FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 1/28/22

As frustrating as Russell Westbrook has been in January, we can turn to him in Charlotte as the Lakers battle injuries. Which other players are worth considering on Friday's 11-game slate?

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
LA LakersCharlotte228110.5117.572
DenverNew Orleans215.5110.25105.252322
IndianaOklahoma City217.5108.25109.252014
LA ClippersMiami210101.5108.51428
ChicagoSan Antonio228.5115113.5133
New YorkMilwaukee216.5103.75112.75297

The headline of Friday's official injury report looks a lot like Thursday's -- which Lakers will play? LeBron James sat out last night's game in Philadelphia, and now Anthony Davis is questionable for Friday due to a wrist issue he picked up in that game. Kelly Oubre (ankle, illness) was a surprise listing on the injury report for Charlotte on the other side of that one.

The Jazz will still be without Rudy Gobert (calf), but Donovan Mitchell is listed as questionable to clear COVID-19 protocols in time to play in Memphis on Friday.

Domantas Sabonis is listed as questionable to end a four-game absence due to his ankle sprain for the Pacers.

The Pelicans will welcome back Devonte' Graham and Jonas Valanciunas on Friday, but both Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart are questionable to join them due to ankle sprains.

Portland might be down both Nassir Little (shoulder) and Robert Covington (knee), leaving them short on the wing against the Rockets.

Both Kyle Lowry and Marcus Morris will still be out due to personal issues as the Heat host the Clippers. Jimmy Butler (toe) is listed as questionable, presenting another high-impact injury on the slate.

Phoenix is still down Deandre Ayton (ankle), JaVale McGee (knee), and Jae Crowder (wrist), but the opposing Timberwolves may also be shorthanded after D'Angelo Russell left Thursday's game early with a shin issue and didn't return. Patrick Beverley is on the positive side of questionable to return from his ankle issue for the T-Wolves, though.


Chris Paul ($8,800): Devin Booker was scorching hot on Wednesday and scored 43 real-life points. That one-off occurrence dropped Paul's salary to this mark, and it's one that gives him a surprising floor. Paul had posted over 47 FanDuel points in the four games prior to that Booker showcase, and he's averaged 10.97 assists per 36 minutes in this five-game stretch without Ayton. Booker's salary has even surpassed Paul's without near the multiple category upside.

Russell Westbrook ($7,800): The audible groans are appropriate. Westbrook was not only a miserable experience last night (29.3 FanDuel points), but he's been a miserable experience all of January (1.05 FanDuel points per minute) for his salary. Still, his usage rate is at least 28.5% with one of Davis or James off the floor this season, and the 228.0-point total presents too much upside for a role that good should either sit on Friday.

Cody Martin ($4,300): On the other side of that one is the value guard of the day. Martin has seen 31 minutes per game in two contests without Gordon Hayward, and that role could get even larger if Oubre is sidelined. He's numberFire's second-highest projected guard of the day and fills either spot. The Lakers' defense has a poor 113.1 defensive rating in January (11th-worst in the NBA), so the matchup is not difficult, either.

Others to Consider:
Trae Young ($9,100): Boston kills fantasy basketball dreams, but his salary was dropped to compensate. 218.0-point total is better than expected.
C.J. McCollum ($7,700): Does he finally breakout against the terrible Houston D? 30 real-life point upside now back to his full role.
Josh Giddey ($5,700): The top-projected guard of the day. Think his salary is too low as well; lots of paths to fill the stat sheet.
Malik Monk ($4,900): Lakers' rotation is a mess if LeBron and Davis both sit. The clearest path to 30 minutes is Monk -- in a revenge game no less.


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000): With a bizarre, 9 p.m. local tip, Giannis might go overlooked despite the national television spot. He's due for some regression in the assist department with only three each in his last two games, and Giannis has a higher usage since Jrue Holiday returned (40.3%) than he does in an entire month of January that's been better in terms of production (37.7%). He's a great option in all formats despite the pace-down spot against the Knicks.

Caris LeVert ($7,800): LeVert should be the most popular wing on tonight's slate, and I'm here for the team-best 25.8% usage rate this season with the other Indiana starters out, as well. However, LeVert's just not been as productive for one reason or another (on Wednesday, it was foul trouble) without his fellow co-stars. He's averaged just 0.90 FanDuel points per minute during floor situations without them. The 45-FanDuel-point upside still looms, though, so he'll always be an option for tournaments.

Amir Coffey ($4,700): Quietly, "Mr. Coffey" has become the most stable Clippers starter. He's played 30-plus minutes in six of his last seven games, and he's posted over 30 FanDuel points four times in that span. No Clipper is safe in DFS at the moment, but Coffey, Luke Kennard, and Terance Mann all have salaries in this range with the potential for a 30-plus minute role and plenty of contributions. Mixing and matching them is the best way to punt salary at wing in tournaments.

Others to Consider:
Jaylen Brown ($8,300): Jayson Tatum's salary is just way too high when Brown shares his upside. A great option for stacking Trae Young.
Miles Bridges ($7,700): Team-best 2.2-percentage-point increase usage this season without Hayward. Hasn't materialized in production yet. LOVE him for tournaments.
Cameron Johnson ($5,000): Top-projected wing of the day. Too simple of a process play to write up, but the top priority at wing.
Luguentz Dort ($4,800): 30-plus minute role with block plus steal upside. The salary has tanked. Oklahoma City is a surprise one-point favorite, too.


Nikola Jokic ($11,300): Floor is such an underrated part of NBA daily fantasy. In a sport this predictable, a star missing value by 20 points is a night-ruiner. Nothing went right early for Jokic on Wednesday with month-low totals at halftime in rebounds (3) and assists (3). He still rallied to 51 FanDuel points. His salary has dropped here entering a matchup with the Pels' weaker interior defense, and that helps quell concerns of DeMarcus Cousins eating into his role ever so slightly.

Bobby Portis ($6,300): The big men on Friday's slate aren't as appealing as usual, so Portis at an identical salary mark definitely works. He's eclipsed 32 FanDuel points in five of his last seven games, and he's averaged 1.01 FanDuel points per minute this season with Giannis on the court. That means you can comfortably use the pair together in any format, and numberFire's projections actually believe Portis is the better value of the two for Milwaukee.

Mohamed Bamba ($4,800): If you haven't gathered, I don't particularly enjoy using part-time centers at a spot with valuable upside. Bamba hasn't played more than 29 minutes in any January game, so he definitely qualifies. Combined with a weaker day for the position, a massive salary drop has Bamba on my radar tonight. His long-term production (1.07 FanDuel points per minute this season) has blasting by this salary by halftime firmly in his range of outcomes.

Others to Consider:
Julius Randle ($8,600): If I want to stack this game, Randle's the only Knick that I trust. A massive pace-up spot for Milwaukee should aid his floor.
Jonas Valanciunas ($7,400): If I don't get to JV, it's likely due to concerns about foul trouble with Jokic. He's a cross-off if Ingram plays, though.
Al Horford ($5,500): There's a case to be made he returns to 30-plus minutes tonight. He's the best option in this desolate tier for bigs.
Jaden McDaniels ($3,900): Played 32 minutes starting for Beverley on Thursday. May now start for Russell. If one sits, plenty of upside in multiple categories.