FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 12/9/22
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. 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 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
We're watching a few spots, though. That includes Donovan Mitchell, who is questionable for the Cavaliers with an ankle issue. For the visiting Kings in that one, De'Aaron Fox (foot) and Terence Davis II (ankle) are also questionable.
It's a story of big men in Indiana, though. Myles Turner (hamstring) is questionable to play for the Pacers, and Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) is uncertain for the Wizards. Isaiah Jackson (knee) and Will Barton (foot) are a couple of other question marks in that game.
The injury bug just continues to bite the Hawks. Dejounte Murray rolled his ankle on Wednesday and will miss time. Curiously, they've got De'Andre Hunter (hip) listed as questionable, which means he's a bit ahead of schedule.
The Jazz were missing Lauri Markkanen (illness) on Wednesday, and he's questionable again on Friday. Collin Sexton (hamstring) left that one early and won't play Friday, but Mike Conley (leg) is questionable to return, potentially taking his spot in the lineup.
Thankfully, there's not a ton up in the air for a 10-game slate. It's decently manageable as we sit here around midday.
It shouldn't be a surprise that Trae Young ($9,700) is popping up as the top stud at guard today in our projections.
With the injury to Dejounte, Young's role should be outstanding. He's had an absurd 43.7% usage rate with Murray off the floor this season, and that mark over the full season would lead the NBA by three percentage points. He's also posted 55.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. Don't let Wednesday's clunker -- in a blowout -- dissuade you from the obvious.
Behind him, Darius Garland ($8,300) is already projecting well, but his role could get a lot better. Donnie Mitch wasn't seen at shootaround today, and Garland's salary is far too low if he's left alone in the Cavs' backcourt tonight. He's posted 43.8 FanDuel points per 36 with Mitchell off the floor this year with a 4.2-percentage-point uptick in usage.
James Harden ($9,300), Terry Rozier ($7,800), and Chris Paul ($7,000) are also projecting well in the upper mid-range, so I just don't believe we've got the space today -- especially with minimal punt-level value -- to prioritize Luka Doncic ($11,800).
Speaking of punt-level value, there is obviously some in Aaron Holiday ($3,500), who logged 30 minutes in Dejounte's absence on Wednesday.
In that same vein, Dyson Daniels ($4,400) is likely in line for significantly more work if Jose Alvarado can't go for NOLA, and the pair are joined by Monte Morris ($5,500) and Markelle Fultz ($4,600) near the top of the value board. Obviously, add Davion Mitchell ($4,000) as a no-brainer option if De'Aaron Fox can't go.
At salary, I don't mind Kevin Durant ($10,300). At worst, his lofty role with Brooklyn has allowed to him to score a minimum of 42 FanDuel points in each of his last eight games. He's a safe way to spend in cash games.
I'd just like to warn all of you about Anthony Edwards ($8,800) today. His FanDuel production can't possibly last, recording at least five steals in each of his past three games. He hadn't recorded five in a game before this stretch. He's got a good role with Karl-Anthony Towns on the shelf, but his salary has come from luck.
Especially if Porzingis sits, today will be the Kyle Kuzma ($7,500) show for Washington. He's held a 32.0% usage rate with Porzingis and Bradley Beal off the floor for the Wiz this year, which has parlayed into 38.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. He'll be one of the most popular plays on the slate if K.P. is out.
Khris Middleton ($6,900) should balloon in salary soon. He was up to 29 minutes played on Wednesday, posting 32.3 FanDuel points. His emergence has me trepidatious about Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700), who was salaried for his lofty role without him. Milwaukee has an unnerving amount of quality scoring for DFS.
Especially considering Orlando's dumpster-fire, "hot hand" approach at point guard, Franz Wagner ($5,900) is an obvious way to access a modest 221.0-point total against Toronto. He's near the top of our projections in terms of value score today, followed by Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,700), Deni Avdija ($5,500), Kyle Anderson ($5,100), AJ Griffin ($4,600), and Corey Kispert ($3,900).
Siakam's role is a miniature version of Nikola Jokic's. His production can come in any category, but at the end of the day, Siakam's posted at least 47 FanDuel points in his past three games with just a 28.5% usage rate in his past three games. That's the lowest of any player above $10,000.
From there, we can pivot to the solid environment in Cleveland. Domantas Sabonis ($8,800) averages 46.2 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Fox off the floor, so he's a great bet if "Swipa" doesn't play. On the other side, Jarrett Allen ($6,900) remains woefully under-salaried against a Kings squad that cedes the sixth-most paint points per game (52.8).
Rudy Gobert ($7,400) is appropriately salaried following a $700 increase, but he's still in a phenomenal spot entering a revenge game in Utah. The Jazz have allowed the third-most FanDuel points per game to opposing centers.
Just like Wednesday, PJ Washington ($5,900) stands out tremendously in the mid-range in his full role. There are some traps -- in terms of inconsistent minutes -- when looking for value at the big spots today, but our model thinks Clint Capela ($6,200) and Mitchell Robinson ($5,800) could be a handsome reward if given full minutes as projected.