FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 1/27/23
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
This five-game slate is the lightest Friday of the season to this point, and the injury report isn't crowded, either.
For the second day in a row, we're watching Donovan Mitchell (groin). He's more likely to play against a better Oklahoma City squad tonight after sitting last night in Houston. Kevin Love (back) also missed last night's game for Cleveland. The Thunder will be without Luguentz Dort (hamstring) for this one.
Elsewhere, the Pacers have some activity entering their home tilt with Milwaukee. Myles Turner (ankle), Andrew Nembhard (illness), and Aaron Nesmith (wrist) are all listed as questionable. It's worth noting Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is probable and has been scratched from that status before.
Rudy Gobert (groin) has played two straight through a questionable tag, but he's got it again Friday against Memphis. Taurean Prince (ankle) is already out for Minnesota, and the Grizzlies have Steven Adams (knee) and John Konchar (concussion) out for this one. Desmond Bane (knee) is questionable.
The Magic will give the returning Jonathan Isaac (knee) a maintenance day in Miami, whose report is surprisingly clean.
Finally, in the nightcap, the Warriors are unsure they'll get Andrew Wiggins (illness) back for tonight's game against Toronto.
If Desmond Bane sits, it's hard not to lead with Ja Morant ($10,200) here.
Morant posts 52.1 FanDuel points per 36 minutes when Bane is off the floor on a team-best (and massive) 36.8% usage rate. The T-Wolves cede the 11th-most FanDuel points per game to point guards, too.
Of course, the slate's biggest storyline is Spida Mitchell again. His absence would open up Darius Garland ($8,500), who posted 52.3 FanDuel points in 32 minutes without him last night. Beware of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the other side here. At his highest salary in January, SGA's set to battle a Cavs squad allowing the fewest FanDuel points per game to guards.
D'Angelo Russell ($7,000) has been aggressive lately. He's spiked to 36.2 FanDuel points per 36 over his last four games on an elevated 23.6% usage rate.
Russell, with a 5.01 value score in our projections, is a rarity at guard today. They're pretty hideous overall, and only Jrue Holiday ($8,300), Jordan Poole ($7,600), and Kyle Lowry ($5,900) also check in with a value score over 4.50. Ricky Rubio ($4,000) might be a decent dart if Mitchell sits for the Cavs.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500) should have a mammoth night if the game in Indiana stays close.
The Pacers cede the second-most FanDuel points per game to small forwards while playing at the league's third-fastest pace. Up-tempo contests are where the slasher is his most dangerous, and Khris Middleton hasn't eclipsed 15 minutes yet for the Bucks since returning from injury.
This is a surprisingly solid slate for spending up at wing. Though Miami's scoring hierarchy is deep and healthy, Jimmy Butler ($8,600) has a salary that feels too low for a guy with seven games over 47 FanDuel points since December 1st. Paolo Banchero ($7,500) is well below his median salary for the season on the other side, too.
Anthony Edwards ($9,200) is incredibly dependent on injury news today. He's averaged 47.2 FanDuel points per 36 with Rudy Gobert off the floor, but that drops to 36.3 FanDuel points per 36 with his center clogging the lane. I'll fully fade if Gobert plays.
This position also has value. Dillon Brooks ($5,400) should see a lift if Bane sits, and both Jalen Williams ($5,900) and Kenrich Williams ($5,000) started and saw 30-plus minutes on Wednesday as Dort battled his hamstring issue.
Others projecting well in our model include OG Anunoby ($6,700), Kyle Anderson ($6,400), and Caleb Martin ($4,300). Add Isaac Okoro ($4,800) to that list if Mitchell misses Friday's game.
The nightcap might not get much love in daily fantasy with both teams at full strength, but Pascal Siakam ($9,600) is one of the better studs of the day.
Siakam's Raptors are 24th in pace, so the top-paced Warriors will be a huge lift in possessions. Holding the league's 13th-worst defensive rating, this isn't your older brother's Golden State defense to avoid.
There's really no can't-miss pivot at this stage, but that could be Naz Reid ($5,300) if we get early enough word Gobert is out. Reid is far less of a priority now than he was in December, logging just 37 minutes total in his last two starts for Rudy. He struggled out of the gate in both, so it appears you're banking on a quick start for him to see full minutes.
Of course, Jarrett Allen ($7,700) and Evan Mobley ($7,300) would benefit if Mitchell sits. The salaries are now close enough that I might turn more to Allen, who stumbled his way to just 35.5 FanDuel points last night. Popularity heavily favored Mobley last night, so J.A. might be on the contrarian side.
Jaren Jackson Jr. ($7,800) has posted an absurd 54.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Bane off the floor this season. With two straight under 35 FanDuel points entering this one, Jackson might be a tremendously sneaky way to access the injury.
However, Jackson's teammate Brandon Clarke ($5,600) started and logged 32 minutes in Steven Adams' stead on Wednesday. He's the best value play of this positional group today, but Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,700) and Brook Lopez ($6,500) are also in that boat.