FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 2/15/22
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
Stars on the official injury report headline Tuesday's NBA slate.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a surprise inactive Monday against Portland with an ankle issue. As the Bucks host another struggling team (Indiana) on Tuesday, Giannis has to be a total question mark as of the morning.
Trae Young ($10,200): I mentioned last week that, at $9,000, Young had a five-digit salary role. It didn't take him long to get there. Trae has a massive 32.6% usage rate in February that he's turned into 1.32 FanDuel points per minute. The 220.5-point total here comes with a tiny 1.5-point spread, and in a game where I do want plenty of exposure to the Cleveland big men, Young is the only high-upside bring-back option -- and a good one.
Tyrese Haliburton ($9,000): Haliburton's role will never show up in the usage column (19.1% in Indiana) because he is such a willing passer. Still, he is the go-to guy for the Pacers assuming Malcolm Brogdon does not attempt a comeback from his Achilles injury tonight. Giannis likely needs to sit for this game to stay competitive, but the 234.0-point total is mouth-watering, and unlike LaMelo Ball, Haliburton is the clear-cut top option for the Pacers.
Grayson Allen ($4,300): Again, Allen is likely only relevant if Giannis sits. That's a huge "if", but there's also a massive void at guard today in the value tier. Allen can definitely help if the dominoes fall right. He played 32 minutes on Monday without Antetokounmpo, and this season, he's averaging a passable 0.75 FanDuel points per minute without Giannis if he sees that floor time. numberFire already has him amongst today's top values at guard.
Others to Consider:
Devin Booker ($8,800): This salary feels too low for a guy that can wake up and drop 30 points. He's done it 10 times in 2022.
Jrue Holiday ($8,300): A low-popularity way to access the Bucks if Giannis sits. Salary is dropping to match his role.
D'Angelo Russell ($7,900): The highest total of the day against Charlotte. No exceptions to really any of the Minnesota pieces to it.
Danny Green ($3,700): Not even a true guard, but one of the few places under $4,000 to turn. Started and played 27 minutes last game.
Jaylen Brown ($8,200): Brown averaged 1.51 FanDuel points per minute in a battering of Brooklyn last time he was officially snubbed for the All-Star Game. It happened again yesterday as Jarrett Allen got the nod. Brown doesn't really need the motivation because he's already got a 27.6% usage rate for this salary. Philly is a bottom-half matchup against centers and guards, but against small forward-shooting guards, they've allowed the third-most FanDuel points per game.
Khris Middleton ($7,600): Middleton's 32.9% usage rate is tops on Milwaukee when Giannis is off the floor. However, his per-minute production (1.26 FanDuel points per minute) barely edges out Holiday's (1.25). The popularity gap between the two -- with Middleton projected to be far more popular -- is noteworthy, but both are solid options should "The Greek Freak" miss another contest.
Kelly Oubre ($5,800): It may be foolish, but I want to dodge immense popularity with LaMelo Ball into a matchup with professional Patrick Beverley. With a hefty total on deck, you'll still need a Hornet or two. My favorite way to get one is buying Oubre's recent production dip; he navigated foul trouble to just 20 minutes on Saturday. Importantly, Oubre plays late in blowouts and starts, which helps ease concerns if a superior T-Wolves squad pulls away late.
Others to Consider:
Tobias Harris ($8,300): Until Harden debuts, Harris is viable. 1.11 FanDuel points per minute this season without Seth Curry.
Miles Bridges ($7,400): Bridges has exploded, but only in good matchups. Minny has allowed the sixth-most FanDuel points to small forwards.
Desmond Bane ($6,300): If Morant sits, he'll be the top chalk of the day. Actually prefer Morant playing; still 40-FanDuel-point upside here.
De'Andre Hunter ($5,200): Not the best per minute, but I'll be in and around this tight game a lot. Hunter benefits from it staying close, too.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,900): The Hornets are a dream matchup for bigs. Not only do they play at the fastest pace in the league, but they allow the third-most rebounds per game (47.6) and 10th-most paint points per game (47.2) to opponents. Towns' recent production hasn't been very good, so he may be an unpopular way to target the highest total of the day. I'm fully onboard with using him to dodge a tough matchup for Joel Embiid.
Deandre Ayton ($7,200): The Clippers may be the only matchup better for a big than the Hornets. They're dead last in estimated defensive rebounding percentage (74.3%) and allow the sixth-most paint points per game (49.8) to opponents. Ayton is quietly averaging 1.16 FanDuel points per minute in February because his minutes have been sporadic. Hopefully, a hot start in a dream matchup would return him to a full-time role -- but he doesn't need one to pay off this salary.
Evan Mobley ($7,000): Atlanta's 112.3 defensive rating is the fourth-worst in the NBA despite holding the league's third-best offensive rating. That's a dream scenario for stacking. While Caris LeVert and Darius Garland have significantly handicapped each other at their respective salaries, the big guys here should be fine. Mobley is likely best served for tournaments; his last two 40-FanDuel-point outings have been surrounded by four others failing to eclipse 30.
Others to Consider:
Jarrett Allen ($7,400): At least 14 rebounds in four of his last five. Likely safer than Mobley, but perhaps more popular.
Oshae Brissett ($6,800): Not even "big" eligible on FanDuel, but he's seeing a bulk of the minutes at the five for Indiana -- and crushing it with them.
Marcus Morris ($5,700): Also not really a big, either, but he played the four for L.A. last time in Phoenix and dropped 26 points.
Jaden McDaniels ($3,900): A sneaky value play in the day's top game. 30-plus minutes in Minny's last two close games.