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FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 10/22/19

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 main slate.

The Slate

It's a two-game opener with the Toronto Raptors hosting the New Orleans Pelicans as 7-point favorites in a game with a 231.5-point total. Then it's the Los Angeles Lakers (-3.5) against the Los Angeles Clippers. The total there is 223.5. That gives all four teams an implied total at or above 110 points, but with a two-game slate, we're looking less at matchups and more at the slate as a whole and how rosters will be constructed -- and how you can differentiate as a result.

Power Forward

Building lineups tonight starts -- to me -- with the choice about Anthony Davis ($12,100). Spending down at the position (i.e. not rostering Davis because everyone else is $6,000 or below) comes with a great opportunity cost. With the way the slate shapes up, players listed as power forward eligible on FanDuel don't project for many minutes at all. After Davis (36.3 minutes), it's Serge Ibaka ($6,000; 28.1) and JaMychal Green ($4,600; 21.1). Nicolo Melli ($3,500; 8.4) and Jaxson Hayes ($3,500; 7.6) aren't in consideration unless you're really trying something weird. So be prepared to lock in Davis and try to differentiate elsewhere.

Core Plays: Anthony Davis, Serge Ibaka, JaMychal Green
Secondary Plays: None
Tournament Plays:

Small Forward

Now, we have the small forward debate: LeBron James ($11,400) against the Clippers and/or Kawhi Leonard ($9,900) on the flip side of that game. Pascal Siakam ($8,000) is in a great spot himself against the Pelicans. You can also differentiate your lineups by spending down on OG Anunoby ($4,300).

The high-floor approach is to stick with James and Leonard against one another, but doing that with Davis leaves you cash strapped ($4,433 for six other players). On a two-game slate, there are always cases to be made to pivot away from the obvious build, but really, you can probably make this lineup work. If choosing between James and Leonard, my simulations prefer Kawhi at a cheaper tag.

Based on numberFire's projections, Siakam ranks fourth among the position in expected value and should play about as many minutes (36.0) as Leonard (36.5) and James (37.5).

Anunoby and Maurice Harkless ($4,100) are the top plays in terms of 75th-percentile value in my simulations. Each project for at least 26 minutes based on numberFire's estimates, and that's solid opportunity -- which doesn't exist at power forward.

Core Plays:

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