FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 11/22/21
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 and Key Injuries
Although last week proved stars do not need to be on the injury report to disrupt a slate, Monday's 10-game slate looks fairly clean as of this morning.
The biggest news is a star playing for Boston. Jaylen Brown will likely make his return Monday as he is listed as probable with the hamstring injury that cost him the last eight games. The C's should also get Robert Williams (knee) back, as well, off a four-game layoff.
The Brooklyn Nets are also even thinner than they were on Friday. Joe Harris' replacement, Bruce Brown Jr., picked up a hamstring injury that is severe enough that he was already ruled out for Monday.
Ja Morant ($9,800): The top of guard is incredibly thin, and I wouldn't blame anyone who's not here with Morant. Morant is averaging just 38.8 FanDuel points across a four-game stretch that included the return of Dillon Brooks and Sunday's bizarre clunker against Minnesota. Brooks has a massive usage impact; he has a team-high 30.0% usage sharing the floor with Morant (24.9%), but Ja has a 33.0% usage rate when Brooks is off the floor. Assuming Brooks is out once again on Monday, there's still reason to buy back into Morant's old role at a slightly-reduced salary.
De'Aaron Fox ($7,300): The Kings fired head coach Luke Walton on Sunday. We know that Sacramento has plenty of lottery talent that has played well at times, but Walton's bizarre rotations had a significant impact on the team's best player, Fox. Fox is averaging just 1.01 FanDuel points per minute (in reduced minutes at times) compared to his 1.23 mark from one year ago. With a clean slate and a new coach, there's justification at a weak position Monday to buy into Fox at a low salary and expect a return to form with Alvin Gentry.
Jalen Green ($5,200): Green is one of the most curious daily fantasy players in recent memory. The number-two pick has plenty of opportunity (32.5 minutes per game) and plenty of usage (22.9%), but he has wildly inconsistent production night-to-night because of his shot. His ceiling (five games with 25-plus FanDuel points) is always going to be arguable on a night with minimal value. It might be wiser to just roster Patrick Mills in every lineup in his place, but for variety, Green has upside in tournaments with a stable role.
Others to Consider:
Devin Booker ($7,900): His peripheral stats are still up (11.82 assists plus rebounds per 36 minutes) and San Antonio has a terrible defense. Definitely worth tournament exposure.
Darius Garland ($6,200): It will be interesting to see how his role sticks with returning teammates. Still a fair salary for 0.91 FanDuel points per minute without Collin Sexton.
Derrick White ($5,000): Our projections love him every night, but it's on the basis of 30-plus minutes. Possible, but hardly a guarantee.
Patrick Mills ($4,500): 35-plus minutes in both games without Joe Harris, and now Brown is out. Plenty of minutes (with scoring upside) for a marginal salary increase.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700): Earlier in the season, I claimed $12,000 would be a fair salary for Giannis. Even with his teammates back, that still holds true. His median outcome in a variety of situations in the last seven games is 62.2 FanDuel points. That's a small sample, but it's backed up by a 35.5% usage rate and 1.71 FanDuel points per minute mark over the past two weeks. He's largely becoming blowout-proof, as well, given he just posted 73.5 FanDuel points in three quarters of work.
Lauri Markkanen ($6,000): Now totally off the injury report, the expectation is Markkanen starts and returns to a 30-plus minute role for Cleveland, and that's more than workable at this salary. Markkanen now is likely the starting power forward with Evan Mobley sidelined, and the Finnish prospect is already averaging 0.93 FanDuel points per minute sharing the court with both Mobley and Jarrett Allen. The Cavs (26th in pace) also will see a huge pace upgrade against the Nets (9th) on Monday.
Kevin Huerter ($4,400): The focus at value with rightfully be DeAndre Bembry, who played 41 minutes for Brooklyn with the injury to Bruce Brown and is still near-minimum salary. However, Huerter has upside that Bembry does not. He's demonstrated with two games with 30-plus FanDuel points in his last six contests. Whether he taps into that Monday is unknown, but OKC's fifth-worst net rating (-6.8) in the NBA and second-most three-point attempts allowed per game (40.1) don't exactly hurt Huerter's overall projections.
Others to Consider:
Brandon Ingram ($7,700): His salary is inching down to reasonable, and a 29.7% usage rate without Graham is in play at this mark.
Tobias Harris ($7,500): Not putting pen to paper with his team-high 30.4% usage rate without Embiid, but the role should always be considered at this salary.
James Johnson ($4,800): Likely starts in place of Brown tonight. 1.48 FanDuel points per minute on Friday and some are likely scared off by sticker shock.
DeAndre Bembry ($3,700): The safer Nets option, but his 0.68 FanDuel points per minute rate just simply doesn't qualify as "can't-miss." I'll be underweight.
Rudy Gobert ($8,300): Gobert continues to gobble boards (15.1 per game) and is now salaried back at the point where he was a must-start every night. That's thanks to three straight games under 30 minutes, but the Jazz could need a full night of work as just 10-point favorites over Memphis. The blowout risk is definitely a concern, but the Grizz have the worst defensive rating (113.8) in the NBA, and they are allowing the second-most blocks per game (6.1) in the league, as well. This salary is fair for even three periods of Gobert.
Deandre Ayton ($7,700): Because of the spread in Utah, Ayton might be my center of choice in cash. Phoenix is just a 5.5-point favorite in San Antonio, and the Spurs may continue to struggle with size until Jakob Poeltl is back to full strength. Poeltl only played 15 minutes on Friday, and Ayton is already back beyond what was full strength. In the past week returning from injury, Ayton is averaging 1.20 FanDuel points per minute with a floor of 35.9 FanDuel points amidst multiple blowouts.
Blake Griffin ($4,000): It's bizarre to see no salary increase on Griffin on what is absolutely an improved role with Brooklyn's injuries. Griffin averaged 1.24 FanDuel points per minute on Friday across 24 minutes, and that was with LaMarcus Aldridge logging 23 minutes, as well. He may never see a huge bump in minutes, but his on-court time should continue to get better usage with no Joe Harris or Bruce Brown. He's a low-risk punt with forward eligibility, and that's viable with such little value at big as of this moment.
Others to Consider:
Jarrett Allen ($7,500): Will return from an illness on Monday. With no Mobley and four games of 45-plus FanDuel points, he's worth a long look in a revenge game.
Christian Wood ($7,200): Always will be viable at this salary (0.92 FanDuel points per minute) if he gets his full minutes. An 11.5-point spread may be too high to count on that, though.
Bobby Portis ($6,300): Averaging 1.29 FanDuel points per minute with Khris Middleton, so his production is even higher as Milwaukee has gotten healthy.
Marvin Bagley III ($3,600): A warning...he isn't viable in 99% of circumstances. But, if playing 150 lineups, he might be worth sprinkles if his new coach frees him into a 20-plus minute role.