FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 3/29/23
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
We'll see if Philadelphia is at full strength tonight.
Joel Embiid (calf) and James Harden (Achilles) both sat Monday in Denver and are questionable to play tonight in Dallas, per the official injury report. Maxi Kleber (hamstring) looks to be a game-time call for the Mavs.
The Bucks expect to get Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) and Jrue Holiday (personal) back tonight, but Khris Middleton (knee) and Joe Ingles (knee) are now the question marks for Milwaukee. They're in Indiana, and the Pacers will be down Tyrese Haliburton (ankle) and Chris Duarte (ankle). Myles Turner (back) is a question mark.
Portland's four key starters out of the lineup dating back to last week will remain that way on Wednesday, and Trendon Watford (ankle) and Cam Reddish (back) are once again likely to join them. They're hosting a Sacramento squad that may have an increased motivation to rest their key guys.
LeBron James (foot) returned on Sunday off the bench, but he's questionable tonight. The Lakers are in Chicago, but Alex Caruso (foot) might miss part two of his reunion with the former squad.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) sat last night against Charlotte, so who knows if he plays against lowly Detroit. In addition to their long-term absences, the Pistons will be missing Rodney McGruder (foot) tonight in Oklahoma City.
SGA's absence impacted last night's slate, and the same can be said for Ja Morant (thigh). He's expected to play tonight versus the Clippers, though. Norman Powell (shoulder) has a chance to return for L.A. tonight, and Marcus Morris (COVID-19 protocols) won't suit up.
Jimmy Butler (neck) also sat on last night's slate. He's -- at best -- questionable tonight in New York, and Jalen Brunson (hand) is a question mark for the Knicks.
The Suns are expecting that Kevin Durant (ankle) will play tonight versus Minnesota. Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) is probable to return from a maintenance day for the Wolves.
Finally, in a huge game for tanking purposes, the Spurs aren't holding back. Keldon Johnson (foot), Devin Vassell (knee), and Jeremy Sochan (knee) will all sit as San Antonio hosts Utah. Lauri Markkanen (hand) will sit for the Jazz.
Though I'm not 100% certain the team won't rest a recent hamstring issue against the laughably tanking Blazers, De'Aaron Fox ($9,100) figures to crush them if he suits up.
Sacramento and Portland have two of the worst six defensive ratings in the month of March, but the 14-point spread in favor of the visitors speaks volumes about the risk. The Blazers have ceded the eighth-most FanDuel points to point guards so far, and they're now down Damian Lillard in that department.
Though lacking injury news, Houston and Brooklyn can help here. Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,900) gets to attack the squad ceding the most FanDuel points to floor generals, and Kevin Porter Jr. ($7,800) is a triple-double threat I'll roll the dice on as a bring-back plug anywhere short of $8,000.
Jrue Holiday ($7,400) could be an important fixture on this slate. I don't think it's certain Giannis returns for the tanking Pacers, and they don't need him to win comfortably. Holiday averages at least 42.1 FanDuel points per 36 with one of Giannis or Khris Middleton off the floor.
Portland's rotation in a blowout (as is projected Wednesday) is a mess, but Shaedon Sharpe ($6,900) and Keon Johnson ($5,700) were the two Blazers with sizable roles inside and outside of garbage time. Sharpe is all but guaranteed 35-plus minutes at a modest salary versus a bad defense.
In terms of value, Jaden Ivey ($6,600), Mike Conley ($5,800), Kris Dunn ($5,100), and Patrick Beverley ($4,700) are projecting well as values at present, but the dust isn't settled. De'Anthony Melton ($5,900), Isaiah Joe ($5,500), and Gabe Vincent ($4,200) could all be key plugs if injury news breaks their way.
Oh yeah, that Immanuel Quickley ($7,200) guy might also be important to monitor if Brunson sits again, but J.B. is -- for the record -- expected to play.
By Milwaukee's standard, an 11.5-point spread isn't terrible, so Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,600) is worth consideration -- likely without Middleton -- if he does end up making it onto the court. I've got too much trauma from him sitting from probable statuses to believe it, honestly.
Zach LaVine ($8,100) got a sizable haircut in salary after a run-in with the Clippers' wing defense, but it's left him in a great spot. He's eclipsed 38 FanDuel points in 10 of his last 13, which is a great floor for the salary. Mikal Bridges ($8,100) at the exact same salary is also in a great position, having scored 30-plus real-life points in 7 of his last 13 games. His ceiling is enormous for the acquisition cost.
Jalen Williams ($7,100) has arrived. There's not a mathematical reason he shouldn't win Rookie of the Year, and with SGA off the floor, he's posted 39.3 FanDuel points per 36. I'd ponder him with SGA back, but without him, expect another massive roster rate. Luguentz Dort ($5,500) would also benefit if SGA sits.
Tyler Herro ($7,200), Tobias Harris ($6,600), and RJ Barrett ($6,300) are others that could shoot up the priority list with key injury news. So much of this slate is unsettled now to know for sure.
With Haliburton already ruled out, we can look toward Bennedict Mathurin ($5,400) and Jordan Nwora ($5,400) again on Wednesday. Malaki Branham ($4,900) is another key name with all of San Antonio's absences, and he's also got a forgiving salary when he plays blowouts, too.
Talen Horton-Tucker ($6,300), Cameron Johnson ($6,100), and Kenyon Martin Jr. ($5,800) are three other more traditional value plays if the slate ends up rather tame with a majority of stars playing.
Unlike the other positional groups, this one is pretty loaded at the top.
If LeBron does sit, Anthony Davis ($10,500) becomes a gigantic priority at his fleeting salary. The night-to-night consistency isn't always there, but he's averaging 57.5 FanDuel points per 36 with James off the court this season. That's largely unmatched elsewhere on the slate.
Domantas Sabonis ($10,200) is another Kings star that should pummel the Blazers for as long as he can, and blowout concerns might be a bit foolish. His rotation has set up to a point where he's played at least 31 minutes every game since the break.
Julius Randle would be a potential third option here if Brunson sat, but that seems unlikely. This position grouping picks up again with Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,100) returning from a rest day.
Towns hasn't put the pieces together yet, but he logged 32 minutes against the Warriors on Sunday and averages 41.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes this season. He's reserved for one-offs, though, with the Suns largely all oversalaried for Durant's return.
The shorthanded Spurs should lean more on Zach Collins ($7,200), who lit the Jazz up for 44.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes last month in a pair of meetings.
This position has key value plugs, too. Jalen Smith ($5,000) started on Monday but saw just 23 minutes. You have to wonder if that role would have risen if not for the small-ball Mavericks on the other side. America's center, Drew Eubanks ($5,600), should also get a full role for Portland if that one somehow stays close.
Others projecting well include Keita Bates-Diop ($5,100), Jarred Vanderbilt ($4,900), and Isaiah Livers ($4,700).