FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 12/31/22

At his lowest salary in December, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid is numberFire's top option against the Thunder. Which other players should be considered for Saturday's main slate?

If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.

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.

Daily fantasy basketball is very 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.

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.

TeamOppO/USpreadImplied TotalInjuries
MIAUTAH2243.5110.25Butler OUT, Martin questionable, Oladipo probable
SADAL2317.5111.75Vassell doubtful
OKCPHI228.54112.25Robinson-Earl, Pokusevski OUT
CLECHI224.5-2113.25Mobley, Garland OUT
DETMIN2336113.5Hayes OUT
NYHOU225-4.5114.75Brunson, Barrett OUT
NOMEM235.56114.75Ingram OUT
CHABKN238.57115.75Oubre, Martin, Smith Jr. OUT,
PHIOKC228.5-4116.25Maxey OUT / Tucker, Harden questionable
DALSA231-7.5119.25Finney-Smith, Green, Kleber OUT / Doncic probable
MINDET233-6119.5Edwards, Anderson, Gobert questionable
MEMNO235.5-6120.75Aldama questionable
BKNCHA238.5-7122.75Harris OUT


Luka Doncic ($12,400): At his second highest salary this month, Doncic is ranked second overall with 57.6 expected FanDuel points against a San Antonio Spurs' team ranked 30th in opposing true shooting percentage and defensive rating. In 507.4 minutes during December, Doncic is averaging 1.68 FanDuel points per minute.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,400): Despite a tough matchup versus a Philadelphia 76ers' unit allowing 39.5 FanDuel points to his position, Gilgeous-Alexander rates second among guards with 50.1 expected fantasy points at his median salary point this month.

Ja Morant ($10,100): In the past week, Morant's FanDuel salary has not moved despite producing 1.40 FanDuel points, 0.12 rebounds, and 0.29 assists per minute. The Grizzlies' star point guard is averaging 49.9 FanDuel points in two previous encounters against a New Orleans Pelicans' team ranked 18th in points allowed in the paint and 11th in opponent true shooting percentage.

LaMelo Ball ($9,300): Despite a 3.3% increase to his highest salary this season, Ball remains an optimal choice against a Brooklyn Nets' unit ranked 17th (47.8) in FanDuel points allowed per game to point guards. Since his return on December 14th, the 21-year old has accounted for 1.33 FanDuel points, 0.19 rebounds, and 0.23 assists per minute.

Anthony Edwards ($9,200): In his last seven contests, Edwards has stepped up his offensive production, recording 1.33 FanDuel points, 0.75 real-life points, 0.14 assists, and 0.55 shot attempts per minute. "Ant-Man" ranks sixth among his position with 41.5 expected fantasy points against a Detroit Pistons' team rated 30th in FanDuel points allowed per game to shooting guards.

Donovan Mitchell ($8,900): After Darius Garland and Evan Mobley were listed as questionable, "Spida" could see a 0.10 boost to 1.29 FanDuel points per minute with a 34.9% usage rate.

Kyrie Irving ($8,800): Since his last meeting against the Charlotte Hornets, Irving's FanDuel salary has moved up 10% to his second highest salary point this month. Brooklyn's guard has played well in this particular matchup, accounting for 33 real-life points and 64.5 fantasy points on December 7th.

Zach LaVine ($7,400): Despite scoring a season-high 43 real-life points in his last appearance, LaVine's FanDuel salary has decreased by 1.3% against a Cleveland Cavaliers' defense ranked 30th (126.0) in points allowed per game in their last three contests.

D'Angelo Russell ($7,100): In a great spot versus a Pistons' team ranked 28th in opposing true shooting percentage, Russell's projection offers underrated potential with a 5.04 value rating and 35.8 expected fantasy points.

Jalen Green ($6,900): The 20-year old has seen his FanDuel salary drop by 8% in the last two weeks while averaging 0.94 FanDuel points per minute with a 26.2% usage rate.

Desmond Bane ($6,100): At his lowest salary in December, Bane ranks second among guards in value with a 5.48 rating and a 33.4 fantasy point expectation against a Pelicans' team allowing 38.9 FanDuel points per game to his position.

De'Anthony Melton ($5,900): In a probable starting role versus a Oklahoma City Thunder ranked 14th in opponent true shooting percentage, Philadelphia's guard is numberFire's top value option at his positions with a 5.49 rating and 32.4 expected FanDuel points.


Kevin Durant ($10,600): At his highest salary this month, Durant rates fourth overall with a 49.0 FanDuel point projection versus a Hornets' team ranked 23rd (45.4) in fantasy points allowed to power forwards.

Zion Williamson ($10,000): The Pelicans' superstar is producing 1.37 FanDuel points, 0.21 rebounds, and 0.15 assists per minute in December despite a 12.3% salary increase since the start of this month.

Julius Randle ($9,900): Despite a 4.2% salary increase, Randle is rated fifth among forwards with 40.6 FanDuel points versus a Houston Rockets' team ranked 28th in defensive rating. The 28-year old is having his best offensive month this season, averaging 27.9 real-life points on 19.4 shot attempts.

Bam Adebayo ($8,500): In a great matchup versus a Jazz defense ranked 29th in FanDuel points (59.0) allowed per game to his positions, Adebayo is rated fourth among his position with 41.9 expected FanDuel points at his lowest salary point in December.

Christian Wood ($8,300): Since Wood has been inserted into the Mavericks' starting lineup, the veteran is averaging 1.24 FanDuel points, 0.26 rebounds, and 0.40 shot attempts in a 232.3 minutes sample size.

Jarrett Allen ($7,500): Cleveland's big man would see a 0.09 increase in his fantasy production to 1.07 FanDuel points per minute if Mobley and Garland are ruled out.

Keldon Johnson ($6,800): At his lowest salary in December, Johnson stands third among forwards in value with a 5.19 rating and a 35.3 fantasy expectation versus a Dallas Mavericks' team ranked 20th in opposing true shooting percentage.

Tobias Harris ($6,500): After James Harden was listed as questionable and Tyrese Maxey was ruled out, Philadelphia's forward could see a 0.11 increase to 1.02 FanDuel points per minute with a 25.6% usage rate if both were to sit out.

PJ Washington ($6,300): Since December 21st, Charlotte's forward has averaged 1.07 FanDuel points, 0.14 rebounds, and 0.60 real-life points in 160.6 minutes.

Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,000): In 461.9 minutes this month, Detroit's veteran ranks first among his team in usage (27.6%) and shot attempts (0.48) while recording 0.96 FanDuel points per minute.

Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,800): The Mavericks' long distance specialist is producing 0.84 FanDuel points, 0.13 rebounds, and 0.42 shot attempts in his most recent 484.5 minutes this month.

Royce O'Neale ($4,900): Brooklyn's versatile forward could see a 0.11 boost to 0.79 FanDuel points per minute if Ben Simmons is added to Brooklyn's inactive list.


Joel Embiid ($11,400): Philadelphia's star center is already ranked first overall with 58.6 FanDuel points versus a Thunder team allowing 56.5 FanDuel points per game to centers this season. If Harden is ruled out, Embiid is averaging 1.62 FanDuel points and a 39.9% usage rate in a 436.5 minutes sample size.

Nicolas Claxton ($6,800): Even at his second highest FanDuel salary this season, Claxton is an intriguing option versus a Hornets team allowing the most fantasy points (60.7) to centers this season. The 23-year old has accounted for 1.26 FanDuel points, 0.27 rebounds, and 0.11 blocks per minute in his last seven starts.