FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 3/22/23
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
It's never good to see someone on the injury report after a double-overtime game, but James Harden is.
Harden (Achilles) is questionable for Philadelphia's rematch with the Bulls tonight. P.J. Tucker (ankle) is also questionable for the Sixers, and Chicago has Alex Caruso (foot) listed as uncertain.
It's the status quo for Dallas in tonight's Western Conference Finals rematch with Golden State. Luka Doncic (thigh) is questionable, and Kyrie Irving (foot) joins him despite logging nearly 40 minutes in back-to-back contests. Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness) is questionable, too.
Tyrese Haliburton (knee) has a questionable status again despite missing five straight, but just Chris Duarte (ankle) joins him in doubt for Indiana tonight. They're in Toronto, where the Raptors may not have Scottie Barnes (wrist) after he left Sunday's game early.
It's been a while, but Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) will return for Minnesota, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. Teammate Anthony Edwards (ankle) is questionable. On the other side of that one, Dejounte Murray (illness) is also questionable for Atlanta after missing Tuesday's game.
The Blazers have just continued to fall apart. Jerami Grant (quad) and Anfernee Simons (foot) will sit Wednesday, and Nassir Little (concussion) is questionable. They're facing a Utah squad that can relate. Jordan Clarkson (finger) is out again for this one, and Lauri Markkanen (back) is questionable to miss a second straight contest.
Kyle Kuzma (ankle) has a chance to return for the second leg of Washington's back-to-back, but we'll see if they rest anyone else against Denver.
San Antonio is on a back-to-back, too. Their injury circus could truly go anywhere, but Keldon Johnson (neck), Devin Vassell (knee), and Jeremy Sochan (knee) are the ones to watch after missing yesterday's tilt with listed injuries. They're in Milwaukee; the Bucks are down just Jae Crowder (calf).
Deandre Ayton (hip) is the lone fresh absence tonight in Los Angeles for Suns-Lakers. They're still missing Kevin Durant and LeBron James, respectively.
In a stunning turn of events, Dillon Brooks was suspended for an 18th technical foul. He'll miss tonight's game versus the Rockets, who are listing Jae'Sean Tate (knee) out for this one.
Finally, Miami has Caleb Martin (knee) listed as questionable, but Kyle Lowry (knee) is expected back for their battle with the Knicks.
With no Grant and Simons, we know the drill with Damian Lillard ($10,300) in a game he likely needs to win to avoid being shut down for the year.
Behind an absurd 40.6% usage rate, Lillard has posted 60.6 FanDuel points per 36 minutes this year with those two off the floor. Utah's ceded the third-most FanDuel points to point guards in their last seven games as they continue to operate without their starting backcourt, too.
I'd love Dejounte Murray ($8,400) back for today's highest-totaled affair in Minneapolis (241.5 points), but I'd likely pass on the elevated popularity of Trae Young if Murray remains out. It's a large slate, and Young's salary isn't a whopping bargain for his per-36 FanDuel production rate (53.1) with Murray off the floor.
Chris Paul ($8,100), Jrue Holiday ($7,900), Kevin Porter Jr. ($7,800), and Jamal Murray ($7,700) are projecting well in a pivotal range at this position, but all come with concerns. Holiday and KPJ will battle double-digit spreads to see a full workload, and CP3 will have to navigate the new-look Lakers defense, which holds a tremendous 110.8 defensive rating this month. Murray might have the best combination of the four.
In terms of value, Monte Morris ($4,900) drew 31 minutes last night entering this revenge spot versus the Nuggets. D'Angelo Russell ($7,600), Ochai Agbaji ($4,700), and John Konchar ($3,900) are others projecting well now, but San Antonio's Tre Jones ($5,900) or Malaki Branham ($5,100) could easily join that list once their report is official.
The spread is the ultimate question for Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700), who should otherwise demolish the Spurs' league-worst 119.1 defensive rating. It's award season, so Giannis might log a couple of extra minutes to pad the stat sheet in such a toothless matchup. I don't think he's an automatic cross-off.
Behind him, though, this position really tapers off. The next study point to leap onto is Toronto's wing pairing of OG Anunoby ($6,700) and Gary Trent Jr. ($5,800). Scottie Barnes is reasonably closer to doubtful, and the Pacers cede the fourth-most FanDuel points to small forwards.
We'll recycle value from yesterday here, too. If Murray sits, Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,800) should be thrust into a full role. If Kuzma sits, Deni Avdija ($5,200) should be stellar again. Talen Horton-Tucker ($6,900) is also a viable option as he remains Utah's starting floor general.
If Ant Edwards sits again, Taurean Prince deserves a shout -- but not in a good way for this slate. He hit all eight threes he shot on Monday but failed to eclipse 16 FanDuel points in any of his previous five games with a decent role. It'd be tough to expect a repeat at a $5,400 salary, so I'd rather get to teammate Jaden McDaniels ($5,600) if forced.
Other unspectacular options here include Portland's Cam Reddish ($5,000), Phoenix's full-time duo of Josh Okogie ($5,600) and Torrey Craig ($4,800), Houston's Kenyon Martin Jr. ($5,400), or Indiana's Bennedict Mathurin ($5,300) if Haliburton remains out for this one. You'll likely just want to target whoever might be correlated with others in the game.
Though double overtime got Joel Embiid where he needed to go on Monday, the matchup with Chicago is still brutal. I'll prefer Nikola Jokic ($11,900) today.
Jokic has quietly rounded into form, eclipsing 60 FanDuel points in four of his last six, and the Wiz have allowed the sixth-most FanDuel points to centers over their last seven games. Of course, Kristaps Porzingis ($9,000) would be another popular choice on the other side if Kuzma sits again.
Pascal Siakam ($8,700) is another solid choice right behind Porzingis if Barnes sits. He averages 47.4 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Scottie off the floor, which makes sense considering the overlapping skillsets of the two forwards.
Like Washington, Dallas is another team that's had difficulty with size. They've allowed the 11th-most paint points and 2nd-most second-chance opportunities in the NBA this month, so Draymond Green ($6,300) has a modest outlook at his declining salary.
In terms of true value, it's notable Santi Aldama ($4,700) logged more minutes than Jaren Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman last time out in a tight game. The 22-year-old would likely get blowout run against Houston, too.
Jabari Smith ($6,400), Maxi Kleber ($4,300), and Kevin Love ($4,200) are others projecting decently well on this 10-game slate, but the landscape could shift in a hurry with back-to-back-related news.