FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 11/4/21

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.

The Slate

Away Home Game
Philadelphia Detroit 208.5 107 101.5 30 6
Utah Atlanta 220.5 110.75 109.75 4 29
Boston Miami 214.5 103.75 110.75 19 8
Houston Phoenix 217 103.25 113.75 1 5
Oklahoma City LA Lakers 216.5 101.25 115.25 6 1

It might just be easier to tell you who is playing tonight.

It seems nearly every game has some sort of concern not accounted for in the FanDuel salaries on this five-game slate.

That starts in Philadelphia, where the Tobias Harris leave due to COVID-19 protocols is still not accounted for amongst Philly salaries. Thankfully, with two games of data, we know that means we can turn to Matisse Thybulle, Georges Niang, and Furkan Korkmaz -- in that order -- for some value. Danny Green is also out for a second straight game with a hamstring injury, and watch Joel Embiid -- who looked hobbled Wednesday -- carefully on the second half of a back-to-back.

The Jazz likely need as much help as they can in Atlanta, but they could be shorthanded. Donovan Mitchell and Royce O'Neale may sit due to ankle injuries.

The Suns are hoping to get Deandre Ayton back, but he's questionable Thursday with a lower leg injury. The opposing Rockets might be without Eric Gordon (illness) and Daniel Theis (toe). We saw Alperen Sengun start for Theis on Tuesday.

The final note to watch will once again be the statuses of LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron is still fighting an ankle injury, Davis has a sore knee, and neither is a lock to play against the lowly Thunder. That news may not be released before lock, however.


Trae Young ($8,600): This is a bizarre salary for Young given that he has surpassed 42 FanDuel points in five of his eight contests this year. That's been while he is fighting a cold shot, as well. Young has shot just 27.9% from three-point land on the year, and as he tilts that closer to his 34.3% mark from deep a year ago, the explosion games should follow. The Jazz are fourth in pace, so that is a major upgrade spot for Atlanta (29th) and their scorers on Thursday.

Josh Giddey ($6,000): Despite by far the most cringe-worthy TikTok game of any NBA player, Giddey has delivered on his promise early in his rookie year. He's filled the sheet with boards and assists all year, but now his scoring is catching up. He's scored double figures in four of his past five games, and not surprisingly, he has met the requisite FanDuel value score (5.0 points per $1,000) in all four of those games. He's posted 40-plus FanDuel points twice, as well, so there's plenty of ceiling here, too.

Kyle Lowry ($5,900): We could all just hope for someone like Kyle Lowry as a house guest. He didn't step on any toes early in his first Heat season, but he is turning on the jets as he gets comfortable. Lowry is averaging 1.21 FanDuel points per minute the past two games on just 15.8% usage, and that is a figure that should continue to climb as Lowry gets more in tune with the team. He has at least five assists in every game despite the low usage -- a mark that would make Draymond Green proud.

Others to Consider:
Devin Booker ($8,200): Mentioned his peripheral stat boosts here, and he responded with his worst scoring and turnover nights of the season Tuesday. Still in a friendly spot.
Jalen Green ($5,800): Seven turnovers doomed his prospects Tuesday, but his role (24.5% usage the past week) is getting better. Talent always wins out.
Mike Conley ($5,200): Hope Mitchell plays. Conley is projected well and is good value as it stands, but he would be a free square if Mitchell can't go.
Cade Cunningham ($4,600): Woeful 2-for-14 shooting on Wednesday may turn folks off. It shouldn't. Played 29 minutes, and his role/talent combo is absurd for this salary.


Jayson Tatum ($9,400): As I tweeted, the surest way that Jaylen Brown goes off is if I mention rostering Tatum. Tatum's role Wednesday was as good as you could have hoped for (30.1% usage rate) against the feeble Magic, but Tatum turned in sub-30% shooting for just the second time this season. Guess which two slates he made the helper? Jokes aside, Tatum will likely be tasked with another heavy workload against Miami. This salary is too low for his ceiling but also a touch high for his floor. That should limit his popularity.

