FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 4/7/23

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

Away Home Game
New YorkNew Orleans224108.0116.02515
Golden StateSacramento235122.3112.8111
PhoenixLA Lakers226.5108.0118.5213

If you plan on playing NBA daily fantasy today, grab a coffee and settle in for the odyssey that is today's official injury report.

With Philadelphia locked into its seed, Joel Embiid will rest tonight. His season is probably done, and Tyrese Maxey (neck) and De'Anthony Melton (calf) aren't likely to play, either. Neither finished last night's game. Given the situation, I'm not expecting James Harden, either. The opposing Hawks, still in need of wins, list just De'Andre Hunter (knee) as questionable.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is likely done until the playoffs, too. He's among six key Bucks to sit tonight, also including Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Pat Connaughton, and Grayson Allen. On the other side, Memphis hasn't quite locked up the West's second seed, so only Santi Aldama (elbow) is questionable of their main active rotation players.

Dallas isn't waving the white flag yet, but the visiting Chicago Bulls might do them a favor. Effectively locked into the 10th seed, Chicago has DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine listed as questionable to potentially rest.

The Kings only have a shot at the West's second seed if Memphis loses, which is why you see Domantas Sabonis (ankle) and De'Aaron Fox (ankle) among seven rotation players listed as questionable. I would expect almost all of them to sit with Memphis likely to handle the Bucks' reserve unit. Golden State, needing a win, has just Andrew Wiggins (personal) still listed out.

Jalen Brunson (hand) is likely done for the regular season for New York, but RJ Barrett (illness) is listed as questionable for their meaningless affair with New Orleans. I doubt he plays, but needing a win, all key Pels should.

Boston is locked into the two seed, but Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are off the report for their game with Toronto on Friday. It's Derrick White (ankle), Malcolm Brogdon (back), and Marcus Smart (neck) that are.

Orlando is listing Paolo Banchero (back), Franz Wagner (ankle), Markelle Fultz (knee), and Wendell Carter Jr. (hip) among six listed as questionable as their playoff hopes have gone up in smoke. They have no reason to play their guys against Brooklyn, who have Dorian Finney-Smith (wrist) as the only player in doubt while still needing a win to lock up the six seed.

Phoenix isn't likely to play any of their key guys on a back-to-back after wrapping up their seed last night against Denver. In a must-win situation, expect Anthony Davis (foot), LeBron James (foot), and D'Angelo Russell (foot) all to be active as they were on Wednesday.

There's so much fresh news that I don't want to waste time on the tankers for weeks, so just keep in mind Indiana, Charlotte, Washington, and Detroit are all once again sitting most of their key guys and veterans, too.


Like yesterday, we really just want to follow motivation with stars considering the gobs of value from all of these resting slates.

That's Dallas' Luka Doncic ($11,800) and Kyrie Irving ($9,600), Golden State's Stephen Curry ($10,200), and Atlanta's duo of Trae Young ($9,500) and Dejounte Murray ($8,600) with all three clubs needing a win for seeding or playoff viability. Even Ja Morant could see a reduced workload if Memphis gets well ahead of the Bucks' reserves.

Toronto's Fred VanVleet ($8,500) also fits that description, and he's badly due for regression after shooting 0-for-7 from deep on Wednesday. C.J. McCollum ($8,200) and the Pels need a win, as well.

From there, we have so many value plugs that I'm not starting with bad ones that might play 28 minutes from the tanking squads. Cameron Payne ($4,900) should have a massive role when leading Phoenix's offense in a game they'd still prefer to win and keep the dangerous Lakers out of the playoffs.

Orlando's depleted hierarchy is a new one, which is why we see low salaries on Michael Carter-Williams ($3,600) and Jay Scrubb ($3,500) when both should sail past 30 minutes. Jevon Carter ($5,200) and A.J. Green ($3,500) should both fit that description from Milwaukee, too.

For the sake of differentiation, there are still fair salaries for productive tanking guards, including Killian Hayes ($6,200), Johnny Davis ($5,500), and Charlotte's James Bouknight ($4,600). I'm largely out on backcourt platoons like Washington's point-guard spot, though.


Even if stars are active for teams like Boston or Philadelphia, don't expect or assume full roles. It's almost like a preseason environment for them, so no Tatum or Brown today.

LeBron James ($10,600) would like to go a long way to securing a playoff bid for the Lakers, so expect a quality showing against Phoenix's reserves. He tallied 53.3 FanDuel points against the Clippers despite a dismal first half, so he's back into playoff mode it appears.

I'm a bit wary Jimmy Butler even plays given the unlikeliness of Miami becoming the six seed. Brooklyn draws Orlando's backups tonight. I could see the organization punting to the home play-in spot at seven and sitting Jimmy, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo. Brandon Ingram ($9,900) and Scottie Barnes ($8,400) should be good for full workloads, though.

In terms of value, Torrey Craig ($5,300) and Darius Bazley ($3,600) should be key pieces of the Suns' scoring hierarchy tonight. Caleb Houstan ($3,700), already playing decent minutes for the Magic to this point, should also be a shoo-in for a full role with so many Orlando players expected to sit.

We'll still get to roster an Antetokoumpo tonight; it'll just be Thanasis Antetokounmpo ($3,500) with the Bucks' reserves. If I'm right about Miami, Caleb Martin ($4,800) and Max Strus ($4,600) figure to be key pieces from the Heat, too.

It's also that time of year when talented rookies get total freedom to roam, which makes it no surprise Tari Eason ($5,900) and Bennedict Mathurin ($5,800) are also projecting well today.


Anthony Davis ($11,600) is the highest-salaried big with motivation to play, and he could go bananas against a Suns squad that's never finalized its backup center spot behind Deandre Ayton.

Behind him, our next-best alternative appears to be Pascal Siakam ($9,700), whose lofty salary I'd never consider on a normal slate, but the Raptors need a dub. I significantly prefer Davis with both in the camp of urgency.

Alperen Sengun ($8,200) isn't a bad way to spend your salary, either. He draws the Hornets, who have allowed the most FanDuel points to centers this year. Sengun's late-game benchings are cooked. He's eclipsed 34 minutes in three straight.

I'm leaning toward Doncic and LeBron in the backcourt to make room for Bol Bol ($3,900) at the pivot, though. Bol has averaged 34.8 FanDuel points per 36 minutes this season, so it's no surprise he's numberFire's top projected player per dollar of salary. Chuma Okeke ($3,600) had a full role for Orlando on Thursday, too.

The power forward spot is the hardest spot for value today outside of Okeke, further demonstrating the value of a Davis or Siakam there. Still, Kenyon Martin Jr. ($5,300) and JT Thor ($5,100) should be given free run there from a pair of tanking squads.

I am chasing maximum upside with value plays, so the platoon duo of Bismack Biyombo and Jock Landale in Phoenix is an excellent example of trying to get too cute. Maybe one is a tremendous DFS play, but it's impossible to tell right now who would see more minutes. Bol, at the same salary, blows both out of the water.