FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 10/26/22
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
Cluster injuries can derail a season, and Charlotte has them.
Of course, the injury getting plenty of buzz is Russell Westbrook. The Lakers have him listed as doubtful due to a hamstring issue, but it could be equal parts that and getting Russ off the floor after a dismal start to 2022-23. Michael Porter Jr. (back) is questionable on the other side for Denver.
It's pretty easy to start with Trae Young ($8,700) here.
Young has posted at least 43 FanDuel points in all of Atlanta's games so far, and any concerns about his usage rate with Dejounte Murray should be squashed. His 35.3% rate right now would be higher than last year's overall mark.
Jrue Holiday ($7,800) is another guard at a noticeably low salary. He rebounded from a dismal opener to post 19 points and 10 dimes against Houston. His matchup with Brooklyn couldn't be much better given the lofty 232.5-point total in that one. Ja Morant did just light up the Nets for 38 points.
In that same game, our projections might be the only one on Earth showing love to Ben Simmons ($6,000). He does fill a ton of categories with a full-time role in that same environment, but the risk is obvious.
So far, D'Angelo Russell ($7,300) has been more aggressive from the Timberwolves' backcourt, posting a 23.1% usage rate. His assists per 36 minutes (6.04) have dropped considerably from last year's mark (7.99), so there's still juice left to squeeze from this salary.
Anfernee Simons ($6,300) did get a bump in salary after Monday's explosion, but he's still a full-time guard taking 9.0 threes a game. Miami has allowed the 12th-most three-point attempts, so this isn't a bad matchup by any means. On the other side, our model projects Kyle Lowry ($5,300) well once more. His usage rate is awful (16.8%), but minutes are minutes at the right salary.
Other top-projected value plays at guard -- in full-time roles -- include Dennis Smith ($6,500) filling in for Rozier, Cole Anthony ($6,100), stat-stuffer Ayo Dosunmu ($5,000), and the eccentric Patrick Beverley ($4,900), whose minutes are virtually guaranteed without Russell Westbrook.
If this one stays close and competitive, Durant (34.7% usage rate) is almost certainly the reason why. At nearly the same salaries in a 2v2, I'd so much rather have Durant and Holiday than Giannis and Ben Simmons. Simmons is far from a guarantee to do much of anything.
Paolo Banchero ($7,300) has an iron-clad floor, posting 33.8 FanDuel points in a poor shooting effort on Monday. Darius Garland will sit for the Cavs, inviting more of a chance this one stays competitive.
For the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan ($8,500) got enough of a salary decrease to be viable, but I'd still rather turn to Zach LaVine ($7,300), who returned to 32 minutes on Monday. They both can blow up in this matchup with the Pacers, and Buddy Hield ($5,500) -- the man whose salary doesn't move -- is the obvious bring-back candidate again.
With Rozier sitting, Gordon Hayward ($6,500) and Kelly Oubre ($6,200) are affordable wings who will top the Hornets' scoring hierarchy. Give the nod to Oubre given his ability to contribute in defensive categories. I also love the salary of RJ Barrett ($5,900) on the other side, and our model has him as the top projected value at small forward today.
Gary Trent Jr. ($5,700) works if Scottie Barnes sits again. Other full-time wings projected well by the model include Caris LeVert ($5,400), Lonnie Walker ($5,200), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,700), Kenyon Martin Jr. ($4,200), and Grayson Allen ($4,200) in that Bucks-Nets clash.
Assuming Michael Porter Jr. sits, this might be the first time I get to Nikola Jokic ($11,000) all season.
Jokic is coming off a disaster in Portland, so his popularity should be reduced, and the Lakers are dead last in the NBA in estimated rebounding percentage (44.1%). They're a flaming dumpster fire entering this buy-low spot for the two-time MVP.
Anthony Davis ($10,000) has posted at least 25 points in six of his last eight matchups with Jokic, so I wouldn't mind that mini-stack in that same game.
Overall, this slate is littered with power forward options at salaries that could create enormous upside. Bam Adebayo ($7,000), Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,800), and Evan Mobley ($6,400) can all be had at significantly lower salaries than their median last year due to slow starts. For context, rookie Jabari Smith Jr. and Tobias Harris are the next doors down after this group of full-time centers.
Our model also fancies Jaden McDaniels ($4,600), Jalen McDaniels ($4,100), and P.J. Tucker ($4,000) as potential full-time options at power forward, but the McDaniels brothers are a bit volatile given that neither saw more than 26 minutes in their blowouts last game.