FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 3/10/23
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
The red-hot Lakers should bump up another level on Friday. D'Angelo Russell (ankle) joins Anthony Davis (foot) as probable, and now the team is just missing LeBron James (foot) and Mohamed Bamba (ankle).
Portland is another squad getting healthy at the right time. They got back Jusuf Nurkic (calf) on Wednesday, and Anfernee Simons (ankle) is upgraded to questionable for tonight's game in Philadelphia.
It's worth noting that, despite no stretch run in their future, San Antonio is healthy. Only Khem Birch (knee) remains out, and all other rotational listings are probable. They host Denver tonight.
Other than Jaylen Nowell (knee) still out to open a few minutes in Minnesota's backcourt, this slate is as clean from injury as a six-game slate could be. We're really just waiting on the news with Simons. It must almost be playoff time.
With minimal value and just two guards above $8,000 sporting a value score above 4.50 in our projections, it's likely to default to a balanced build tonight, and guard has a great recipe for that type of construction.
The two high-upside studs with lower salaries are Dejounte Murray ($8,500) and Fred VanVleet ($8,400). Murray managed to crawl to 38.3 FanDuel points in this exact matchup with Washington on Wednesday despite 5-for-16 (31.3%) shooting. He's one of the few stars from that game with room to grow.
As for VanVleet, he's eclipsed 39 FanDuel points in five of his last seven entering this excellent matchup. The Lakers cede the third-most FanDuel points per game to point guards.
From there, we can shine a light on some of these lower-salaried full-time roles that take a backseat on slates with injury news. Mike Conley ($5,500) leads the way and has logged at least 29 minutes in Minnesota's last seven close affairs. He's eclipsed 28 FanDuel points in four of them.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,100) is low-salaried access to a Nuggets squad with a 124.3-point implied total. On the other side, Tre Jones ($5,700) returns from a rest day after logging 25 minutes in his last game. He could push for 30-plus minutes at a reasonable mark. Jones' teammate Devin Vassell ($6,500) could, too.
Delon Wright ($5,600), Victor Oladipo ($4,800), and De'Anthony Melton ($4,600) are also guards with 30-minute roles to consider as value plugs.
Thankfully, there is no five-digit stud at wing today, so we'll carry on with a balanced approach here.
Jimmy Butler likely gets some love after eclipsing 48 FanDuel points in his past two contests and rounding into "Playoff Jimmy" form, but the 216.0-point total in Cleveland is putrid, and he's needed 57.1% shooting to do it. A cold night could easily end his hot stretch.
I'd rather turn to Anthony Edwards ($8,800) below his median salary from February, and Edwards hasn't eclipsed 50 FanDuel points in seven games. With the same massive usage rate (30.8% since the trade deadline), he's going to erupt for a 30-point scoring effort soon.
Kyle Kuzma ($7,900) pulled down 25 points and 10 boards in Washington's loss to Atlanta on Wednesday. I could see an encore in the repeat matchup on Friday considering the Hawks cede the third-most FanDuel points to Kuzma's listed power forward spot.
I've purposely not talked Brooklyn Nets after last night's circus, turning to the very end of their bench to start the second half in Milwaukee. Mikal Bridges was limited to just 12 minutes, so I have zero ideas as to who will see floor time for Brooklyn tonight, and I'm not sure the juice against a solid Minnesota D is even worth the squeeze.
That said, Cameron Johnson ($5,800) rested yesterday and leads our projections that assume a 30-minute role if Jacque Vaughn doesn't lose his mind again. Others projecting well behind Johnson include Keldon Johnson ($6,900), Jaden McDaniels ($5,400), Malik Beasley ($5,300), and Corey Kispert ($4,400).
I've said twice this week that it wasn't a Nikola Jokic ($11,700) spot. Today emphatically is.
Jokic draws a Spurs team allowing the second-most FanDuel points to centers -- and most since trading Jakob Poeltl. Denver has a -3.1 net rating on the road, so I actually believe the Spurs can hang tighter than the 12-point spread implies. Pairing Jokic with Keldon, Vassell, and Jones is my favorite way to target today's second-highest game total (236.5).
Joel Embiid ($12,000) isn't in a bad spot either against Portland, and these two will be -- by far -- the most contrarian ways to spend salary due to positional exclusion. Joel's only eclipsed 60 FanDuel points once in his past five games, so his significant upside at this mark is a bit tougher to see.
De'Andre Hunter ($5,300) and John Collins ($5,100) each got 29 minutes and closed the game in favor of Saddiq Bey on Wednesday. The two are solid options to fill out forward spots around the pivots as they start to reclaim the roles they had before Bey's arrival.
Our projections believe Kevin Love ($4,700) is a solid choice at per-minute production after sliding into Miami's starting lineup in Cleveland on Wednesday. He's not a bad dart on a slate with few great ones.
Pascal Siakam ($8,900), Jarrett Allen ($7,400), Michael Porter Jr. ($6,400), and Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,700) are four other ways the projections fancy to fill the forward spots.