FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 2/12/22

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.


Ja Morant, PG, (FanDuel Salary: $10,200) - We have a clear top game to target tonight as the Memphis Grizzlies and Charlotte Hornets square off in a clash with a 235.5-point total and 7.0-point spread. There are plenty of appealing options on each side, and while LaMelo Ball ($8,500) is stellar play, I'm intrigued by Morant, who shouldn't be as popular as his fellow All-Star. It's a great matchup for Morant as Charlotte is 5th in pace and 24th in defensive efficiency, and the Hornets are on the second leg of a back-to-back.

Kyle Lowry, PG, $5,900 - Lowry is coming off a triple-double and 52.7 FanDuel points in his last game. He won't sneak up on anyone, especially in a dreamy matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, a team that allows the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to point guards (49.3). There's some blowout risk with the Miami Heat a 10.0-point home favorite, but Lowry is still easy to love at his modest salary. Our model projects him for 30.9 FanDuel points -- 5.23 per $1,000 -- and that's with our numbers expecting a questionable Tyler Herro ($6,400) to play (as of Saturday morning).

Devin Vassell, SG, $4,900 - Friday gave us our first look at the San Antonio Spurs sans Derrick White, and Vassell logged 28 minutes in a starting role, producing 20 real-life points on his way to 33.5 FanDuel points as a chalky value target. Assuming he holds onto the starting gig, Vassel is going to be a go-to piece once again as his salary hasn't moved. The Spurs are playing the New Orleans Pelicans, and the total is a solid 224.5 points. At a projection of 27.7 FanDuel points (5.65 per $1,000), Vassell is a quality point-per-dollar pick.

Others to Consider: Luka Doncic ($11,400), Dejounte Murray ($10,600), Coby White ($4,400), Ish Smith ($3,900)


Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, $9,200 - Butler gets the same juicy matchup that Lowry does, and he also had a huge game in Miami's last contest, totaling 55.1 FanDuel points. It's the fourth time in Butler's last seven appearances that he's put up at least 46.6 FanDuel points. Brooklyn (8th in pace) is a big-time pace-up matchup for Miami (27th). On a slate that's kind of meh for small forwards, Butler is a superb target. He projects for 46.4 FanDuel points -- 5.04 per $1,000 -- by our model.

Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, $6,500 - I'm putting Porzingis here because center is pretty loaded. This is the Zinger's first game since being dealt to the Washington Wizards, and it's a nice debut matchup versus a Sacramento Kings bunch that plays at the fourth-fastest pace and ranks second-worst in defense. We'll see how Porzingis fits into the Washington offense, but he's projects very well, according to our numbers, as we peg him to score 35.9 FanDuel points, which amounts to 5.53 per $1,000.

Darius Bazley, SF/PF, $6,000 - Bazley delivered Friday in a difficult matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, finishing with 38.5 FanDuel points. His salary stayed the same, and he's taking on a Chicago Bulls squad that is only 20th in defensive efficiency and has surrendered at least 105 points in 12 straight games. We forecast Bazley to amass 30.5 FanDuel points (5.08 per $1,000).

Others to Consider: LeBron James ($10,700), Kyle Kuzma ($7,700), Luguentz Dort ($6,800)


Joel Embiid, C, $11,400 - Well, it's the second straight day of having to choose between Embiid and Nikola Jokic ($11,300). Pray for us. Embiid had 67.8 FanDuel points last night and has posted at least 52.3 in 11 straight games, with six outings of 60-plus in that span. My goodness. The matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers isn't ideal as Cleveland fares well against centers and the total is only 207.0 -- a slate-low mark by 7.5 points. On the bright side, the spread is on only 3.5, and James Harden isn't playing.

Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, $8,100 - Jackson is facing a Hornets defense that permits the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to power forwards. He dudded last time out in a great matchup, but prior to that one, Jackson had scored at least 46.7 FanDuel points in two of his past three games. He's had at least two combined blocks/steals in seven of his last eight outings, adding to his upside. He's a way to get a piece of what should be a great game environment, and he won't be popular. I really like him as a GPP play.

Jonas Valanciunas, C, $6,900 - Valanciunas can go off in a date with San Antonio, the team giving up the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to centers (56.1). The Spurs are also on the second leg of a back-to-back. While JV hasn't shown a good ceiling of late, he's been between 30.4 and 35.8 FanDuel points in five of his last six games. He probably works better for cash games, especially if it looks like he'll be a popular play. Our algorithm projects Valanciunas for 39.6 FanDuel points (5.74 per $1,000).

Others to Consider: Domantas Sabonis ($9,900), Andre Drummond ($6,000), Mohamed Bamba ($4,800)