FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 2/5/22

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 NBA is very reliant on 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, and we also have player news updates. The projected numbers referenced below may change throughout the day.

We'll be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.


Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, (FanDuel Salary: $9,400) - Butler is one of my favorite plays on this slate. The Miami Heat are in an ideal matchup versus the Charlotte Hornets. Not only is Charlotte (2nd in pace) a big-time pace-up matchup for Miami (27th), the Hornets rank 24th in defensive efficiency. This game holds a 225.5-point total and 3.5-point spread. Butler can feast against a Hornets D that permits the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to small forwards (42.2).

Josh Giddey, PG/SG, $6,500 - Giddey has a dreamy matchup with the Sacramento Kings, a team that is next to last in defensive efficiency while playing at the seventh-fastest pace. Sacremento has surrendered the most FanDuel points per game to shooting guards (42.8). Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be out again, and with OKC's expected inactives off the court this season, Giddey has a 23.3% usage rate, according to RotoGrinders' CourtIQ. As of early Saturday afternoon, we project Giddey for 36.2 FanDuel points -- 5.57 per $1,000 -- and the Thunder are going to be a go-to team for value tonight.

Others to Consider: Devin Booker ($9,000), Russell Westbrook ($8,500), Tyrese Haliburton ($7,600), Kyle Lowry ($5,800)


Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF/PF, $11,400 - Our algorithm has only two players projected for more than 45.9 FanDuel points, and we forecast Giannis for 52.2. He's a tough fade on this small slate, especially with OKC giving us ample value options to be able to get to the Greek Freak's salary. The Milwaukee Bucks' 119.50-point implied total is 5.0 points more than anyone else's, and the Portland Trail Blazers are 27th in defensive efficiency. The lone worry with Giannis is blowout risk as the Bucks are 10.5-point favorites.

RJ Barrett, SG/SF, $6,200 - Barrett can thrive in a date with the Los Angeles Lakers. LA (fourth in pace) represents a huge pace-up matchup for the New York Knicks (28th), and the Lakers have permitted the 8th-most FanDuel points per game to shooting guards (40.8). Barrett has gone for at least 36.3 FanDuel points in three of his last six outings. Our model projects him for 31.6 FanDuel points (5.09 per $1,000).

Others to Consider: Harrison Barnes ($5,700), Darius Bazley ($5,100), Kenrich Williams ($3,700), Mamadi Diakite ($3,500)


Anthony Davis, PF/C, $10,500 - LeBron James is listed as doubtful. With AD on the court and James off this year, Davis owns a 30.1% usage rate and generates 1.45 FanDuel points per minute. The matchup with the Knicks is a rough one. Not only are Knicks playing at the second-slowest pace, but they're allowing the fewest FanDuel points per game to centers. That shouldn't matter too much, though, for AD, who has 64.4 and 57.0 FanDuel points sans LeBron the last two games.

Jusuf Nurkic, C, $7,100 - Among players eligible at only center, Nurkic stands out, and he correlates well with Giannis if you're banking on the Blazers-Bucks game to be competitive. Nurkic has put up at least 30.3 FanDuel points in 11 of his last 12 games, and he's finished with 39.2 and 40.6 FanDuel points over his past two appearances. We have him going for 45.2 FanDuel points, which amounts to 5.55 per $1,000.

Others to Consider: Bam Adebayo ($8,700), Bobby Portis ($6,000), Mason Plumlee ($5,400)