FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 1/10/23
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
This seven-game slate is chock full of question marks.
The largest is Luka Doncic, who, per today's injury report, is questionable to miss a second straight game with an ankle issue for Dallas. They're in Los Angeles to battle the Clippers, and L.A. will once again be down Paul George (hamstring) and Luke Kennard (calf).
Luka isn't the only big-name star who may sit. The 76ers have Joel Embiid (foot) listed as questionable, and he's at even greater risk with the lowly Pistons in town. Detroit is missing Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) and Jalen Duren (ankle) for this one.
Though still without Jonathan Kuminga (foot), the Warriors' news is actually positive. Stephen Curry (shoulder) has been upgraded to questionable for tonight. They're set to battle a Suns team that's a M*A*S*H unit. In addition to Devin Booker (groin), Cameron Payne (foot), and Chris Paul (hip) all listed out, Phoenix has Deandre Ayton (ankle), Torrey Craig (ankle), and Landry Shamet (hip) also listed as questionable.
Like the Sixers, the Miami Heat have an influx of listings with the struggling Thunder in town. Kyle Lowry (knee), Caleb Martin (quad), Bam Adebayo (wrist), and Tyler Herro (Achilles) are all out tonight.
Though James Harden ($10,300) is certainly worth a look if Embiid ends up sitting, the best top options at guard today are a bit further down.
Of course, the headliner has to be Donovan Mitchell ($8,900) in his return to Utah. With two clunkers and a rest game since his 71-point explosion, his salary is back to normal, and the narrative might force a few more shots up from a guy already with a sizable 32.0% usage rate for the salary.
Damian Lillard ($9,100) is also shining through our projections with a 230.0-point total on deck in Portland. The Magic allow the 10th-most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards, so that explains Lillard's backcourt mate, Anfernee Simons ($6,100), popping up, too.
With Bogdanovic out, Jaden Ivey ($5,600) is a great look for the Pistons. He sees a team-best 6.6 percentage-point increase in usage without him on the floor. I'm a little surprised Ivey isn't showing extraordinarily well in projections so far.
We've got plenty of moving parts and pieces today, but right now, Victor Oladipo ($5,700), Gabe Vincent ($4,000), and Damion Lee ($4,000) are showing value in light of their teams' injuries as of now. I'd add Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,700), Duane Washington Jr. ($4,700), and Cody Martin ($3,700) to that list if the news breaks correctly later today.
We'll have plenty of value on this slate, and wing brings two extraordinary places to spend it.
Jimmy Butler ($9,000) -- below his median salary this year -- should be a sensational target. He's averaging 50.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Lowry, Herro, and Adebayo off the floor. He'll be extraordinarily popular as one of the few remaining known commodities in Miami. Max Strus ($5,100), Haywood Highsmith ($3,900), and Jamal Cain ($3,500) are three other Miami wings on a night where they'll use everyone.
In that case, Kawhi Leonard ($8,400) might be a sharp pivot. He'll likely be less popular missing just PG13 again, but he shouldn't be. Leonard has averaged 45.5 FanDuel points per 36 with George off the floor this year. It's also worth noting his teammate, Terance Mann ($4,500), moved into the lineup last game and is a sensational value play in his new full role at point guard.
We can pretty aggressively attack the mid-range behind them, too. Mikal Bridges ($6,200) could have the lead scoring role for Phoenix when the dust settles, but we don't know for sure. Phoenix has only logged 22 minutes with a starter on the floor and CP3, Booker, Ayton, Payne, and Shamet all off of the court. Bridges' 11.2% usage rate in that scenario stinks, but it's such a small sample.
In addition to Bridges, the projections shine favorably on OG Anunoby ($6,900), Franz Wagner ($6,500), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,300), Saddiq Bey ($5,100), and Hamidou Diallo ($4,400). The latter three are especially interesting with key absences on their squad.
The Raptors are at full strength, but there is salary to spend, and the Hornets have been a cheat code for centers all season, allowing the most FanDuel points per game to the position. Pascal Siakam ($9,500) is worth exposure.
I'd also note Joel Embiid ($11,600) -- and his run of 55-plus FanDuel points in four straight before this foot injury -- would also be viable if he returns. I just see that as unlikely against the weak Pistons.
Speaking of injuries, Christian Wood ($8,300) has remained a premier beneficiary of Luka's potential absence. He's posted a team-best 47.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes during those floor conditions. I'll likely go elsewhere if Luka plays, though.
We'll keep our process the same with the Cavs. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley ($6,800) produce at roughly the same rate per minute on FanDuel, so we'll turn to the lower-salaried Mobley against a Jazz team that cedes the second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing pivots.
Embiid's absence would help balance exposure to some really solid center-only eligible value plays today. Ivica Zubac ($6,000) saw 37 minutes on Sunday without Paul George, and if you don't know Orlando Robinson ($5,700), you should. Robinson has posted 39.2 FanDuel points per 36 with Herro, Lowry, and Adebayo off the floor this year. He's entering a full-time role in Adebayo's stead tonight.
Given Duren's injury, we can feel better about the floor of Isaiah Stewart ($5,600). "Beef Stew" posted 35 minutes (and 37.6 FanDuel points) without Duren on Sunday.