5 NBA FanDuel Value Plays to Target on Friday 3/31/23
One of the keys to finding success in daily fantasy basketball is uncovering potential value plays.
If you're looking to roster a stud player or two, you need to consider squeezing one of these lower-salaried options into your lineup.
Let's take a look at some players who can help fill in the gaps in your lineup on FanDuel tonight, using numberFire's daily fantasy basketball projections as a guide.
Editor's Note: Several Boston Celtics players are listed as questionable or doubtful for tonight's contest with Utah. Their availability, likely announced shortly before lock, is another key value component of Friday's main slate.
Luguentz Dort, SF/SG, Thunder ($5,900)
Entering another game without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the collective salaries of Thunder players are on the rise, but Luguentz Dort is still technically in the bargain bin entering their contest on Friday.
Dort's best scoring effort came in Wednesday's win over Detroit where he dropped in 20 points in 38 minutes, adding 6 rebounds and 3 steals. I'm a bit surprised it took Dort this long to put forth a ceiling effort with SGA out of the lineup.
When he's off the floor for the entire season, Dort posts 32.7 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. His larger obstacle has been the minutes component, but that's been alleviated at 35.0 per game in OKC's last two.
The 236.5-point total in Indiana tonight is massive, and it won't take much salary to get some of its key contributors. Dort, Bennedict Mathurin, and Jordan Nwora all sit below $6,000 today.
Bruce Brown, SF/SG, Nuggets ($5,800)
I don't love targeting players in games I'm sure won't be competitive, but Bruce Brown's ability to stuff the stat sheet is an exception.
Brown should have a full role tonight in Phoenix with all of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope iffy -- at best -- to play. They're pretty unlikely to play with Denver's magic number at two for wins or Memphis losses to clinch the West's top seed.
The problem is that, for all the usage bumps across the board, the Nuggets are just awful if Jokic and Murray don't play. Their 101.9 offensive rating without them is a trainwreck. Keeping up with Kevin Durant and the Suns is extremely unlikely.
Bruce is the best type of target with those concerns, though. Behind a low usage rate (17.7%), he's not beholden to offensive efficiency to score FanDuel points. He's posted 34.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with the Nuggets' key two off the floor.
He may only play three quarters, but he can still help on FanDuel tonight.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SG, Hornets ($5,200)
We can likely guess the Hornets won't be at full strength, either.
Per the injury report, Terry Rozier (foot) is out, Gordon Hayward (thumb) is doubtful, and Kelly Oubre (shoulder) and Dennis Smith Jr. (toe) are questionable after missing Tuesday's contest. It appears after making the perfect FanDuel lineup last time out, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk will get to cook again.
Mykhailiuk delivered 18 points and 8 assists, so it wasn't just the 5 random stocks (steals plus blocks) carrying the heavy lifting. Svi had a 16.2% usage rate, so he was able to produce without a high volume of shots, and that makes his role more stable.
He's projected for 31.2 minutes by numberFire's model now, but expect that to climb if Oubre and Smith are ruled out. He logged 36 on Tuesday.
Mitchell Robinson, C, Knicks ($5,700)
Obi Toppin, PF, Knicks ($5,000)
The biggest injury news of the day is in New York.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, Julius Randle badly tweaked his ankle on Wednesday and is likely done for the rest of the regular season. The iron man hasn't missed a game all year, so we don't know what New York will look like without him, but I can take a guess Mitchell Robinson and Obi Toppin will be heavily involved.
Robinson is the sneakier of the two. He's averaged 38.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in rare floor appearances without Julius this year, and it's largely on the back of 13.8 rebounds per 36. His production is very stable with just a 10.3% usage rate in that floor condition.
Starting for Randle, Toppin is more obvious, but he's also got more upside as a scorer. Toppin topped (pun fully intended) 20 points in four of his five starts last April while Randle was shut down for the year. That was without Jalen Brunson, but his ability to score should be noted.
These New York big men are the top way to save salary at those spots that might otherwise be best used for stars.