FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 1/12/22

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
Charlotte Philadelphia 226.5 110.5 116 1 26
Orlando Washington 215.5 104.75 110.75 14 21
Boston Indiana 210.5 106.75 103.75 25 23
Dallas New York 206.5 104.75 101.75 28 28
Miami Atlanta 223.5 110.5 113 27 18
Houston San Antonio 232 113.25 118.75 1 4
Cleveland Utah 223.5 109 114.5 21 12
LA Lakers Sacramento 231.5 117.25 114.25 1 7
Brooklyn Chicago 232.5 115.5 117 6 14

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
Kristaps Porzingis Dallas Out
Bradley Beal Washington Out
Rudy Gobert Utah Unknown
Caris LeVert Indiana Questionable (Conditioning)
Derrick White San Antonio Unknown
Kelly Oubre Charlotte Unknown
Rudy Gay Utah Unknown
Keldon Johnson San Antonio Unknown
Devin Vassell San Antonio Unknown
Payton Pritchard Boston Questionable
Nerlens Noel New York Questionable

Even though both said they'll play, the Nets officially listed Kyrie Irving (ankle) and James Harden (knee) questionable for Wednesday's late-night battle with Chicago.

The Hawks will likely be without center Clint Capela on Wednesday; he's doubtful with an ankle injury. Cam Reddish is also questionable nursing an ankle issue. On the other side, Miami could actually welcome Dewayne Dedmon (knee) back to the lineup.

Malcolm Brogdon assumed the same title he's held entering several games in a row that he's sat out with his Achilles' injury -- questionable. On the other side of that contest, Marcus Smart is doubtful with a thigh injury that forced him to exit Monday's tilt with Indiana. Chris Duarte also missed the first leg of this doubleheader for conditioning and is questionable for Game 2.

Orlando's Wendell Carter Jr. is a game-time decision against Washington. Mohamed Bamba (toe) is also questionable to suit up for the Magic.

Seth Curry was a surprise scratch on Monday for the 76ers, and he's questionable again Wednesday with an ankle sprain.

Lastly, the New York Knicks' backcourt is always a question mark, and that includes the possibility that Kemba Walker (knee) rejoins the lineup tonight.


Dejounte Murray ($10,200): The Spurs and Rockets are terrible and get blown out on a nightly basis. Wednesday, the 5.5-point spread indicates they're on even footing against each other. With a 232.0-point total, this is a game made for stacking in that event, and it's hard not to default to Murray at the top of guard. Blowouts have been the only thing to dwindle Murray's production since their COVID-19 shortage began last Friday; he has a stellar 30.4% usage rate in that timespan.

Russell Westbrook ($8,400): The boom-or-bust quality of Westbrook appears here to stay with the emergence of Malik Monk scoring the ball. Sunday's issues were due to a rout by the Memphis Grizzlies. Westbrook has posted over 50 FanDuel points in two of his last seven games and has a 29.1% usage rate overall with Anthony Davis off the floor this season, so he's always going to be well projected at this salary, but his floor is untouchable in cash games.

Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,100): Dinwiddie's shining effort on Tuesday was truly a floor outcome considering he shot just one-for-six from downtown. Dinwiddie has a 26.1% usage rate with Bradley Beal off the floor this season that he's turned into 1.13 FanDuel points per minute, and Beal will miss time in COVID-19 protocols provided yesterday was not a false positive. The Wizards are just six-point favorites over lowly Orlando due to the lack of firepower, which eases blowout concerns.

Others to Consider:
Zach LaVine ($7,200): Wondered if the salary reduction Tuesday was due to a probable blowout of Detroit. Nope. Lock button.
Tyrese Maxey ($6,200): He's back. Minutes concerns exiting protocols, but also a great offensive role if Seth Curry sits.
Jalen Green ($4,900): Low-rostered tournament dart throw of the day. If he's hot scoring against a weak Spurs' out.
Joshua Primo ($3,800): Guess his salary won't budge eclipsing 20 FanDuel points and 30 minutes regularly. To the well we go.


DeMar DeRozan ($8,300): Like LaVine, DeRozan saw a massive downtick in salary that I pondered may have been due to the incredibly likely blowout of the Pistons on Tuesday. They won by 46, so that would have been justified. Still though, on the back-to-back against Brooklyn, DeRozan sits at this figure. In a quality game environment, DeRozan has averaged 1.17 FanDuel points per minute this entire season. If choosing just one, LaVine presents better value, but DeRozan fills a position that is sparse.

Lonnie Walker ($4,800): Walker's team-best 31.6% usage rate since Derrick White and Keldon Johnson landed on the COVID-19 list last Friday leads all Spurs, and pending any surprise activations from this list, he's a top-notch value option again. Walker, like Murray, has suffered from blowouts, but the even footing with Houston should aid that cause. Walker has shot just 38.0% from the field in this span as well, so as that regresses, this salary should balloon quickly.

Josh Richardson ($4,600): To my surprise, it was Richardson and not Dennis Schroder that benefitted from Marcus Smart's exit Monday in the third quarter. Richardson logged 33 regulation minutes off the bench. He's not projected well at his current 28.85 minutes, but he would be closer to the 30-plus minute workload I'd expect he receives with Smart doubtful. The starting lineup should be your key determining factor of which value play to target between him and Schroder.

Others to Consider:
Gordon Hayward ($6,500): Charlotte's current usage tree is awful. Any of four players could pop for 50 FanDuel points. May as well take the lowest salary.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,900): Porter Jr. is a favorite of our model, and I have a hard time disagreeing in a game I want gobs and gobs of.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,800): The Beal absence guarantees his minutes if nothing else. The production is wild, though. Tournaments only.
Keita Bates-Diop ($3,900): Like Primo, starting with plenty of minutes, but the salary hasn't budged. Can more balls find the basket against Houston?


Joel Embiid ($10,900): Embiid is the best process play at center tonight, but I'll be honest -- I'm not sure how often I'll get here. The Hornets are second-to-last in estimated rebounding, and the Sixers could be missing a huge piece of their pie without Seth Curry. The lone issue is Embiid also plugs a center spot that has several players with access to 6.00 and 7.00 value scores, and he would need 66 FanDuel points to get there. It's possible, though, and the salary is safe with him.

John Collins ($8,100): Collins isn't the top-tier player at power forward, but he's most deserving of discussion. He'll likely be unpopular due to swirling rumors of unhappiness, but Capela is likely out for Atlanta tonight. On the season as a whole, Collins averages 1.15 FanDuel points per minute with Capela off the floor. Still, he posted just 16.4 FanDuel points in his last outing. I estimate this is a phenomenal spot with upside for tournaments that many shy away from.

Christian Wood ($7,000): It's really the same old, same old with the Rockets' center -- he just needs to see the end of games. Monday was the first time all season he'd seen more than 30 minutes and scored less than 30 FanDuel points. A brutal matchup with Embiid likely contributed to that issue, but Jakob Poeltl is no slouch, either. There are definitely some motivation concerns on a terrible Houston squad, but he's still one of numberFire's top-projected ways to access the best game of the day.

Others to Consider:
Hassan Whiteside ($7,000): He'll be so overwhelmingly popular with upside that I'll have FOMO shares. Not the best process play, but projected well.
Jakob Poeltl ($6,100): He's posted 1.11 FanDuel points per minute with the COVID shortages. Just needs to see a full game.
Mitchell Robinson ($4,800): Tremendous, under-the-radar option if Nerlens Noel remains out due to conditioning.
Onyeka Okongwu ($3,900): Don't go crazy. Just 21 FanDuel points in 37 minutes on Sunday -- largely due to a blowout.