles' Anthony Davis was a surprise scratch due to a foot issue on Wednesday afternoon. Check numberFire's projections for the up-to-the-minute best advice on how to approach the slate.**
Damian Lillard ($11,000) struggled through 42.9% shooting last night against Golden State, but we can turn back to him with a 232.5-point total in Portland.
Lillard's usage rate with Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic off the floor is still an absurd 40.8% with another game in the sample, and he's posted 59.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with it. Especially if NOLA is shorthanded, his old running mate C.J. McCollum ($7,800) could make plenty of sense in a mini-stack, too.
For the rest of the season, Terry Rozier ($8,200) might produce like a star in Charlotte. He's held a team-best 30.1% usage rate with LaMelo off the floor, and Dennis Smith Jr. ($6,100) should move into a full-time role, as well. Averaging 37.9 and 33.1 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in that floor condition, respectively, the two aren't extreme values at salary; they're just viable.
Dennis Schroder ($5,900) was another guard who fought a cold shooting night on Tuesday, posting just 4-for-11 from the field. His salary is still in the $5,000s, so it's hard to look away from him for a Lakers sans LeBron James and likely D'Angelo Russell. Malik Beasley ($5,300) should benefit similarly.
Ja Morant ($10,000), Jalen Brunson ($8,400), and Jaden Ivey ($6,000) are also projecting fine -- not great -- here today.
This is another position without a lot happening thus far. Just two wings above $7,000 have a value score north of 4.70 in our projections. They are Brandon Ingram ($8,300) and Zach LaVine ($8,000), and I can't knock either facing teams with bottom-four defensive ratings.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800) totaled 55 FanDuel points in just 28 minutes yesterday, so there is a case to be made for the MVP candidate. The minutes are the concern, though. Given the low total (226.0) and modest spread (7.5 points) in Milwaukee, I'm not sure he's a priority with minimal value on the slate.
Our projections are more favorable shining on the mid-range here, including Gordon Hayward ($6,700) and Kelly Oubre ($6,400) in Ball's absence. Jerami Grant ($6,600) of the Blazers also finally showed signs of life in his full role last night with 24 points and 5 boards.
Jalen Williams ($6,200) and Luguentz Dort ($6,000) also remain the substantial beneficiaries of SGA's leave. Josh Giddey was held to just 19 minutes last night, but foul trouble played a factor. Giddey's just a tough sell at $7,800 failing to eclipse 33 FanDuel points in all three of these recent contests without Gilgeous-Alexander.
Matisse Thybulle ($4,200) has surprisingly worked his way into a full role with Portland. He's a godsend on a slate that is currently without punt-level value, but Cameron Johnson ($5,600) and Jae'Sean Tate ($4,800) are two others our projections don't mind.
Anthony Davis ($11,500) got a bit of a salary bump -- fairly -- given his new world without LeBron, but he's not off the table at this mark. He averages 61.8 FanDuel points per 36 with LBJ off the floor, and the Thunder are allowing the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to centers. Domantas Sabonis just chewed them up.
For me, Jaren Jackson Jr. ($8,200) is the next stop down. Assuming he's not a Memphis player rested, the Rockets allow the most blocks per game to opposing centers (2.8), so the NBA's leader could put up an insane block tally -- even in just three quarters. That's the variable type of upside that'll be required on this slate without big news this afternoon.
The pivot is an interesting spot today. The best options are value plays, including Robert Williams ($6,000) in a game he'll likely see full minutes versus Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Oddly, opposite Jackson, I might take swipes at Alperen Sengun ($7,300), who could see a decent workload in a blowout against Memphis.
James Wiseman ($5,800) should attract attention in another projected start, but the matchup against Chicago is much tougher than Monday's versus Charlotte. The Hornets cede the most FanDuel points per game to centers, and the Bulls permit the sixth-fewest.
In terms of forward value, Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,900) should play full minutes again in the same matchup as Anthony Davis. Given they got late fourth-quarter minutes last time out, OKC's Dario Saric ($4,100) and Charlotte's JT Thor ($3,600) are also viable punt options.
If we're without key injury news from the back-to-backs later today, this is one of the most underwhelming nine-game slates of my NBA daily fantasy career in terms of per-dollar value. There's not even one key guy. Draft percentages would be wide open in tournaments.