FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 11/24/21

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

Away Home Game
LA LakersIndiana219107.75111.25217
WashingtonNew Orleans207105.5101.52420
UtahOklahoma City210.5111.5991413
AtlantaSan Antonio222.5113.25109.25204
PhiladelphiaGolden State216.5103113.5287

As is tradition, the NBA squeezes a feast of 13 games in before the brief, one-day hiatus for Thanksgiving Day.

A pair of guards we were missing Monday remain out for Wednesday. Both Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Orlando's Cole Anthony will sit due to ankle injuries tonight. Salaries are largely unadjusted, so we can go here again.

Boston's Jaylen Brown returned to 22 minutes on Monday, but he's questionable to play tonight as they manage his hamstring injury.

OG Anunoby could potentially return for the Raptors this evening; he's questionable with his hip issue. The same could be said for Nikola Vucevic of the Bulls. Vuc is working his way back from COVID-19 protocols.

Tobias Harris missed Monday's game for Philadelphia with a hip issue, and he's questionable tonight for a matchup with Golden State. His status goes a long way to the competitiveness of that game. Seth Curry (back) is questionable for Philly, too.

Darius Garland popped onto the injury report with a neck issue for the Cleveland Cavaliers after Monday's win. He's officially questionable.

The Grizzlies probably get Dillon Brooks back this evening. He was a game-time decision on Monday and didn't go, but two days later, his chances have improved.

Caris LeVert is questionable with back issues that have plagued him all season, but if the Pacers continue to bench starters early in games, it's hard to smash this spot even if he misses the game and frees up usage.

LeBron James is also back for the Lakers following his suspension for his incident with the Pistons' Isaiah Stewart. Stewart remains out for Wednesday's contest with Milwaukee.


LaMelo Ball ($9,300): Over the daily grind of the season, you just miss things from time to time. Ball was tremendously popular on Monday, and I couldn't figure out why given nothing has changed in the Charlotte rotation for weeks. Even with similar minutes, Ball just started taking on more. His 27.3% usage rate on the season has spiked to a 29.8% mark over the past three games. He's turned that into 1.39 FanDuel points per minute -- way, way beyond the value of this salary. Against lowly Orlando, I'm late to the party, but I'm glad I made it.

Josh Giddey ($6,000): With Gilgeous-Alexander out, Giddey is the trusted ball handler in the offense. Giddey saw a 22.9% usage rate on Tuesday, which was second only to Luguentz Dort (26.0%). As a point guard by trade, I am just expecting Giddey's offensive role to stay more consistent night-to-night than the wing, Dort, but both are the clear top options amongst starters. His 13 shots were well above his 10.8 average per game on the season, and his fantasy efforts will get better on days he bests 0-for-5 from three-point range.

Cory Joseph ($4,100): Joseph was plug-and-play chalk on Tuesday, and he gave us no reason to stray away with 30.9 FanDuel points. Joseph has now played 29-plus minutes in four straight games, and averaging 0.75 FanDuel points per minute, his floor and ceiling are both far too qualified for this salary. The Pistons -- more than likely -- get blown out Wednesday without a rim protector to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo, but Joseph's salary really leaves minimal concern for that event.

Others to Consider:
Trae Young ($9,300): Think he's a tremendous option in a pace-up spot with the Spurs. The same salary as Ball is nice for building in tournaments with both.
De'Aaron Fox ($7,300): Assist regression is coming. Just eight dimes in three games when his career average is 6.3 per game.
Jalen Suggs ($5,600): Favorite way to access the Magic. Team-high 31.6% usage rate in Monday's tire fire, but just saw 16 minutes. He's the guy if it stays competitive with Charlotte.
Shake Milton ($5,000): If both Harris and Curry sit, he's Tyrese Maxey for $3,000 less in salary. Helps with the blowout risk a lot.


Jimmy Butler ($10,100): It's like opposite day. The top end of wing is loaded, and the center position stinks. Butler is my favorite choice in one of the most notable revenge games in sports against Minnesota. Butler is still averaging a career-high 1.31 FanDuel points per minute on a 28.3% usage rate. Beyond the narrative, the matchup is also good; the Wolves allow the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to opposing players with a primary position of shooting guard (42.8). Miami's deep roster allows for some low-floor spots, but Butler is going to give this one his all.

Lauri Markkanen ($6,200): Markkanen sailed over his projected minutes cap with 30 minutes in a return effort against Brooklyn. Especially if Garland sits, the Cavs should rely on the wing for some offense. Outside of Garland's absurd 27 shots, the Fin posted the next-highest total (17) with a 24.7% usage rate. He adds 7.16 rebounds per 36 minutes to that offensive work as well. It's a solid role in a mid-range that's otherwise pretty hairy at forward.

Franz Wagner ($5,100): Wagner gets the feature over Jalen Suggs because his position just has less competition. At an unchanged salary, the rookie has produced well this season at 0.77 FanDuel points per minute in a full role. Unfortunately, there's not a ton to read into with Orlando's only game this season without Cole Anthony on Monday because the Magic were down 41 points at halftime and bailed on the starting unit. Orlando is just an eight-point home underdog on Wednesday, and Wagner should get more opportunities.

Others to Consider:
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700): With a 15-point spread, the blowout potential is very real. He's also very capable of a can't miss, three-quarter performance. I'll have some, but not a smash.
Scottie Barnes ($6,500): Not viable if Anunoby plays, but my guess would be he doesn't. High floor; scored 30 FanDuel points with 15 or fewer points on 4 separate occasions.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,600): Salary has dropped while he's been injured, but returns to a 30-plus minute role tonight. Projections like him, too.
James Johnson ($4,800): 1.07 FanDuel points per minute with a minimum of 23 minutes per game since Joe Harris got hurt. A great option again.


Jerami Grant ($7,800): The usually-sturdy center position is a mess. Many of the top options are fighting minutes or production concerns, and it's especially dire considering I'm lofting up Grant -- as a 15-point underdog -- as the top option. He's only power forward eligible, but he's currently playing most of his minutes at center as the Pistons are without Isaiah Stewart. He's played 71 minutes across the past two games and has been productive inside of them (1.25 FanDuel points per minute), so I'd peg him as the top option above $7,000.

Bobby Portis ($6,500): Portis's current role is so high-quality that he nearly eclipsed value in just 22 minutes in a wild blowout of OKC. He's averaging 1.24 FanDuel points per minute in the last three games with Khris Middleton back, and he saw north of 30 minutes in both competitive games. The aforementioned wide spread against Detroit could always leave him on the bench again, but the fact numberFire's model loves the over and prefers the Detroit side in this contest leaves some optimism for Portis and other Bucks.

Jakob Poeltl ($5,800): The default center plug will be Poeltl is a vast majority of my own lineups. He vaulted to 31 minutes in the Spurs' last game as he works his way back from a COVID-19 protocol absence. At 1.06 FanDuel points per minute this season, Poeltl is a no-brainer option in a return to a full workload, and numberFire's projections mirror that sentiment.

Others to Consider:
Rudy Gobert ($8,800): A low usage role in a 12.5-point spread sounds like the recipe for disappointment. The only reason a personal favorite isn't on the menu tonight.
Domantas Sabonis ($8,400): Would be near 100% at this salary if guaranteed 30-plus minutes, but he's seen 26 or fewer in three straight. Unfortunate.
Al Horford ($7,200): With this spot so messy, a great option in cash games. 31-plus FanDuel points in five straight games with or without Jaylen Brown.
Christian Wood ($6,700): I might sprinkle him in tournaments for the 40-point upside, but the blowout risk for the 1-16 Rockets is basically a given at this point.