FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 1/10/22

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
San AntonioNew York214.5104110.5430

COVID-19 Protocol Update
Due to the advanced number of players in COVID-19 protocols, I want to provide just a manual list of those players moving forward and then discuss the other injury news separately. Only players that significantly impact the slate are listed:

Player Team Status
Caris LeVert Indiana Questionable
Rudy Gobert Utah Unknown
Derrick White San Antonio Unknown
Norman Powell Portland Likely Out
Tyrese Maxey Philadelphia Out
Richaun Holmes Sacramento Unknown
Rudy Gay Utah Out
Keldon Johnson San Antonio Unknown
Devin Vassell San Antonio Unknown
Frank Jackson Detroit Unknown
Payton Pritchard Boston Out
Nerlens Noel New York Questionable
Pat Connaughton Milwaukee Questionable
Tre Jones San Antonio Out
Joe Ingles Utah Unknown
Doug McDermott San Antonio Questionable

The Bucks will be without Jrue Holiday due to an ankle injury on Monday against the Hornets, and Holiday marks by far the biggest star off the slate with the COVID issues slowly reducing across the league.

Malcolm Brogdon has fought an Achilles injury all season, and he's once again questionable for their tilt tonight with the Celtics.

New York may be without Evan Fournier (thigh) for a second straight contest against the COVID-laden Spurs. However, they may get the return of Kemba Walker (knee; questionable) to offset that loss.

LaMarcus Aldridge has played sparingly nursing a foot injury, and he's questionable for Monday's game in Portland. He's worth avoiding entirely even if he goes.

Finally, Shake Milton has been ruled out for a third straight game with a back issue for the Philadelphia 76ers -- still down their top two guards unless Tyrese Maxey makes a surprise return from COVID-19 protocols.


LaMelo Ball ($8,400): Ball's fantasy output is correlated well to pace, and that has held true against Milwaukee. Ball has averaged 1.53 FanDuel points per minute in two games against the Bucks this season, and the environment should be solid again. The Hornets are just a 2.5-point home underdog to Cream City, and the gaudy, 235.0-point total is one of the highest we've seen all year. It's more than fitting with their prior two meetings averaging a total of 236.0 total points.

Cade Cunningham ($6,600): That tight spread in Charlotte would be nice in Detroit. The question -- once again -- becomes whether the lowly Pistons can hang on as 12-point home underdogs to the shorthanded Utah Jazz. If they do, Cunningham likely hit value easily at this salary. The absence of Rudy Gobert should help Cunningham and other Detroit scorers; with Gobert off the floor this season, the Jazz's points allowed per 100 possessions have increased by 6.97.

Joshua Primo ($3,800): The San Antonio rotation was much more normal in its second game with the team down so many pieces due to COVID-19. Only six players saw 25-plus minutes in a tight game with Brooklyn on Sunday. On the second leg of an Empire State back-to-back, Primo grades out as numberFire's top value overall after he logged 34 regulation minutes in the first leg. At near-minimum salary, don't get too picky about his limited production thus far.

Others to Consider:
Kyrie Irving ($7,800): Incredibly rusty in his first game back and still smashed value at this salary. However, expect him to be popular with that knowledge.
Darius Garland ($7,700): Love that he's next door to Irving coming off his worst shooting performance of the season. It's a friendly matchup with Sacramento.
Alec Burks ($5,800): If both Fournier and Walker sit, he's a core play. Fournier would be okay for sprinkles. Walker would cross him off entirely.
Wesley Matthews ($4,000): Like Primo, heavy minutes, but short on production. Likely far less popular with the well-known reputation of that inactivity.


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500): On a slate without Nikola Jokic, Antetokounmpo's upside is pretty unmatched in that dreamy Bucks-Hornets matchup. Giannis has posted 1.78 FanDuel points per minute against a Hornets' defense that's posed little resistance to most. Plus, operating as the point guard without Holiday, Antetokounmpo's averaged 1.77 FanDuel points per minute this season. The lone concern I have in this spot is Giannis runs too wild and blows out Charlotte entirely.

Nassir Little ($5,200): I haven't really gotten to Little all season. He's been over-rostered compared to his season-long 0.93 FanDuel points per minute, but that ceiling increases significantly with Norman Powell in COVID-19 protocols. He took 13 shots on Sunday without Powell -- second on Portland to Anfernee Simons. His 10.41 rebounds per 36 minutes mark is always solid, so an increased offensive role gives him that much-needed upside in a high-paced affair with the Nets.

Lonnie Walker ($4,400): Walker has been Dejounte Murray's co-star in the San Antonio backcourt with Derrick White and Keldon Johnson on the COVID-19 list, and he hasn't been disappointing at 1.15 FanDuel points per minute since Friday. Most of that came Sunday against Brooklyn, but he still holds a 29.6% usage rate overall in the past two games. That usage rate would warrant at least a $7,000 salary, so this mark is the singular best value on the entire slate, personally.

Others to Consider:
Miles Bridges ($7,900): Think there's more than enough room for him and Gordon Hayward in stacks. Should be a wild game.
Jordan Nwora ($5,400): His minutes are stable with Holiday now out compared to Friday. The identical salary is not only palatable but desirable.
Matisse Thybulle ($4,300): The block and steal upside seeing 30-plus minutes is monstrous. A top value play in our model.
Keita Bates-Diop ($3,900): 30-plus minutes for the Spurs, too. Likely a boatload of people on Walker; a good place to be different in tournaments.


Joel Embiid ($10,900): The lowly Rockets have zero shot to actually contain Embiid, so will the game be a blowout? The 10.5-point spread is concerning, but the pace-up spot helps. Philadelphia (27th in pace) draws top-paced Houston -- along with their league-worst 114.7 defensive rating. As long as Tyrese Maxey sits, the 76ers may be down just enough firepower to keep it tight, and Embiid will look to continue to build on an absurd 1.75 FanDuel points per minute since Christmas.

Christian Wood ($7,000): If you play the angle that the game stays close enough for Embiid, then Wood (1.16 FanDuel points per minute this season) becomes a no-brainer in turn. He's eclipsed 33 FanDuel points in every game this season he's seen at least 30 minutes, so it really is that simple. Now, Embiid brings both the danger of foul trouble and more court time for Daniel Theis, but this salary makes those risks seem minimal compared to the logical path to 40 FanDuel points.

Jakob Poeltl ($6,100): Poeltl's production (1.09 FanDuel points per minute) this entire season has been somewhat underrated, and really, his low floor comes from playing time. The 6.5-point spread Monday isn't particularly concerning, and the Spurs are short plenty of players. The Knicks aren't a brutal matchup, either; they're 12th from the bottom in defensive rebounding percentage (72.5%) despite playing Julius Randle with a center more often than not.

Others to Consider:
Domantas Sabonis ($10,300): Low ceiling but his floor is still there without Brogdon or Caris LeVert. I'll probably pass if either play, though.
Evan Mobley ($7,700): Both he and Jarrett Allen are in play. Sacramento is fourth from the bottom in defensive rebounding percentage (70.2%).
Bobby Portis ($6,000): Back to a full-time role with no DeMarcus Cousins. Another mid-range way to access the game du jour.
Robert Covington ($5,300): Not really a big, but Portland is playing him as one. 30-plus FanDuel points in back-to-back games without Larry Nance Jr.