FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 2/2/23
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
On Thursday's injury report, Tyrese Haliburton is officially questionable to return from his knee issue, but coach Rick Carlisle expects him to play. We'll see if the Pacers will have to face LeBron James (ankle) at home tonight. He's questionable for the Lakers once again.
I've buried the lede. though. The Warriors will likely empty their bench on a back-to-back tonight in Denver with some combination of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins sitting. We'll see if that pushes the Nuggets to sit Aaron Gordon (ankle) or others.
We're also watching the Grizzlies on a back-to-back in Cleveland. Desmond Bane (knee) just returned for them, so he is the most significant risk, but Ja Morant and others could be at risk despite the national television spot. John Konchar (concussion) missed yesterday's game.
The Heat bench also could be shorthanded in New York. Victor Oladipo (ankle) is doubtful, Gabe Vincent (ankle) is questionable, and Orlando Robinson (thumb) is already ruled out.
Finally, the Clippers-Bucks nightcap in Milwaukee isn't too noisy, but Marcus Morris (ribs) is a question mark for L.A.
As of now, it's pretty quiet. The Dubs and Grizzlies will change that.
The impending Golden State value will make Luka Doncic ($12,200) viable -- and perhaps optimal.
Of course, "The Don" returned with 72.1 FanDuel points on Tuesday against Detroit, but the larger story was the 36 minutes played. He's totally off a restriction entering this game with New Orleans which holds a modest 223.5-point total. Luka is Luka.
The day's second-largest total is in Chicago, and LaMelo Ball ($8,700) is still undersalaried inside of it given a projected 238-point affair. The triple-double threat averages 45.3 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Charlotte at full strength.
Opposite Luka, C.J. McCollum ($7,700) has a dropping salary, but it might be an overreaction to Brandon Ingram ($7,200) returning. McCollum still has a modest 25.7% usage rate with him on the floor so long as Zion Williamson is off of it.
Our projections also believe Donovan Mitchell ($8,300) and Darius Garland ($8,000) are solid bets in a gigantic pace-up spot with the Grizzlies. Of course, if Ja Morant does end up resting, Tyus Jones ($5,900) should leap to the front of our minds.
Jordan Poole ($7,000) and Ty Jerome ($3,700) are your Warriors value plays from this section. Both logged 41 minutes each the last time the team sat the starters en masse. Our projections also see Kyle Lowry ($4,900) undervalued -- especially with Miami's backcourt shorthanded. That'll reduce the risk he's benched late.
The Clippers are also a favorable matchup for point guards, so Jrue Holiday ($7,700) is one last name to consider here.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,900) is an interesting consideration today.
L.A. isn't a cupcake matchup. They're ninth in overall defensive rating (112.2) and a giant step back in pace (22nd). However, the 230-point total on the board in Milwaukee is promising, and he'll likely be a contrarian way to spend salary with Golden State's value.
This position is loaded today. LeBron James ($10,700) draws an Indiana squad ceding the third-most FanDuel points per game to small forwards, and DeMar DeRozan ($8,500) and Zach LaVine ($7,400) are shining through our projections in the projected shootout against the Hornets.
Jimmy Butler ($8,400) and Paul George ($8,300) are also below their season median salaries here. We've got no shortage of options.
We're not light on value here, either. Obviously, Donte DiVincenzo ($5,300) and Jonathan Kuminga ($4,400) are core plays, but Kuminga might not start if Andrew Wiggins ($6,200) ends up playing. Wiggins would trump all as the defacto top option for the Dubs if he goes.
However, our projections also fancy the declining salaries of RJ Barrett ($6,500) and Tyler Herro ($6,400) at the Mecca. Michael Porter Jr. ($5,600), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,000), and Quentin Grimes ($4,300) are three others projecting past the magical mark of a 5.00 value score.
With an 11.5-point spread that should get larger once announcements come from Golden State, it doesn't appear to be the best situation for Nikola Jokic.
Luckily, we've got several snazzy options behind him. Namely, I love Anthony Davis ($9,700) at his reduced salary in a top-shelf matchup with the Pacers. Indiana cedes the fifth-most FanDuel points to centers, and back at full minutes, it's easy to forget he's averaging 57.1 FanDuel points per 36 this year.
Jericho Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein keep jockeying for Thibs' approval, so I'll once again be left to Julius Randle ($9,300) in New York's frontcourt. Considering he's eclipsed 43 FanDuel points in 18 of his last 21 at this mark, I'm not complaining. Bam Adebayo ($8,500) is below his January median salary on the other side.
The Lakers are one of the few matchups giving up more points to centers than the Pacers, so Myles Turner ($7,600) is the lone place I can target Indiana tonight with Haliburton returning -- likely in a limited fashion. As a pivot, Jaren Jackson Jr. ($7,700) could be extremely interesting if Bane and Morant do end up sitting.
As a value option, Kevon Looney ($5,000) is a cash-game must. He's averaging 37.7 FanDuel points per 36 with the Warriors' core four off the floor. Our projections also shine favorably on Jarrett Allen ($6,700), PJ Washington ($6,100), and potentially Brandon Clarke ($6,000) or Xavier Tillman ($4,700), depending on who starts for Memphis.