FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 5/5/23

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

Today's injury report has a couple of stars that could potentially shuffle the fold. One definitely will.

That's Chris Paul, who is likely out for both games in Phoenix after injuring his groin in Week 2. Denver enters this one at full strength.

As for the first game, it's just Joel Embiid (knee) that is listed as questionable, but he obviously played as much as required in Game 2. He believes he'll be fine.


Studs who disappointed in Game 2 are the headliner here.

James Harden ($9,300) and Jamal Murray ($9,000) both failed to eclipse 30 FanDuel points in their last contests after monstrous Game 1s, but the usage was still there. Harden shot 3-for-14, and Murray shot 3-for-15. The salary discounts could be handy if more shots fall tonight.

One guy who has had no trouble with shots falling would be Devin Booker ($10,000), whose sizzling playoff run has eclipsed 26 real-life points in every game. Booker's 57.2% shooting will collapse at some point, but he'll get a bump without CP3 tonight. Specifically, that was a boost of 3.4 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in the regular season.

Luckily, Boston's guard trio has fallen back to Earth in salary. Marcus Smart ($6,200) leads them in minutes per game (31.0) in the series so far, and Malcolm Brogdon ($5,900) has led them with a 27.3% usage rate off the bench. I'd like to buy low (again) on a better night from Derrick White ($4,900), who averaged 30.9 FanDuel points per game against Atlanta before no-showing this series thus far.

Cameron Payne ($5,000) likely starts for CP3, but it's no slam dunk that he beats out Josh Okogie ($4,200) or Damion Lee ($3,900) for the fifth role in crunch time.

Tyrese Maxey ($7,300) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,800) are the only other two here with roles exceeding 20 minutes in Game 2. De'Anthony Melton ($4,300) has an outside shot to return to one on Friday.


Kevin Durant ($9,900) will likely be the popular choice here. After all, we're conditioned to do that from regular-season DFS.

However, he's likely worth it. Durant was the largest post-deadline beneficiary when CP3 sat, tallying 61.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in those floor conditions. His usage rate also increased by 9.8 percentage points.

That'll make Jayson Tatum ($10,500) a tournament pivot, playing just 19 minutes last game due to foul trouble. It's enticing to click a square no one else will -- but especially when he posted 64.7 FanDuel points in Game 1. Jaylen Brown ($8,600) can work in conjunction with K.D. and should be more popular.

Michael Malone's short leash on Michael Porter Jr. ($6,300) returned in Game 2. He logged just 23 minutes with no personal fouls, failing to get a chance to shoot out of his slump. Bruce Brown Jr. ($5,000) wasn't even the benefactor as Denver boosted each of Jeff Green and Christian Braun to 16 minutes apiece. This situation is getting ugly.

CP3's absence didn't help Torrey Craig ($4,000), who played only 11 minutes on Monday. Still, I could see him as a candidate to replace the Paul minutes thanks to his defense.

Philadelphia's Tobias Harris is the only other significant contributor in this area, but his salary is still quite high from his work without Embiid.


Even in the playoffs, we can't get Nikola Jokic ($11,500) and Joel Embiid ($10,800) on their own slates at the pivot.

Obviously, Jokic was masterful with 39 points and 16 boards in Game 2, and we can't ignore him as Denver's rotation crumbles around him and Murray. Still, the Nuggets' offensive rating dropped six points on the road in the regular season, and at this salary, we can't afford a dud. He's no lock.

Embiid will be less popular due to his injury, but with 15 points and 5 blocks in 26 minutes, he seemed physically fine. He could pay off substantially in tournaments with a big game, and I do like the Sixers to rebound in this one.

I'm less drawn to both when Deandre Ayton ($6,700) is likely the sneakiest way to target the CP3 injury. Ayton averaged 44.2 FanDuel points per 36 during floor situations without Paul this season. His production has plummeted with too many cooks in the Phoenix kitchen, but one gone could help.

I'm not taking much from 28 minutes for Grant Williams in a blowout last game, so Aaron Gordon ($5,800), Al Horford ($5,700), and P.J. Tucker ($4,000) are likely the value plays with substantial on-court roles to save salary here.

That's because Robert Williams is now only eligible at center, and it'd be quite the leap of faith that his playing time increases with all three of Jokic, Embiid, and Ayton busting.