FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 10/20/22
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
For the Clips, it's nothing major. Reggie Jackson (groin) is probable and likely to start.
We saw the 76ers on Tuesday, and their injury report is still clean. We also saw the Lakers, who will bring their same listings into this one, and the only two risks are already ruled out. That's Dennis Schroder (thumb) and Thomas Bryant (thumb).
To me, the standout guard on this slate is Jrue Holiday ($8,800).
He seems over-salaried at first glance, but he posted 1.25 FanDuel points per minute during floor situations without Middleton last year. Plus, he'll always have a bit of upside from his ability to swipe basketballs (1.71 steals per 36 minutes last year).
Tyrese Maxey ($6,600) is another high-floor play. He posted only two three-pointers, two rebounds, and one assist and still exceeded 30 FanDuel points on Tuesday, so perhaps he's got a ceiling if James Harden ($9,700) doesn't have the same nuclear night scoring. Harden's salary bump hurts him quite a bit.
After those two, it's more questions than answers. Reggie Jackson ($5,400) and John Wall ($6,000) will be in a timeshare of the Clippers' backcourt, so both carry quite a bit of risk for minimal upside given Los Angeles' two starts are healthy.
The Lakers also did us zero favors in their backcourt. Patrick Beverley ($5,000) played 30 minutes despite foul trouble, so he's presumably still the lead second guard. Kendrick Nunn ($4,300) was more useful offensively. I could see both playing in place of Russell Westbrook ($7,200), who isn't really worth considering given he played well by his standards on Tuesday and didn't eclipse a 5.00 value score.
Motivation is a key factor to play or fade Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300), and it's hard to see him not fully engaged for a season debut in primetime.
With Middleton off the floor last season, Anteteokounmpo posted an absurd 1.72 FanDuel points per minute on a gaudy 35.0% usage rate. Even with Giannis facing a tough Sixers' defense, I'll likely swallow the chalk. The only reason -- and a fair one -- not to would be the lack of value options on this slate.
LeBron James ($10,800) is tough to justify given he's a worse version of Giannis at just a small salary discount. He dropped 31 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 assists to barely eclipse value because he's not contributing in defensive categories anymore.
As for the Clippers' wings, Kawhi Leonard ($8,600) seems to be a better investment than Paul George ($9,200). It's hard to remember, but in their last action together, Leonard (1.29 FanDuel points per minute) typically outpaced George (1.19) in fantasy. George's salary is similar to his median last year, but his usage will be way down with Kawhi back.
There should be some value on the wing, too. Lonnie Walker ($4,400) got 29 minutes in the Lakers' season debut, and he nearly hit value despite just five real-life points.
Grayson Allen ($3,800) also should see court time with Connaughton out, but he's not always a sure thing for production. Neither is projected starter Wesley Matthews ($3,800). If you're looking for a Milwaukee wing with immense upside, it might be Jordan Nwora ($4,300), who sports a higher salary based on his preseason production.
If I don't get to Giannis, it's prioritizing Anthony Davis ($9,900) instead.
Admittedly, Davis' day was saved by four blocks and a steal on Tuesday, but the Warriors were a tough matchup, and Kevon Looney played more than expected. The Clippers very much aren't a tough matchup. Their one weakness is size, and they were dead last in the NBA in estimated defensive rebounding percentage (74.4%) last year.
Milwaukee was third-best in that category, so it's harder to see a monster night out of Joel Embiid ($10,200). I'd rather roster P.J. Tucker ($4,100) as a value play, and the two will eat into each other's upside in a tough matchup. Tucker played 33 minutes in his team debut, and it's hard to get picky with value on this slate.
The rest of power forward is a wasteland on this two-game slate. Marcus Morris ($4,600) will likely have the first crack there for the Clips, but Robert Covington ($5,200) could easily see an exact timeshare or take the lead with his defensive efforts. Once Kawhi's salary is bumped, this just won't be a fun team for DFS.
Bobby Portis ($5,800) is certainly on the table if he starts for Middleton. His usage was odd from time to time last year, so he's harder to justify at that salary in a queasy bench role. Brook Lopez ($4,900) should start and see decent minutes at center no matter what.