FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 10/21/22

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

Away Home Game

We were not even a day into the NBA season until NBA-ish things started happening.

Per the injury report, Myles Turner (ankle) will be out for Indiana on Friday. It's because he stepped on a ball boy's foot in warmups. That's so NBA that it's painful.

Elsewhere, we're monitoring a lot of the same injuries as Wednesday.

LaMelo Ball (ankle) is still out for Charlotte. Teammate Cody Martin (quad) is listed as doubtful and likely to join him.

In Washington, the Bulls will once again be without Zach LaVine due to injury management. He's likely to play the second leg of the back-to-back tomorrow.

The Nuggets have some concerns as they head to face Golden State tonight. Nikola Jokic (finger) is probable, but his effectiveness could be affected. Jamal Murray (ankle) is outright questionable.

Memphis will likely be without Dillon Brooks (thigh) in Houston. The Rockets will still be without Jae'Sean Tate (ankle).

Cole Anthony (illness) is questionable for the Magic. They're already without Markelle Fultz (toe).

The Pacers got a surprise lift as Jalen Smith (knee) played through his injury on Wednesday. He'll likely play through his questionable listing again.


Undoubtedly, tonight's top guard is Ja Morant ($9,400).

Morant dropped 1.30 FanDuel points per minute on a massive 37.8% usage rate against New York, and the 232.5-point total in Houston is one of the highest of the day.

Kevin Porter Jr. ($6,800) saw a surprise salary dip here despite being the Rockets' clear lead guy. He dropped 21 points, 7 boards, and 7 assists on Wednesday, and he's in the same environment as Morant.

At salary, I'd favor Trae Young ($8,700) over Dejounte Murray ($9,500) in the Hawks' backcourt. Those two should jostle for usage all season, and both eclipsed 45 FanDuel points on Wednesday. On the other side of that one, Jalen Suggs ($5,000) is a phenomenal value play with Fultz and Anthony both on the injury report.

The tank-off between Indiana and San Antonio should be wild, matching the 232.5-point total in Houston. Tyrese Haliburton ($7,900) is a phenomenal buy-low spot when his scoring role (25.1% usage rate) was much better than expected. He just had an off night with only seven assists and no defensive stats. On the other side, Devin Vassell ($5,800) and Tre Jones ($5,100) aren't bad value plays after seeing full minutes on Wednesday.

Other full-time value plays that are interesting include Boston's Marcus Smart ($5,900), Detroit's Jaden Ivey ($5,300), and Chicago guards Ayo Dosunmu ($5,000) and Alex Caruso ($4,000).


There's a tricky decision on this slate, and it's whether to buy DeMar DeRozan ($9,600) at an apex after his monster showing on Wednesday.

DeRozan's role is legitimately good. He had a 31.6% usage rate, and Washington is an even easier matchup than Miami defensively. However, he'll also be extremely popular and averaged just 46.93 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with LaVine off the floor last season. His role isn't as good as Kevin Durant ($10,000) at now nearly the same salary.

Elsewhere, Brandon Ingram ($7,800) still has a solid salary against Charlotte, which should be a top-five fantasy matchup as it was last season. For the Hornets, Gordon Hayward ($6,100) and Kelly Oubre ($5,100) are top values again filling in for LaMelo.

In the key environment of the day, Desmond Bane ($6,300) definitely works. You probably won't want to start him with Morant needing an explosive scoring burst from both. John Konchar ($4,100) isn't my cup of tea as a smaller guy that badly relies on rebounding, but he's numberFire's top projected player overall. On the other side, Eric Gordon ($4,000) got 29 minutes in Houston's opener with no Tate.

Keldon Johnson ($7,200) got a salary bump, but he's the no-doubt top option for the Spurs. The opposing Pacers still will feature Buddy Hield ($5,500), who took 11 three-point attempts on Wednesday. His upside is gargantuan for that salary.

Other full-time wings projected well include Detroit's Saddiq Bey ($5,200), Phoenix's Cameron Johnson ($4,300), and Denver's tandem of Michael Porter Jr. ($5,900) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,000).


If Murray sits, Nikola Jokic ($11,300) is absolutely on the table despite the finger injury. I still prefer to spend on bigs in the $8,000 range today.

That starts with Zion Williamson ($8,800), who is in shape and laughably dominated his debut versus Brooklyn with 25 points and 9 boards. He's facing a Hornets squad that allowed the most second-chance points in the league last year. Yikes.

Speaking of the Nets, their mediocre defense was back in full force, so Pascal Siakam ($8,500) is absolutely on the table to have some of the success Zion did. He's still realistically Toronto's center, collecting 11 boards on Wednesday.

Bam Adebayo ($7,900) kept his word on aggressiveness, hoisting 15 shots on Tuesday. He made just five of them. He's in a tough matchup but still undersalaried.

The Hawks' center timeshare was real. Neither Clint Capela nor Onyeka Okongwu exceeded 26 minutes on Wednesday, so we'll likely be stuck to John Collins ($6,100) in their frontcourt if both are active.

The Grizz-Rockets game also has two phenomenal value plays at power forward. Top pick Jabari Smith ($4,800) got 32 minutes for Houston against Atlanta, and Santi Aldama ($4,300) slid right into a full-time role for Memphis, posting 33 regulation minutes and a monstrous double-double.

To me, those two are way more appealing than messing with Indiana's frontcourt in Turner's stead, whether it be Jalen Smith ($6,000) or Isaiah Jackson ($4,100). Neither posted over 22 minutes on Wednesday.