FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 12/20/22

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 StateNew York222108.5113.5114

For just a five-game slate, Tuesday's injury report is full enough to feed a family of five.

It starts in the same place as yesterday -- Phoenix is unsure to get back Devin Booker (groin) after he sat last night. Jock Landale (concussion) and Cameron Payne (foot) also sat yesterday for the Suns.

There are some question marks among the Heat's usual litany of probables. Kyle Lowry (knee) and Caleb Martin (ankle) are legitimately questionable. Javonte Green (knee) is uncertain for the visiting Bulls.

The Nuggets could be shorthanded tonight. Jamal Murray (knee), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (leg), and Michael Porter Jr. (heel) are all listed as questionable.

Andrew Wiggins (groin) will sit again for Golden State, and replacement Donte DiVincenzo (illness) is also doubtful for their battle with New York.

Finally, Utah was without Kelly Olynyk (ankle) and Collin Sexton (hamstring) yesterday. We'll see if either can turn it around for tonight's game in Detroit.


Though his salary wouldn't be optimal for a full slate, Ja Morant ($10,700) is well worth considering on this short one.

Morant was ejected in just 14 minutes last time out, so he's at least well-rested for this battle in Denver. His usage rate with Desmond Bane off the floor (36.1%; best on the slate in his relative floor condition) is still tremendous, and the Nuggets are allowing the second-most FanDuel points per game to point guards.

Behind Morant, Jalen Brunson ($7,800) is grading out well in our projections, and he's easy to argue for as a high-floor play. When logging at least 30 minutes, he's eclipsed 35 FanDuel points in seven of his last eight. Golden State's road defensive rating (118.2) is also the second-worst in the NBA.

Jaden Ivey ($5,900) continues to fall short of 30 minutes, but he's exploded past 15 real-life points on 13 separate occasions this year. On a short slate, he's likely a steal or two away from a slam-dunk value play.

With Kyle Lowry out Saturday, Victor Oladipo ($4,800) logged 33 minutes, which speaks to his health. He'd be primed for another large role if Lowry sits, and we know Oladipo can pay off this salary if he gets said role.

Behind Oladipo, there isn't a ton of value anywhere on the slate, but Bruce Brown Jr. ($5,800) is already projecting well, and that should increase if Murray and/or Porter sit. Mike Conley ($5,500) -- if he plays on the back-to-back -- and Immanuel Quickley ($4,700) are two others our model can stomach.


Due to Tyler Herro's emergence, Jimmy Butler ($10,000) isn't a safe play even with Lowry off the floor, but Butler has seen an increase of 0.18 FanDuel points per minute in that split, which isn't too bad.

The mid-range here is better, though. Opposite Butler, DeMar DeRozan ($8,400) and Zach LaVine ($7,200) are grading out best in our projections, but I also love Lauri Markkanen ($7,800) in a squishy matchup with the Pistons, who cede the fifth-most FanDuel points to power forwards, which is Markkanen's organic position.

Detroit's only stable full-time player is Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,100), so he's worth a look when stacking that game. He doesn't do much besides score, holding this low salary despite at least 19 real-life points in five straight. It's another situation similar to Ivey's, where the deflection stats can make all the difference.

In terms of value, Anthony Lamb ($3,800) is shining through our projections. He drew 15 minutes to just 5 for Jonathan Kuminga ($4,200) on Sunday, but I'd be shocked if Kuminga doesn't draw the start for DiVincenzo. The pair are joined by Dillon Brooks ($6,600), Quentin Grimes ($4,900), and Patrick Williams ($4,500) as the best value plays, according to what our model is spitting out early Tuesday afternoon.


With a 234.5-point total and few true stars in action, Nikola Jokic ($12,500) should register his highest draft percentage on a main slate this year.

I'm not sure Jokic is a no-doubt option. He's averaging 59.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Murray and Porter off the floor, but that's not enough at his salary. It's a testament to Denver's overall offensive drop without their other two best players. I'd rather turn to Aaron Gordon ($6,900), whose lower salary could still work for usage absorption in a less efficient offense.

Plus, the Grizzlies give up the seventh-fewest FanDuel points to opposing centers.

Deandre Ayton ($8,000) and Mitchell Robinson ($6,300) have plus matchups at the pivot, and they'll be mostly ignored with Jokic's 90-burger in the FanDuel box score.

Without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green ($6,500) dropped 17 points on Sunday. His overall usage rate without Steph this year has dropped 0.4 percentage points, but that's been while playing next to Jordan Poole. I wouldn't be shocked if his scoring numbers -- and usage -- continue to climb having to score with the second unit himself now.

One of the best value plays of the day is Isaiah Stewart ($5,700). The Jazz give up the second-most FanDuel points to opposing centers, and Stewart has floated above 25 minutes in 9 of his last 10 games.

Other than Beef Stew, Nikola Vucevic ($7,900) is the only other big with a decent projection in the model as of now, so this is a fairly thin group -- which should only enhance Jokic's popularity.