FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 1/11/23
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
Stars could be sitting in Washington.
Per today's injury report, Kristaps Porzingis (ribs) is questionable to play for the Wizards. Daniel Gafford (ankle) and Corey Kispert (back) are also questionable. The visiting Bulls have concerns, too. DeMar DeRozan (quad) is questionable after leaving their last game early. Javonte Green (knee) is already out for Chicago.
The Phoenix M*A*S*H* unit is also back for a second straight day. On the back-to-back, things could get odd with Chris Paul (hip), Deandre Ayton (ankle), and Landry Shamet (hip) all sitting last night. Devin Booker (groin) and Cameron Payne (foot) are still out for the long run. They're in Denver.
Anthony Edwards (hip) is questionable for the Timberwolves. They're headed to Detroit, and the Pistons will watch the status of Bojan Bogdanovic (calf), Isaiah Stewart (shoulder), and Jalen Duren (ankle) after all three missed yesterday's contest.
The Pelicans' thinned-out rotation will likely get a bit thinner on Wednesday. Herbert Jones (back) is doubtful to suit up in Boston. The C's also have Marcus Smart (knee) and Robert Williams (knee) listed as questionable.
Keldon Johnson (hamstring) is a question mark for San Antonio, who will play a second straight with Memphis. Keita Bates-Diop (ankle) is also questionable, and it's worth noting the Grizzlies are getting Ja Morant back in the fold.
As mentioned, Ja Morant ($10,100) is back in the fold for the Grizzlies, which squashes their wave of value the past few days more than anything. He's got an elite matchup and a fair salary versus the Spurs' league-worst defensive rating, but the 14-point spread is the true concern there.
Instead, I'll largely build around the two other totals exceeding 235.0 points with tighter spreads. That starts in Atlanta with Trae Young ($9,600) and Dejounte Murray ($8,200). Both have tumbled in salary to justify either, but it's likely Trae will probably go overlooked the defense of Jrue Holiday ($7,500). He shouldn't go overlooked since Young has scored 31.5 points per game against Jrue historically.
The other elevated total is in Sacramento, and the theme of discounted salaries sticks around. De'Aaron Fox ($8,600) and Kevin Porter Jr. ($7,900) are at their lowest points in the past two weeks. This showdown is easy to love given both the Rockets and Kings are bottom-seven clubs in defensive rating.
D'Angelo Russell ($7,000) should be in line for a monstrous workload if Edwards sits, but he's projecting well now even on the assumption Ant plays. The opposite side is easy to stack in Detroit given Jaden Ivey ($5,600) and Hamidou Diallo ($4,400) should once again see expanded roles due to injury.
In addition to those two, we can snag a bit of value from Phoenix's expected absences. Duane Washington Jr.'s elevated $5,700 salary is hardly a value, but Damion Lee ($4,500) can still help. Lee played more minutes (31) off the bench than Washington (26) anyway.
In one of the marquee games of the day, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,600) should be deservedly popular again.
Antetokounmpo's last two games haven't been great, but this high-totaled affair with Atlanta is built for him. The Hawks have allowed the fifth-most paint points and seventh-most second-chance points in the league this year. That's Giannis' bread and butter.
In Boston, Jaylen Brown ($8,500) has scored over 29 real-life points in seven of his past nine. That's a small salary for a guy regularly dropping 30, and he'll only see a bump in rebounding and playmaking if Smart and Williams sit.
The Wizards could be a key injury hotspot of the day, and Kyle Kuzma ($7,400) has a chance to be one of the few left standing. Rui Hachimura ($5,000), Deni Avdija ($5,000), and Will Barton ($4,100) could all be relied upon for extra work, too.
It's not automatic given a 13-point spread could derail Mikal Bridges ($6,100), but he dropped 26 points in 40 minutes last night against Golden State. That primary scoring role should be the case again in Denver.
Wing doesn't have a ton of value today. It'll get better if Keldon Johnson sits, opening up Jeremy Sochan ($5,100) and Romeo Langford ($4,700). Harrison Barnes ($5,800), Saddiq Bey ($5,100), and Trey Murphy III ($4,800) are other decent spots if that doesn't come to fruition.
Denver is at full strength, which means Nikola Jokic ($11,500) isn't automatically brought into the fold.
Obviously, "The Joker" dropped 44 points, 15 boards, and 15 assists on Christmas against this same Suns team. He's not a poor process play, but the 13-point spread is a bit worrisome, and he's failed to eclipse 54 FanDuel points in three of his past four games -- all comfortable Nuggets wins.
I'd so much rather turn to Domantas Sabonis ($9,900) today. The do-it-all stat-stuffer -- a bit like Jokic -- gets to attack the awful Rockets' defense (115.8 defensive rating; third-worst in the NBA). He's at his lowest salary in the past 30 days, too.
On the other side of that one, Alperen Sengun ($6,300) has seen back-to-back games over 30 minutes, and Jabari Smith ($5,200) has crossed that mark in three of his past four. They rarely go crazy in conjunction, but both are fine tournament darts on their own.
Kristaps Porzingis ($8,700) is gleaming through our projections if he plays, and a rib injury wouldn't be one that likely requires a minute restriction. We really could use the value if he sat, though. I'm torn.
Onyeka Okongwu ($6,000) is still seeing full minutes in Clint Capela's stead, but his production has dropped recently. In another one of the top-tier environments, he is always a threat for a monstrous score averaging 1.70 blocks per 36 minutes.
If Isaiah Stewart ($6,000) or Jalen Duren ($5,800) could play without the other, either would vault to the top of the value tier here today.
Al Horford ($5,000) is also projecting well at the moment with the chance to get better if Williams sits. Other than that, this is an area also lacking value. We'll need some injury news to break our way later today.