NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 11/6/21

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 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, and we also have player news updates.

We'll be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.

Guards

Russell Westbrook, PG/SG, (FanDuel Salary: $9,600) - With LeBron James out for the Los Angeles Lakers, Westbrook jumps to the top of our projections (as of early Saturday) as we forecast him to total a slate-high 50.3 FanDuel points (5.24 per $1,000 in salary). Russ disappointed sans LeBron last time out, scoring just 37.7 FanDuel points, but he logged a team-best 33.0% usage rate in that game. Taking on a Portland Trail Blazers team that sits seventh-worst in defensive efficiency, Westbrook could erupt.

Damian Lillard, PG, $8,600 - I like the idea of stacking Lillard and Westbrook. Dame has a mouth-watering matchup against a Lakers squad that plays at the second-fastest pace while ranking as a middle-of-the-pack defense in terms of efficiency. Lillard hasn't been great this season, and he's coming off a dud of 29.3 FanDuel points and 4 real-world points in his last game. Prior to that, he'd started to look like the Dame we know, posting 46.6 and 40.4 FanDuel points in his prior two games. We have him going for 41.4 FanDuel points, but with Portland carrying the second-best implied total (112.0), there is plenty of room for more.

Lonzo Ball, PG, $6,100 - Ball is averaging 32.2 FanDuel points per game for the year, which automatically makes him an appetizing target at this salary. He's played at least 32 minutes in every game. He's up against the Philadelphia 76ers, which has been a neutral matchup for point guards in the early going, and although this is a small five-game slate, there is plenty of star power at point guard, which could cause Ball to fly under the radar. Our model is into Ball, projecting him for 33.1 FanDuel points -- 5.43 per $1,000.

Others to Consider: Luka Doncic ($10,200), Dennis Schroder ($6,000), Mike Conley ($5,600, especially if Donovan Mitchell [$8,000] is out)

Wings

Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, $9,500 - Small forward is very top-heavy. Tatum is one of three SF-eligible players we peg to amass at least 37.7 FanDuel points. After those three, no one else has a projection higher than 27.8. For me, I'm going to prioritize getting at least one of those three, which includes Tatum, Jimmy Butler ($10,000) and DeMar DeRozan ($8,400). With Jaylen Brown ruled out, Tatum is by far my favorite of that trio once you factor in salary. Tatum carries a 34.5% usage rate without Brown this year, per RotoGrinders CourtIQ. He will see the Dallas Mavericks and projects for 45.2 FanDuel points, tops at either forward spot, according to our numbers.

Robert Williams, PF/C, $5,700 - Williams is another way to get a piece of the Brown-less Boston Celtics, and our algorithm loves him. We have him recording 36.5 FanDuel points (6.40 per $1,000) and rate him as the top point-per-dollar play on the slate. He's averaging 30.1 FanDuel points per night, so even if he merely hits his average, Williams will return better than 5.0 points per $1,000. We have him doing better than that.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF, $4 ,800 - Bogdanovic is another excellent point-per-dollar option. He's had outputs of 30.2 and 32.2 FanDuel points across his last five, and while his 15.3% usage rate for the season is an uninspiring clip, Bogdanovic has logged at least 29 minutes in six straight games. Our algorithm projects him for 27.4 FanDuel points, which makes him the second-best point-per-dollar play on the slate, and that number could grow if John Collins ($6,800), who is questionable, sits out.

Others to Consider: Anthony Davis ($10,600), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,200), Mikal Bridges ($5,100)

Bigs

Joel Embiid, C, $9,300 - Of the nine players we have projected for 40-plus FanDuel points, four are eligible at center, so I recommend jamming in the ones who are also eligible at power forward -- like Anthony Davis and Bam Adebayo ($8,600) -- into the four spot if you're keen on them, which is why I listed Williams above. Embiid paces a stout center position with a projection of 46.8 FanDuel points (5.03 per $1,000). He dwarfs the rest of the Sixers in usage. He's got a 35.0% usage rate -- 12.6 percentage points above anyone else on Philly.

Nikola Vucevic, C, $8,100 - Prior to flopping with 24.0 FanDuel points last time out against the same 76ers team he'll see in this one, Vucevic had scored at least 34.8 FanDuel points in every game this season, with three games of 40-plus. That last dud and the repeat matchup with Philly may push people away from Vucevic tonight, but our model projects him to register 40.5 FanDuel points, which is good for 5.0 per $1,000 right on the nose.

Others to Consider: Clint Capela ($6,400), Jusuf Nurkic ($6,900), Dwight Powell ($4,600)