FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 3/20/23
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
The Mavericks need a solid run of wins to avoid the play-in tournament, and they could get their key star back tonight to begin one.
Luka Doncic (thigh) got the upgrade to questionable for Monday's game in Memphis. Despite logging 39 minutes on Friday, Kyrie Irving (foot) is also questionable, but I'd be shocked if he didn't play. Ja Morant (conditioning) will still sit this one out for the Grizzlies, and surprisingly, Jaren Jackson Jr. (thigh) was a late addition to the report yesterday and is also questionable.
The Timberwolves could be down their two best players with Anthony Edwards (ankle) and Rudy Gobert (ankle) sharing a questionable status. Naz Reid (calf) and Austin Rivers (back) are also questionable. They're in New York to battle the Knicks.
In a crucial game for both, the Kings and Jazz are both banged up. Lauri Markkanen (back) holds a Q tag for Utah, and Jordan Clarkson (finger) will sit again. Sacramento isn't sure they'll have the services of Kevin Huerter (knee) or Trey Lyles (shoulder).
Indiana's laundry list of injuries rolls into Monday. With Tyrese Haliburton sitting again, they've also got Bennedict Mathurin (ankle), Chris Duarte (ankle), and Isaiah Jackson (knee) listed as questionable. For the visiting Hornets, Mark Williams (thumb) will sit out once more.
We're monitoring a pair of starters in Philadelphia. The Sixers have P.J. Tucker (ankle) listed as questionable, and the Chicago Bulls could be without Alex Caruso (foot).
Finally, Golden State has Kevon Looney (back) listed as questionable in a must-win affair with Houston.
The Dubs are a tough bet for a road blowout of anyone, so toss Stephen Curry ($10,000) firmly onto the table for this slate.
Curry gets to attack a Rockets squad ceding the most FanDuel points per game to floor generals this year, and despite the quiet pair of contests this weekend, his role is still excellent. He has held a 31.0% usage rate in March with no other Golden State starter above 24.0%.
However, you can absolutely mix in Klay Thompson ($7,400) and Jordan Poole ($6,000) with him in tournaments. The salaries are forgiving in a sublime matchup, and Kevin Porter Jr. ($8,100) makes for a solid bring-back option, per our projections.
Personally, the other key game stack is in Indianapolis. We've got solid marks at full-time roles for Charlotte's Dennis Smith Jr. ($6,400) and Indiana's T.J. McConnell ($6,300) despite the fact McConnell doesn't typically start. Andrew Nembhard ($5,900) does, and he's an option, as well.
Tyus Jones ($6,600) predictably eclipsed 36 FanDuel points in both of Memphis' contests this weekend and appears a bit undersalaried at the moment. Mike Conley ($5,800), Patrick Beverley ($5,200), and Ochai Agbaji ($4,300) are circling Jones at the top of our projections today.
Averaging 46.4 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Clarkson and Collin Sexton off the floor since the trading deadline, Lauri Markkanen ($9,200) would be the key stud on this slate if we knew he was good to go. The 240.5-point total in Utah is the highest of the day, too.
Since we don't, we'll largely be onto the mid-range with our key games. Desmond Bane ($8,000) is a tournament option whose production has bounced quite a bit in Ja's stead, but averaging 42.9 FanDuel points per 36 with Ja and Jaren Jackson off the floor, he's an option if we get Jaren news before lock.
As mentioned on this morning's episode of Covering the Spread, the market might be a bit low on Gordon Hayward ($6,300) after he took only four shots on Saturday entering this high-pace affair with Indiana. If all of the Pacers' listed guys sit, Aaron Nesmith ($6,000) and Jordan Nwora ($5,900) are budget forwards from the other side to consider.
Sacramento has been a hot-hand club with Huerter sidelined, so one of Keegan Murray ($5,300), Harrison Barnes ($5,100), or Terence Davis II ($3,900) should be a superb play against Utah, but it's been impossible to say. Malik Monk ($5,500) is also an option at guard. In terms of points per game allowed, Utah has been easiest on shooting guards, which separates Monk and Davis from the others a bit.
In the marquee game of the day, Jonathan Kuminga ($5,600) likely starts for Looney if he sits. If Looney plays, Donte DiVincenzo ($5,700) should be on the floor a ton for the Dubs regardless. Houston also has Kenyon Martin Jr. ($5,600) and Tari Eason ($5,000) as options to consider, and those two top our projections today at the small forward spot.
The Jazz struggle badly with bigs, so Domantas Sabonis ($10,700) is still on the menu despite the significant salary increase ahead of this one.
Sabonis' minutes (36.1 per game in March) have been on the uptick, and his production has followed. He's posted 22.0 points, 13.6 boards, and 8.0 assists per game this month, and the stat-stuffer can get it done in a lot of different ways. Importantly, he's only averaged 1.7 stocks (steals plus blocks) this month, so his range of outcomes isn't really tied to that like other players.
The Sixers and Bulls are both bottom-eight teams in FanDuel points allowed to centers, which makes it hard to covet Joel Embiid or Nikola Vucevic as alternatives around Domas, too.
Dubs-Rockets has been a theme of the helper, but Alperen Sengun is a dicey proposition here. The slow-footed center could find himself off the floor in favor of Jabari Smith ($6,600) just as he did in San Francisco against the Warriors, logging just 24 minutes. Draymond Green ($6,500) also sees an uptick of 0.93 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Looney off the floor, so he's an option should Golden State's center sit.
My favorite play on the entire slate is Charlotte's PJ Washington ($6,100). Indiana cedes the most FanDuel points to combo bigs, and Washington will continue to operate without his starting center. He's scuffled to just 40.9% shooting this month, but after taking 13 shots last game, he's a great double-double candidate at a reduced salary.
Myles Turner ($7,700) is also great facing PJ's squad, which allows the fourth-most points and most rebounds per game to centers.
Especially if Triple-J sits, expect Xavier Tillman ($5,500) to be a rightfully popular choice on the slate for value. Opposite Sabonis, I love Kelly Olynyk ($5,800) as a pivot in an equally sound environment. Naz Reid ($5,900) and Taurean Prince ($4,000) are also solid value plugs from the T-Wolves if news breaks their way.