FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 1/23/23
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 come 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
Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) and Khris Middleton (knee) are probable to return in Detroit tonight, which should finally reunite the Bucks' big three. Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) will sit for the home side, and Killian Hayes (shoulder) is questionable.
Rudy Gobert (groin) is questionable to miss a fourth straight for Minnesota. They're in Houston to battle a Rockets squad that could be down Jabari Smith (ankle). Taurean Prince (ankle) is also questionable for the T-Wolves.
Boston's backcourt will be thin on Monday. Marcus Smart (ankle) and Malcolm Brogdon (personal) are already ruled out for the C's, and Robert Williams (knee management) might also miss their game in Orlando. Jonathan Isaac is expected to make his season debut for the Magic after tearing his ACL in 2020.
The Hawks rested Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) on Saturday. He'll likely return Monday, but Onyeka Okongwu (hamstring) is a bit more uncertain from his questionable tag. Goran Dragic (illness) is questionable for the hosting Chicago Bulls in that one.
Lillard's struggling Trail Blazers are just eight-point favorites over the lowly Spurs, and Dame could be dangerous with four quarters to work. San Antonio holds the league's worst defensive rating (119.4) and allows the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to point guards. Anfernee Simons ($6,100) should also benefit from this matchup and can fill both guard spots.
As for Ja, his streak of eight straight games under 50 FanDuel points could end in explosive fashion tonight. The 246.5-point total in Sacramento between the two squads is overwhelming. Both are also top-seven squads in pace, so De'Aaron Fox ($8,300) is naturally in play and projected well on the Kings' side.
Opposite Lillard, Tre Jones ($6,500) isn't a bad mini-stack option. He averages 37.2 FanDuel points per 36 with Devin Vassell off the floor. However, he'd be a fourth point-guard-only option in the mix, so D'Angelo Russell ($6,500) might be more realistic in a dream matchup with Houston, who cede the most FanDuel points per game to floor generals.
Given the absences, the Boston guys -- Derrick White ($5,500) and Payton Pritchard ($3,900) -- are the obvious starting points of value at guard today, but Jaden Ivey ($6,100) and Mike Conley ($5,700) are also showing well through the projections.
Realistically, Giannis isn't coming back to a gigantic workload, and he regularly was disappointing with the Bucks at full health even when at full strength himself. This slate's wing group takes off in the mid-range.
It surprised no one in NBA circles that Anthony Edwards ($8,900) exploded for 44 real-life points in H-Town on Saturday. The Rockets' awful defense is always a candidate. So long as Rudy Gobert sits again, I'll be here. Edwards sees a substantial, uncoincidental increase of 6.12 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Gobert off the floor.
Behind him, Jaylen Brown ($8,400) has averaged 40.5 FanDuel points in two games since returning while shooting just 39.0%. He's wildly undersalaried if the shots start to fall. I can say the same about DeMar DeRozan ($8,000), who returned on Thursday with 37 minutes and 48.6 FanDuel points.
Desmond Bane ($7,800) has posted over 35 FanDuel points in six straight, too. In his marquee environment, he's really the final of these top-shelf options before we get to a loaded tier of value plugs. You could also throw in Keldon Johnson ($7,100) opposite Dame and the Blazers.
In a revenge spot, the headliner has to be Gordon Hayward ($5,200). Hayward dropped 30.5 FanDuel points in 25 minutes during his return on Saturday, and his court time should increase tonight. However, we've also got Kenyon Martin Jr. ($5,300) filling in for some combination of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jabari Smith, and Keegan Murray ($5,300) has staked his claim on a full-time role in Sacramento entering the potential shootout tonight.
Our model never has Domantas Sabonis ($10,100) projected very well, so his 5.01 value score (at this moment) speaks volumes entering the shootout atmosphere with Memphis.
Center is an interesting value proposition. This latest three-game hot stretch will likely shift plenty onto Alperen Sengun ($8,400), but his salary has risen with the production climbing, and he's shot a white-hot 73.8% in this stretch. He's not a bad play, but there should be more pause at this mark.
The position is also stacked with fading salaries that, long-term, have a better prognosis. Chief among them is Jusuf Nurkic ($7,200), who faces the dreadful Spurs defense averaging 42.1 FanDuel points per 36. He's seen only 22.3 minutes over his past three, so the team could be moving away from their big man. Jerami Grant ($6,600) is also projecting well for Portland in a more stable role.
I'd also throw in Steven Adams ($6,900), who averages 39.9 FanDuel points per 36. He's seen at least 25 minutes in three straight and provides more exposure to Grizz-Kings, too. Clint Capela ($6,200) will round out my center exposure if Okongwu does sit tonight in Chicago.
If Timelord sits for the C's, Al Horford ($5,500) will and should leap into must-play territory at power forward spots. However, there are plenty of alternatives projecting well in this range, including Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,600), John Collins ($6,000), Jalen Duren ($5,700), and Jeremy Sochan ($5,100).