FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 12/7/21

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
New YorkSan Antonio212.5107.75104.75226
BostonLA Lakers219.5108.5111242

The Dallas Mavericks decide our fates and fortunes this evening.

Dallas could be missing some combination of Luka Doncic (ankle) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (knee) tonight. Both are listed as questionable, but the Mavs are likely to get Kristaps Porzingis (probable with an ankle injury) back in the fold this evening.

Elsewhere, Jaylen Brown officially has seemed to aggravate his hamstring issue for Boston. He's missed two straight games, and he's questionable for tonight's primetime game against the Lakers.

On the other side of that game, Carmelo Anthony is questionable with an illness as well. His role might be hard to pin down value for if he misses, but it would just eliminate Anthony as an upside option.

That's really the only fresh injury news, though. As stated, it's fairly quiet outside of Dallas -- where a typhoon is brewing.


Dejounte Murray ($9,900): Three-game slates sometimes require writing up someone you may not even consider in a single entry. That's Murray, and it has nothing to do with him. He's been stellar, and Monday, he posted his seventh straight game with at least 45 FanDuel points. His iron-clad floor just can't take priority with the very best value on the slate mostly at guard. Still, if you think you can squeeze it, that conundrum should keep a great player unpopular.

Marcus Smart ($5,800): The best type of value play is one that starts good and just gets better with injury news. That fits these next two guards. Smart is still starting for the Celtics and has seen at least 32 minutes in five of his last six games. His salary has dipped here likely due to the assumption that Jaylen Brown is back, but he's definitely not "back". Smart is well-projected by numberFire as of now, and he'll get even further bumped with extra usage if Brown misses a third straight game.

Jalen Brunson ($5,300): Brunson is the same type of good-to-better value play. He's fine right now; he's posted at least 32 minutes and 26 FanDuel points in both games since getting fully back to speed from injury. If Doncic or Hardaway Jr. were to sit, he's got a 25.0% or greater usage role in a massive pace-up spot with Brooklyn. You can plug him in a lineup now, rest easy, and still have access to the best value spot if Luka sits this evening.

Others to Consider:
Luka Doncic ($10,600): He might give it a go on national television, but he's been dicey in this salary range at 100%. I'll look elsewhere.
Dennis Schroder ($5,200): A top-tier value option if Brown misses again. A "revenge game" pivot off Smart if Brown plays.
Patrick Mills ($4,900): Seeing 30-plus minutes at a sub $5,000 salary is an automatic qualifier on this slate. Eight games with 25-plus FanDuel points shows enough of a ceiling.


Kevin Durant ($10,800): There isn't enough stable value -- even without Luka -- to have Durant in my player pool, but he's worth highlighting because he is the better option for tournament game stacks than James Harden. The two are now nearly identical in salary, but it's Durant (31.5% usage rate the last two weeks) that has a much better role than Harden (26.8%) recently. Durant's pounding minutes at the moment with at least 37 of them in seven straight games, and that only helps his floor, too.

Jayson Tatum ($9,700): Personally, it's hard to see Boston risking Brown tonight if he did indeed already re-aggravate his hamstring. Tatum is a phenomenal option in that even; he has a 34.2% usage rate with Brown off the floor this season, and he's parlayed that into 1.28 FanDuel points per minute. That per-minute production drops to 1.19 in all floor situations, so he's harder to justify if JB plays, but the $1,100 between him and Durant goes a long way in single-entry lineups if possible.

Keldon Johnson ($5,400): On a full slate, Johnson wouldn't be in consideration because he's failed to eclipse 25 FanDuel points in five of his last seven games. On a three-game slate, his role (31 minutes or more in all seven of those games) is good enough to be a core play. The injury status of Devin Vassell could have contributed to his recent floor of minutes, so it may be worth checking on Vassell (was questionable and ruled out Monday with a quad) for Tuesday if you're iffy about Keldon.

Others to Consider:
LeBron James ($10,500): 34.3% usage rate since returning from injury. Just tough to play three stars at small forward on a slate with minimal value.
Alec Burks ($6,500): This salary range is empty when it's badly needed. Burks is fine at this salary if he fits as a plug, but all Knicks floors remain nonexistent.
Evan Fournier ($5,100): At least 32 minutes in back-to-back games. A low-floor option, but there's just nothing behind him in salary with upside.


Anthony Davis ($10,000): With a $500 salary reduction from his last weekday main slate, Davis can definitely work. He's quietly developed a nice floor with 46-plus FanDuel points in six of his last seven games. He's averaging 1.25 FanDuel points per minute since LeBron returned, and his three biggest outputs in this stretch all came with James in the lineup. A.D. is generally never popular due to his propensity to head to the locker room, but he's a solid star to roster at a slightly lower salary than his contemporaries.

Al Horford ($6,800): Horford sat with back tightness on Saturday, but with two full days off, it sounds like he's good to go for Tuesday's game. Averaging 1.16 FanDuel points per minute this season, he's kind of a no-brainer at this salary in what can be projected as roughly a 30-minute role. His role is more secure with Robert Williams (20.8 minutes per game in the last four contests) falling out of favor, and he sees a 1.8 percentage-point increase in floor situations without Jaylen Brown, too.

LaMarcus Aldridge ($5,600): Aldridge is currently projected as numberFire's top value option overall, and he certainly stands out as the lowest fathomable option at center. He's seen at least 27 minutes in his last six games, and the quick-and-dirty projection at 1.16 FanDuel points per minute this season makes it easy to see the justification behind his projection. He'll be immensely popular, but it's hard to even construct lineups without him in one of the power forward spots.

Others to Consider:
Julius Randle ($8,700): At least 43 FanDuel points in all three games since Alec Burks was officially named the starter. He's back.
Jakob Poeltl ($6,300): Another option I'd use to save salary with big men in tournaments. Solid floor; at least 30 FanDuel points in six straight games.