FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 1/14/22

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
Boston Philadelphia 211.5 103.75 107.75 23 26
Phoenix Indiana 220 112.75 107.25 5 21
Toronto Detroit 214 111 103 21 7
Orlando Charlotte 224 106.25 117.75 12 3
Golden State Chicago 223.5 109.75 113.75 15 10
Atlanta Miami 221.5 108.5 113 15 27
Cleveland San Antonio 220 111.75 108.25 18 4
Dallas Memphis 215 105.75 109.25 28 12
Houston Sacramento 238 116.5 121.5 1 5

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
Derrick White San Antonio Questionable
Marcus Smart Boston Questionable
Kelly Oubre Charlotte Likely Out
Richaun Holmes Sacramento Questionable
Frank Jackson Detroit Out

Jimmy Butler is back to questionable status for Miami, and his return from an ankle injury would significantly impact the Heat's current rotation.

The Hawks will be without the services of Clint Capela again on Friday due to his ongoing ankle injury. Kevin Huerter (foot) is also listed as questionable.

Wendell Carter Jr. (hamstring) has already been ruled out of Orlando's frontcourt after missing Wednesday's contest as well. Mohamed Bamba (toe) is listed as questionable.

Poor, Malcolm Brogdon. The Pacers' guard made his return from an Achilles' injury and aggravated it once again. He's questionable Friday, but clearly not back to 100%, it's hard to see him suiting up. On the other side, Cameron Johnson is questionable for Phoenix with his ankle issue.

The Warriors are resting Klay Thompson on the second half of their back-to-back. The Dubs will also be missing Gary Payton II after he suffered a back injury on Thursday.

Steven Adams is a question mark for the Grizzlies once again on Friday due to a non-COVID illness.

Both Scottie Barnes (knee) and Gary Trent Jr. (ankle) missed Wednesday's game in Toronto, and the pair is questionable for Friday's game in Detroit.

Finally, Rajon Rondo is questionable with a hamstring injury for Cleveland.


LaMelo Ball ($8,000): I really can't blame anyone who keeps scrolling. Ball is the most inconsistent, temperamental star in the NBA that wildly fluctuates in production quarter to quarter. Still, he's got nightly 50 or 60-FanDuel-point upside and a team-best 28.0% usage rate in January entering a soft matchup with Orlando's 112.4 defensive rating (sixth-worst in the NBA). He needs to be on the radar in tournaments even though there are safer spots in cash games.

Cade Cunningham ($6,000): I can live with the process to arrive at Cunningham -- if the game will stay close, play him. That's not a given since they were drubbed by Chicago on Tuesday with a gap of 46 points, but the 8-point spread against the shorthanded Raptors provides more confidence. Cunningham's role (26.5% usage rate in January) is a top-notch one that isn't available at this low of a salary all too often. His numberFire projection shows his upside if it stays tight.

Jordan Poole ($5,100): Throwback to...December? With Klay Thompson's 20-minute role out of the mix as he rests Friday, both Poole and Andrew Wiggins should return to their superior roles from last month at reduced salaries. Poole likely draws the start, and before Thompson's debut on Sunday, Poole turned a 25.5% overall usage rate into 0.93 FanDuel points per minute. Friday, he'll come at this value salary.

Others to Consider:
Luka Doncic ($10,500): His inconsistent self night-to-night, but a major pace-up spot to Memphis. The top high-salary guard of the day.
Cole Anthony ($7,600): Great stacking partner with Ball and other Hornets. 40-plus FanDuel points in three of his last four.
Dennis Schroder ($5,300): Assuming Marcus Smart sits for his pair of ailments, played 34 minutes on Wednesday. Salary didn't budge.
Jalen Green ($4,900): Double-figure scoring in 12 straight games entering another solid environment with the Kings.


Caris LeVert ($8,200): Forward has been kind of gross all week unless gambling on the Celtics guys, and LeVert carries some risk in this spot as well. He only played 28 minutes in his return from COVID-19 protocols, and the Suns' defense is tremendous. With the personal expectation that Brogdon sits, though, his role is well-deserving of this salary. He's posted 1.13 FanDuel points per minute this season on an enormous 30.6% usage rate given that floor condition.

Andrew Wiggins ($6,000): Wiggins' stretch of nine straight games with at least 27 FanDuel points ended on "Klay Day", and it makes sense because he'll always have a tertiary role behind the Splash Bros. With Thompson resting, though, expect Wiggins to take back more of the 24.9% usage rate he has without Klay on the floor. Stephen Curry is struggling wildly from the field right now as well, so the Dubs may need extra contributions from Poole and Wiggins against the Bulls.

Scottie Barnes ($5,600): Barnes returned to practice, so there's optimism he'll suit up against Detroit at this reduced salary. Barnes is well-projected on numberFire (and rightfully so) because he's just simply exceeded this salary range the bulk of the season by posting 0.93 FanDuel points per minute in a full-time role. Add in the bump for potentially missing Gary Trent Jr., who missed practice on Thursday, and Barnes should have a nice outing in his return from knee soreness.

Others to Consider:
Jimmy Butler ($9,200): Returning from extended layoffs this season, Butler has played at least 32 minutes. A great value at this salary if he suits up.
Gordon Hayward ($6,500): I'll take the under on his 30 real-life points from Wednesday, but his role has outpaced this salary for quite some time.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($5,700): Houston gets to pick on someone their own size in Sacramento. All their starters are viable as a result.
Keldon Johnson ($5,000): With another couple of days conditioning, he should return to a 30-plus minute role tonight. Way below his normal salary for that event.


Joel Embiid ($10,700): If I didn't see the game, I would have thought I got pranked that Embiid posted 31 points in 32 minutes and was a horrendous bust on FanDuel in his last outing. He just had an outlier game on the glass (only six rebounds) and turned the ball over seven times. The total in Philadelphia's matchup with Boston is gross, but Embiid has still posted 1.63 FanDuel points per minute (on a 37.6% usage rate!) since the start of December. Regression in terms of boards should be fun.

Christian Wood ($7,200): Any game Wood's Rockets can compete in, he should be a viable daily fantasy target. The Cade Cunningham of big men. Today, he happens to be in a monstrous fantasy environment with a 238.0-point total on tap in Sacramento. Both teams are so wildly inconsistent that a blowout wouldn't surprise anyone, but the five-point spread is solid for now. Only once has Wood failed to eclipse 35 FanDuel points seeing over 30 minutes. He's a great plug if this one stays close.

Chuma Okeke ($5,300): It might even be better for Orlando's competitiveness that Mo Bamba plays on Friday. Okeke should still start either way, and the 224.0-point total in their battle with Charlotte is the best of the day outside of a volatile game in Sacramento. Since Okeke's first taste of a full-time role on December 15th, he's mustered a sporty 0.94 FanDuel points per minute, and best of all -- he doesn't clog a center position that could be valuable today for Embiid, Bamba, and Deandre Ayton.

Others to Consider:
John Collins ($7,700): Used to be an automatic plug with Capela out. Still upside here given his rebounding should regress towards the norm.
Evan Mobley ($7,500): Jarrett Allen draws Poeltl, but Mobley will get looks at the smaller Keldon Johnson. Could be a great matchup for the rook.
Deandre Ayton ($7,000): He has struggled badly since his stint in COVID protocols, but the guy averaging 1.14 FanDuel points per minute is in there somewhere.
Mohamed Bamba ($5,800): Lower popularity with the toe issue, but the matchup with Charlotte can't be better. 11.76 rebounds per 36 minutes with Carter Jr. sitting this season.