FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 2/2/22
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
Though many stars are listed as out for Wednesday's slate on the official injury report, many situations have already been salary-adjusted.
One of them that was unexpected as of yesterday was LeBron James. Many thought LeBron would be back Wednesday, but it sounds like his absence could be much longer than expected due to knee soreness.
De'Aaron Fox shows up on the report once more. He inched toward a game-time decision Monday for Sacramento, so it is possible he returns Wednesday against Brooklyn. LaMarcus Aldridge is out for the Nets, making their frontcourt nearly untouchable.
The Cavaliers scratched Darius Garland late Monday with back tightness, and he's already been ruled out for Cleveland as they travel to Houston.
Kristaps Porzingis missed Sunday's game for the Mavericks, and he's been ruled out once more against Oklahoma City.
Utah is already missing Rudy Gobert, but Hassan Whiteside is now questionable to start in his stead due to a back issue. The Jazz will also be missing Danuel House Jr. (COVID-19 protocols) from their normal rotation. Denver could be without DeMarcus Cousins on the other side; Cousins missed Tuesday's game with a foot injury.
Kelly Oubre is questionable to return from his ankle injury on Wednesday for the Hornets.
Finally, the Pacers are not only missing Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner once again, but backup center Goga Bitadze is out Wednesday with a foot issue as well.
Luka Doncic ($11,200): With Porzingis sitting again, Doncic will have a monstrous role against a defense susceptible to big games. Doncic has an absurd 38.0% usage rate that he's turned into 1.55 FanDuel points per minute during floor situations without K.P. this season. OKC has allowed the most FanDuel points per game to opposing shooting guards (48.12), which is closer to the role Doncic will occupy as Jalen Brunson slides into a more prominent role once more.
Russell Westbrook ($8,500): While the efficiency risks are obvious, if LeBron sits, Westbrook will have a role essentially unmatched at his salary. Russ carried a 29.7% usage rate over the weekend that he turned into a team-high 1.36 FanDuel points per minute -- yes, even higher than Anthony Davis. As Westbrook's role settles and his confidence to create his own offense clearly grows, he's inching closer to the five-digit salary player we saw in Washington last season.
Spencer Dinwiddie ($5,900): Common sense leads to running it back with Dinwiddie despite his dud on Tuesday night. That was largely predicated on a 2-for-9 shooting effort where he lost confidence and only hoisted 3 shots in the second half. Dinwiddie averaged 5.64 shots made per 36 minutes in January during floor situations without Bradley Beal, so better offensive days are likely ahead for the Wizards' leading floor general while Beal is on the shelf.
Others to Consider:
Terry Rozier ($6,800): This salary has crept down, but his ability to drop 30 real-life points hasn't. Revenge game against Boston.
Josh Giddey ($6,000): Posted 33.7 FanDuel points on Monday with poor 41.7% shooting for him. The ceiling is sky-high.
Marcus Smart ($5,600): Super high floor option in a friendly matchup with Charlotte. 26-plus FanDuel points in every close game since returning.
Jalen Suggs ($5,500): With 32-plus minutes in six of his last seven, I feel good about his role to try and capture single-game upside.
Jaylen Brown ($8,400): With LeBron out and James Harden averaging just 1.21 FanDuel points per minute when he's with Kyrie Irving this season, the wing is lacking star power. The remaining options once again are Boston's duo, and I'll take J.B. over Jayson Tatum every time at the moment. With his higher usage rate (33.7%) than Tatum's (31.8%) the past four games, he dropped in 29 points in just three quarters on Monday. In a similar role with arguably better form, the salary savings wins out each time.
Luguentz Dort ($5,600): In a frightening proposition, Lu Dort is a top option for an NBA team in 2021. He took four more shots than any Thunder player and posted a team-high 18 points on Monday. This salary is too low for any player with that type of workload -- but especially Dort. He's dropped 20 or more points 10 times this season. The 12-point spread and 98.5 implied team total for OKC is unsightly, but at this salary, Dort could pass value in three quarters with his role.
Cedi Osman ($4,400): Osman became the de facto point guard as he played 38 minutes and slid into the starting lineup for the Cavs without Garland. He posted 12 assists in that role, and it's pretty terrifying what his upside could look like given that he shot just 3-for-16 from the field while doing so. I personally need to see him start once more -- and he likely will. Kevin Love has a bad habit of swallowing the reserves' fantasy value whole by occupying a gigantic usage rate in limited minutes.
Others to Consider:
Caris LeVert ($7,600): He is going to get every opportunity to get right in a matchup with the poor Orlando defense. He's just not playing well right now in any capacity.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,200): He and Royce O'Neale lead the Jazz value options. O'Neale gets a bump at a lower salary if Whiteside can't play.
Eric Gordon ($4,500): Massive minutes with shot volume to make them count. Just an 8-for-28 shooting effort in his last three games has kept him quiet.
Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,200): 38 minutes last game with no K.P. You could roster me at $4,200 with that role next to Luka.
Nikola Jokic ($11,400): With both Jokic and Joel Embiid on the slate in great matchups, it feels like a day to rock with the MVP candidates. Jokic may face a Jazz team with no center if Whiteside can't go, but even if he can, the Jazz are allowing an expected field goal percentage (eFG) of 53.58% with him on the floor. Their defense has been poor without Gobert. Jokic can "rebound" in that matchup from Tuesday's game where he "only" posted 50.2 FanDuel points against Minnesota.
Jarrett Allen ($7,600): With Darius Garland sidelined, Allen took his highest number of shots on Monday (12) since January 10th. More offensive volume should funnel into the frontcourt with Garland sidelined again versus the Rockets on Wednesday. Houston is allowing the second-most paint points per game (50.4) in the NBA, and both Allen and Evan Mobley should be able to take advantage of them. Mobley, though, was benched late on Monday, so he is only viable in tournaments.
Isaiah Jackson ($6,000): Well, I doubted the stability of Isaiah Jackson's role against a smaller Clippers team on Monday and paid dearly for it. Jackson just turned that matchup -- a great one for bigs -- into a career-high effort in both points (26) and rebounds (10). He also played a career-high 29 minutes. Orlando plays four big men, and Jackson is Indiana's tallest active player, so his size will be needed with Turner, Sabonis, and Bitadze all sidelined. He likely passes 30 minutes for the first time in his career on Wednesday.
Others to Consider:
Joel Embiid ($10,900): Off a day of rest, Embiid likely returns to his 42.8% usage rate in January. Likely more popular with a potential Jokic toe injury listing.
Evan Mobley ($6,900): Crunch-time benching seemed fluky after some poor shooting. Could easily start hot against Houston.
Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,700): Jackson's lack of size should help the Orlando guys, too. Carter Jr. is the only one regular getting to 30 minutes.
Eric Paschall ($4,100): Already saw a boost after the Joe Ingles injury, but he could well start if Whiteside is out.