FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 1/31/23

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

Away Home Game
LA LakersNew York230.5113.5117.0521
LA ClippersChicago226114.5111.52315
New OrleansDenver232112.8119.31018

After yesterday's rest day, LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (foot) will likely return tonight in New York, but it's no certainty. Davis is likely to play, but Darvin Ham said James is dealing with tremendous discomfort. We'll wait on the Lakers to submit their official injury report to the league office this afternoon, but we have plenty of other activity now.

Jimmy Butler (quad) and Gabe Vincent (ankle) are listed as questionable for Miami but appear on track to play. It's worth monitoring. They're in Cleveland, and the Cavs are unsure if they'll have Kevin Love (back) available for this one.

The Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) listed as probable, but we have seen that doesn't mean he's out of the woods entirely. Charlotte will be without Cody Martin (knee) on the other side.

The Clippers have a trio of questionables in Chicago: Marcus Morris (ribs), Reggie Jackson (Achilles), and Robert Covington (personal). The Bulls are still missing Javonte Green (knee).

Finally, Denver has Jamal Murray (knee) listed as questionable tonight as they host the Pelicans. NOLA is at full strength sans the long-term absences of Zion Williamson (hamstring) and Dyson Daniels (knee).


LaMelo Ball ($8,000) should be excruciatingly popular tonight -- and for good reason.

Even with Buzz City at full strength, Ball has a 30.0% usage rate this season, which he's turned into 44.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes. He's shot only 9-for-32 (28.1%) since returning from injury, but the second that changes, he'll detonate this salary.

Guard is pretty fun behind Ball, too. Donovan Mitchell ($8,100) is well below his season median salary after playing just 20 minutes in a blowout on Sunday. That was his first game back from injury, but he should be a full-go tonight.

Also in this area, C.J. McCollum ($8,000) averages 40.9 FanDuel points per 36 as long as Zion is off the floor. The returning Brandon Ingram ($7,000) shouldn't scare us off McCollum against a Nuggets team ceding the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to point guards.

Kyle Lowry ($5,200) would be an exceptional value if Butler sits, but he's fine in a modest role at present. Jrue Holiday ($7,700), Jalen Brunson ($7,500), Immanuel Quickley ($5,200), and Ayo Dosunmu ($4,100) are also showing well in the projections.

Plus, don't forget Russell Westbrook ($6,700) if LeBron remains out. Russ averages 45.0 FanDuel points per 36 with Davis on the floor and James off it.


Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,200) is going to be a tough ask at salary if we don't see some of the value options emerge from the injury report. Still, he's recorded more than 68 FanDuel points in back-to-back contests, and Charlotte's defensive rating (115.6) is atrocious. He's got to be on our radar.

It doesn't help Giannis' case that the upper-mid-range is loaded here today. In addition to the aforementioned Ingram (39.7 FanDuel points per 36 without Zion), Paul George ($8,300) and Zach LaVine ($7,200) are under-salaried in their matchup.

Even with L.A. and Chicago at full strength, George averages 43.5 FanDuel points per 36, and LaVine has posted 36.8. It's no surprise they're projecting well with a modest 226.0-point total in "The Windy City."

With Jamal Murray ify, Michael Porter Jr. ($5,900) might become incredibly interesting. He sees a 1.0 percentage-point increase in usage with Blue Arrow off the floor. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,900) could also see a few more shots if Murray is out.

Those two aren't the only sources of value, though. RJ Barrett ($6,800), Herbert Jones ($4,800), and Quentin Grimes ($4,100) are all projecting well in full-time roles, and Joe Ingles ($3,900) has seen 25-plus minutes -- mostly next to Giannis -- in three straight.

Tyler Herro ($7,100) would also enter the mix if Butler sat tonight in Cleveland.


Nikola Jokic ($11,400) isn't a key priority if Murray plays, but if Murray sits, you could do worse than locking 59.4 FanDuel points per 36 into your center spot.

The problem is that two other big-time studs fill these spots and are a higher priority for me: Anthony Davis ($10,200) if LeBron sits and Julius Randle ($9,400) no matter what.

Davis turns a whopping 32.0% usage rate into 66.3 FanDuel points per 36 with James off the floor. That clears Jokic at a salary that is $1,200 less. Randle has surpassed 43.0 FanDuel points in 18 of his last 20 games, so his floor is absurdly high versus a Lakers team ceding the fourth-most FanDuel points to centers.

Behind them, Bam Adebayo ($8,700) would become Miami's leading FanDuel producer if Butler sits. Opposite Bam, Jarrett Allen ($7,000) is projecting well, and, holding the much lower salary, he fits our usual process between him and Evan Mobley.

It's a good thing we have so many studs here and value elsewhere. It's pretty tough sledding at center value-wise except for Ivica Zubac ($5,600), whose minutes tend to mirror the opposing team's gameplan at center. The Bulls usually commit to Nikola Vucevic all game, so Zubac will likely have a full role in this one.

Others projecting moderately well at the big-man spots are Jonas Valanciunas ($6,600), PJ Washington ($6,100), and Jericho Sims ($4,700).