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 dependent on chances 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.
We come to you every day with this introduction, breaking down some of the best actions of the day in each position.
Russell Westbrook, PG/SG, (FanDuel Salary: $9,600) – With LeBron James out for the Los Angeles LakersWestbrook jumps to the top of our projections (as of early Saturday), as we predicted him to earn a total of 50.3 FanDuel points (5.24 per $1,000 in salary). Russ disappointed last time without LeBron, scoring only 37.7 FanDuel points, but he achieved a team-best usage rate of 33.0% in that game. Entering into a Portland Trail Blazer team that ranks seventh in terms of defensive efficiency, Westbrook could erupt.
Damian Lillard, PG, $8,600 – I like the idea of piling Lillard and Westbrook on top of each other. Dame has a ravishing match-up against a Lakers side that plays at the second-fastest pace while scoring as a mid-range defense in terms of efficiency. Lillard has not been great this season and he is coming off a dud of 29.3 FanDuel points and 4 true points in his last game. Before that, he started to look like the Lady we know, with 46.6 and 40.4 FanDuel points in his previous two games. We got him for 41.4 FanDuel points, but with Portland having the second best implied total (112.0), there’s plenty of room for more.
Lonzo Ball, PG, $6,100 – Ball has an average of 32.2 FanDuel points per game for the year, which automatically makes him a tasty target with this salary. He has played at least 32 minutes in every game. He’s going up against the Philadelphia 76ers, which was a neutral match-up for point guards in the beginning, and while this is a small five-game slate, there’s plenty of star power at point guard that could allow Ball to fly under the radar. Our model loves Ball and projects him for 33.1 FanDuel points — 5.43 per $1,000.
Others to consider: Luka Doncic ($10,200), Dennis Schroder ($6,000), Mike Conley ($5,600, especially if Donovan Mitchell [$8,000] is off)
Jayson Tatum, SF/PF, $9,500 – Small forward is very top heavy. Tatum is one of three eligible SF players we match to rack up at least 37.7 FanDuel points. After those three, no one else has a projection higher than 27.8. For me I’m going to prioritize getting at least one of those three including Tatum, Jimmy Butler ($10,000) and DeMar DeRozan ($8,400). With Jaylen Brown excluded, Tatum is by far my favorite of that trio once you factor in the salary. Tatum has a 34.5% usage rate this year without Brown, according to RotoGrinders CourtIQ. He will see the Dallas Mavericks and projects for 45.2 FanDuel points, tops in both front places, by our numbers.
Robert Williams, PF/C, $5,700 – Williams is another way to get a slice of the Brown-less Boston Celtics, and our algorithm loves him. We have him take 36.5 FanDuel points (6.40 per $1,000) and rate him as the highest point per dollar play on the slate. He averages 30.1 FanDuel points per night, so even if he only gets his average, Williams will return better than 5.0 points per $1,000. We got him to do better than that.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF, $4,800 – Bogdanovic is another excellent per dollar option. He had outputs of 30.2 and 32.2 FanDuel points in his last five, and while his 15.3% usage rate for the season is an uninspiring clip, Bogdanovic has logged at least 29 minutes in six consecutive matches. Our algorithm projects him for 27.4 FanDuel points, making him the second best point-per-dollar game on the slate, and that number could grow if John Collins ($6,800), which is questionable, sits down.
Others to consider: Anthony Davis ($10,600), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,200), Mikal Bridges ($5,100)
Joel Embiid, C, $9,300 – Of the nine players we’ve projected for over 40 FanDuel points, four will qualify in the middle, so I recommend checking out those who also qualify for power forward – like Anthony Davis and Bam Adebayo ($8,600) – in the four spot if you’re into it, that’s why I listed Williams above. Embiid runs a solid middle position with a projection of 46.8 FanDuel points (5.03 per $1,000). He overshadows the rest of the Sixers in use. He has a usage rate of 35.0% — 12.6 percentage points above anyone else in Philadelphia.
Nikola Vucevic, C, $8,100 – Prior to the 24.0 FanDuel points flop, the last time against the same 76ers team he will see in this one, Vucevic had scored a minimum of 34.8 FanDuel points in every game this season, with three games over 40 matches. That last dud and the repeated matchup with Philly might send people away from Vucevic tonight, but our model projects him to register 40.5 FanDuel points, which is good for 5.0 per $1,000 right on the nose.
Others to consider: Clint Chapel ($6,400), Jusuf Nurkic ($6,900), Dwight Powell ($4,600)