Jae'Sean Tate ($5,200): The biggest beneficiary of Daniel Theis' absence last time out was Tate. Tate played 35 minutes on Tuesday without the center, and he dropped 20 points on 15 shots. At a 24.8% usage rate the past week, Tate currently has the highest workload of any Houston starter. He has seen a 0.20 increase in FanDuel points per minute this year in floor situations without Theis, so going small has been beneficial for Tate, and the Suns may go small if Deandre Ayton is out yet again.

Jae Crowder ($4,600): I made a mistake (as I do frequently) and lost Jae Crowder in the injury shuffle Tuesday. I don't want to make that same mistake Thursday; Crowder's role is just too good for this salary. He dropped 13 points and 8 boards in his third straight game with at least 31 minutes. Cameron Johnson only saw 21 minutes -- even with Ayton out -- so Crowder's role appears to have staying power. His rebounding volume should continue to be solid if Ayton misses another contest.

Others to Consider:
Jerami Grant ($7,100): With the salary reduction and Cunningham back to help the offense, Grant is a worthy consideration here. At least 30 FanDuel points in every game with at least 30 minutes.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,400): Similar story as Conley, except he needs a Mitchell injury to be viable in this spot. If Mitchell is ruled out, a tremendous ceiling play. Could drop 30 points.
De'Andre Hunter ($4,500): Went 6-for-6 from three last night. Minutes role has always been good, but I'm more inclined to fade the hot shooting versus popularity.
Matisse Thybulle ($4,400): Got 38 minutes on Wednesday and started. If that role is a given, he's a must-have in cash games. The one player where both defense stats (4.0 blocks plus steals per game) are projectable.


Rudy Gobert ($8,200): First, to clarify, Gobert is playing tonight. There was a false report he was out tonight, but that was intended for Rudy Gay, who hasn't played yet this season. These are the dangers of surpassing the Rudy quota! Second, that means I couldn't be happier to use the glass-cleaning machine. His season-low in rebounds is 13, and he posted 20 on Tuesday against the Kings. Atlanta is surrendering the third-most FanDuel points to centers, and this salary doesn't reflect Gobert's current production on the glass. He's a great starting point in cash.

Christian Wood ($7,900): Wood should pile up numbers on this awful Houston team all season long, and they'll get blown out enough to keep his salary low. Wood is exclusively a tournament play at a forward spot, as he's exceeded 50 FanDuel points twice but also failed to hit 40 FanDuel points in each of the other five games. His usage rate (24.5%) will always allow for an offensive outburst, and he's clearly the Rockets' best big. The 10.5-point spread is worrisome, but with two top-five squads in pace, Wood overcome those fears quickly.

John Collins ($6,900): Trae Young (1.20) finally slipped past Collins (1.17) for the team lead in FanDuel points per minute, but the salary difference is noteworthy now that both have essentially the same minutes role. Collins has met or exceeded 35.0 FanDuel points in six of his eight games, which -- like Young -- makes his Thursday salary curious. That's especially true given the matchup; Utah is allowing the sixth-most FanDuel points per game (48.99) to opposing players with power forward as their primary position.

Others to Consider:
Anthony Davis ($10,500): Prefer using salary on Davis than Embiid if forced to at this spot but still not thrilled with either. Eclipsed 50 FanDuel points in four of eight games.
Andre Drummond ($5,800): Worth monitoring if Embiid sits out the second leg. Dropped 60.5 FanDuel points (!) on Monday without Embiid.
Eric Paschall ($3,900): Paschall enters the conversation if Royce O'Neale misses the game. Could see north of 25 minutes.
Georges Niang ($3,700): Saw 31 minutes again on Wednesday even with Embiid. The role is very good (20.2% usage) as the captain on the second-unit offense.