FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 3/3/23
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
|New Orleans||Golden State||230.5||113.0||117.5||15||1|
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We'll need to check today's injury report before we start building, though. It's a busy one.
Oklahoma City won't get back Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (COVID-19 protocols) for tonight's game. He and Kenrich Williams (wrist) are out of the Thunder's lineup tonight. The Jazz are the visitors in this one and remain down Jordan Clarkson (thumb) and Collin Sexton (hamstring).
On a back-to-back, Kawhi Leonard will rest for the Clippers, who were also missing Ivica Zubac (calf) and Marcus Morris (elbow) last night against Golden State. Norman Powell (arm) is also questionable. The hosting Sacramento Kings are expected to have De'Aaron Fox (wrist) back in the lineup.
Concerningly for his squad, Jimmy Butler (knee) is listed as questionable tonight for Miami in a pivotal matchup with the Knicks. He might have a greater chance of playing due to the stakes.
PJ Washington (foot) is doubtful again for Charlotte as they host Orlando.
In Los Angeles, D'Angelo Russell (ankle) won't be able to face his former Timberwolves teammates and is listed out tonight for the Lakers. Anthony Davis (foot) is probable and expected to return. Jaylen Nowell (knee) is questionable for Minnesota.
The Pelicans are likely without Jonas Valanciunas (calf) again given his doubtful listing. Larry Nance Jr. (ankle) is out already. On the back-to-back, I'm not expecting Andrew Wiggins (personal) to return for this one, either. Stephen Curry (leg) is expected to return on Sunday.
Finally, Anfernee Simons unfortunately reinjured his ankle in Wednesday's return to the lineup. He's doubtful to face Atlanta tonight.
With Simons back out of the lineup, we can look toward Damian Lillard ($10,800) once again on Friday.
Lillard's FanDuel score shot through the roof after Simons left the game, which was no surprise given Dame's massive 40.9% usage rate with Ant and Jusuf Nurkic off the floor this season. He's posted 58.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in that scenario, and Dejounte Murray ($8,500) is projecting well as a stacking partner for that 241.5-point total.
A salary discount on Terry Rozier ($7,800) certainly makes him more palatable in this post-LaMelo Ball era for Charlotte. Rozier's dud Wednesday was directly attributed to his 38.9% shooting. He still took a sizable 18 shots in a blowout.
The Kings and Clippers just played a defense-optional contest seven days ago, and Russell Westbrook ($7,900) could be an interesting target for the rematch with Kawhi sitting. In a microscopic sample, Westbrook has averaged 65.6 FanDuel points per 36 with Kawhi and Norm Powell off of the floor. The total is expectedly high (239.5) in Sactown.
Westbrook's teammates Terance Mann ($5,100) and Eric Gordon ($4,200) could have full roles in the shootout due to the injuries, and Kris Dunn ($4,500) should continue to see decent minutes as Utah's entire backcourt remains out.
They're the marquee value plays on the slate, but Josh Giddey ($8,000), Jordan Poole ($7,600), Marcus Smart ($6,100), and Mike Conley ($5,800) are others projecting well in our model.
We've actually got some interesting depth at wing today.
Of course, the headliner is Paul George ($9,000), holding a team-best 33.0% usage rate with Kawhi off the floor this season. He's salaried for his complimentary role and holds a solid floor in one of the better fantasy games of the day.
Utah-OKC is also one of those matchups, and Lauri Markkanen ($8,600) just torched the Thunder for 40 points last week. Jalen Williams saw a huge bump in salary entering this one, so Luguentz Dort ($6,000) might be the best option to stack that one up at wing.
Brandon Ingram ($8,300) just dropped 40 in Portland, but his 33.0% usage rate with Zion Williamson off of the floor always allows for that type of scoring output. Our projections also like Jaylen Brown ($8,600) in a matchup with the Nets, and Tyler Herro ($7,900) is worth targeting if Butler sits. This range is deep.
One guy has a strong opinion on who the new go-to option is in Charlotte, and that's Kelly Oubre ($7,000). He chucked up 24 shots and started for LaMelo in their first game without him. Oubre (2.04 blocks plus steals per 36) has a mammoth ceiling from his willingness to shoot and defensive ability.
Franz Wagner ($5,900) makes all the sense in the world as a bring-back option to Oubre and Rozier on the other side of that one, but Kyle Anderson ($5,800), Harrison Barnes ($5,600), Malik Beasley ($5,300), and Josh Okogie ($4,600) are also gleaming through our projections.
Quietly, Nikola Jokic has started to slide, failing to eclipse 55 FanDuel points in five of his last seven. At $12,000 on a full slate and facing a staunch Memphis defense, it might be wise to turn elsewhere.
Anthony Davis ($11,500) could absolutely be that elsewhere. Minnesota ranks out as a bottom-half opponent to combo bigs, and Davis had eclipsed 60 FanDuel points in back-to-back games with an injured or absent LeBron James before resting on Wednesday.
However, I'd prefer Domantas Sabonis ($9,600) of the two at salary. The stat-stuffer could feast on a Clippers frontcourt that allowed the seventh-most paint points per game in February (54.4). He was quiet in that wild game last Friday due to foul trouble, which could lower his popularity relative to De'Aaron Fox or Malik Monk.
All season, Bam Adebayo ($8,800) has been the primary beneficiary of Jimmy Butler sitting, amassing 46.1 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Buckets off the floor. Davis and Sabonis are forward-eligible, so he'd be the first key target at center if Butler is ruled out. Rudy Gobert ($7,900) and Kelly Olynyk ($5,800), in a full role against the size-depleted Thunder, are the other spots our projections would turn.
To the surprise of many late-swap demons, Willy Hernangomez got just 20 minutes in his start against Portland on Wednesday. I wouldn't even call him a priority in New Orleans' messy frontcourt that also features Jaxson Hayes. Honestly, the largest beneficiaries were wings Trey Murphy III ($5,200) and Naji Marshall ($5,100), who each saw at least 27 minutes.
JT Thor ($3,600) got 29 minutes for PJ Washington again on Wednesday. Perhaps one day he'll do something with them, and our model is holding out hope it's today. Al Horford ($5,700), John Collins ($5,700), and Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,600) are three others around Thor in our projections when searching for salary-based value.