FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 11/2/21
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 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.
Injuries are plaguing this small, five-game slate that will be a challenging build all the way through lock.
The Bucks are absolutely decimated by absences entering Tuesday's slate. While Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is probable, he is just about the only one. Jrue Holiday (ankle), Brook Lopez (back), and Khris Middleton (COVID-19 protocols) are already ruled out. The problem is, outside of Giannis and a limited Bobby Portis, that largely shifts Milwaukee's usage tree to unproductive, unpredictable sources as it did Sunday.
Elsewhere, the Heat and Mavericks may be missing their best bigs for their clash in Dallas. Bam Adebayo is questionable with a knee injury for Miami, and Kristaps Porzingis is questionable with the back injury that has kept him out of play since October 26th. Dallas would love Porzingis back now that Maxi Kleber (back) is out. Miami will also be without shooter Max Strus (knee).
The Pelicans and Suns could be without top players, as well. New Orleans' Brandon Ingram (hip) and Devonte' Graham (adductor) are both questionable, and Phoenix could be without their franchise big man Deandre Ayton due to a lower leg injury.
Amazingly enough, that left out the Lakers to this point. However, L.A. should be good to go, as Anthony Davis is probable with a knee injury, and LeBron James himself said he's playing through his ankle injury on Wednesday. The overmatched Rockets could be without Jae'Sean Tate (ankle) and Daniel Theis (toe), though, with both being listed questionable.
Luka Doncic ($10,400): No one has been personally victimized more by Doncic's erratic play than I, so any trepidation about deploying him into a brutal Miami matchup is understood. However, in this tier of guards with LeBron returning, no other high-salary guard comes close to his role. His 35.1% usage is over 15 percentage points above his next highest active teammate (Jalen Brunson) if Porzingis were to miss a fourth straight game. Monstrous 60-FanDuel-point performances are looming with that much offensive focus.
Devin Booker ($8,200): Booker has been the gold standard of DFS options who score and do nothing else, but that is changing quickly. D-Book has at least four rebounds and four assists in every contest this season. With that peripheral volume in tow, now Booker's scoring expectation is closer to 20 points to meet value than it is 30. At this salary, that changes the conversation dramatically. He gets an appealing matchup in New Orleans and their perennially poor defense (110.2 defensive rating; sixth-worst in the NBA).
Jalen Green ($5,800): This recommendation is not about Green's poor average results (25.1 FanDuel points per game) but his ceiling. Green is obviously talented as the second pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and he's put that together with just a single 40-FanDuel-point performance thus far. On Tuesday, he's in an environment that can produce another. Both the Rockets and Lakers lead the league at an identical 105.4 pace metric. The up-and-down action could realize the guard's ceiling, and that is worth tournament exposure.
Others to Consider:
De'Aaron Fox ($7,700): Salary is very friendly for his usage role (29.1%) but continues to shoot too poorly to produce.
Kyle Lowry ($5,900): Slowly getting more comfortable in the Heat's offense. Likely an unexpected beneficiary if Adebayo misses Tuesday's game.
Mike Conley ($5,500): Back up to 30 minutes in his last contest. Undersalaried; he's exceeded 28 FanDuel points in two of five games.
Grayson Allen ($4,900): The third Bucks player to trust behind Giannis and Portis. At least he has a very real path to scoring 20 points if nothing else.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300): There is no other place to start on this slate. Antetokounmpo averages 1.62 FanDuel points per minute this year in floor situations without Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, and even shooting a wretched 31.3% from the field on Sunday, he still posted 52.2 FanDuel points. The drop in efficiency with worse teammates is to be expected, but if he returns anywhere close to his season-long 53.1% field goal percentage, Antetokounmpo could post yet another 40-point triple-double in his incredible career.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($6,100): NAW is my favorite spot to target the Pelicans if Brandon Ingram is indeed out another game. Jonas Valanciunas is fine, but if the Suns are without Deandre Ayton, as well, both teams may happily go small. There is no substantial data on what a New Orleans offense without Ingram and Devonte' Graham may look like, but conventional wisdom would assume Alexander-Walker, their third option in all floor conditions (23.1% usage), would be heavily involved.
Jae Crowder ($4,200): Usually, 30-plus minute options in this salary range are just low-ceiling lineup fillers. Crowder definitely doesn't fit that description. He's exceeded 24 FanDuel points in back-to-back games, and a potential absence of Ayton would benefit him tremendously. Crowder sees an increase of 2.89 rebounds per 36 minutes with Ayton off the floor this season. He has a very real path to 30-plus FanDuel points while continuing to see heavy minutes, and numberFire's projections like his prospects, as well.
Others to Consider:
Jerami Grant ($7,400): The only runback option on the Pistons I would feel comfortable with in game stacks with Bucks value, but even then...yikes.
Josh Hart ($5,500): Multi-dimensional fantasy asset who can score FanDuel points in plenty of ways. Worth a long look if both Graham and Ingram are ruled out.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo ($4,200): Saw 32 minutes in his last game and played well. Similar frame to Giannis, and he showed he can gobble peripheral rebounds, blocks, and steals with it just like his bro.
Cameron Johnson ($4,100): Saw season-high 24 minutes after Ayton left the last contest. The sneaky beneficiary of the injury.
Rudy Gobert ($8,200): We've been playing basketball for a few weeks, and Rudy Gobert's season-low in rebounds is still 13. His floor is unbelievable for this salary as a result. Sunday was his first game not scoring in double figures, and he has a plus matchup with the Kings, who have allowed the most FanDuel points per game (61.7) to opposing centers this season. With Jonas Valanciunas seeing a hefty salary increase, there is plenty of argument to be made that Gobert is the center to turn to in cash games.
Christian Wood ($7,900): Unfortunately, the Lakers' salaries are all bloated from this extended stretch without LeBron. That makes it difficult to stack this game from the Los Angeles side, but there is plenty of exposure to be had to the Rockets' side in a repeat matchup of top-paced squads. Wood had 16 points and 13 boards in a game the Rockets only scored 85 total points on Sunday, and that might be the theme of his season. Still, his forward eligibility and potential ceiling if -- somehow -- Houston can keep this game close is worth tournament exposure.
Bobby Portis ($4,700): Portis is one of the fascinating forks in the road on Tuesday's slate. There is no denying that he will have plenty of opportunity in the time he sees the court for the Bucks. Portis had an absurd 34.7% usage rate when he entered the game on Sunday, and with no secondary options to score beyond Giannis, it was easy to see why. The question becomes what his opportunity will be. He only saw 19 minutes in that game, but two days further removed from his hamstring, could he see 25 minutes? He'd be a priority with that as a given, so there is exposure of some sort to be had.
Others to Consider:
Anthony Davis ($10,000): If I had to choose one Laker, it would be AD. Has a 70-point ceiling but also only has eclipsed value at this salary in three of seven games.
Jonas Valanciunas ($8,600): Will be tremendously popular if Ingram and Graham both sit. Ayton playing would go a long way to helping his floor, as Phoenix would prefer to go small anyway.
JaVale McGee ($4,300): Could draw the start, but still a soft cap of 20-ish minutes it appears. He will be well projected if Ayton is ruled out, but plenty of paths to failure here.
Herbert Jones ($4,000): Saw 36 (!) minutes and posted 31.1 FanDuel points without Ingram on Saturday. Prefer him to Valanciunas all day long. Top value on the slate if Ingram sits.