FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 18/12/21

The NBA scene changes from week to week, day to day, and – depending on the news about injuries – even minute to minute, making each slate unique and requiring an ever-changing approach.

Because things change so quickly, we’re here with plenty of resources to help you. We’ve got daily projections, a matchup heatmap, a lineup optimizer, and a ton of other great resources to give you a head start.

Daily Fantasy NBA is very reliant on odds so you need to make sure you are aware of any major injuries. Our forecasts are updated to the tip-off to reflect current news, and we also have news updates for players. The expected numbers referenced below may change during the day.

We come to you every day with this introduction, breaking down some of the best actions of the day in each position.


Jrue Holiday, PG/SG, (FanDuel Salary: $9,300) – Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to be out, and with him out of the last two games, Holiday has hit a juicy 36.2% usage rate. Bobby Portis was out for just one of those games — the last one — and in it Holiday had a 39.2% utilization rate, which was 19.0 percentage points higher than anyone else on the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 55.5 and 52.8 FanDuel points over the last two. Against a Cleveland Cavaliers squad that has allowed the eighth most FanDuel points per game to point guards (47.7), Holiday is an excellent game.

Bradley Beal, SG, $8,100 – As of early Saturday afternoon, Beal is the second best option per dollar of all players with a salary of $8,000 or more, according to our model. He’s up against the Utah Jazz, who should have been gassed a bit after playing a thriller last night against the San Antonio Spurs. Beal has logged at least 36 minutes in two of the last three games, and has a team best usage rate of 30.2% during that period. Despite the Jazz’s defensive power, our algorithm pegs Beal at 40.8 FanDuel points (5.04 per $1,000). There is a risk of explosion at the Washington Wizards a dog of 10.0 points, but the total of 223.0 points in the game is 9.0 points more than the over/under of any other game.

Gary Payton II, SG, $4,200 – The Golden State Warriors are the go-to spot for value tonight as all of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins expected to be out. That opens just about all shots. On a date with the Toronto Raptors, we project Payton for 36.2 FanDuel points, which works out to a massive 8.62 per $1,000. With all the absences on this list, it won’t be hard to come up with value, but Payton is positioning himself as the best low-paid player out there.

Others to consider: Cole Anthony ($7,400), Derrick Rose ($6,200), Grayson Allen ($4,200)


Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, $9,700 and Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, ($7,200) It should be the Tatum and Brown show for the Boston Celtics, who will miss Dennis Schroder and Al Horford. With those two off the ground this year, Tatum owns a 33.8% usage rate, while Brown has a 31.0% clip, according to RotoGrinders CourtIQ. Brown generates an impressive 1.27 FanDuel points per minute in that split, while Tatum is at 1.09. Even in what should be a slow match-up against the New York Knicks, Brown and Tatum can eat. By our numbers, Tatum stands alone as the best option on the slate tonight. Our model projects him for 51.8 FanDuel points (5.34 per $1,000), which is 8.0 off the field. Brown’s projection stands at 38.4 FanDuel points (5.34 per $1,000).

Pascal Siakam, PF, $7,800 – Siakam is a secretly good piece that might just slip through the cracks. He’s going up against a Golden State team that is super-handy, and he’s sure to take advantage of the absence of Green’s defense. The Raps are rested, their final game returns on Tuesday and Siakam has posted between 35.4 and 41.7 FanDuel points in five consecutive games. In addition, Toronto has called on the injury report several times during the game, so he could be asked to carry even more of the burden depending on how those fall apart. As of now, our algorithm has predicted Siakam for 38.1 FanDuel points (4.89 per $1,000).

Juan Toscano-Anderson, SF/PF, $3,700 – Much of what I’ve said for Payton fits here as well. JTA is one of the Dubs’ other elite games. Rarely a major factor in scoring the ball, Toscano-Anderson should do more of this, and he should play many minutes, which also allows him to add a lot of edge stats. We’re projecting him for 31.5 FanDuel points — 8.51 per $3,700. He’s a great game. If it looks like JTA is going to be super popular I’ll be a little more hesitant to swallow the chalk with him than I am Payton because JTA might still not be taking a lot of shots.

Others to consider: Paul George ($8,900), Julius Randle ($8,800), Franz Wagner ($6,000), Alec Burks ($5,500)

big ones

Jarrett Allen, PF/C, $8,200 – If the Wiz-Jazz game is going to explode, the best fantasy setting might be the Cavs-Bucks affair, which has the second-highest total (214.0) and a spread of 3.5 points in Cleveland’s favor. Allen gets a Milwaukee interior without Brook Lopez and Portis, and he doesn’t have to fight Evan Mobley — who’s out — for boards and shots inside. With the Cavs expected to be inactive off the floor this season, Allen is producing 1.14 FanDuel points per minute, and his ability to block shots gives him an awesome ceiling. According to our numbers, he expects 40.8 FanDuel points (4.98 per $1,000).

Robert Williams, PF/C, $5,600 – An alternative to Brown and Tatum is Williams. With Horford and Schroeder off the track, Williams only has a 13.8% utilization rate, but averages 1.03 FanDuel points per minute. We project it for 32.2 minutes tonight, and it could gain value with that kind of run — and that’s exactly what our model projects. We’ve got Williams a total of 36.8 FanDuel points (6.58 per $1,000).

Others to consider: Rudy Gobert ($9,200), Robin Lopez ($3,800), DeMarcus Neven ($3,800)


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