FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 11/28/22
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
|Oklahoma City||New Orleans||232||113.0||119.0||6||17|
If it's not one Laker, it's the other.
Per today's injury report, it's a toss-up if Anthony Davis (calf) misses a second straight game, but LeBron James (leg) is probable. For the opposing Pacers, Andrew Nembhard (knee) is questionable at best.
Speaking of help on the way, Toronto has three potential additions tonight against Cleveland. Pascal Siakam (adductor), Scottie Barnes (knee), and Dalano Banton (ankle) have all been upgraded to questionable. For the Cavs, Jarrett Allen (back) and Lamar Stevens (illness) are out.
The Wizards can't seem to keep the band together. Kyle Kuzma (back) and Rui Hachimura (ankle) are up in the air for tonight's game against Minnesota. The T-Wolves might also be without Jaden McDaniels (illness).
With C.J. McCollum still in COVID-19 protocols, the Pelicans are now also listing Brandon Ingram (toe) as doubtful for Monday's game. Larry Nance Jr. (shoulder) and Naji Marshall (illness) are also questionable. Surprisingly, the hosting Oklahoma City Thunder are at full strength.
Get out your pen and paper for Orlando's injury report today. All of these dudes are questionable: Wendell Carter Jr. (foot), Jalen Suggs (ankle), Cole Anthony (oblique), Markelle Fultz (toe), Mohamed Bamba (back), Chuma Okeke (knee), and Terrence Ross (illness). Yuta Watanabe (hamstring) is the lone listing for Brooklyn.
Dropping salaries have made the guard spots a bit simpler today than before the weekend.
To me, that starts with Devin Booker ($9,200). He's now fairly salaried given a production rate of 44.6 FanDuel points per 36 minutes without Chris Paul on the floor this season, and his usage rate (30.2%) is still excellent. He's facing an also-reduced mark on De'Aaron Fox ($8,900) in a game with a 232.5-point total because Sacramento plays fast without much defense.
The other guards up here with a reduced salary are Dejounte Murray ($9,100) and Kyrie Irving ($8,100), who are also the only guards besides Booker above $8,000 with a value score exceeding 4.75 in our projections.
Then, we can really turn to injury-laden squads for guys to buy low. That starts with Terry Rozier ($7,400) in a revenge game against Boston. Rozier's 31.6% usage rate without Ball, Smith, and Gordon Hayward is stellar for the salary. I'd feel better about the 10.5-point spread there if Tatum sits.
Plus, De'Anthony Melton ($6,200) has dropped back to a desirable salary given that the six-steal game is well behind him. It's too low of a mark given a rate of 36.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes since Tyrese Maxey's injury.
Salary savings remains the theme behind Melton in our projections, including a reduced mark on Booker's teammate Cameron Payne ($6,100) in the same stellar environment. Those two are joined by Collin Sexton ($5,100), Dennis Schroder ($4,800), Jose Alvarado ($4,700), and Seth Curry ($4,400) for now -- and likely an Orlando guard or two once their injury report is clearer towards lock.
Given the 237.5-point total in Los Angeles, LeBron James ($10,200) is a stellar target today.
If Davis sits, he averages 52.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes in that floor condition on a gaudy 36.1% usage rate. If A.D. plays, that'll significantly reduce his popularity in the best game environment of the day, and his production (48.6 FanDuel points per 36) hasn't been terrible, either.
The mid-range is also pretty deep. Anyone who faded Jaylen Brown ($8,500) in Tatum's absence yesterday was fortunate he didn't add many peripheral stats to a 36-real-point scoring effort. He's an elite option if J.T. sits again.
We've also seen Anthony Edwards ($7,600) explode past 45 FanDuel points on four occasions this year. Any time his salary dips into the mid $7,000 range, he's due for another monster scoring effort.
Plus, Franz Wagner ($6,900) has a fair salary in the mid-range given he's one of Orlando's few known starters at this stage, and the salary of Zach LaVine ($6,700) is inching down each slate. He's projected at the median for 35.0 points, per numberFire, today.
LaVine isn't the only source of per-dollar value on this slate. Our model likes Herbert Jones ($4,600) and Trey Murphy III ($4,300) in Ingram's stead for the Pels, and those two are joined by Gary Trent Jr. ($5,200), Keegan Murray ($4,800), Deni Avdija ($4,400), and Patrick Williams ($4,100) at the top of the projections in that category.
It's far from a coincidence Nikola Jokic ($11,200) has surged in Michael Porter's absence.
Jokic is averaging just 54.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with both MPJ and Jamal Murray ($6,800) on the floor. That surges to 59.6 with both off the floor. Any combination of the two missing is what typically lends his MVP-level numbers to return, so he's viable in Houston tonight if Porter sits again.
With Murray active, I just don't see him as the priority up here. There are a few other elite plays, including Domantas Sabonis ($8,800) at a massive discount entering this supreme environment with Phoenix. Sabonis is an offensive funk where his usage rate in the past six games (17.3%) is in the toilet. It was 24.6% last year. I just can't see it this low forever.
Usage won't be an issue for Zion Williamson ($7,800) without McCollum and Ingram. He's at a 34.5% rate with those two off the floor this season. He's the best play up here overall against a Thunder squad that struggles with size.
Analytically, the Lakers have allowed the third-most FanDuel points to centers. Anecdotally, Myles Turner ($7,900) has made it no secret he wants to be in L.A. You don't think he and Buddy Hield ($6,500) are prepared to show out for Jeanie Buss in her building?
Beyond Zion and Turner, another reason I can't prioritize Jokic is some of today's mid-range at center. The Jazz have allowed the second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing centers, and Nikola Vucevic ($7,500) draws them today. Rudy Gobert ($7,100) has an incredibly low salary for three straight games with double-digit boards, too.
Nights like this are where I wish I had more spots for big men. Beyond all of these guys, Evan Mobley ($7,200), John Collins ($5,400), and Kelly Olynyk ($5,300) top our projections in per-dollar value.