FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 12/7/22
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. 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 daily, 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
I shouldn't have expected anything different from the Lakers playing last night.
Anthony Davis left last night's game with flu-like symptoms and is -- at best -- questionable for tonight's game in Toronto. Their injury report isn't submitted yet but also watch LeBron James for rest when it's in.
They're not the only team down a star. Stephen Curry (ankle) won't play for Golden State tonight. He's joined by Andrew Wiggins (groin) and Draymond Green (hip) as they visit Utah, who are expecting to get back Mike Conley (leg).
Marcus Morris (illness), John Wall (knee management), and Norman Powell (groin) are out for a Clippers squad that does have its two stars. They're visiting Orlando, who have added Gary Harris (hamstring) to their other key absences.
All in all, the injury report is pretty quiet for an 11-game slate, but we'll wait for afternoon news to confirm that.
The top of the guard spots is sensational today.
Both Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,300) and Ja Morant ($9,600) come at incredibly reasonable salaries for the 232.0-point total on deck in Memphis. Considering both have usage rates (in their current floor condition) above 33.0%, they should be a massive chunk of the output.
Behind them, Dejounte Murray ($9,000) might be back. He's turned in 24 real-life points in three straight, and his rebounding volume (6) was better on Monday. De'Aaron Fox ($8,300) has seen a sizable dip below his median salary entering a 236.0-point total in Milwaukee. Plus, Kyrie Irving ($8,000) remains decently under-salaried given his 29.1% usage rate with Ben Simmons off the floor for the Nets this year.
Luckily, we've got plenty of value to mix and match these studs in tournaments. That's headlined by Jordan Poole ($5,900), who is a no-brainer given his 32.4% usage rate with Steph, Draymond, and Wiggins off the court for the Dubs -- but he's not all.
Reggie Jackson ($5,600) is locked into a full-time role with no John Wall, Markelle Fultz ($5,000) dropped 33 FanDuel points in 32 minutes for a Magic squad still missing Jalen Suggs, and Dyson Daniels ($4,400) has filled in on the wing for the Pels with no Herb Jones or Brandon Ingram.
Realistically, I love paying up at guard too much to spend salary in bunches at the wing spots.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700) is certainly more than acceptable, but his usage rate overall (39.4%) is higher than the mark since Khris Middleton ($6,900) returned (38.6%). Every little bit matters with his salary, and -- projecting him for around 30 minutes -- I'll likely turn to Khris instead.
Consider me a pessimist LeBron James ($10,400) plays the second leg of the back-to-back, and Kevin Durant ($10,100) hasn't had the same upside since Kyrie's return, as well.
Paul George ($8,300) only played 27 minutes in his return, but there's some value if you take a leap of faith that he sees full work tonight. He's averaging 40.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes this year. The better L.A. wing might be Kawhi Leonard ($5,800), who logged 28 minutes in his return at a much lower salary.
As you'd expect, the Warriors' value trickles into here. Both Klay Thompson ($6,200) and Jonathan Kuminga ($4,000) head our projections. I will note Klay's usage rate has dropped 7.7 percentage points in a small sample without Steph, Draymond, and Wiggins on the floor. It could be something, or it could be Poole's unwillingness to share. Time will tell.
Others joining Leonard, Thompson, and Kuminga near the top of our projections include Kyle Kuzma ($7,500), Kyle Anderson ($5,100), Jalen McDaniels ($5,000), Patrick Williams ($4,100), and Corey Kispert ($3,900).
Averaging 47.8 FanDuel points per 36 with Bradley Beal off the floor this year, Kristaps Porzingis ($8,900) has been a stalwart at any point Beal misses time. He's got a fair salary today, but he's the easiest big man to get behind at the top.
The high-floor Pascal Siakam ($9,800) isn't bad, but I'm significantly concerned about the competitiveness of the game if LeBron sits. I'd rather get to Porzingis or Domantas Sabonis ($8,800), who has topped 43 FanDuel points in back-to-back games entering this projected shootout with Milwaukee.
Rudy Gobert ($6,800) was ejected last game and has been held under 28 minutes in three straight. However, the reward (49.8 FanDuel points in his last game with full minutes) is massive if he pans out against an Indiana team that struggles with bigs.
I'm not super concerned about Julius Randle ($7,500) despite the obvious trend; he's failed to eclipse 35 FanDuel points in three straight games with Mitchell Robinson ($5,800) now back in the fold. That's been more on his point totals, failing to eclipse 20 real-life points (on cold 39.7% shooting) in that same stretch. He's still posted 22 rebounds in the three contests.
The Golden State value train has one more stop here, and that's Kevon Looney ($4,500), who should play closer to full minutes with no Draymond.
PJ Washington ($5,900) is projected well and is one of my favorite plays on the slate. He's seen at least 32 minutes (and scored at least 32 FanDuel points) in three straight. Behind Washington, Nicolas Claxton ($6,600), Clint Capela ($6,200), and Al Horford ($5,300) are also projecting well, setting the stage for a deep potential core of big men, too.