If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.
Daily fantasy basketball is very reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to make sure 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.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, 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
There is an 87.1% chance tonight is the last two-game NBA slate of the season. A Celtics-Grizzlies parlay over on FanDuel Sportsbook gives you just a 12.9% implied chance both teams extend their series.
In Milwaukee, the Celtics will once again leave Robert Williams as a game-time call with his knee issue. The hometown Bucks also -- surprisingly -- haven't yet ruled out Khris Middleton (knee). That would throw a significant wrench into this slate due to the elevated Milwaukee salaries without him.
Jrue Holiday ($9,000): This wild, improbable two-game cycle finds Holiday in the same salary range as Stephen Curry and -- amazingly -- a better option, provided Middleton does sit Friday. He's crushed it for Milwaukee with a 28.3% usage rate and 1.16 FanDuel points per minute in a 40-minute workload. He's also been known for a steal or two, so his offensive and defensive upside towers over Curry, who just has more competitors for shots in San Fran.
Marcus Smart ($6,000): Smart eclipsed value on Wednesday, and then he didn't. Smart likely didn't have his FanDuel score in the front of his mind as he chucked Game 5 away with two late turnovers, but there's still no doubting his role (18.9% usage rate) in a 40-minute workload. He likely becomes a better fantasy play if Williams returns from his knee injury; it'll slot him back at point guard instead of letting Derrick White handle the basketball.
Others to Consider:
Jordan Poole ($6,000): Could end up a razor-sharp pivot off Smart if he leads Golden State in scoring. He doesn't start or play blowout minutes, so the game must be competitive to roster him.
De'Anthony Melton ($4,700): I don't think I can stomach $7,200 Tyus Jones, and this is your high-quality alternative and/or path to Jones' failure.
Jaylen Brown ($8,700): With their season on the line, I don't mind paying the piper on the elevated salaries of Brown and Jayson Tatum. They'll likely play as much as possible unless Boston scoots out to an early comfortable lead. Tatum (29.0% usage rate) has the stronger role, but Brown (26.0%) feels like the better value. Both can contribute in all categories, as well. In the three contests without foul trouble since his Game 1 clunker, Brown has eclipsed 45 FanDuel points in each.
Desmond Bane ($6,300): Statistically, you can see the improvement in production for Bane (1.18 FanDuel points per minute) in Game 5 as an encouraging sign. Anecdotally, he was just physically moving much more fluidly through the back issue he suffered in Game 1. That's correlating to production, and it probably means he'll eat into Jones and Dillon Brooks' usage in Game 6. Memphis probably greatly prefers him as an option heading into the lion's den at Chase Center.
Others to Consider:
Klay Thompson ($6,200): Was in line for a monster night before the blowout. 19 points in just 25 minutes. Still love his upside at this salary.
Grayson Allen ($4,000): Allen's role is still starting and seeing nearly 30 minutes of court time. Pretty shocking the guy that torched Chicago hasn't done it since. I'll be here in tournaments in case he does.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000): While he's obviously a must in cash games, I am not digging Antetokounmpo as much as last game. Boston (24th in pace this season) might drag this game to a standstill to just avoid the transition lethality of Giannis. This is now a supreme salary with a few paths to failure -- including a blowout in either direction. The wing spots are so deep that he's probably best utilized at power forward once more.
Draymond Green ($5,800): Green logging just 22 minutes -- the second-fewest of a Warriors' starter -- while not in foul trouble does prompt some concern for a "hidden injury," but he's numberFire's top projected player in terms of value today for a reason. Because of an ejection, two blowouts, and foul trouble, Green has just never had that consistent game script to relive his production (1.05 FanDuel points per minute) from the Denver series. He's an insane value here if he does.
Others to Consider:
Al Horford ($7,600): The ageless wonder is playing 40-plus minutes a night, and it's been with or without Robert Williams. Salary appears fine for his new role.
Andrew Wiggins ($6,000): Since most of his production comes from rebounding, blocks, and steals, he's hurt by blowouts as much as any Warrior. Love a bounce-back spot at home.