FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 3/14/23
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||New Orleans||225.5||113.3||112.3||2||15|
We discussed Indiana's white flag going up yesterday. Per today's injury report, Portland might be flying theirs.
Damian Lillard (calf) and Jerami Grant (quad) are both listed as questionable tonight, and the Blazers -- needing every win they can for a potential play-in shot -- would likely need both to dispatch the Knicks. New York isn't likely to get Jalen Brunson (foot) back, per his doubtful listing.
Speaking of teams needing wins, the Pelicans have Brandon Ingram (ankle) listed as questionable for tonight's pivotal matchup with the Lakers.
The Nuggets may rest Jamal Murray (knee) north of the border tonight in Toronto.
Joe Ingles rested the front half of Milwaukee's back-to-back set last night, and now other key Bucks -- namely Khris Middleton -- might be subject to rest entering tonight's game in Phoenix.
Both pivots in Charlotte tonight will be backups. Jarrett Allen (eye) will sit for the visiting Cavaliers, and Mark Williams (thumb) is out for the Hornets.
Kyle Kuzma (knee) is out for Washington tonight in Detroit. On the second leg of a back-to-back, the Pistons are a total wild card, but Jaden Ivey (COVID-19 protocols), Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles), Marvin Bagley III (ankle), Isaiah Stewart (hip), and Hamidou Diallo (ankle) are all likely out with their long-term injuries.
Finally, the Magic might be without Franz Wagner (ankle) tonight, and they'll face a San Antonio squad with injury concerns of their own. Keldon Johnson (foot) and Jeremy Sochan (knee) are questionable while Tre Jones (illness), Malaki Branham (shoulder), and Romeo Langford (abdomen) are already ruled out.
**Editor's Note: Donovan Mitchell was ruled out after this article was published due to a finger injury. As always, make sure to check numberFire's projections for up-to-the-minute updates on the best way to play today's main slate.**
The top of guard today is a mile wide and an inch deep.
We've got options, but none stand truly above the rest in our projections. With Kuzma sitting, I'll likely start at Bradley Beal ($9,000), who averages 44.8 FanDuel points per 36 with Kuz off the floor, and the Pistons' ragged cast of characters has posted a 116.6 defensive rating since January 1st.
Matchups also work in favor of Spencer Dinwiddie ($8,600) and Fred VanVleet ($8,400). The Thunder and Nuggets are both bottom-10 squads in FanDuel points allowed to point guards over their past 15 games. C.J. McCollum ($8,400) is also a swap candidate if we get news B.I. will sit tonight.
The mid-range is really where our projections start to find more comfort. Markelle Fultz ($7,000) is gleaming through in this sublime matchup with the Spurs, who have a 115.4 defensive rating since the trade deadline. With Brunson likely out, Immanuel Quickley ($6,900) is on the table again, too.
Devin Vassell ($6,500) and Devonte' Graham ($5,600) should both take advantage of the Spurs' backcourt injuries in larger roles, and they're already toward the top of the projections list before all statuses are final.
Those around them include Chris Paul ($8,300), Monte Morris ($5,000), and Rodney McGruder ($4,800). Add Reggie Jackson ($4,300) to that list if Murray sits.
As expected, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800) returned in an unlimited fashion, posting 46 points and 12 boards last night in Sacramento. The 232.0-point total in Phoenix is stackable, but Giannis' return squashes most of his Milwaukee teammates at their elevated salaries, so he'd be a key piece of one.
Behind him, it's bleak, so I don't mind taking a shot at the upside of Mikal Bridges ($8,400) today. His salary is small for a guy who's eclipsed 30 real-life points in four of his last six, but his peripheral stats and stocks (steals plus blocks) have dropped considerably in Brooklyn. He just needs a few more bounces his way on the glass to smash this tag.
The Raptors are especially tough on centers, so if Murray sits for Denver, Aaron Gordon ($6,700) and Michael Porter Jr. ($6,100) are awesome looks on this slate. Both dropped in at least 19 points and 5 rebounds in their home win over Toronto earlier this month. Bruce Brown Jr. ($5,500) should also benefit.
At a position sparse on value today, Josh Hart ($5,600) leads the way behind the full-time role he's claimed in Brunson's stead. Josh Okogie ($5,100) is also a natural pairing for Giannis in the same game with his full role, and Detroit's Eugene Omoruyi ($5,000) should see another start due to the Pistons' injuries.
Deni Avdija ($5,200) and Corey Kispert ($4,800) are two other places to consider in light of Kuzma's absence from Washington.
Nikola Jokic is in better form lately, but this matchup is still brutal. Toronto has ceded the fourth-fewest FanDuel points per game to centers, and they held Jokic to 17 points, 13 boards, and 9 assists (45.1 FanDuel points) in their meeting last week. Even with Murray out, I'd rather have Giannis.
I'd also rather have Anthony Davis ($11,300) in a return to NOLA. Davis' quiet last couple of games could regress toward the mean tonight when facing a Pels defense that's allowed the 10th-most FanDuel points to centers over their last 10 games. With Jonas Valanciunas held below 21 minutes since returning, they just don't have much size to stop a guy like A.D. at the moment.
In a great matchup with Charlotte, Evan Mobley ($8,200) should do some damage with Allen sitting. Mobley has posted 41.5 FanDuel points per 36 with J.A. off the floor this season, and remember, the Hornets will be starting Nick Richards ($6,200) on the other side in place of Williams. They stack together nicely, and Lamar Stevens ($4,000) is another value option in this frontcourt matchup.
Zach Collins ($7,100) erupted for 38.2 FanDuel points with all the missing Spurs on Sunday. Though we don't know his exact floor condition, it should be pretty solid.
There's considerable risk with Jusuf Nurkic ($6,800) after he was just limited to 10 minutes on Sunday due to poor play. However, if Grant and Lillard sit, there isn't a lot of offensive talent left in Portland outside of him and Anfernee Simons ($7,200). He's one of those potential home run swings in tournaments.
There aren't a ton of stellar value plays here outside of Richards and Stevens, but PJ Washington ($6,800), Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,500), Daniel Gafford ($5,300), and Isaiah Livers ($4,900) could be pieces to mix in.