FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 2/3/22

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
MiamiSan Antonio219.5112107.5294
LA LakersLA Clippers218107.25110.75714
SacramentoGolden State223.5105118.5613

Despite just a six-game slate, today's official injury report reads like War and Peace.

It starts as it did yesterday -- with LeBron James. James missed Wednesday's game against the Blazers with his knee swelling, and he's closer to doubtful for tonight's "road game" against the Clippers. The Clips might be missing Ivica Zubac (questionable with a calf injury) on the other side.

Miami visits San Antonio on Thursday, but both teams are banged up. For the Heat, Jimmy Butler is listed as questionable with the toe injury that cost him Monday's contest. They are also unsure of the status of Kyle Lowry as he attends to a personal matter.

With the Spurs, Jakob Poeltl has already been ruled out due to a concussion, and both Dejounte Murray (wrist soreness) and Doug McDermott (ankle) may join him on the sidelines.

Trae Young is questionable for the Hawks with his shoulder injury. He didn't participate in contact drills on Tuesday.

The Timberwolves appear a little closer to getting D'Angelo Russell back from a shin issue. He's not ruled out yet entering Thursday's game in Detroit. The Pistons may be missing Cade Cunningham, though. Their top rookie sustained a hip pointer and didn't return on Tuesday. Patrick Beverley (ankle) is also a question mark for Minnesota in that one.

Finally, the Warriors are unsure if they'll get back Otto Porter from a back injury as they host the Kings. As has been the case for nearly a week for Sacramento, De'Aaron Fox is listed as questionable to return from his ankle injury. He's yet to come back, and we likely won't have that news before lock with the late tip.


Devin Booker ($9,100): Because of Stephen Curry's spread, Booker is the top place to spend salary at guard. A good comparison for his current role would be Bradley Beal of prior years. Book comes with an absurd floor from his scoring (28-plus points in eight of his last nine games), and his upside comes from assisting and rebounding. He has torched poor perimeter defenses recently, and Atlanta (36.6 three-point attempts allowed; ninth-worst in the NBA) certainly qualifies as one.

Russell Westbrook ($8,500): Wednesday was as a "floor game" for Russ in his new role. He shot 3-of-12 from the field and still managed to post 39.5 FanDuel points for an outing that didn't kill a lineup. LeBron's knee issues sound more serious than expected, so it's doubtful the Lakers push him to play a night after he was listed as doubtful with no practice. Russ might be the only guard active tonight who has legitimate triple-double upside.

Derrick White ($6,400): With White's salary dropping, there was an argument for him (1.01 FanDuel points per minute on the whole season) regardless of injury news. With Poeltl out and Murray dealing with wrist soreness, White could lead the Spurs' offense at this tiny salary. White averages a team-best 1.05 FanDuel points per minute with those two off the floor this season, and at least his role is stable in an otherwise inconsistent San Antonio rotation.

Others to Consider:
Fred VanVleet ($8,400): With the salary dropping, it's been a while since he dropped 30 points. Just saying...
Reggie Jackson ($5,800): If you play the angle of a competitive national TV game, the Clips likely don't bench him late. Great upside if that happens.
Coby White ($4,800): Our projections love him. I'm good with him. Should see around 30 minutes with a top bench role.
Avery Bradley ($3,600): Played 31 minutes last night for the Lakers. Might be worth a shot if you need a low-salary punt.


Anthony Edwards ($8,300): Nothing new Thursday with small forward lacking high-upside plays, but Edwards has a path to 50 FanDuel points if Russell is out once more. His usage rate with D-Lo off the floor this season (30.3%) is tremendous. He's underperformed that rate the past two games -- to say the least, as his 8-for-24 shooting has torched FanDuel managers in back-to-back contests. But his role is still there entering an incredibly friendly matchup with the Pistons.

Keldon Johnson ($6,100): Luckily, we have a sample from just four days ago of what the Spurs' frontcourt looks like without Jakob Poeltl. It was an ugly timeshare at center, but Keldon pounded 39 minutes with heavy doses of small ball. For this salary, Johnson's offensive role is already solid with double-digit shot attempts in his last five contests. It could get even better if Murray sits. If Johnson can better his 37.5% shooting from when Poeltl sat on Sunday, he could be in line for a massive outing.

De'Andre Hunter ($4,800): Even if Trae Young suits up, Hunter is usable at this salary. But he gets a massive usage rate upgrade (6.0 percentage points) when Young has sat this season and enters must-play territory if Trae is out. As it stands now, Atlanta is just a 5.0-point underdog to the road Suns, but that would likely swell if Young is ruled out. For that reason, I'll likely build with Hunter at this small salary no matter what, consider Kevin Huerter ($5,500) if Young sits, and fade Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,000) at a higher salary altogether.

Others to Consider:
Scottie Barnes ($6,400): He's shown great upside at this salary, but his scoring is down while Gary Trent Jr. has gone bananas. That could change at any time.
Kevin Huerter ($5,500): There's not a lot of upside here even if Young sits, but he does have the top role on the team. Just wish he contributed in other categories.
Marcus Morris ($5,200): Like with Jackson, the Clippers limit their vets' minutes when facing young teams. Primetime against the Lakers could mean a full role again for them.
Buddy Hield ($4,700): Blowout potential by the Dubs is very real (13.0-point spread). Hield is a hedge against fading it; Kings will likely need a big game from him to keep pace.


Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,200): Towns turned around his season in January. He parlayed an increased 26.6% usage rate into a whopping 1.40 FanDuel points per minute. The Pistons (70.9% defensive rebounding percentage; seventh-worst in the NBA) truly lack the quality size to deal with Towns in his current form, and Towns has bullied three of his last four opponents for more than 54 FanDuel points as Russell has been sidelined. He's the top star on the slate.

Anthony Davis ($9,600): A.D. is a close second place to KAT. The Clippers, as I've stated before, are still last in estimated rebounding percentage (74.3%), which means they're due for regression backward on the glass. They're missing Ivica Zubac, and that could expedite the process. Davis should get his on the glass, and he's posted at least 27 points on at least 18 shot attempts in each of his last three games. Thankfully, Davis' forward eligibility means I don't have to choose between him and Towns.

Jerami Grant ($6,600): Grant's 18.1 FanDuel points in his return were nothing to write home about. Still, with Cunningham likely sidelined for Detroit, his role could be massive for this salary after we saw him return to a decent workload (28 minutes). Grant has a team-best 25.9% usage rate when Cunningham is off the floor this season. We just haven't seen him in months. I was surprised to see numberFire's projections match my enthusiasm for using him at a forward spot.

Others to Consider:
Bam Adebayo ($8,200): Even with Bam's monster game alongside Butler last time out, Butler's presence still hurts his upside at this salary overall. He's fine, though.
John Collins ($7,400): Team-best 1.07 FanDuel points per minute with Young off the floor, but his coach loves to bench him late. Tournaments only.
Deandre Ayton ($7,300): Very similar to Grant. Good minutes in his return, low salary, and low production. Still my favorite pivot from KAT at the center spot.
Jaden McDaniels ($4,300): Started and matched KAT and Edwards in minutes in Minny's last game. The same Detroit size issues in Towns' favor apply here.