FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 10/27/21
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 missing total overlaps with the largest situation to watch entering Wednesday. LeBron James was a surprise scratch on Tuesday with an ankle injury and he is questionable for the Lakers tonight. However, it's very possible he was just managing the first half of a back-to-back, and if he returns, it would not be surprising to see Anthony Davis miss the second leg. Davis is listed questionable with a knee injury following Tuesday's win over the Spurs.
Other than those two, injury news is fairly quiet. Jrue Holiday (ankle) and Brook Lopez (back) remain out for Milwaukee as they were Monday. The same is likely applies to Hornets guard Terry Rozier, who is listed doubtful with his ongoing ankle injury. Rozier's teammate PJ Washington will miss another game with his knee injury, as well.
Two pending returns that would impact their squads' rotations may happen Wednesday. Caris LeVert (back) is truly questionable to make his season debut, and Josh Hart (quad) is questionable to return for the first time since the Pelicans' season-opener.
The one true slate-impacting questionable status outside of Los Angeles is in Portland, where Norman Powell said he might return for Wednesday's contest after sitting Monday with a knee injury.
Ja Morant ($9,500): Morant is far from the preferred play at this elevated salary, but his new role is worth spotlighting to show it is totally fair. Without Jonas Valanciunas, Morant has totally separated from his Grizzlies teammates in terms of usage and production. Ja's usage rate (35.7%) is 12.5% higher than his next teammate's, and his 1.41 FanDuel points per minute are besting the rebounding machine Steven Adams by 0.20, as well. Right now, the only Memphis starter with upside is Morant, and in a great matchup with the struggling Blazers' defense, he is worth consideration in game stacks and beyond.
Bradley Beal ($8,700): Among several salaries that dropped way too far, Beal's is a notable one entering this date with Boston. I expected to see Spencer Dinwiddie eating into Beal's usage as the reason for the slow start, but that's far from the case. Beal's 34.0% usage is much higher than Dinwiddie's mark (28.5%), but his 36.6% shooting within those opportunities has slowed his production to a standstill. Expect that to turn around soon in Washington.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,100): This entire season, I likely will just turn to whichever salary is more friendly between Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. With the increase to $5,700 for Giddey, Gilgeous-Alexander is more than suitable at a lower salary than normal. SGA is still the lead dog (28.7% usage rate), and he has surpassed 39 FanDuel points in back-to-back games after a slow start shooting. With the fast-paced Lakers likely to rest at least one star against the lowly Thunder, the blowout risk is significantly reduced.
Others to Consider:
Russell Westbrook ($8,400): Likely the one safe star for the Lakers. Has been flirting with a triple-double the past three games and added 33 points on Tuesday. Top-notch play.
Damian Lillard ($8,200): Even I noted the shift in usage between him and C.J. McCollum, but this salary is dumb.
Devonte' Graham ($5,800): At least 14 shots in the past three games. He's going to get his shots up, and the salary is dropping.
Reggie Jackson ($5,600): Had 29 FanDuel points in three quarters Monday. Overtook Eric Bledsoe (23.2%) in season usage rate (24.6%) with that busy game.
Malik Monk ($4,200): Talented scorer and likely sees 30-plus minutes sooner than later. They need his shooting. Saw 38 minutes last night and played well.
Kevin Durant ($11,000): There is one shining star at a really unappetizing forward position on Wednesday -- Kevin Durant. There was plenty of reason to believe James Harden was the primary beneficiary without Kyrie Irving this season, but the Nets have become "The KD Show." Durant's 33.3% usage rate and 1.59 FanDuel points per minute marks are both inside the top-10 spots in the league amongst qualifying players, and both are significantly ahead of Harden. At a weak position, he is the clear top stud with a competitive, agreeable Miami Heat team on the other side Wednesday.
Mikal Bridges ($5,700): Buying high on tremendous shooting is always risky, but given the status of wings today, it is more acceptable than usual. Bridges is shooting the lights out from three-point land (53.3%), but his 12.0 shots per game tell a much more important story. Last season, he only averaged 9.3 in the regular season, and his confidence from a successful playoff role has stuck in the regular season. While that hurts Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and other Suns scorers, it gives him a ceiling inside his hefty minutes he did not possess last year.
Scottie Barnes ($5,300): Headed back to Scottie Barnes after a miserable Monday...what could go wrong? Barnes' production was not actually horrendous, but rather, he was done in by six turnovers. That is a risk with the rookie, but at a similar salary to that slate, his 20.6% usage is still the best way to access a crowded Raptors offensive hierarchy. Tonight specifically, he fills a wing spot with guard and big spots absolutely loaded with top-tier talent. The 25-point, 13-rebound explosion on Friday remains a ceiling worth stabs at in this value tier.
Others to Consider:
Brandon Ingram ($8,200): Still love the role (31.8% usage) but hasn't done anything with it. Solid 52.4% shooting, but he may be salaried at his ceiling right now despite the nice floor.
Darius Bazley ($5,400): Got benched Tuesday with Derrick Favors scratched. Not a good sign but still a role (21.4% usage) that has a tremendous ceiling if allotted court time.
Luguentz Dort ($4,800): Much safer role than Bazley at a lower salary. Showed flashes of excellent per-minute usage last year but early returns in 2021 (0.67 FanDuel points per minute) aren't as promising.
Justise Winslow ($4,000): Mann, Kennard, and Nicolas Batum are obvious plugs for Morris, but Winslow played 21 minutes on Monday. Buy low on the talent?
Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,900): The Timberwolves likely aren't going anywhere in the standings that would solidify the candidacy, but Towns is putting up MVP numbers at the moment. He wrestled the team's top usage mark (31.8%) away from D'Angelo Russell, and his 1.64 FanDuel points per minute are currently second in the entire NBA to just Giannis Antetokounmpo. The two meet Wednesday, and Milwaukee is without Brook Lopez for Wednesday's contest, which means they may scramble to find someone to cover Towns appropriately. He is worth his lofty salary once again.
Bam Adebayo ($8,100): Adebayo needs better game environments to be successful due to Miami's slow pace as a team. Still, he seems like a great target opposite Brooklyn on Wednesday. At roughly the same salary he occupied most of last season, Adebayo's rebounding volume has increased significantly; it's at 16.52 rebounds per 36 minutes this season after sitting at just 9.63 one year ago. Adebayo's usage has also increased to 25.6% above 24.3% last season. He is trending in the right direction for a monster performance.
Ivica Zubac ($4,500): After stating my concerns about Zubac's 19 minutes on Saturday, he saw 25 minutes in Los Angeles's three-quarter blowout of Portland on Monday. Without Marcus Morris and Serge Ibaka, the Clippers' only form of size down low is Zubac. For that reason, the productive big man (1.16 FanDuel points per minute) is likely to see another heavy workload against Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and the bevy of big men that the Cavaliers play nightly. Unless the Clips trade for Kevin Love before tip-off, Zubac seems positioned to see 30-plus minutes on Wednesday.
Others to Consider:
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,200): Should have his hands full shorthanded again. Definite blowout concern against Minnesota, however.
Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,700): Morant's breakout is partly due to Jackson's capped playing time (29.3 minutes per game). Likely can establish himself as the clear second guy with more.
Mohamed Bamba ($6,300): 40-burger waiting to happen at $6,300. Well projected as a result.
Mason Plumlee ($5,900): Will see 30-plus minutes again with no Washington. Incredibly unappetizing ceiling and clogs up center, but he is there.