FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 2/1/23
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
Per the official injury report, Joel Embiid (foot) is questionable despite playing 9 of the last 10 through his foot issue. He's not the drama on this slate.
There's really not any today with stars. The largest name in jeopardy is Desmond Bane (knee) for Memphis. The Grizzlies also list John Konchar (concussion) and Danny Green (knee) as questionable for their home date with Portland.
Rudy Gobert (groin) and Taurean Prince (ankle) are questionable versus the Warriors. Both played Monday, and Gobert has played five straight through his issue.
Houston will still be without Kevin Porter Jr. (foot) and Jalen Green (calf) as they host Oklahoma City, who will be down Luguentz Dort (hamstring) for another game.
Opposite Embiid, Wendell Carter Jr. (foot) could miss tonight's game for the Magic and free up minutes in Orlando's frontcourt.
Ben Simmons (knee) and T.J. Warren (shin) will miss another contest for Brooklyn. Yuta Watanabe (back) is also questionable. They're in Boston, and the C's have Robert Williams (ankle) questionable for this one.
The Wizards might be sans Daniel Gafford (illness) in Detroit. The Pistons have Cory Joseph (back) listed out.
Toronto will play without OG Anunoby (wrist) for a third straight tonight in Utah.
Finally, the Kings and Spurs will clash in San Antonio, and the only player up in the air is Romeo Langford (hip). He's questionable.
**Editor's Note: Tonight's Wizards-Pistons game has been postponed due to travel issues. All players from that game will score zero points. As always, check numberFire's projections for updated top plays from the slate.**
There is no shortage of options at the top of guard today, but no one stands out above the others.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,700) has his highest salary of 2023, but it's for good reason. The porous Houston defense (116.7 defensive rating) awaits, and his role is the best on OKC by a country mile. Josh Giddey ($7,800) rebounded in the box score but still logged just 29 minutes on Monday.
Kyrie Irving ($10,300) has a stellar role, too. He's got a 32.3% usage rate since Kevin Durant went down, but a brutal Boston defense awaits. I'd rather turn to Ja Morant ($10,200) should Bane sit again. With a similar usage rate to Kyrie in his floor condition, Ja has the better matchup against Portland's fifth-worst defensive rating (115.6). I'd also note the salary of James Harden ($9,400) is sliding quite a bit.
Speaking of matchups, the Rockets, Pistons, and Spurs are the clear best ones for guards. We already mentioned SGA and Giddey, but De'Aaron Fox ($8,600) gets the nod versus San Antonio, and Bradley Beal ($8,000) is an intriguing tournament play for Washington. His usage rate (team-best 28.5%) has come back to life in the past five.
In terms of value, we'll be seeking out familiar names. Alec Burks ($4,900) is hard to argue against as he's logged at least 27 minutes and 24.0 FanDuel points in three straight starts, and Seth Curry ($4,600) saw a sizable drop in salary to forgive some of the variance that comes from his scoring-heavy output. He'll likely start for Brooklyn tonight.
Others projecting well include Chris Paul ($8,300), D'Angelo Russell ($7,000), Tre Jones ($5,800), and Houston's starting point guard, Daishen Nix ($3,900).
Salary is the driving factor above all in daily fantasy viability, and Jayson Tatum ($10,800) is significantly easier to stomach at this salary. He's been over 51 FanDuel points in six of his last seven.
I'd still mark Jaylen Brown ($8,500) as the better value with the two nearly identical in usage rate, but Tatum also contributes more on the glass (8.39 boards per 36).
The reliable Scottie Barnes ($8,000) toughed out 36.9 FanDuel points on Monday despite 42.9% shooting. His upside is widely apparent if he has a hot night from the field. I'd say the same for Paolo Banchero ($7,600), who just dropped 29 points in this identical Philadelphia matchup on Monday.
Andrew Wiggins ($6,400) is the place I'll likely target the Dubs -- and it's not just for the revenge narrative. He's well below his median salary and returned to 32 minutes on Monday.
I'm sure you've heard that Harrison Barnes ($5,400) didn't perform very well Monday against the T-Wolves, but his massive salary drop might have gone too far for his full role. We're not short on full-time players projecting well at the wing spots behind him, led by Franz Wagner ($6,600), Kyle Anderson ($6,300), Gary Trent Jr. ($6,300), Keegan Murray ($5,600), and Cameron Johnson ($5,500).
Add Dillon Brooks ($5,200) to that lengthy list if Bane sits. I'll mostly skip out on spending big here today in favor of the value guys.
One of the key reasons I'll skip spending there is to jam in more high-salaried bigs.
Domantas Sabonis ($9,600) stands above them all. He's got the best matchup on the slate versus San Antonio, who allows the sixth-most FanDuel points to centers (55.8) behind their league-worst defensive rating (120.2).
There are two other gigantic priorities at center for me today. Alperen Sengun ($8,300) is one. He is posting 50.1 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Green and KPJ off the floor. "Baby Jokic" could have a Jokic-like stat line tonight.
The other is Deandre Ayton ($7,900), who has posted more than 38 FanDuel points in three straight since returning, and Atlanta (22nd in FanDuel points allowed to centers per game) is a sublime matchup.
Pascal Siakam ($9,200) has slid from a five-digit salary to this listing since Precious Achiuwa entered the lineup. Siakam is well below his season-long median salary, but Achuiwa's presence on the glass is a real problem. The Jazz allow the most FanDuel points to centers, so this could be a good spot to buy-low on Siakam.
We're not without value power forwards, either. It creates a real incentive to spend at guard. John Collins ($5,800) eclipsed 30 FanDuel points seven times in January, and I love that he'll dodge Ayton's defense behind Clint Capela. Al Horford ($5,300) is also worth a mention if Robert Williams sits for Boston.
Others to select from include Jerami Grant ($6,700), Jabari Smith ($6,100), and Brandon Clarke ($6,000).