FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 12/16/22

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

Away Home Game
Golden StatePhiladelphia222106.8115.3124
New YorkChicago226111.8114.3119
MinnesotaOklahoma City233115.3117.835
DenverLA Lakers237119.0118.0184

The Warriors lost more than just a game on Tuesday. Stephen Curry injured his shoulder and will miss extended time. Per Friday's injury report, the Dubs will also still be down Andrew Wiggins (adductor) and potentially Draymond Green (quad).

The Timberwolves also have a bit of an injury bug. Both Rudy Gobert (ankle) and D'Angelo Russell (knee) are questionable tonight in Oklahoma City.

LaMelo Ball surprisingly returned Wednesday for the Hornets, and it now appears Gordon Hayward (shoulder) has a chance to do the same. He's been upgraded to questionable against Atlanta. Clint Capela (calf) will sit for the Hawks in this one.

Sacramento will be waiting on the availability of Kevin Huerter (ankle). He's questionable in Detroit.

Al Horford (personal) was expected to play today for Boston, but he's still got the "Q" tag. Robert Williams (knee) is probable and will likely make his season debut against the Magic.

Unfortunately, Dallas will be without Maxi Kleber (knee/hamstring) for an extended period. They're hosting Portland.

Finally, Ayo Dosunmu (pelvis) is questionable for the Bulls tonight in their immediate rematch with the Knicks.


Friday's slate is not short on star guards.

Luka Doncic ($12,000) draws Portland's ninth-worst defensive rating (113.5), and the do-it-all stud is always in line for a monster game against a poor defense.

Three other top options also are rated with a value score above 4.90, per our projections. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,200) is one in an elite matchup with Minnesota, who may be down their top rim protector and cedes the second-most FanDuel points per game to point guards as is.

The other two are Trae Young ($9,800) and LaMelo Ball ($8,000). Both returned from injury to at least 34 minutes last game, and that 239.5-point total is one we'll want plenty of exposure to.

Value is what's tough to come by at guard today. Moses Moody ($4,300) saw 23 minutes on Tuesday, and he's probably in line for a larger role -- and maybe even starting -- with Steph sidelined. Jordan Poole's salary bump to $7,700 isn't projecting well, per our model, and he's not seeing a minutes bump.

Nuggets teammates Jamal Murray ($7,200) and Bruce Brown Jr. ($5,600) are rating out well against the Lakers. Not much other value is present now, but keep an eye on Kings teammates Malik Monk ($5,000) and Terence Davis II ($4,600) if Huerter sits. Jaylen Nowell ($5,300) is a high-upside play if Russell sits for the T-Wolves.


Knowing I'll be spending a ton at guard, it helps that small forward isn't rating out well in our projections. LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown saw salary bumps following their overtime game, and Kevin Durant has a brutal matchup with Toronto.

In the mid-range, Toronto's Scottie Barnes ($8,200) is a key target. He'll continue to benefit from OG Anunoby's absence, but he -- like most Raptors -- did get a bump in salary to account for that. I'll mix in both DeMar DeRozan ($8,400) and Zach LaVine ($7,300) in the identical matchup with New York that they had Wednesday. The Knicks are allowing the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to small forwards.

Klay Thompson isn't a bargain at all. In fact, his usage rate drops 1.7 percentage points with both Steph and Wiggins off the floor. Golden State becomes the Jordan Poole show, and Poole (1.09 FanDuel points per minute in that floor condition) doesn't even benefit all that much, either. Turn to Donte DiVincenzo ($5,300) and Jonathan Kuminga ($4,900) instead.

In terms of point-per-dollar value, Kyle Anderson ($5,500) and Jaden McDaniels ($4,600) top our projections as of early Friday afternoon, and that'll only get better if Gobert and/or Russell sit for Minnesota. Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,000), Josh Hart ($5,700), and Luguentz Dort ($5,300) are also gleaming in our projections.


Nikola Jokic ($12,200) has put up at least 78 FanDuel points in back-to-back games, and the Lakers have allowed the sixth-most FanDuel points to centers. He's viable by default.

That's still a lot of salary to commit to a center-only player when value is overflowing at the pivot spot. Naz Reid ($4,500) might pop up as the absolute best value play on the slate by a country mile if Gobert sits, and Atlanta's Onyeka Okongwu ($5,200) is also one of numberFire's top values with Capela sidelined. The timeshare is all Okongwu's tonight. I think I'll just target Aaron Gordon ($6,500) tonight and leave the two-time MVP out of my center spot.

Pascal Siakam ($9,800) was the lone Toronto starter to see a salary dip entering this one. He's posted just 42.6 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Anunoby off the floor, which is a testament to the Raps' overall offensive decline. Still, his 30.0% usage rate gives him a huge ceiling if the shots fall.

Domantas Sabonis ($8,900) has an elite matchup with the Pistons, and he's now played at least 37 minutes in three straight competitive affairs. Averaging 46.4 FanDuel points per 36 as a whole, he speaks for himself.

Better days are ahead for Christian Wood ($6,500). He might -- finally -- start with Kleber sidelined, and he logged 35 minutes last game with Maxi out. He's posted 38.9 FanDuel points per 36 this year, waiting solely on a full-time opportunity.

Here we go again with Moritz Wagner ($5,500). The temperamental Orlando frontcourt saw him log 30 minutes on Wednesday, so our model loves him with that projected workload. Wood and Wagner are joined by Jarrett Allen ($7,000), Thaddeus Young ($5,000), Chris Boucher ($4,900), and P.J. Tucker ($3,700) as value options on this slate. Add Kevon Looney ($5,100) to that list if Draymond sits.