If you’re new to daily fantasy basketball — maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot — you’re in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and — depending on injury news — even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.
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.
Daily fantasy basketball is very reliant on a player’s opportunity, so you’ll need to make sure 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.
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.
Luka Doncic ($11,800): Despite scoring 76.6 FanDuel points in his last outing, Doncic’s FanDuel salary stands at his lowest point this month against a Los Angeles Lakers‘ team allowing the second most fantasy points (51.3 FanDuel points) per game to his position. numberFire’s models currently project the Mavericks’ superstar to record 29.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 8.6 assists.
Ja Morant ($10,100): At his median salary point in December, Morant has an underrated spot versus a Golden State Warriors‘ unit ranked 25th in defensive rating and fantasy points allowed per game to point guards. In his three appearances last season versus the World Champions, Morant averaged 26.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists.
James Harden ($9,400): Even after his impressive triple double performance on Friday, Harden stands at his second lowest salary this month against a New York Knicks‘ team ranked ninth in defensive rating. In his last 312.0 minutes, Harden is averaging 1.20 FanDuel points per minute and a 26.1% usage rate.
Jrue Holiday ($8,700): At his highest salary point in December, Milwaukee’s guard is producing 1.20 fantasy points, 0.15 rebounds, and 0.24 assists per minute with Khris Middleton unlikely to suit up with a knee injury.
Chris Paul ($7,900): If Devin Booker is unable to play through his questionable designation with a quad injury, Paul is producing 1.09 FanDuel points, 0.14 rebounds, and 0.26 assists in 248.9 minutes this season with Booker off the floor.
RJ Barrett ($7,300): Since December 9th, Barrett has been on a tear offensively, leading his team in shot attempts (0.49) and usage (28.3%) while averaging 0.71 real-life points and 1.02 FanDuel points per minute.
Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,500): In the last week, Dinwiddle’s FanDuel salary has moved down 4.4% to his lowest point this month. The veteran is averaging 0.72 FanDuel points in 113.5 minutes with the Mavericks’ current injuries.
Marcus Smart ($6,400): Even at his highest point this month, Smart’s FanDuel salary has only moved up 3.2% since the start of this month. Boston’s point guard is averaging 0.88 FanDuel points, 0.11 rebounds, and 0.19 assists during this time period.
De’Anthony Melton ($6,300): Philadelphia’s fifth-year guard is producing 0.88 FanDuel points, 0.20 rebounds, and 0.10 assists in 137.6 minutes since his return on December 16th.
Donte DiVincenzo ($6,000): After a two game absence with an illness, the 25-year old’s FanDuel salary has moved down 6.2%. DiVincenzo is recording 0.93 FanDuel points, 0.18 rebounds, and 0.16 assists with Sunday’s expected inactives.
Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,500): Among the Mavericks’ starting lineup, Hardaway ranks third in fantasy output (0.58 FanDuel points), usage (19.6%), rebounds (0.13), and shot attempts (0.35).
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000): At his highest salary this season, Antetokounmpo is expected to score 55.2 FanDuel points against a Boston Celtics‘ unit ranked 12th in points allowed in the paint and seventh in defensive rating. In this particular matchup last season, “The Greek Alphabet” averaged 28.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
LeBron James ($11,000): “King James” sees a 0.11 increase in his fantasy production in 381.7 minutes with Anthony Davis off the floor this season. In his last six appearances, James is averaging 0.89 real-life points, 1.49 FanDuel points, 0.17 rebounds, and 0.21 assists.
Jayson Tatum ($10,800): After a 3.5% salary drop, Tatum’s value rating stands at 4.21 with a 45.4 fantasy point expectation against a Bucks’ unit giving up 40.9 FanDuel points per game to his position.
Jaylen Brown ($8,800): Even in a tough matchup versus a Milwaukee Bucks team ranked third in defensive rating and first in opposing true shooting percentage, Browns is projected to score 24.2 real-life points and 38.8 FanDuel points at his highest salary in December.
Christian Wood ($7,500): In his last five starts, Wood is producing 1.06 FanDuel points, 0.28 rebounds, and 0.35 shot attempts per minute. The 27-year old has a great spot to attack a Los Angeles Lakers‘ defense ranked 25th in points allowed in the paint and 27th in fantasy points allowed per game to centers.
Mikal Bridges ($7,100): Bridges’ FanDuel salary has decreased 5.3% since December 20th after Phoenix’s forward averaged 12.0 fantasy points in his last two appearances.
Draymond Green ($6,500): Despite a 10.1% salary increase in the past week, Golden State’s versatile forward rates as an optimal choice at his positions, with 32.9 expected FanDuel points and a 5.06 value rating.
Al Horford ($5,300): Since his return on December 16th, Horford is averaging 1.02 FanDuel points, 0.26 rebounds, and 0.08 assists in 113.7 minutes. At his lowest salary point this month, the 36-year old is a viable mid-salary option with a 5.59 value rating and 29.6 expected FanDuel points.
Torrey Craig ($5,000): Phoenix’s veteran accounts for 0.88 FanDuel points, 0.24 rebounds, and 0.29 shot attempts per minute with Phoenix’s current inactives against a Nuggets’ squad ranked 20th (45.0) in fantasy points allowed to his position.
Nikola Jokic ($12,200): In an underrated spot versus a Phoenix Suns‘ team ranked 15th (51.6) in FanDuel points allowed per game to centers, numberFire’s models project Jokic to record 59.2 FanDuel points at his second highest salary in December. Denver’s two-time MVP is having his best offensive month this season, averaging 28.9 real-life points on 18.6 shot attempts.
Joel Embiid ($11,600): Despite a tough matchup against a New York Knicks‘ unit allowing 42.9 FanDuel points and 16.5 real-life points per game to his position, Embiid is still expected to score 53.1 fantasy points. Philadelphia’s superstar is averaging 1.60 FanDuel points, 0.27 rebounds, and 0.59 shot attempts this season.
Deandre Ayton ($8,000): Phoenix’s big man sees a 0.07 boost to 1.25 FanDuel points per minute in 200.2 minutes this season if Booker is unable to suit up against a Denver team ranked 22nd in points allowed in the paint per game and 26th in opposing true shooting percentage.