NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 11/17/17
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 hugely 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 ton 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 price point.
Let's take a look at who you should target on today's slate.
Best of the Best
LeBron James (FanDuel Price: $11,400): The King has been on a roll in November, averaging 57.3 FanDuel points in 39.0 minutes per game with a 31.7% usage rate. As is always the case, James is stuffing every area of the stat-sheet this season, with a 10.8% rebound rate, 42.9% assist rate, 1.6% steal rate and 2.9% block rate, while his 28.3 points per game are his most since the 2009-10 season. The Los Angeles Clippers are a great matchup for that kind of well-rounded production, as the Clips are giving up top-10 marks in steals, blocks, assists and points per 100 possessions. James is going to have his fingerprints all over this game, and with FanDuel weighing steals and blocks more highly this year, his value is especially appealing.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,900): The Minnesota Timberwolves have been leaning on KAT to play a huge role recently, and he's averaging 40.1 minutes per game over his last three games, with 17-plus points and 12-plus rebounds in each of those games -- averaging 48.6 FanDuel points per contest. The Dallas Mavericks are woefully inept against bigs, thanks to their bottom-five marks in both defensive rating and rebound rate, and the potential for getting 40-plus minutes of Towns against a Mavs team that allows top-10 fantasy production in the frontcourt is easy to like.
Andre Drummond ($9,100): This Indiana Pacers matchup is almost tailor-made from Drummond. The Pacers play at the league's eighth-highest pace while sitting 22nd in rebound rate, they allow the league's third-highest field goal percentage in the restricted area, and they are giving up the second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing centers. Drummond boasts a league-high 26.7% rebound rate (on pace to be the second-highest in NBA history), 7.4 of his 10.1 field goal attempts per game come from the restricted area, and he's averaging 45.2 FanDuel points per game this month.
Louis Williams ($7,700): Williams has seen a huge uptick in price tag, but with Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic all still on the sideline, he continues to be a strong fantasy option. he has played 39.1, 36.2 and 37.6 minutes in his three games with that trio on the shelf, averaging 43.2 FanDuel points per game -- significantly better than 5 points per $1,000 of salary tonight. His matchup is a good one too, taking on a Cleveland Cavaliers team that ranks dead-last in defensive rating while allowing top-five fantasy production to guards this season.
Will Barton ($6,200): Gary Harris (shoulder) is questionable for the Denver Nuggets tonight, and when Harris sits, Barton tends to offer a ton of fantasy value. He's averaging 38.4 FanDuel points in 36.2 minutes per game in two contests with Harris out this year, and expanding our sample-size to 25 contests over the past three seasons, Barton has seen a bump of about 4 minutes per game without Harris playing. He's averaging a career-high 0.99 FanDuel points per minute on the season, making increased playing time especially valuable this year. Even if Harris does play, the New Orleans Pelicans are allowing top-six fantasy production to both shooting guards and small forwards this season, making this a good matchup for Barton.
Jrue Holiday ($6,200): Guys that play huge minutes are always appealing, and Holiday fits the bill in a big way. He has played at least 34 minutes in all but one game this season, has topped 41 in three of his last six, and his 37.5 per game are tied for third in the NBA. He's not an efficient fantasy producer (or else he wouldn't be available for nearly this cheap), but playing time is much more consistent than efficiency, which means he offers a huge ceiling on a nightly basis -- something he has flashed with a pair of 45-plus FanDuel points games in his last 10. Tonight's matchup puts him in a good spot to get a bump in efficiency too, taking on a Nuggets team that has allowed the league's second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing point guards.
Wilson Chandler ($4,600): In addition to allowing big fantasy production on the wing, the Pels are allowing the 11th-most fantasy points per game to power forwards, making this a good matchup for Chandler no matter what position he's playing. Like Holiday, Chandler is a guy that plays big minutes, but remains cheap because of a lack of efficiency. He has at least 33 minutes in four of his last six games, averaging 32.0 per game in that stretch. It's also not time to completely write him off from an efficiency standpoint this year, as 14 games still isn't a huge sample, and his 0.60 FanDuel points per minute are so far below anything he has posted in his career (his next-lowest mark in his last four years in Denver was 0.79), that variance looks to be playing a role in his production, giving him some sneaky upside.
Greg Monroe ($3,700): Monroe is a risky option tonight, as the Phoenix Suns may not give him a ton of run on a back-to-back, but his upside at this price-point makes that risk worth it. He played 26.4 minutes in his first game with the Suns last night, going off for 20 points and 11 rebounds -- notching 43.7 FanDuel points. Obviously that kind of production isn't sustainable, but Monroe has produced better at least 0.99 FanDuel points per minute in each of his last seven seasons, and his price-tag doesn't at all reflect the production we can expect from him while playing minutes in the mid-20s, especially in an up-tempo matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, which has the day's highest over/under (226.0).
OG Anunoby ($3,200): There's still no word on whether Norman Powell (hip) will be returning to the lineup tonight. If he doesn't, Anunoby is a tremendous value option. In his first start with Powell out, he notched 22.9 FanDuel points in 29.6 minutes of action. His numbers were much weaker in his second start, but we knew going into that game that Dwane Casey planned to limit his minutes significantly with it being the rookie's first NBA back-to-back, and his 14 minutes in that one shouldn't concern you. Even if Powell does play, Delon Wright (shoulder) being sidelined means there are additional minutes available on the wing (Wright has been getting a lot of his run this season on the wing, with 112 of his 292 minutes this season being played next to either Kyle Lowry and/or Fred VanVleet), giving Anunoby enough of a bump to be a solid value option anyway.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.