FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 11/29/21

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
Oklahoma CityHouston216106.75109.2591
WashingtonSan Antonio215.5109.5106213
New OrleansLA Clippers211.5102.51091219

A nine-game slate to open the week is relatively quiet on the injury front.

The biggest news of the day revolves around whether or not Denver gets Nikola Jokic back from the wrist injury that has kept him out for the last four contests. He was a game-time decision six days ago in Portland, but the Nuggets have been extra cautious with their big man.

On the other side of that game, Jimmy Butler is questionable for Miami due to a tailbone injury that he picked up on Saturday. Tyler Herro (soreness) would be the primary beneficiary if Butler sat, but Herro is also questionable after missing Saturday.

Mohamed Bamba is questionable for Orlando with "lower back maintenance" that forced him to miss Saturday's game. If it was maintenance, he may fall off the injury report this afternoon.

For the Timberwolves, Patrick Beverley will be missing for a third straight contest nursing a groin issue. Malik Beasley remains a top-tier value option with a suppressed salary in his stead.

The Blazers will also be missing Norman Powell (quad), and we saw earlier in the season that Nassir Little and Anfernee Simons see the biggest lifts from Powell's absence.

The final major injury note impacting the slate is that Mason Plumlee remains out with a calf injury for the Hornets. PJ Washington is still under-salaried in a full-time role without him and will be a core play again on Monday.


Luka Doncic ($10,600): Without Jokic, this is a challenging slate to safely spend lots of salary. Doncic ultimately wins out over Dejounte Murray at the top; numberFire's projections are equally skeptical as I when it comes to Murray's top-shelf production sticking at a sub-30% usage rate. Doncic is still averaging close to his season marks in usage (35.1%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.35) over the past two contests through the holiday. He's a fine play in a fine matchup since Cleveland allows the 12th-most FanDuel points per game (44.40) to opposing players with a point guard primary position.

Donovan Mitchell ($8,000): Mitchell's salary has dropped far below his role due to a variety of blowouts and cold shooting efforts. Mitchell still has a 30.3% usage rate over the past three games, but he's only turned in 1.00 FanDuel points per minute against his season-long 1.18 FanDuel points per minute. Portland's defensive rating is the third-worst in the NBA (111.5), but they play at the 13th-fastest pace, as well, so the matchup is ideal for Mitchell. The seven-point spread is actually on the short end of what the Jazz usually see at home, so he's in a tremendous spot to see his full minutes, too.

Jalen Suggs ($5,800): The injury to Cole Anthony is stale at this point, but Suggs' salary hasn't gone anywhere. It's largely because he hasn't produced; he's turned in just 0.94 FanDuel points per minute in 29.0 minutes per game in his last three without Anthony. The minutes, though, have been suppressed due to some lopsided scores. That's a concern again with the Magic as 13.5-point underdogs on Monday in Philadelphia, but his role is just too good if it can stay close. His 26.5% usage rate is 6.1 percentage points clear of the next highest Orlando starter in this time without Anthony.

Others to Consider:
Malcolm Brogdon ($7,200): Significantly under-salaried without the minute concerns of many Indiana starters. He's played 28-plus minutes in five straight.
Kyle Lowry ($6,800): Probably the lone viable Heat backcourt member at his salary. A tremendous boost if both Butler and Herro sit.
Derrick White ($5,700): White's minutes are back. 35.7 per game in his past three contests. He has and will eat into Murray's offensive production with that continued court time.
Anfernee Simons ($4,000): May not start in place of Powell but saw 28 minutes (and 36.2 FanDuel points) with Powell leaving early Saturday. High-upside value play.


Paul George ($9,200): On a weak Monday at the wing spot, George is worth investigating to see if he can be a stud to build around. He's definitely tailed off from his hot start to the year. His usage is down 3.4 percentage points the past week compared to his season-long 35.4% mark, and his FanDuel points per minute in this time is just 0.98. On the surface, that's not enticing at his salary, but there is a potential return to the upside we know exists. The Pelicans' fifth-worst defensive rating (110.8) could potentially be a cure to his woes.

Anthony Edwards ($8,100): Edwards isn't a phenomenal standalone play, but at this point, Edwards is the Wolves player to target in game stacks. He's showcased crazy upside for this salary with 10 games eclipsing the 26-point mark in scoring, but some nights, the peripheral assists and rebounds (9.87 combined per 36 minutes) just aren't going to be there. If their contest with the Pacers is close, Edwards has a team-best 27.8% usage rate with 30-point scoring upside.

Will Barton ($6,400): Just when we're ready to give up on Barton's top-tier role without Jokic, he comes back with a 38.8 FanDuel-point performance on Friday against the Bucks. Barton's 25.1% usage rate without Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. this season is 3.3 percentage points higher than his next starting teammate (Jeff Green), but he has failed to produce at times for a variety of reasons. He's still worth consideration Monday, and Barton dropped in 43 FanDuel points earlier this month on Miami, so the matchup is workable, as well.

Others to Consider:
Tobias Harris ($7,600): Salary is a touch high, but the lowly Magic defense can spring upside games. May get here in tournaments.
Marcus Morris ($4,500): Morris might be the reason George's production is declining for the Clippers. 20.4% usage rate since returning. Definitely works in a 30-plus minute role at this salary.
Malik Beasley ($4,300): Tremendous value option. Should see approximately 30 minutes with scoring upside for the Wolves. Solid game environment, as well.
Gary Harris ($4,100): Low usage rate (14.1%), but his minutes are even more stable than Suggs. You can use them together. Not the best ceiling for tournaments.


Joel Embiid ($10,100): If Jokic cannot play, it's not the worst endeavor to buy high on Embiid in this spot against Orlando. The 13.5-point spread is scary, but Embiid's 1.50 FanDuel points per minute on Saturday showed he can exploit a good matchup at this salary in even three quarters. His role has been awesome all season (33.7% usage rate with 11.02 rebounds per 36 minutes), but injuries and COVID-19 protocols have kept him on the pine more often than not. He likely will not be popular due to the spread and elevated salary.

Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,500): Not only could Mo Bamba be missing again for Orlando tonight, but Carter's production has been increasing on its own. Over the past three games without Cole Anthony, Carter is averaging a team-best 1.23 FanDuel points per minute. He should be needed to combat Embiid on the other side of the contests, and both are a possibility in game stacks with Carter's forward eligibility. numberFire's projections feel tremendous about Carter Jr. on Monday, as well.

PJ Washington ($4,900): With many good options at the pivot, it's a blessing Washington has forward eligibility. His role has been reduced with Mason Plumlee starting all season for Charlotte, but he's a must with, as mentioned, Plumlee out with a calf issue. Washington's 0.99 FanDuel points per minute this season have been right in line with his efforts last year, but he just hasn't had significant court time to be relevant. His 38 FanDuel points on Saturday prove that description no longer fits with Plumlee gone.

Others to Consider:
Nikola Jokic ($11,600): Miami's a tough enough matchup that I don't feel inclined to panic if Jokic is active for tonight's game. May have some, but not a priority to scramble before lock.
Bam Adebayo ($7,700): Adebayo's salary has tumbled but so has his production. numberFire's projections are optimistic long-term if his usage stays similar.
Christian Wood ($7,400): Two straight DNP-CDs for Daniel Theis is good news for Wood. 51.4 FanDuel points per game in the two contests since that change.
Jakob Poeltl ($5,600): He likely is my highest-drafted center again. Not sure why his salary decreased after two straight with 30-plus FanDuel points, but we'll take it.