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
|New Orleans||San Antonio||230||118.5||111.5||18||8|
|LA Clippers||Golden State||223||106.8||116.3||23||1|
Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family, so it's good we'll see plenty of familiar friends and faces on Wednesday's injury report.
That starts with the 76ers, who will continue without their trio of foot injuries: James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and Joel Embiid. They're in Charlotte, and the Hornets will be without LaMelo Ball (ankle) once again.
It feels like the Heat are always shorthanded. Jimmy Butler (hip) is already out, and Tyler Herro (ankle), Gabe Vincent (knee), Max Strus (shoulder), and Haywood Highsmith (hip) are all potentially in line to join him. The opposing Wizards are listing Bradley Beal (quad), Rui Hachimura (ankle), and Monte Morris (ankle) as questionable on their side.
The Spurs could be without the services of both Jakob Poeltl (knee) and Josh Richardson (hamstring) tonight. Richardson is actually doubtful for this tilt with the Pelicans, who have Trey Murphy III (foot) listed as questionable on their side.
Elsewhere, Aleksej Pokusevski (ankle) will miss another game for Oklahoma City. They're hosting Denver, who should absolutely be watched given their illness bug and a back-to-back situation. Only Nah'Shon Hyland (illness) is listed now; Bones didn't finish last night's game due to the bug.
Even on a 15-game slate, there just isn't a large amount of fresh injury news to make Luka Doncic ($12,000) a supreme play at his salary.
Doncic is viable, but in a matchup with the Celtics that holds just a 218.5-point total, last game's clunker shows how dependent Luka is to score 30-plus real-life points. It can happen, but I'd rather turn elsewhere.
That elsewhere, for me, is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,500). He's had consecutive duds to lower his popularity, but his 31.6% usage rate in this time (versus 32.2% overall) tells me there's no real significant worry. Denver has allowed the 12th-most points and 3rd-most assists to opposing point guards.
The game of the day is a wild, back-and-forth shootout between Sacramento and Atlanta. Trae Young ($9,700) and De'Aaron Fox ($9,600) should both be popular choices from it, but I kind of love the angle of playing Dejounte Murray ($9,500) over both at microscopic popularity. Murray's cold shooting stretch has seen him fail to eclipse 36 FanDuel points in four straight.
Kyrie Irving ($8,700) did return to 30 minutes last night, but he didn't do a lot with them. Still, we need upside on this slate, and no other guards at or below his salary have broken 60 FanDuel points in a higher percentage of games (20.0%).
In terms of value at this spot today, Collin Sexton ($4,700) is flashing in a near-30-minute role with Mike Conley still sidelined. He's followed by a pretty deep group of value plugs that includes Josh Giddey ($6,800), Jordan Clarkson ($6,300), D'Angelo Russell ($6,300), Reggie Jackson ($5,500), Bennedict Mathurin ($5,400), and Detroit's Alec Burks ($4,600).
It was great to see Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800) bounce back with a 37-point scoring effort, and it's an indictment he's healthy entering this game. However, it's not a game I love.
Both Milwaukee and Chicago play at an average pace, our model is siding with the Bucks in a convincing fashion. You'll want a tight affair to the end to pay off Giannis' salary, and if Middleton returns, that's key usage Giannis needs heading elsewhere.
Instead, I plan on targeting the upper-mid-range in droves. Tobias Harris ($8,500) had a stellar 31.3% usage rate for the shorthanded Sixers last night, and Jaylen Brown ($8,500) will be a must if Tatum does end up sitting. After all, this is a chance for an extended break if teams hold players out tonight. Lauri Markkanen ($7,900) also rules against Detroit's 117.5 defensive rating (second-worst in the NBA).
Keldon Johnson ($7,000) is shooting just 40.3% from the field in November, but he's had a team-best 28.7% usage rate in this time. It's too good to just not assume shots will eventually fall. In this same range, Zach LaVine ($6,900) and Andrew Wiggins ($6,500) have nice salaries for their roles -- if you think those games stay tight.
Opposite Wiggins, Norman Powell ($5,100), Marcus Morris ($4,900), and Terance Mann ($3,700) should benefit most from the Clips' star duo sitting. Mann, at the lowest salary, is likely the only one who'd see minutes in a potential blowout, though.
The Clippers are unsurprisingly heading the value section at wing today, but Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,900), Gary Trent Jr. ($5,500), Herbert Jones ($4,600), and Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,000) aren't far behind. Kevin Knox ($3,500) also has a 25-minute role at the minimum salary if you need a plug there.
Assuming he's good to go, Nikola Jokic ($10,500) makes a ton of sense opposite SGA in a mini-stack.
OKC just doesn't have the size to guard Jokic, allowing the fifth-most rebounds per game to opposing centers. He returned to 36 minutes last night, but it's no sure thing he plays. It was remarkable he played that much after a week off last night as is.
I'll also take swipes at Domantas Sabonis ($9,500) despite last night's disappointment. He scored just 9 points as Fox dropped 32. On most nights, if he's adding 13 boards and 8 assists, he's a guy we'll want at this salary. Plus, John Collins ($5,600) is a great mini-stack in this game with him; he's exceeded 27 FanDuel points in three of his past four.
There's a trio behind them of fluffed salaries due to recent monstrous outings, including Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,000), Bam Adebayo ($8,800), and Kristaps Porzingis ($8,600). The latter two have a path to key injury news that will bump their projection, but I'm inclined to sell high there -- especially considering the mid-range.
That's led by Zion Williamson ($8,000), who due to cold shooting and injuries has dropped to the third-highest-salaried Pelican. We'll take that in a sublime matchup with San Antonio. Nikola Vucevic ($7,800) also pairs well with Giannis if you believe Chicago hangs tight.
The game in Cleveland is a great spot as well with Jarrett Allen ($6,900) well below his median salary last year, and on the other side, Jusuf Nurkic ($6,100) got 31 minutes in his last contest as they lean on him a bit more with Damian Lillard out.
Boston's duo ofAl Horford ($5,500) and Grant Williams ($4,400) are projecting well now, and that would only rise with Tatum sitting out Wednesday's contest. Behind them, Ivica Zubac ($5,800), Draymond Green ($5,800), Kelly Olynyk ($5,300), Jarred Vanderbilt ($4,800), and Jeremy Sochan ($4,400) are shining, too.