FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 1/25/23
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 come 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
|San Antonio||LA Lakers||243||118.8||124.3||5||9|
Brooklyn and Philadelphia will clash in Wednesday's marquee game, but per today's injury report, it might happen without Joel Embiid. Embiid (foot) is questionable after missing the Sixers' last contest.
At long last, Brandon Ingram (toe) is set to return for the Pelicans tonight. Naji Marshall (toe) and Dyson Daniels (ankle) are also questionable for NOLA. They're battling a Timberwolves side that has Rudy Gobert (groin) listed as questionable despite Gobert playing in full on Monday. Taurean Prince (ankle) is out for Minnesota.
The Bucks will be without Bobby Portis (knee) as they host Denver. On the second leg of a back-to-back, I'm not expecting Michael Porter Jr. (personal) or Nah'Shon Hyland (finger) to return after missing last night's Nuggets game.
We'll try this again with Ja Morant ($9,900).
I wrote up Morant, potentially in a good spot to snap his FanDuel-scoring skid in Sacramento, on Monday, and he sat on the second leg of the back-to-back. Now, Morant's focus will turn to the Warriors in a game featuring a gaudy 244.5-point total. Golden State allows the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to floor generals.
As a result, Stephen Curry ($9,800) is in the mix, too. He's just a bit harder to justify with the Dubs approaching full strength. My more realistic next stop down will be De'Aaron Fox ($8,300), who has eclipsed 44 FanDuel points in three of his past four.
Bradley Beal ($8,200) should fare better today versus the awful Rockets defense (116.9 defensive rating), and he's seen lifts in both usage rate (2.2 percentage points) and FanDuel points per 36 minutes (+3.07) with Porzingis off the floor.
If Nembhard can play, it'll really make us think about T.J. McConnell ($6,700) in a reduced role. He's an excellent process play in a vacuum, logging 41 minutes yesterday and averaging 37.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes for the season. It'll just come at excruciating popularity.
McConnell and Russell lead the charge in our projections at the moment, but Tre Jones ($6,500), Anfernee Simons ($6,100), Collin Sexton ($5,000), and Seth Curry ($4,800) are others floating toward the top.
With the NBA's regular season as apathetic as ever, I look for motivation anywhere I can find it. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400) has it today.
Nikola Jokic ($11,600) has claimed back-to-back MVPs ahead of "The Greek Freak", and something tells me Giannis will be up for the test. Antetokounmpo returned on Monday without restriction and posted 62.9 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. He's posted at least 24 points and 9 rebounds in six of the last eight versus Denver.
From there, it's hideous. LeBron James might not even play the back-to-back with Davis returning, I mentioned Edwards' prognosis earlier, and Lauri Markkanen is salaried well above a declining role. Kyle Kuzma ($8,500) wouldn't be a consideration for me at his mark if not for the leaky Houston D, but his upside is still there from that matchup.
I'll likely pick up again with Keldon Johnson ($7,100) against Los Angeles. He's got a hefty 30.3% usage rate in his current floor condition without Devin Vassell. After missing the last game, OG Anunoby ($6,900) is also the only Toronto backcourt member with a decent salary mark for their mixed usage tree. I'd also throw in Andrew Wiggins ($6,600) at a modest salary in the game of the day.
Kenyon Martin Jr. ($5,300) and Deni Avdija ($5,000) are two other key value plugs given the injuries on their squads. Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,000) and Tari Eason ($4,700) will join them if injury news breaks their way.
The aforementioned Jokic is the headliner at this spot. He averages 61.6 FanDuel points per 36 with Michael Porter Jr. off the floor, but the chief concern with him is that he's had mixed results facing Antetokounmpo's lethal defense historically. The game's atmosphere and the mid-pack matchup for centers, in general, are still fine.
Without much to spend on at guard, we can make Giannis and Jokic work. Another mini-stack worth targeting is Domantas Sabonis ($10,100) and Pascal Siakam ($9,400). Both lead their team in overall touches entering a game with a 238.0-point total in Sactown. Thankfully, Siakam is still below his median January salary here despite Anunoby's absence last game.
Alperen Sengun ($8,400) has the best value score of all big men above $8,000 in our projections (5.01), which only further dampens Jokic's appeal at the exclusive center spot. Sengun's matchup could be stellar with the Washington frontcourt missing Porzingis, and I'm more interested here considering I don't have interest in a high-salaried Jalen Green experience in his backcourt.
We've seen Jerami Grant ($6,300) score 30 real-life points seven separate times this year, so his upside is tremendous. We're buying low on his frosty 40.7% shooting in his past five games.
In a bit of a surprise, we saw Xavier Tillman ($4,600) leap into the Grizzlies' starting lineup and log 30 minutes on Monday. He's an outstanding value play with Adams already ruled out, but Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,700), Brook Lopez ($6,200), and John Collins ($6,000) are other modest sources of cap relief. Don't forget Clint Capela ($6,500) if Okongwu is out, too.