FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 4/14/23
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
As was the case on Wednesday, it's "do or die" for these four clubs, so the injury report is pretty light.
Chicago doesn't have a rotation player listed, and for the Heat, Kyle Lowry (knee) and Gabe Vincent (back) are listed as questionable. Vincent is expected to play, and Lowry logged 33 minutes through this listing on Tuesday.
I expected to say the Timberwolves were getting Rudy Gobert back on Friday, but he's now listed as questionable with a "back" issue, which might be that teammates don't want him "back". Of course, Jaden McDaniels (broken hand) will miss this one for Minnesota, too.
In the play-in tournament, these teams are imperfect. We can take advantage of that.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,900) and Josh Giddey ($8,400) got salary bumps, but they're now facing a Timberwolves squad that allowed the eighth-most FanDuel points to point guards. Expected to play upwards of 40 minutes, they're top-shelf studs from Oklahoma City.
Of course, we're targeting players that'll be on the court behind them. Mike Conley ($6,500), Kyle Lowry ($6,000), and Alex Caruso ($4,800) broke 30 minutes in the first round of the play-in tournament.
From there, you're looking at darts and pivots. If Patrick Beverley ($4,500) is more effective in this one, he could stay on the floor in lieu of Caruso, and Coby White ($4,100) also eclipsed 20 minutes for the Bulls. Gabe Vincent ($4,400) also started and played 24 minutes for Miami.
Speaking of the Heat, Erik Spoelstra hinted at changing the rotation on Friday, which -- to me -- would potentially most impact Victor Oladipo ($3,800). He's another playmaker the Heat could put on the floor instead of slumping, stand-and-shoot guys like Max Strus ($4,600).
The Heat's offense lives around Jimmy Butler ($9,900), who nearly scrapped his way to requisite FanDuel value on Tuesday despite 32% shooting from the field. He's a high-floor stud in the worse of these two game environments.
Anthony Edwards ($9,000) can relate to a poor shooting night. He made just 3 of his 17 looks against the Lakers, which comfortably led the Wolves in shots. He's still got a monstrous ceiling with that type of role and his defensive upside. He even grabbed four stocks (steals plus blocks) in a game where the offense wasn't working.
In terms of game theory, DeMar DeRozan ($8,900) and Zach LaVine ($8,700) are interesting case studies on Friday. LaVine's usage rate on Wednesday (34.7%) was much higher, but now at nearly identical salaries, DeRozan (24.7%) got enough shots to be an interesting pivot.
The monster night on Wednesday for Lu Dort ($6,300) bumped his salary up considerably, but he and Jalen Williams ($6,100) are full-time wings from OKC that should log upwards of 40 minutes again. J-Dub's defensive upside (2.18 stocks per 36 this season) is tremendous at that mark.
Other than those two, Kyle Anderson ($6,800), Patrick Williams ($5,000), Taurean Prince ($4,900), and Caleb Martin ($4,700) should have on-court roles exceeding 25 minutes. Anderson led the entire slate in FanDuel scoring (57.5 points) on Tuesday, but I'll be looking to fade his reduced role if Gobert gets the nod to play.
As we saw with Jonas Valanciunas scoring 16 points and 18 boards against the Thunder, size is OKC's primary issue.
Minnesota has plenty when they're at full strength. Rudy Gobert ($7,700) may or may not play, but Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,400) could have an excellent day without the size or physicality that's put him in foul trouble during the postseason historically. He was a sharp 8-of-12 from the field against a tougher L.A. interior.
These two-game slates can be funky, but it's really felt at this positional grouping. Outside of Towns, Bam Adebayo ($8,200) and Nikola Vucevic ($8,100) -- both in bottom-10 FanDuel matchups for a center -- are the two other alternatives at the pivot, and Jaylin Williams ($5,400) answered some of OKC's questions around their center spot with 30 minutes on Wednesday.
No other power forward or center option on the slate saw upwards of 12 minutes in the first round, so we're mostly locked into four options at center with some of the wings to fill forward spots.