FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 1/15/22

The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.

With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.

Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, and we also have player news updates. The projected numbers referenced below may change throughout the day.

We'll be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.


Dejounte Murray, PG, (FanDuel Salary: $10,500) - Murray is on some kind of run. He's tallied at least 52.5 FanDuel points in five of his past six games. In that time, he's garnered a 30.8% usage rate. The possible return of Derrick White would be a bit of a downer, but Murray put up 55.8 FanDuel points the last time they played together. The San Antonio Spurs are taking on the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Clips have allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to point guards over the last 15 games (52.4). Murray tagged them for 69.7 FanDuel points on December 20th.

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, $7,500 - Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Norman Powell are going to be out for the Portland Trail Blazers. With those three off the court this year, Simons has a 33.0% usage rate and generates 1.01 FanDuel points per minute, according to RotoGrinders' CourtIQ. He should be very busy tonight against a Washington Wizards squad that sits 23rd in defensive efficiency.

Spencer Dinwiddie, PG, $6,900 - Bradley Beal will likely sit once more, so we can go back to Dinwiddie. For the season, Dinwiddie owns a 26.0% usage rate and scores 1.11 FanDuel points per minute with Beal on the sidelines. The Blazers are a superb matchup, ranking dead last in defensive efficiency for the campaign and permitting the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to floor generals over their past seven outings (52.2).

Others to Consider: Luka Doncic ($10,400), Russell Westbrook ($8,500), Jalen Brunson ($6,000), Alec Burks ($5,900)


DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, $8,000 - We have some elite options at forward tonight, but I love DeRozan with Zach LaVine out. Our model does, too, pegging him for 42.5 FanDuel points -- 5.31 per $1,000. With the Chicago Bulls' expected inactives off the court this year, DDR has registered 1.23 FanDuel points per minute on a 37.8% usage rate. Give me all the DeRozan. He's one of the best plays on the slate.

Nassir Little, SF, $5,400 - Little stands to benefit from the Blazers' absences. His production in the split sans Powell, McCollum and Dame isn't too enticing -- 0.90 FanDuel points per minute -- but Little has logged at least 31 minutes in five of his last six games, with 33-plus minutes in four of them. That gives him a solid floor, and we project him to amass 28.3 FanDuel points (5.24 per $1,000).

Aaron Gordon, PF, $5,100 - Gordon is another good value target. We can't expect something like the 41.9 FanDuel points he popped off for earlier this week, but we should be able to count on him for a good day against the Los Angeles Lakers, who have given up 45.9 FanDuel points per game to power forwards, the sixth-most. Taking on a Lakers team that plays at the NBA's fastest pace, this is a huge pace-up spot for the Denver Nuggets (21st in pace). Our algorithm has Gordon forecasted for 29.1 FanDuel points (5.71 per $1,000).

Others to Consider: LeBron James ($11,300), Kevin Durant ($10,900), Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($3,700), Kessler Edwards ($3,700)


Nikola Jokic, C, $11,100 - Jokic also benefits from the matchup with the fast-paced Lakers, and he's an excellent play. Prior to a pair of meh outputs in the 40s, Jokic had put together a run of four straight games with at least 53.6 FanDuel points. He carries a juicy 32.1% usage rate over the last 10 games and is projected for a slate-leading 58.2 FanDuel points (5.24 per $1,000). We rate him as the best point-per-dollar pick among anyone with a salary above $8,000.

Jusuf Nurkic, C, $7,300 - As good of a play as Jokic is, Nurkic is super appealing, as well. He's got a 24.3% usage rate and posts 1.27 FanDuel points per minute with Portland's expected inactives off the court this year. Unfortunately, we can't jam him and Jokic into the same lineup, and deciding what to do between the two of them will be my first call when building tonight. We have Nurkic going for 42.7 FanDuel points, which amounts to 5.85 per $1,000. The best way to handle Jokic and Nurkic may be to have about a 50/50 split.

Others to Consider: Julius Randle ($8,200), Jonas Valanciunas ($7,600), Ivica Zubac ($4,200)