FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 5/1/23

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

There is just one new listing total across these two games on the injury report, but it's a series-impacting one.

Joel Embiid is doubtful to start Philadelphia's series with Boston tonight due to a sprained knee. He missed Game 4 against Brooklyn, and it's not a surprise with reports that he could miss both games in Beantown before a potential Game 3 return.

The Celtics, Suns, and Nuggets enter this one at full health.


Despite largely forgettable performances in their last game, James Harden ($9,000) and Tyrese Maxey ($7,500) should benefit from Embiid's absence overall in daily fantasy.

This season, Harden (49.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes) and Maxey (38.0) both outperformed their current salaries on a 36-minute basis with him off the floor, and they're well into the 40s in terms of minutes played this time of year.

Of course, Jamal Murray ($9,200) is also hotter than the sun and worth consideration. Murray's topped 44 FanDuel points in five of six playoff games so far with a 28.4% usage rate. He's a five-digit player at this salary. Devin Booker ($10,200) also hasn't dropped below 49 points in six playoff games on the other side.

Chris Paul was Denver's defensive target in Game 1, and his production suffered from fatigue with an inefficient 18.5% usage rate. I truly wouldn't be surprised to see him on the bench, so I'll pass for these other four and value plugs.

De'Anthony Melton ($4,700) is the best value plug on the slate simply because he'll log close to 27 minutes as the Sixers' sixth man. He's also posted 34.2 FanDuel points per 36 with Embiid off the floor.

Others seeing significant minutes in this tier are Derrick White ($5,900), Malcolm Brogdon ($5,400), and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,200).


Though he used 14 rebounds to leap into a good day on FanDuel, Kevin Durant ($10,100) just hasn't shifted out of neutral with Phoenix, failing to exceed 0.85 points per minute in any game this postseason. Logging such heavy minutes, you'd expect a 40-burger soon.

Jayson Tatum did shift out of neutral to close out Atlanta, but drawing P.J. Tucker ($4,300) in Game 1 with all the alternatives at guard, I'll likely pass for Jaylen Brown ($8,400). Believe it or not, Brown is below his season-long median salary in the playoffs, and the days off likely helped his hand issue.

The entirety of the mid-range is Michael Porter Jr. ($6,800), who hasn't been worth the trouble outside of a 25-point effort in Game 3 against the Timberwolves. If you make a hefty play at him, don't expect it to work alongside Denver's studs.

For value, Bruce Brown Jr. ($5,200) usurped KCP in the closing role for the Nuggets in Game 1, and his steal-happy tendencies (1.38 per 36 this season) can detonate any main slate.

As mentioned with Paul's issues defensively, I could see more court time for both Torrey Craig ($4,600) and Josh Okogie ($4,100), but that's a prayer on two low-quality producers. Jalen McDaniels ($3,900) getting a significant bump in playing time sans Embiid would be the other option to punt this position.


Nikola Jokic has kind of lost his core identity, but it hasn't really changed the outcome on FanDuel.

He's topped Murray in overall usage (30.1%) during the playoffs, but he's shot just 17-for-50 (34.0%) across two games now. Low usage with high efficiency has been his main operative all season, so it's a stark change that could lead to issues down the road. I'll wait and gather data today because two of my favorite plays otherwise clog the pivot.

Those two are Deandre Ayton ($6,700) and Paul Reed ($6,000). Ayton topped 38 FanDuel points in his last two against the Clippers, and the volume rebounder was hurt by the blowout on Saturday. Reed was masterful in Game 4 against the Nets, posting 10 points and 15 boards in 31 minutes. Montrezl Harrell seemed out of shape, so the appeal of these two is definitely a lack of alternatives.

Power forward is pretty sweet next to them. Tobias Harris ($7,200) exploded for 25 points and 12 boards in Embiid's absence, and his rebounding bump with him off the floor (1.5 per 36 minutes) is very real. The aforementioned P.J. Tucker should encroach 30 minutes beside him.

Aaron Gordon ($6,300) and Al Horford ($6,100) are also really solid full-time alternatives at the four spot.