NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 10/26/21

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 NBA 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

Away Home Game
Total
Away
Implied
Total
Home
Implied
Total
Away
Pace
Home
Pace
PhiladelphiaNew York217.5108109.5125
Golden StateOKC223116.25106.75210
HoustonDallas221.5105.5116311
LA LakersSan Antonio222113.25108.7516
DenverUtah218.5105.75112.75309


A small slate early into the season is usually a quiet slate, and this one is no exception.

The largest injury news impacting the slate is with Joel Embiid, who has a knee injury for Philadelphia. Stop me if you've heard that one before.

So, if Embiid misses, it's fairly simple to plug and play Andre Drummond, right? Well, Drummond is also questionable with an ankle injury that forced him to miss Sunday's game. His absence would set minimum-salary, unknown rookie Charles Bassey to start for both.

Derrick Favors is also out for rest purposes Tuesday for the Thunder.

Not much to watch for today.

Guards

Russell Westbrook ($9,100): Although his season debut was ugly, Westbrook still has found a version of himself inside the Lakers' offense. Westbrook has had two close calls with a triple-double in his last two games, including 13 assists in one contest, and 11 rebounds in another. Theoretically, the formula for a 20-point triple-double is still there, which means this salary might be too low for his ceiling of outcomes. He is likely not an option in cash games, though; he is fully capable of a total dud like the opener once again.

Dejounte Murray ($7,800): I love buying low on cold shooting to start the year, and Murray's frigid 36.7% from the field certainly qualifies. Even with that, he has been a consistent performer to top 34 FanDuel points in each outing, and that's largely because scoring the ball only makes up 34.2% of Murray's per-minute output. He is in a surprising spot in terms of pace and environment, as the Spurs and Lakers have a game total of 222 for Tuesday's contest on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Josh Giddey ($5,300): Even though some local teams' homer announcers don't care about Josh Giddey, I definitely do. Buying low on the talented Australian rookie I've dubbed "Luka From Down Under" has been a point of emphasis due to his stat-stuffing prowess. He showed that Sunday against the 76ers, as he posted 19 points with 8 boards and 7 assists. Giddey has produced in all three columns with just a 17.8% usage rate, and that makes his floor tremendously high without having to have the ball in his hands to find value.

Others to Consider:
Luka Doncic ($10,900): Great matchup against Houston, and has been very much Luka to start the year. 31.8% usage rate and 1.31 FanDuel points per minute.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,100): 29.6% usage rate is still widely the best on the team; exploded Sunday and should be very popular.
Tyrese Maxey ($5,500): Lulling everyone to sleep, but still an elite talent seeing elite minutes. 23.1% usage rate indicates more assists (3.0 per game) are coming.
Monte Morris ($4,000): Well projected. Salary is too low for a starting point guard in a quality game environment.

Wings

Julius Randle ($9,700): For all the noise about the Knicks adding talent and depth this offseason, it has all been about Randle once again. He dwarfs his teammates in both usage (32.6%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.53) to start the year, and those same marks would be career highs once again if they stick. With no other Knicks options above 1.05 FanDuel points per minute and plenty of value on the slate, Randle is both the easiest and safest way to access the Knicks' offense in a quality matchup with Philadelphia. He could chow on a small 76ers lineup if both Embiid and Drummond sit.

Michael Porter Jr. ($6,900): I've been as negative about Porter Jr. as anyone entering this season, but even I am quite surprised to see how the mighty have fallen in Denver. Porter Jr. is shooting just 38.2% overall from the field, and this is from a player that shot 55.4% from the field one season ago, and that was accompanied by an absurd 44.5% from three-point land. His 19.5% usage rate is actually up from last year, and one of these nights, Porter Jr. is going to regress by torching a team with 80% shooting on 20 shots. I don't want to miss sprinkling tournament exposure on the night that he does.

Others to Consider:
Tobias Harris ($7,400): Elite option if the 76ers' centers both sit. Quality one if they don't. Surprising 27.1% usage rate this season.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,900): One game above 40 FanDuel points and two below 20. Sounds about right in a chaotic Houston offense. Salary is low enough to risk the upside in tournaments.
Keldon Johnson ($5,400): Actually has a higher usage rate (25.8%) than Murray. The explosion game is coming.
Aaron Gordon ($4,400): Role is too high-quality for the salary. Projected well as a result.
Doug McDermott ($4,400): McBuckets seeing 30-plus minutes regularly at this salary is terrifying, but low usage (14.3%) has prevented the monster game so far.

Bigs

Rudy Gobert ($8,300): Without exaggeration, no one has been cleaning the glass like Gobert this season. He has 20 and 21 rebounds, respectively, in his first two contests. 11 of those have been offensive rebounds, and that has significantly helped Gobert's occasionally stagnant offensive production as well. Gobert is a high-effort glass cleaner, and the Jazz draw a Nuggets team that just got shredded by Jarrett Allen on the first leg of a back-to-back. That alone makes him seem like the best floor and upside combination in a fairly intriguing center pool for Tuesday.

Jakob Poeltl ($6,800): In season-long basketball, targeting centers with smaller forward pairings is a good strategy because they tend to gobble up rebounds more often than not. Poeltl has done just that; he leads all Spurs with 11.52 rebounds per 36 minutes. The next highest San Antonio player is their point guard Dejounte Murray (8.52). That even disbursement of boards behind the big man generally has kept his glass cleaning services on the floor more than usual; he has posted 29.7 minutes per game despite two blowouts.

Others to Consider:
Christian Wood ($8,400): Houston's market shares are a nightmare, but Wood's role is safe. Posted 60.3 FanDuel points in that role on Friday.
Kristaps Porzingis ($7,000): Seems to be healthy and has a surprising 28.7% usage rate. Limited minutes are a slight concern, but a good ceiling at this salary.
Draymond Green ($6,400): Minutes are there, but the fantasy points haven't been. Should turn that around with such a little amount of his production coming from his 14.5% usage rate historically.