FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 3/28/22
If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.
Daily fantasy basketball is very reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to make sure 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.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, 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
A messy weekend has left plenty of turbulence on Monday's official NBA injury report.
In terms of single-game impact, the Golden State Warriors take the cake. They'll likely be resting Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Otto Porter. They're in Memphis, and the Grizz could be down Jaren Jackson Jr. (thigh) and Brandon Clarke (hip).
The Celtics are the next major hotspot. They're going to be without Robert Williams (knee), and both Al Horford (personal) and Jayson Tatum (knee) are increasingly likely to join him on the sidelines. The Raptors have injuries on their side, as well, after Fred VanVleet (knee) exited Saturday and didn't return. Gary Trent Jr. (toe) is also questionable for a fourth straight contest.
The tank-off in Portland is absurd. The Blazers have already ruled out Josh Hart (knee), Trendon Watford (leg), and Justise Winslow (calf). Greg Brown (eye) is questionable, as well. Oklahoma City is also down to try to lose this one; they'll be sitting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ankle) and likely Darius Bazley, who is doubtful with a knee issue.
Indiana will be resting Malcolm Brogdon versus Atlanta, and Isaiah Jackson (head) and Chris Duarte (toe) will join him in street clothes. Goga Bitadze (foot) is questionable for the Pacers, too. For the Hawks, Danilo Gallinari (elbow) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) are questionable.
Dejounte Murray ($10,000): Two elite options sit at the top of point guard today. Both Murray and Trae Young are facing off against teams that are bottom-five in defensive rating this season. Both represent a pace-up spot for San Antonio and Atlanta, respectively. Murray regained his form with a triple-double in 40 minutes on Saturday, and he's already destroyed Houston this season. He's averaged 57.1 FanDuel points per contest in three battles with the Rockets thus far.
Marcus Smart ($6,000): This salary might be too low on a normal night for the C's, but with a laundry list of guys potentially out, Smart takes center stage. He's seen boosts in both usage rate (2.2 percentage points) and FanDuel points per minute (+0.06) with Tatum off the floor this season. Tatum has been such a stalwart since the trade deadline that Boston's world without him will be very different, but Smart should at least see a small uptick at an already-fair salary.
Theo Maledon ($4,900): Maledon had this exact role last season in OKC. When Gilgeous-Alexander was off the floor, he was due for 30-plus minutes at a moderate production rate (0.83 FanDuel points per minute last season). He's been a total afterthought this year with several new faces in the mix, but they're all hurt, as well. Maledon's posted back-to-back contests of more than 30 minutes and 30 FanDuel points; he's a no-brainer in the bargain bin against the tanking Blazers.
Others to Consider:
Trae Young ($10,100): Elite matchup and would benefit from Gallinari or Bogdanovic sitting. Solid 234.5-point total here, too.
Tyrese Haliburton ($7,500): Brogdon being out has historically created elite upside. Atlanta has a bottom-five defensive rating, as well.
Gary Payton II ($4,300): Jordan Poole is over-salaried but the best option. Payton can work in the same backcourt due to his non-scoring abilities.
Keon Johnson ($3,800): Getting 30-plus minutes for Portland right now. Like the long-term talent, as well, for the rookie from Tennessee.
Jaylen Brown ($7,300): If Tatum sits, there quite literally won't be a small forward above $8,000 to choose from. With stars at point guard and center, it's really no big deal. Brown will be obvious chalk if his partner in crime is out. He's had a gigantic 35.1% usage rate with Tatum off the floor this season. Although, at times, it's led to disappointing production, and 1.25 FanDuel points per minute in that situation does imply the Boston offense takes a serious hit without its best player.
**Editor's Note: Brown is now out himself with a knee issue. Celtics' injury updates throughout the day can be found here.**
Caris LeVert ($4,900): Cleveland has no injury news to speak of, yet LeVert trumps several wings on teams that are filled with absences. That's because he returned to the starting lineup over the weekend and played 36 minutes against Chicago. Not only is that noteworthy to LeVert (and his stellar projection via numberFire's model), but that's also worth noting in terms of the viability of Darius Garland. Garland already dipped to just 1.06 FanDuel points per minute on Saturday.
Jonathan Kuminga ($4,400): Andrew Wiggins has been more than happy to take a backseat after his All-Star Game appearance. He's averaging just 0.93 FanDuel points per minute in March overall as Poole, Kuminga, and Klay Thompson have asserted themselves. In limited court time, Kuminga (23.0%) has an identical usage rate to Wiggins (23.0%) this month, and usage rate is directly linked to court time. At this lower salary, take Kuminga's more aggressive habits -- though both wings can work.
Others to Consider:
Buddy Hield ($6,200): Monstrous game last week with no Brogdon. I'm good chasing it with his full-time role back to normal.
Andrew Wiggins ($5,800): Not as aggressive, but his higher salary will also reduce popularity. Viable in tournaments at the very least.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,600): Houston's usage tree is crowded with Jalen Green's emergence but still has at least 25 FanDuel points in six of seven. Good floor.
OG Anunoby ($5,400): Likely in line to return to 30-plus minutes, and he's already outperformed this salary in a limited role.
Nikola Jokic ($10,900): There is no doubt where the top priority of the slate lies. Jokic gets a Charlotte team that's bottom-five in defensive rebounding rate and second-chance points. He's also at a reduced salary after last Thursday's dud in a tough matchup against Phoenix. There's really not a value center worth considering on this slate, either. That gives us the freedom to go at fantasy basketball's most stable force.
Julius Randle ($8,300): Randle returned this weekend to 31 minutes against the Pistons, and at this lowered salary due to his injury layoff, he's a key priority in tournaments. We've seen Randle explode for 60-plus FanDuel points twice in his last eight games, and Chicago is currently a spot where an explosion can happen. The visiting Bulls have allowed the sixth-most paint points per game (51.0) in March, and their leaky defense could let Julius find the rim at will.
Daniel Theis ($3,800): With Williams out and Horford closer to doubtful, Theis likely scoots into the starting lineup for Boston in a really solid matchup for a big man. The Raptors have played small all season, and they have the seventh-worst defensive rebounding rate (71.2%) to show for it. The Raps' propensity to play small may mean plenty of Grant Williams at the five for Boston, but this salary on Theis could carry a 30-minute role with plenty of boards. He'll be popular on that notion.
Others to Consider:
Bam Adebayo ($8,100): Sacramento is giving up the most paint points per game. Adebayo's ceiling is great despite the spread concerns.
Evan Mobley ($7,200): Could be that he's hitting the rookie wall playing big minutes at the five, but Orlando's soft D is a great test for that theory.
Kevon Looney ($4,300): Ol' Reliable is back if Draymond officially rests. Memphis uses bigs, so the Dubs will need Looney.
Greg Brown ($3.700): Questionable himself but should start and see heavy minutes if he can go through an eye injury with no Watford.