FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 11/8/19

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 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 NBA is very reliant on 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 take a look at who you should target on today's main slate.

The Slate

Away Home Over/
Toronto New Orleans 235.5 +2.5 119.00 116.50 9 3
Brooklyn Portland 235.0 -3.0 116.00 119.00 4 16
Cleveland Washington 231.0 -5.0 113.00 118.00 29 10
Golden State Minnesota 230.0 -12.0 109.00 121.00 14 7
Sacramento Atlanta 221.5 +2.0 111.75 109.75 23 12
Milwaukee Utah 217.0 +3.0 110.00 107.00 2 24
Miami LA Lakers 216.5 -8.5 104.00 112.50 20 17
New York Dallas 214.5 -11.0 101.75 112.75 25 21
Philadelphia Denver 212.0 -4.5 103.75 108.25 6 30
Detroit Indiana 210.0 -7.5 101.25 108.75 28 19
Memphis Orlando 207.0 -6.5 100.25 106.75 11 27

It's a wide range of games tonight. The Toronto Raptors and New Orleans Pelicans stand out as top-10 paces with a sky-high total and a tight spread.

You could maybe lop off the bottom three games to narrow the slate, as they all feature at least one team in the bottom four in pace. The New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks also promise a relatively slow pace, as well.


Team Injuries
Atlanta Cameron Reddish (GTD; Shoulder), Evan Turner (O; Achilles),
Allen Crabbe (O; Knee), John Collins (O; Suspension),
Chandler Parsons (O; Knee)
Brooklyn DeAndre Jordan (GTD; Ankle), Wilson Chandler (O; Suspension)
Cleveland John Henson (O; Hamstring), Ante Zizic (O; Foot),
Dylan Windler (O; Lower leg)
Denver Gary Harris (GTD; Ankle), Bol Bol (GTD; Foot)
Detroit Blake Griffin (O; Hamstring), Derrick Rose (O; Hamstring),
Reggie Jackson (O; Back), Tim Frazier (GTD; Shoulder)
Golden State D'Angelo Russell (GTD; Ankle), Stephen Curry (O; Hand),
Draymond Green (O; Finger), Kevon Looney (O; Hamstring),
Jacob Evans (O; Hip), Alen Smailagic (O; Ankle)
Indiana Jeremy Lamb (O; Ankle), Myles Turner (GTD; Ankle),
Goga Bitadze (O; Concussion), Edmond Sumner (O; Hand),
Victor Oladipo (O; Knee)
LA Lakers Rajon Rondo (O; Calf), Avery Bradley (GTD; Lower leg),
DeMarcus Cousins (O; Knee), Talen Horton-Tucker (O; Foot)
Memphis Andre Iguodala (O; Not injury related), Tyus Jones (GTD; Ankle),
Grayson Allen (O; Ankle)
Miami Justise Winslow (O; Concussion), Dion Waiters (GTD; Illness),
KZ Okpala (O; Achilles), Udonis Haslem (GTD; Illness),
Derrick Jones (O; Hip)
Minnesota Jeff Teague (O; Illness), Shabazz Napier (GTD; Hamstring),
Jordan Bell (GTD; Shoulder)
New Orleans Lonzo Ball (GTD; Leg), JJ Redick (GTD; Knee),
Zion Williamson (O; Knee), Darius Miller (O; Achilles)
New York Mitchell Robinson (O; Concussion), Elfrid Payton (O; Hamstring),
Dennis Smith (O; Personal), Reggie Bullock (O; Back),
Kadeem Allen (GTD; Knee)
Orlando Terrence Ross (O; Knee), Melvin Frazier (O; Personal)
Philadelphia Ben Simmons (O; Shoulder), Shake Milton (O; Knee)
Portland Pau Gasol (O; Foot), Zach Collins (O; Shoulder)
Sacramento Marvin Bagley (O; Finger), Harry Giles (GTD; Knee),
Dewayne Dedmon (GTD; Knee)
Toronto Patrick McCaw (O; Knee)
Utah Emmanuel Mudiay (O; Hamstring), Dante Exum (O; Knee),
Ed Davis (O; Lower leg)
Washington Ian Mahinmi (O; Achilles)

Whew. On a 22-team slate, injuries and the fallout are hard to wrangle. Some of the most impactful definite absences are Ben Simmons, Jeff Teague, Draymond Green, John Collins, Jeremy Lamb, Elfrid Payton, Mitchell Robinson, Justise Winslow, and Derrick Rose -- and the rest of the Detroit Pistons' backcourt.

It's going to be a hectic one, so be sure to have FanDuel Scout ready to go around tip-off.

