FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 3/9/23
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
If you survived yesterday's slate, welcome back. We've already got more value than yesterday from injury report traffic, and hopefully, we can avoid stars getting hurt all over the place.
For me, the most notable news on the slate is with the Nets, who are a 12.0-point underdog. They're sitting Spencer Dinwiddie (rest), Nicolas Claxton (Achilles), Cameron Johnson (knee), and Royce O'Neale (knee) for this one in Milwaukee. The Bucks are back to full strength outside of Wesley Matthews (calf).
The Knicks have a good chance to get Jalen Brunson (foot) back for this game in Sacramento after a game-time decision ruled him out Tuesday.
It's status quo in Memphis for the marquee game of the day. Ja Morant (personal) remains out for the Grizzlies, and Andrew Wiggins (personal) will sit again for the Warriors.
Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh) will be out tonight for Houston. They're in Indiana, and the Pacers have Aaron Nesmith (hip) listed as a game-time call.
Utah has Walker Kessler (illness) and Jordan Clarkson (finger) listed as questionable for their contest in Orlando. Collin Sexton (hamstring) is already out again. The Magic will be down Wendell Carter Jr. (hip) for this one, too.
Finally, the Detroit Pistons injury circus rolls on. We know Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles) is out and likely done for the season. Hamidou Diallo (ankle), Isaiah Stewart (hip), and Alec Burks (foot) are out as they host Charlotte. However, they are expected to get Jalen Duren (ankle) back for this one, per a probable listing.
On the other side, the Hornets are at relatively full strength aside from LaMelo Ball.
**Editor's Note: Giannis Antetokounmpo was a surprise scratch due to an illness after this article was published. As always, check numberFire's projections for up-to-the-minute advice on how to approach today's slate.**
Injuries have derailed a lot of high-end salaries at the top with guys now returning, and while his mark is elevated, Tyrese Haliburton ($10,200) is worth considering in this particular matchup.
The 236.0-point total in Indiana is indicative of a shootout, which should come as no surprise with the Rockets and Pacers top-10 teams in pace and bottom-10 teams in defensive rating. Hali has eclipsed 52 FanDuel points in three straight behind an increased 30.5% usage rate during those games.
On the other side, Jalen Green ($6,800) is my favorite play on the slate. KPJ's injury was a surprise, so salary crafters didn't have the chance to adjust to Green's salary to reflect his rate of 36.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with KPJ off the floor.
The other high-end guy I'd look at is Terry Rozier ($8,200) against a Pistons squad allowing the second-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards. Stephen Curry's major salary rise -- up to $10,500 -- has our projections favoring Klay Thompson ($7,500) on a per-dollar basis.
The projections, in my opinion, have nailed Brooklyn tonight. Expect Edmond Sumner ($3,900) to start and see the bulk of the point-guard minutes despite Seth Curry ($4,200) playing ahead of him recently in a bench role. Those two are the key value plays on the slate, but Tyus Jones ($7,500), Jaden Ivey ($7,000), and Markelle Fultz ($7,000) are also grading out fine at their marks.
The massive spread in Milwaukee is a key differentiation point on this slate. If you think the game stays close, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,200) makes a boatload of sense with the best value plays of the day correlating from the other side. You should probably pass on Giannis is you think a blowout is coming.
Behind Giannis, Lauri Markkanen ($9,000) has a higher tag than expected, but he's still worth it if Jordan Clarkson sits. He's averaged 47.9 FanDuel points per 36 with Clarkson and Sexton off the floor since the trade deadline, and Lauri's rebounding would only be aided if Kessler also sits. Paolo Banchero ($7,800) and Franz Wagner ($5,900) are projecting well on the other side.
The value here is sensational. With those 40-point scoring outbursts not too long ago, Cam Thomas ($4,700) should reclaim some of that role despite the recent dip in playing time. Notably, Thomas would probably play in a blowout, which increases his floor and ceiling.
In Indiana, Houston has plenty of mix-and-match options at wing with Porter sitting. Tari Eason ($5,900), Kenyon Martin Jr. ($5,600), and Jae'Sean Tate ($4,700) should all see expanded roles in a fast-paced environment. Buddy Hield ($6,200) and Bennedict Mathurin ($5,500) are also grading out well in our projections, so this game is, in my eyes, the top fantasy spot of the night.
Donte DiVincenzo ($6,000) and Dillon Brooks ($5,000) are another value tandem who are playing in the same game, so it's pretty fun building in tournaments tonight when we don't have to sacrifice correlation for value.
Despite the gaudy 239.5-point total for Knicks-Kings, I haven't talked about it much -- largely because Jalen Brunson and De'Aaron Fox are returning to squads who are salaried as if those two are out.
Considering they're further away from ballhandling duties, Domantas Sabonis ($10,000) and Julius Randle ($9,800) might be the place to mini-stack that one. Sabonis' sturdy floor has left him above 48 FanDuel points in four straight, and Randle's matchup is better. Sacramento's 115.9 defensive rating lags a bit behind New York's (113.4).
Our projections still see Jaren Jackson Jr. ($8,800) as viable despite the salary bump, but the top per-dollar value of the day is teammate Xavier Tillman ($6,000), who continues to crush in his 30-plus-minute role.
Checking back in with today's top game, Myles Turner ($8,300) is another option who can destroy Houston's shoddy perimeter defense. The Rockets allow the most three-point tries per game in the league (39.1), and 34.5% of Turner's shots comes from out there. It's hard to knock Jabari Smith ($5,300) on the other side when he's been seeing run during blowouts lately.
Nerlens Noel ($3,800) played 18 minutes to Day'Ron Sharpe's 0 in Brooklyn's last game, so I'd expect the veteran to start and play a bulk of the time at the pivot. Sharpe's $4,400 salary isn't even a bargain in his current role below.
Another center to consider is Mark Williams ($5,500), whose sporadic playing time can be forgiven with the nice haircut in salary. Kelly Olynyk ($5,800), Moritz Wagner ($4,400), and Isaiah Livers ($4,200) are three other nice value plays. Jalen Duren's return squashes much of the Detroit frontcourt, but Livers should still see work on the wing.