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 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 to you with this daily primer, 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
|Boston||You love me||217.5||107.3||110.3||22||27|
|LA Clippers||LA Lakers||230||117.5||112.5||25||3|
Without the Pacers or Thunder as the opponent at home, I consider myself optimistic that Nikola Jokic (hamstring) suits up for Denver tonight.
According to the official injury report, he is questionable. Michael Porter Jr. (personal) and Nah’Shon Hyland (finger) share that status with him. They’re in New Orleans, and the Pels have Naji Marshall (toe) listed as questionable. Interestingly, they’ve also upgraded Brandon Ingram (toe) to doubtful.
LeBron James (ankle) is listed as questionable again tonight for the Lakers but has played through that status in three straight. It’s also worth noting Rui Hachimura won’t make his Lakers debut tonight against the Clippers.
Unfortunately, Rui’s old team, the Wizards, lost Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) over the weekend. It’s also likely they’ll be down Kendrick Nunnwho was just acquired in the deal for Hachimura.
The Hornets are back again, which gives LaMelo Ball (ankle) another shot to play after missing Monday’s game. The same could be said for Cody Martin (knee). They’re in Phoenix, and the Suns have Deandre Ayton (illness) and Landry Shamet (foot) listed out for this one.
Another team on a back-to-back is Boston, which will give Marcus Smart (knee), Robert Williams (knee), and Malcolm Brogdon (personal) another shot to play tonight in Miami. They could also rest others like Al Horford.
Still without Tyrese Haliburtonthe Pacers have Andrew Nembhard (illness) listed as questionable. We’ll also see if Chicago has more listings than Goran Dragic (illness) later today given their back-to-back situation.
Finally, the Cavaliers should get Donovan Mitchell (groin) back through a probable listing tonight. The hosting Knicks have Immanuel Quickley (knee) listed as a question mark.
It’s been 12 days since Luka Doncic ($11,900) crossed over the 60-FanDuel-point threshold. Is anyone else getting a bit nervous?
Now that his salary is down, the Mavericks’ franchise player is back in consideration. He’s still averaging 57.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Christian Wood off the floor on an absurd 38.9% usage rate. The Wizards, down their rim protector, should be a huge boost in pace for Dallas, too.
This positional group is deep and balanced today. Behind Doncic, Chris Paul ($8,200) also appears to be a bargain. He returned to 38 minutes on Sunday and is now set for a date with Charlotte’s terrible defensive rating (116.0). CJ McCollum ($8,100)for one final game, should also be the Pels’ lone remaining star against a Denver team allowing the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to point guards.
I’ve been a TJ McConnell ($6,600) doubter since Haliburton went down, but he’s finally a quality process play and not dependent on steals and insane shooting. He moved into the starting lineup last game and logged 39 minutes, and his FanDuel-points-per-36 average (37.7) deserves consideration at this salary.
Ayo Dosunmu ($4,200) and Patrick Beverley ($4,100) are two other key value plays projecting well now, but expect Derrick White ($5,700) and Payton Pritchard ($4,100) to join them if Smart and Brogdon are confirmed out this afternoon. The same can be said for Dennis Smith Jr. ($5,400) if LaMelo sits once more.
I can’t see LeBron James ($11,100) sitting this rivalry matchup while playing all others, and he’s so easy to justify with Anthony Davis still out. He’s eclipsed 51 FanDuel points in seven straight.
On the other side, Kawhi Leonard has scored over 27 points in four straight, but I actually see that as a negative in the deep Clippers’ scoring hierarchy. With his fleeting salary, it might be Paul George ($8,300) who holds the hot hand tonight. Importantly, George bumped up to 34 minutes Sunday against Dallas, so he’s back in full.
DeMar DeRozan ($8,800) and Zach LaVine ($8,200) have flipped salaries from yesterday. LaVine was $9,100 and DeRozan was $8,000 as DeMar was returning from injury. Neither are world-class value plays at these marks, but they’re both still viable against an Indiana allowing the fourth-most FanDuel points to small forwards.
Against the stingy Heat D, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are wait-and-see guys. One will be viable if the other sits during the back-to-back. If they both play, my next stop will be Kyle Kuzma ($8,300)who has a team-best 31.3% usage rate with Porzingis off the floor.
We’re not short on value plays whatever here today. All of Buddy Hield ($6,500), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,500), Benedict Mathurin ($5,300), Cameron Johnson ($5,200), Deni Avdija ($5,000)and Quentin Grimes ($4,800) are projecting above a 5.00 value score in full-time roles, so mix and match them as needed for game stacks.
If Nikola Jokic ($11,600) returns as expected, there’s only one reason to say no, and it’s another value center. He averages an astronomical 62.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Porter Jr. off the floor this year. It sounds like MPJ won’t play due to the ongoing circumstances with his brother.
That other value center is Daniel Gafford ($5,800), who should start and be in line for a full role with Porzingis on the shelf. Other than those inclined to buy Ivica Zubac ($6,400) in a matchup he’s owned, there really aren’t any other must-have options at this pivot tonight.
It’s shocking to me that Julius Randle ($9,900) is still in the four-digit range from the weekend, but I’ll take it. He’s Mitchell Robinson’s safest target‘s injury, seeing a boost of 1.97 FanDuel points for 36 without him on the floor. Wasting a big-man spot on Jericho Sims or Isaiah Hartenstein in the timeshare next to him isn’t my process.
Myles Turner ($8,100) has eclipsed 45 FanDuel points in five of his past six seeing 32-plus minutes. It’s a dice roll with Rick Carlisle’s odd rotational behavior, but if he gets full minutes against Chicago, he can help stack the slate-high 234.5-point total. Our model also loves Nikola Vucevic ($8,500) in that one, but I’ve got to curb my Chicago exposure somewhere.
If Horford rests, Robert Williams ($5,800) is a solid value after what appeared to be a maintenance day for his knee yesterday. Dwight Powell ($3,900) is also seeing plenty of minutes for the Mavs in C-Wood’s stead. Other than a potential stab at Bismack Biyombo ($4,600) in Phoenix, those two appear to be the only sources of reliable value beyond Gafford.