FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 11/17/22
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 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.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, 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 is not the best night to be an East Coast basketball fan. We've got three tips at 10 p.m. EST or later.
The first game is in Portland, and, per the injury report, the Blazers could be hosting Brooklyn without the services of Jusuf Nurkic (adductor) and Justise Winslow (illness). The Nets are at full strength sans Kyrie Irving, who remains suspended.
Then, in the nightcap, the Pistons will visit the Clippers. Paul George (hand) was a surprise listing on the report, but I wonder if the 3-12 Pistons -- who remain without Cade Cunningham (shin) and Isaiah Stewart (toe) -- had anything to do with that. Luke Kennard (calf) is also doubtful.
De'Aaron Fox ($9,600) saw a considerable spike in salary with a massive 237.5-point total in Sactown. He's only eclipsed 50 FanDuel points in 2 of 12 games, though, so from a process perspective, it's a bit rich.
I'd rather turn to Damian Lillard ($9,000) against Brooklyn. Lillard's 32.6% usage rate is better than Fox's (30.4%), and the pair are both averaging above 6.5 assists per 36 minutes.
I just expect an uptick for Lillard when Jerami Grant ($8,400) finally cools off. Grant has taken on greater usage while shooting 8.0 percentage points better from the field versus last season -- and 13.5 percentage points better from three. It won't last.
Plus, the mid-range at guard is exceptional. Jaden Ivey ($6,800) feels like a bargain at his salary given a 31.1% usage rate with Cade off the floor this season, and George's injury could keep that game tight. Plus, Devin Vassell ($6,800) got zero salary adjustment for the Spurs with that lofty total on deck.
Tre Jones ($6,300) returned from illness last game for San Antonio, and he heads numberFire's projections at guard today, followed by Killian Hayes ($5,300), Malik Monk ($4,400), and Joe Harris ($3,800).
Out of necessity, Kevin Durant ($11,500) will be popular. No other wing sits above $7,500 in salary.
At the very least, Durant's floor is supreme behind a 32.6% usage rate with Kyrie off the floor. It's a bit disconcerting that he's taken 16 or fewer shots in three straight, but he still saw 30 minutes in Tuesday's rout at Sacramento. A return to the realm of 60 FanDuel points feels very real if he's more aggressive.
However, the next stop down is my favorite play at small forward: Keldon Johnson ($7,100). Johnson carries a team-best 28.0% usage rate into this gargantuan total, and he's due for regression from 39.1% shooting in his past two games.
Against the lowly Pistons, I don't believe Paul George plays. They don't need him to win. The obvious options from the Clips -- Marcus Morris ($5,500), Norman Powell ($5,200), and Terance Mann ($4,000) -- are givens, but I'd also throw Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,800) and Saddiq Bey ($5,600) into consideration given the game will be more competitive.
Domantas Sabonis ($10,200) got the same tax as Fox, which is just odd considering the pair were an overall dud in Tuesday's blowout.
He and Jerami Grant are the only places to spend above $7,500 in salary at big, so I highly prefer Sabonis. At least Sabonis' FanDuel-point-per-minute rate (1.34) isn't built on 55.3% shooting from three. Plus, Domas could see a lift in rebounding if Murray's 4.35 boards per 36 minutes are off the floor for a guard.
The mid-range here is as delectable as at guard. Marvin Bagley III ($5,700) should start at the five in place of Stewart for Detroit, and Jalen Duren ($5,200) will likely mix in off the bench. Ivica Zubac ($6,000) should chow against the undersized pairing right as his salary has dropped, as well.
The aforementioned Jusuf Nurkic ($6,600) has seen his salary drop to a point where he'll be a well-projected value if he plays.
The lone person I'd avoid here that's projected well by numberFire is Nic Claxton ($6,400). He hasn't eclipsed 20 minutes in back-to-back games as Brooklyn tries to configure lineups around Durant.