FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 1/13/22

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
Golden State Milwaukee 223.5 111 112.5 10 8
Minnesota Memphis 230.5 113 117.5 1 6
LA Clippers New Orleans 214.5 105.75 108.75 11 17
Oklahoma City Brooklyn 216.5 104.5 112 14 11
Portland Denver 214.5 102.25 112.25 15 21

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
Norman PowellPortlandLikely Out
Justise WinslowLA ClippersOut
Luke KennardLA ClippersUnknown
Kenrich WilliamsOklahoma CityUnknown
Isaiah RobyOklahoma CityUnknown

Expect the Bucks to be missing Jrue Holiday once more; he's not ruled out, but he's doubtful with the same ankle injury that's forced him to miss the last three games. On the other side, Draymond Green is already ruled out for Golden State with his calf issue as well.

The Blazers will be missing Anfernee Simons due to a personal concern on Thursday. C.J. McCollum is also under that label currently, but he's been out for months with a collapsed lung as well.

Steven Adams is out of COVID-19 protocols but is listed questionable with a non-COVID illness for Thursday. Poor guy.

The Nets were missing Nicolas Claxton last night due to a bad hamstring against Chicago, and he's at best questionable for their contest with Oklahoma City.

Finally, Jaylen Nowell is doubtful with an ankle issue, which should free up minutes in the Minnesota backcourt.


James Harden ($10,000): A trend I'll likely be acting on the rest of the season is rostering Harden in home games following road stretches for the Nets. Kyrie Irving still can't play in Brooklyn, and Harden has posted 1.30 FanDuel points per minute with Irving off the floor this season. Many may turn to Stephen Curry following his triple-double on Tuesday in what is largely a declining peripheral role with Klay Thompson back, but Harden's role should get better against a weak OKC defense.

Ben McLemore ($4,100): This could easily have been Dennis Smith, so don't take McLemore over Smith as gospel. Both are the top two value plays of the night considering the absence of Anfernee Simons. Smith's projection is higher on numberFire, but McLemore would have been on the radar in a 30-minute, productive role for Portland even if Simons was active. That security earns him 1A status, but DSJ is a quality 1B. Both are tremendous plugs in all formats.

Others to Consider:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,000): The 8.5-point spread tells me OKC should be decently competitive in a high-paced game. Plenty of upside here in that event.
Reggie Jackson ($5,500): Nice to see him cross into the 30-minute plateau once again. With better shooting, he could detonate value at this salary.
Dennis Smith ($4,100): 1B. No idea about popularity, but not averse to using both a lot. I'm bullish on the Blazers covering a 10-point spread.


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300): Khris Middleton exploded against Charlotte on Tuesday, but Giannis' role is so good that he still posted 53.6 FanDuel points in a game where he wasn't the main act. Antetokounmpo has posted 1.73 FanDuel points per minute in the three games without Holiday while holding a whopping 36.2% usage rate. Middleton's production is more scoring-based and streakier, so I'd rather spend the extra salary to reach ol' reliable.

Nassir Little ($5,300): Little's offensive role didn't stick in Portland's last game. He only took nine shots. Still, that was with Anfernee Simons active, so perhaps his offense will be needed more on Thursday. He still salvaged his day with three blocks and a steal -- a distinct possibility seeing 39 minutes of court time. With those minutes not going anywhere for the shorthanded Blazers, he stands out in a fairly desolate mid-range tier.

Others to Consider:
Marcus Morris ($6,500): Like all Clippers, he struggled from the field Tuesday. The minutes are back in a friendly matchup with New Orleans, though.
Luguentz Dort ($5,600): With Kenrich Williams in COVID-19 protocols, his minutes are safe. Super high floor in that event.
Kessler Edwards ($3,600): Brooklyn's acting center? If Claxton remains out, he'll likely see close to 30 minutes again.


Jusuf Nurkic ($7,500): Nurkic is my default option at the pivot with Nikola Jokic on the slate. That speaks volumes. In an extremely limited sample of 11 minutes, Nurkic averages 1.91 FanDuel points per minute with all of Simons, McCollum, Damian Lillard, and Norman Powell off the floor. It hasn't happened often this season, but he's by far their go-to guy on both ends. At just $7,500 with many turning to Jokic or budget centers, that's a ceiling I can't pass up.

Aaron Gordon ($5,200): The smallest of knocks to Jokic's ceiling is the recent emergence of Gordon. A.G. has a season-long usage rate of 19.1%, but that's been heightened to 21.9% in the month of January. In turn, he's been more reliably productive -- even before the 30-point, 12-rebound dismantling of the Clips on Tuesday. The margin for error at the center position could be very thin, so even that small change potentially shifts me toward Gordon at a forward spot instead.

Others to Consider:
Nikola Jokic ($11,500): Still a plus option against Portland's 114.5 defensive rating. Have to wonder if he's getting tired, though.
Bobby Portis ($6,200): 34 minutes was the good news. Limited shot volume and production the bad. Still, worse spots to turn at power forward.
Robert Covington ($5,600): RoCo...bucket getter? Double-digit real-life points in three of his last four games. Could increase again with no Simons.