FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 11/22/22
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
There might be more traffic on today's four-game injury report than yesterday's eight-game one.
That starts with the shorthanded 76ers. They were already without James Harden (foot), and Tyrese Maxey injured his foot on Friday, as well, and he's projected to miss some time. But, even worse, Joel Embiid will miss this game due to a foot injury, too. Thankfully, Tobias Harris (hip) is probable to captain the ship.
Wait, there's more! We've still got the Nuggets battling a COVID-19 bug. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are once again doubtful to play, and Aaron Gordon is a true question mark. On the other side, add Saddiq Bey (ankle) to the list of Detroit absences that includes Cade Cunningham (shin) and Isaiah Stewart (toe).
Irving returned to just 26 minutes on Sunday from his suspension, but that'll likely encroach 30-plus tonight as he ramps back to speed. At salary, Irving's 1.16 FanDuel points per minute are close enough for government work given the dire state of guard today.
There's plenty of depth behind him, though. De'Anthony Melton ($7,400) exploded with 49 FanDuel points in Maxey's absence on Sunday, but it was largely due to 6 steals. His scoring role could get much better tonight without Embiid, too.
Beyond Melton, there are plenty of viable guards who aren't bargains but are viable given the injuries on their squads. Russell Westbrook ($7,200) works if LeBron sits again. Jaden Ivey ($6,900) should be considered for another 30 real-life points with both Cunningham and Bey out for the Pistons. Cameron Payne ($6,800) has taken on CP3's role, and Bruce Brown Jr. ($6,100) works assuming Jokic and Murray sit again.
However, one shining star gleams at the top of our projections -- Memphis' Tyus Jones ($5,900), who has always filled in admirably for Ja Morant should Ja end up sitting. Nah'Shon Hyland ($6,500), Shake Milton ($5,800), and Alec Burks ($4,700) are three others grading well in the projections behind Jones.
I just don't see the reason to get to Kevin Durant ($11,000) with Kyrie back. Durant's pace of 46.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Irving on the floor is atrocious for this salary -- one largely crafted during Kyrie's suspension.
Instead, I'd love for LeBron James ($10,800) to return in his place. He's a true question mark, but it would be a low-popularity way to access the Lakers and effectively squash the conundrum of Westbrook and Anthony Davis ($11,500) on this slate.
Tobias Harris ($8,500) has played just four minutes with all three of Harden, Embiid, and Maxey off the floor -- but the early returns are promising. That includes a sizable 33.3% usage rate for this salary. He's a staple that should hinder some of the other Sixers scorers around him.
Speaking of wings returning to carry the load, the Grizzlies now will default to Dillon Brooks ($8,000). Brooks has a 35.5% usage rate with both Bane and Morant off the floor this season, but this salary is unnerving given 68.7% of Brooks' FanDuel output in that floor condition has come scoring. He's cooked with a cold night scoring -- and not viable if Morant plays.
Michael Porter Jr. ($6,200) can't really create his own shot, so he's actually taken a step back with Jokic out. I will say this -- his ceiling is much higher today, at lower popularity, against Detroit's 117.7 defensive rating (second-worst in the NBA).
Porter Jr. is among the headliners of today's projections at wing, joined by teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,300). Detroit teammates Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,800) and Hamidou Diallo ($3,800) project well in that same contest, and Keegan Murray ($5,200), Lonnie Walker ($5,200), and Danuel House Jr. ($4,500) are also options.
Ignoring injuries, the 232.0-point total in Memphis is gigantic, so we've got to put Domantas Sabonis ($9,500) on the menu at big. His production rate (1.29 FanDuel points per minute) is not bad at all for the salary in a supreme environment.
With four straight over 58 FanDuel points, I don't want to cross off Anthony Davis, either -- so long as LeBron remains out. He's posted 1.72 FanDuel points per minute with LBJ off the floor this year, so this salary that seems high actually isn't.
Jaren Jackson Jr. ($8,200) has done Triple-J things to start his campaign, including an average of 1.54 FanDuel points per minute over his first two games. He could go bananas unleashed into a full role without Morant.
Aaron Gordon ($6,700) is a tremendous option if he plays, but DeAndre Jordan ($5,700) is if he doesn't. Jordan posted 8 points and 17 boards in 34 minutes on Sunday, so don't discount his floor if A.G. doesn't return Tuesday.
The big spots today are projecting poorly across the board, but Nic Claxton ($5,500), Marvin Bagley III ($5,200), and P.J. Tucker ($4,700) are three decent spots in the projections at present. I'd also throw in whoever starts between Montrezl Harrell ($5,300) and Paul Reed ($5,000), but neither are can't-miss plays due to their precautionary salary bumps.