FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 3/23/23
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
|Oklahoma City||LA Clippers||232.5||114.0||118.5||2||24|
The Clippers dodged a massive bullet on Tuesday. Paul George (knee) left the arena on a cart and many assumed the worst. Thankfully, he's not out for the season, but he is out for a little while, including Thursday's repeat matchup with the Thunder. Norman Powell (shoulder) remains out for Los Angeles, too.
Jalen Suggs (concussion) will sit again for the Magic. They host the Knicks.
New Orleans has no fresh injury news, but Zion Williamson (hamstring) and Jose Alvarado (leg) remain out. Mark Williams (thumb) will sit again for the visiting Hornets.
The game between the Cleveland and Brooklyn is injury-free.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,600) could be overlooked for the low overall FanDuel total (41.4) in this exact matchup on Tuesday, but it was a floor outcome.
He didn't add a stock (steals plus blocks) to four turnovers, but he dropped 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Paul George is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, so we could see the Clippers' FanDuel point totals allowed to point guards bloom in the coming weeks.
Josh Giddey ($7,300) isn't a bad choice. He's salaried well below his season-long mark for FanDuel points per 36 minutes (41.2) and hasn't eclipsed 41 FanDuel points in three games. The bounce-back game is coming.
However, both OKC guards pale in comparison to Russell Westbrook ($7,700), who is now thrust into George's secondary scoring role. In a limited sample, Russ has posted 39.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with PG off the floor, and his usage rate ticks up to 29.7%. While George is out, we could see a version of Westbrook similar to when he shared the Wizards' backcourt with Bradley Beal.
Expect a full role for Terance Mann ($5,600), too. Mann is floating near the top of our point-per-dollar projections today with Spencer Dinwiddie ($8,000), Cole Anthony ($6,200), and Dennis Smith Jr. ($6,000) closely behind him.
We'll stay on the Clippers here, too.
Kawhi Leonard ($10,000) should be a popular choice, but it's really hard to say he's a must. He's put forth only 46.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes on a 31.2% usage rate with PG13 off the floor this year. The usage increase is nice, but Leonard's upside remains mostly about his night-to-night efficiency and contribution on the glass.
It could be sharp to pivot off Kawhi on tonight's short slate, and Brandon Ingram ($8,700) is an excellent candidate. With at least 38 FanDuel points in all four games since returning, his floor rocks, and his upside could come from this matchup. Charlotte has allowed the seventh-most FanDuel points to small forwards this year.
With Mikal Bridges ($7,800) also below $8,000, we have plenty of mid-range studs to favor a balance build. That'll help us considering we're light on value.
Luguentz Dort ($5,900) is another option as a run-back piece to the Clippers' value train. Marcus Morris ($5,000) also works from that game. Morris is a high-risk play who could easily be benched late, but a hot start could earn him 30-plus minutes at a small salary.
Cameron Johnson ($6,700), RJ Barrett ($6,400), Trey Murphy III ($5,900), and Herbert Jones ($5,600) are others performing well in our projections if they fit the rest of the build.
The salary on Julius Randle ($10,300) is likely too high, but he's one of three realistic bets on this slate to reach 50 FanDuel points, and he'll be -- by far -- the least popular. I find that intriguing in a matchup with Orlando, a team that allows the ninth-most FanDuel points to power forwards.
Even navigating foul trouble on Tuesday, Wendell Carter Jr. ($7,200) saw 34 minutes; he's a safe bring-back option from the Magic.
Nicolas Claxton ($7,900) got benched due to a tremendous outing from Day'Ron Sharpe on Tuesday, but I'm not sure that holds if Sharpe struggles tonight. Claxton is certainly worth a look on a bleak slate for centers.
On the other side, we'll likely have to consider Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen ($7,700) out of necessity. With the lower salary, Allen returned to 35 minutes and 35.7 FanDuel points on Tuesday. I'd choose him -- especially in the revenge spot.
One day soon, PJ Washington ($6,400) will return to playing at his season-long rate. He's averaged 31.4 FanDuel points per 36 minutes this year in all floor situations, and of course, he's scuffled through 40.4% shooting in March as the Hornets have lost Mark Williams and LaMelo Ball. If he returns to form on this short slate, PJ will be a must.
As much as I want to target the Clippers today, I can't. Ivica Zubac is projecting well, but he was limited to 19 minutes in this same matchup on Tuesday. Mason Plumlee logged 20. Neither are safe bets versus an OKC squad that played just 29 minutes with a center in the previous clash.