FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 12/2/22

Since it's much simpler to predict than baseball or football, daily fantasy basketball 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?

As a result, NBA daily fantasy is highly reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to ensure 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
Washington Charlotte 224 113.5 110.5 22 12
Orlando Cleveland 216.5 103.0 113.5 18 29
LA Lakers Milwaukee 230.5 111.0 119.5 3 16
Miami Boston 226 109.3 116.8 25 17
Denver Atlanta 233 117.8 115.3 19 8
Toronto Brooklyn 223.5 111.0 112.5 24 22
New Orleans San Antonio 232 119.5 112.5 15 6
Philadelphia Memphis 217.5 106.3 111.3 27 11
Indiana Utah 238 116.8 121.3 2 13
Houston Phoenix 228 108.0 120.0 9 19
Chicago Golden State 237 114.8 122.3 14 1

Per the injury report, a star might return Friday.

Jimmy Butler (knee) is officially listed as questionable but is expected to suit up tonight for Miami. A bulk of the Heat's "questionable" from Wednesday has turned to "probable" today, but Nikola Jovic (foot) and Dewayne Dedmon (foot) are still listed that way with Butler.

Unfortunately elsewhere, the Pacers might lose their star. Tyrese Haliburton (groin) is questionable to play tonight in Utah. The Jazz will remain without Mike Conley (leg).

With a probable listing, New Orleans should get back C.J. McCollum (conditioning) today, but Brandon Ingram (toe) and Herbert Jones (ankle) will be out of the lineup. Naji Marshall (illness) is also questionable to suit up against the Spurs. San Antonio's muddy rotation remains without Jakob Poeltl (knee) and Jeremy Sochan (quad).

Khris Middleton (wrist) is set to make his season debut tonight as the Bucks host the Lakers. Los Angeles will have all three of its stars, but Lonnie Walker (foot) and Dennis Schroder (personal) are both questionable from their starting lineup.

The Nets won't get back Ben Simmons (knee) on Friday.

Simmons' old teammate, Tobias Harris, is questionable to play in Memphis due to an illness.

Atlanta lost both John Collins (ankle) and De'Andre Hunter (hip) on Wednesday, and Clint Capela picked up a foot injury and is questionable. They're hosting the Nuggets, who will be without Michael Porter Jr. (heel) once more.

It's also the status quo tonight for both Orlando and Cleveland. Mohamed Bamba (back) is questionable for the Magic, and Wendell Carter Jr. (foot), Jalen Suggs (ankle), and Chuma Okeke (knee) will remain out of the lineup. The Cavs are still without Jarrett Allen (back) and Kevin Love (thumb), and Lamar Stevens (illness) is questionable.

Finally, Chris Paul (heel) remains out for the Suns, but that's definitely not the most substantial CP3 news of the past 24 hours. No comment on that.


Of course, I wrote up Ja Morant ($9,900) everywhere on the basis of his floor on Wednesday, and he failed to eclipse 40 FanDuel points for the first time in seven games while getting ejected.

Still, he's easy to like at a four-digit salary with his supreme role given Desmond Bane remains off the floor. He's held a 37.3% usage rate in that situation this year, averaging 54.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. He'll rebound before too long.

Morant and Donovan Mitchell ($8,700) are the headliners at this spot for me today. Not even two weeks ago, Mitchell had a five-digit salary before enduring this 17-for-43 (39.5%) stretch from the field. With Jarrett Allen off the floor, he's posted 44.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes on a healthy 31.1% usage rate.

Kyrie Irving ($8,100) just keeps scoring. He recorded his fifth-straight 20-point effort on Wednesday, and he's the only guard above $8,000 with a value score north of 5.00 in our projections. In Charlotte's current floor situation, Terry Rozier ($7,400) has held a tremendous 31.1% usage rate.

In a revenge game against Memphis, De'Anthony Melton ($6,200) is topping our projections again in terms of point-per-dollar value. Melton's box score results seem disappointing, but he eclipsed 30 FanDuel points in four straight games before a frosty shooting spell (34.3%) over his past three games.

The only guard ahead of Melton is Dyson Daniels ($4,400), who has been used at forward in Ingram's absence. Other top value options in our projections today include Tre Jones ($6,400), Cameron Payne ($6,000), and Collin Sexton ($5,100), but add Bennedict Mathurin ($5,600) and T.J. McConnell ($4,200) to that list if Haliburton sits.


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000) put up at least 44 real-world points in both games against the Lakers last year, so he's a terrifying fade even though Middleton is returning to the fold. Still, when factoring in salary, I prefer LeBron James ($10,100) in that same game when 'Bron -- amidst rust and injury issues -- has eclipsed 50 FanDuel points in three of his past five.

Given Miami doesn't really "ease in" players, Jimmy Butler ($8,800) is incredibly interesting in a full-time role. Butler posted 42.6 FanDuel points per 36 minutes to start the year, including a pair of outbursts of more than 60 FanDuel points.

We had the right process with Paolo Banchero ($7,700) on Wednesday, but he wasn't making shots (6-for-14 from the field). He'll still have a usage rate near 30.0% on this shorthanded Magic squad.

The 238.0-point total in Utah is the largest of the day, so Lauri Markkanen ($7,500) -- who is coming off a cold shooting game -- is an interesting dart. If Haliburton does sit, Buddy Hield ($6,200) also becomes an instant cash-game priority.

In terms of value, AJ Griffin ($4,000), Jarrett Culver ($3,900), and Jalen Johnson ($3,600) are the best punt-level guys at present. They should step into significant roles with Collins, Hunter, and potentially Capela out of the Hawks' frontcourt.

Behind those two, Malik Beasley ($4,800), Patrick Williams ($4,100), Cedi Osman ($4,000), and Kenyon Martin Jr. ($3,900) follow as decent plugs for stacks of their games.


I'm not sure this Nikola Jokic ($11,200) "buy-low" spot is apparent to everyone, but I don't want to leave it behind.

Jokic's full-game results have been muted this week with two blowouts of Houston, but he's averaging 59.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with MPJ off the floor this season. Plus, the Hawks are now down plenty of size in the frontcourt, and they're allowing the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to centers as is.

The teams allowing the first and second-most FanDuel points to centers make for a couple of other interesting spots. Charlotte is allowing the most and is facing Kristaps Porzingis ($9,100) on Friday. Porzingis enters this one on a heater, totaling at least 56 FanDuel points in two straight.

Myles Turner ($7,900) draws the second-best matchup with Utah. Turner's seen a team-best uptick in FanDuel points per minute (+0.31) with Haliburton off the floor this year.

Evan Mobley ($7,200) has been sneaky good with Allen off the floor in fantasy this year. He's posted 41.1 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in that floor situation, with Wednesday's effort stunted by only a blowout.

In terms of value today, most of it lies at power forward. Ol' Reliable, Al Horford ($5,400), grades out well in our projections, as usual, followed by Zach Collins ($5,600), Jalen McDaniels ($4,500), Keita Bates-Diop ($4,200), and Lamar Stevens ($3,700) if he plays. Off a disappointing effort, Collins is a better tournament play today than he was at the lower salary -- and giant popularity -- on Wednesday.