FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 10/18/22

James Harden and the Sixers start their season in Boston on Tuesday. Which others players should you roster on opening night?

Since it's much simpler to predict than baseball or football, basketball daily fantasy would get plenty of votes as the best sport to play on FanDuel. Players usually stick to the same minutes and produce at roughly the same rate. Sounds easy, right?

Well, as a result, NBA daily fantasy is extremely 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.

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.

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

We're not exactly coming out guns blazing from a daily fantasy perspective, but we'll have NBA games nearly every day through June 2023 starting tonight.

The biggest issue with the slate is that, despite the preseason, the defending champion Warriors aren't fully up to speed.

Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and Andrew Wiggins are all expected to not see full minutes due to conditioning issues.

The rest of the new injury report activity lies with the opposing Lakers.

LeBron James (foot), Anthony Davis (back), and Russell Westbrook (hamstring) are all probable, but Thomas Bryant (thumb) and Dennis Schroder (thumb) are both out.


Despite being in the lower-scoring game, I want to target Boston quite a bit on this slate.

Due to long-term injuries to Danilo Gallinari and Robert Williams, their rotation is incredibly small. We can expect Malcolm Brogdon ($6,200), Marcus Smart ($5,900), and Derrick White ($4,400) to all flirt with 30-plus minutes. Brogdon is the one coming off the bench.

On the other side, I really can get behind James Harden ($8,900) at a fair salary. At 1.22 FanDuel points per minute in his time with Philadelphia, Harden wasn't quite the do-it-all force he was in Houston, but he's capable of individual splash games scoring the ball.

The best value play beyond Boston is likely Patrick Beverley ($4,900). The brash point guard is expected to pick up full-time minutes for the Lakers this year, but don't discount Kendrick Nunn ($4,300) eating into his playing time with a hot start from the field.

Other guards with a path to playing time on this two-gamer include Stephen Curry ($10,000), Tyrese Maxey ($6,500), and Jordan Poole ($6,000).


Given LeBron James ($10,800) is mostly healthy, he's unquestionably the top wing on the slate.

James still held a 32.8% usage rate last year, which he turned into 1.41 FanDuel points per minute. Yes, he's another year old, but he's still shown life in the preseason that he'll command the L.A. offense -- and do it well.

Then, a familiar conundrum of Celtics follows him. Jayson Tatum ($9,800) had a 32.3% usage rate last year, but Jaylen Brown ($8,000) wasn't far behind (30.8%).

It's always a story where Brown could be the top Boston scorer on a given night, but Tatum's higher salary also comes with more talent and higher upside. I'll prioritize Brown on Tuesday to keep LeBron front of mind.

Some value behind them isn't hard to find. Lonnie Walker ($4,000) should play plenty of minutes for the shorthanded Lakers. P.J. Tucker ($4,100) is now with the 76ers, but he'll likely be a full-time player with minimal production for them as has been the case for years.

I can also see Grant Williams ($4,600) getting plenty of run off Boston's bench, and throw Jonathan Kuminga ($4,000) into that mix given the Dubs' conditioning woes.

Tobias Harris ($6,600) is really the only other full-time wing on the slate.


At salary, Joel Embiid ($10,700) is equally likely to lead Philly in scoring as Harden. Obviously, the big man will also pull down plenty of boards (12.36 per 36 minutes last season), so he's viable, but he's also historically struggled with Al Horford ($6,000).

Speaking of Big Al, he's one of the top value plays on the slate since he's been thrust into a full-time, starting center role with "Timelord" Williams sidelined. Blake Griffin is his recently-acquired backup, so Horford should soar past 30 minutes tonight.

Personally, I love Anthony Davis ($10,100) in this spot. He won't be popular with his lower production rate than Embiid at a similar salary, but this 2022-23 season for the Lakers is resting on Davis' leap into MVP contention. I can see him putting up points and boards on a Warriors squad with both its key defensive bigs (Green and Looney) limited due to conditioning.

Of course, you can try to fill the lone center spot with a prayer, too. James Wiseman ($5,000) and Damian Jones ($4,500) both could see quality minutes in San Francisco, but you won't catch me trusting a Lakers or Warriors center often. Both are pulled often for another wing with A.D. or Draymond shifting to the five.