FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 5/12/22

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

Away Home GameTotal AwayImpliedTotal HomeImpliedTotal AwayPace HomePace
MiamiPhiladelphia207102.25104.752926
PhoenixDallas212107105930


Both of these series could wrap up tonight, but the home teams in both contests are the ones trailing. Let's ride.

The injury report is almost a non-factor today. Kyle Lowry (hamstring) is already ruled out, so that injury is finalized.

Miami does have the same litany of injuries listed; Tyler Herro (ankle), Gabe Vincent (knee), Max Strus (hamstring), P.J. Tucker (calf), and Caleb Martin (ankle) are once again questionable. All have played through those injuries all series.

On the other side, the 76ers have Joel Embiid (face) listed as questionable again, but I'll break the news right now -- he's not missing this elimination game just as he hasn't in the three prior contests. Matisse Thybulle (foot) is questionable but barely plays.

Once again, the Suns and Mavericks are at full strength as their series shifts back to Big D.

Guards

Chris Paul ($8,200): This helper will read pretty closely to Tuesday's after both games ended in total blowouts. With salary reductions across the board, CP3 is mouth-watering at this salary to me. On top of any personal narrative towards Dallas, CP3's also taken matters into his hands during closeout games with Phoenix historically, averaging 37.0 points and 7.7 assists in the last three against the Pelicans, Clippers, and Nuggets. He can't fire up it all the time at 37 years old, but when he does, it's been masterful.

Victor Oladipo ($5,000): Oladipo's 24.6 FanDuel points on Tuesday came in just 18 minutes, and his confidence coming back from injury seems to grow each passing game. With Lowry out, he figures to be in the closing five for Miami and play upwards of 30 minutes. Getting a 21.4% usage rate with Oladipo -- in an equal role -- compared to a Jae Crowder or Dorian Finney-Smith in the same salary range feels like an absolute steal. He'll pilot the Heat's offense when Jimmy Butler rests.

Others to Consider:
Luka Doncic ($11,700): A salary increase after Game 5's stinker tells you all you need to know. Expect heightened usage and aggression from Luka on the brink of elimination.
Tyrese Maxey ($6,500): His salary has dropped so far he's in the same tier as Jalen Brunson. Think Maxey's more capable of a ceiling performance to lead his team in scoring, and he plays roughly five more minutes on average.

Wings

James Harden ($8,900): With Joel Embiid still clearly not right, the Sixers' season will rest on Harden's shoulders. We saw a rejuvenated version of him in Game 4 when he dropped 31 points, but he joined his entire squad with a brutal 5-for-13 shooting effort in Game 5. The salary discount helps his ceiling, which was essentially non-existent encroaching a five-digit mark. Harden played 42 minutes and dished out 15 assists in Game 6 against Toronto, so expect another heavy role Thursday.

Reggie Bullock ($4,600): Bullock is a great example of the key principle of NBA DFS in the playoffs -- stay patient with full-time roles. He still logged 34 minutes in a total blowout in Game 5 and just didn't score a single point. While some may lose patience, just three games ago, Bullock demonstrated his upside with four triples and three steals. It's not guaranteed that version returns, but in tournaments, you'll need him at $4,600 if it does. It's so much more important to target playing time over production.

Others to Consider:
Jimmy Butler ($10,500): He's been Miami's entire offense on the road in this series. He likely won't be as popular with so many flocking to Luka and Harden in elimination games.
Jae Crowder ($5,100): Picking just one wing out of a loaded mid-range tier is impossible. Crowder saw the biggest salary dip after the Game 5 blowout.

Bigs

Deandre Ayton ($6,900): Everything went according to plan with Ayton in Game 5 except the blowout. He dropped 20 points and secured 9 boards in just 22 minutes. I'm shocked the Suns haven't turned to Ayton more often (not that Devin Booker ever prioritizes others over his own shot selection) given Dallas' true lack of size. Still, the bottom line result in terms of FanDuel points (32.8) resulted in another drop in salary, and I'm willing to buy heavily into it with Embiid and Bam Adebayo both struggling mightily in that series.

Maxi Kleber ($4,500): Kleber and Ayton may not be the best stack. Ayton pushed Kleber into foul trouble, granting him four personals in just 24 minutes. Still, when he's avoided that issue, Kleber has been the full-time center for Dallas. Those 24 minutes still towered over the 8 minutes logged by Dwight Powell, who is all but an afterthought despite sticking in the starting lineup for now. Unless you're rolling the dice on a blowout or two again, he is the lone source of salary relief at the pivot.

Others to Consider:
Bam Adebayo ($7,800): Once again, think the key is patience. He hasn't been asked to score in bunches yet, but his role is the same.
Tobias Harris ($7,000): Different story on patience with Embiid's broken face and torn thumb. Think he's just a shot fighter. I'd rather fill power forward with Tobi than Embiid at this point. JoJo needed five blocks plus steals in the only game he eclipsed value at his salary.