Point Guard

The low-dollar point guard value of the night is Raul Neto ($3,700), as Ben Simmons is out with a shoulder injury he sustained on Wednesday. In that game, Simmons played 10.1 minutes, and Neto played 30.2. Neto didn't start the second half. He has posted 0.87 FanDuel points per minute on the season, and he has had a 20.2% usage rate without Simmons on the court this season, via NBAWowy.

Shabazz Napier ($4,000) (who is a game-time decision), Aaron Holiday ($4,100), D.J. Augustin ($4,100), Darius Garland ($3,800), and Michael Carter-Williams ($4,000) are all also viable at the cheap end of the position. It's a deep slate for sure.

Among the pricer options, the best per-dollar values in my model are (in order): De'Aaron Fox ($8,200), Kyle Lowry ($8,500), Mike Conley ($7,000), and Kyrie Irving ($9,800).

The top plays in terms of value when using 75th-percentile outcomes (which I like for tournament lineups) are Neto, Fox, Holiday, Lowry, Napier, Luka Doncic ($10,500), Augustin, Conley, Damian Lillard ($10,100), and Kyrie Irving ($9,800). With the abundance options en vogue, spending up could be contrarian.

Core Plays: Raul Neto, De'Aaron Fox, Mike Conley
Secondary Plays: Aaron Holiday, Kyle Lowry, Kyrie Irving
Tournament Plays: Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Michael Carter-Williams

Shooting Guard

I'm a little more inclined to spend up at shooting guard than point guard, especially for Bradley Beal ($9,100) against the Cleveland Cavaliers' 23rd-ranked defense. Beal owns an elite 33.1% usage rate, good for 1.21 FanDuel points per minute.

C.J. McCollum ($6,400) has returned 0.81 FanDuel points per minute despite a 26.4% usage rate. He's up in pace against the Brooklyn Nets in a game with a 235.0-point total.

Evan Fournier ($4,500) actually rates out as the best value in my model (he's fourth via numberFire's projections). He projects for around 30 minutes safely without Terrence Ross. Fournier's usage rate is 22.5% without Ross on the court, and he has posted a good-not-great 0.78 FanDuel points per minute on the full season. At the salary, that's good enough.

Those three are the top tournament values in my model, followed by Fred VanVleet ($6,800), Gary Harris ($4,900), Jordan Poole ($4,400), Josh Richardson ($5,900), and Jrue Holiday ($8,200)

Core Plays: Bradley Beal, C.J. McCollum, Evan Fournier
Secondary Plays: Fred VanVleet, Gary Harris, Jrue Holiday
Tournament Plays: Jordan Poole, Josh Richardson, D'Angelo Russell ($8,700)

Small Forward

We have both Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,700) and LeBron James ($11,600) on the slate tonight, though only Giannis grades out positively in his respective matchup between the two. Small forward overall looks like a decent place to save some cash tonight.

Jarrett Culver ($3,800), Cam Reddish ($3,800), Larry Nance Jr. ($4,900), Troy Brown ($4,000), and Tobias Harris ($6,500) are the best values tonight, per my model. numberFire loves Reddish in particular, projecting him for 6.44 FanDuel points per $1,000. Culver has played 24-plus minutes in three straight and should see heavy minutes without Jeff Teague. If Teague plays, Culver's value diminishes.

Culver, Reddish, Harris, Nance Jr., Cedi Osman ($4,500), and Antetokounmpo are the premier tournament values, per my projections.

While the cheaper plays look enticing, it's important to value raw upside in tournaments. Giannis (61.9), LeBron (57.8), Pascal Siakam ($9,300; 50.8), and Brandon Ingram ($8,800; 45.3) are the only ones with a 75th-percentile outcome above 40 points.

Core Plays: Jarrett Culver, Cam Reddish, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Secondary Plays: Larry Nance Jr., Troy Brown, Tobias Harris
Tournament Plays: LeBron James, Davis Bertans ($4,000), Pascal Siakam

Power Forward

The value at point guard and small forward will help when trying to spend up for Anthony Davis ($11,200), who rates out really well against the Heat. Davis has averaged 1.52 FanDuel points per minute. He's second among power forwards for me tonight on a per-dollar basis.

First is Julius Randle ($7,000), who projects for around 34 minutes in a game without Mitchell Robinson. numberFire's projections peg him for 33 minutes and the second-best per-dollar value among power forwards.

Richaun Holmes ($6,400) has played at least 29 minutes in four of give games and is in a fantasy-friendly matchup with the Hawks. He's fourth on my list.

We can always just go with Aaron Gordon ($6,300) even in a tough spot against the Memphis Grizzlies. Gordon has returned 0.90 FanDuel points per minute on the season while averaging 30.4 minutes. He just played 37 on Wednesday without Ross.

The top tournament values tonight are Anthony Davis, Randle, Gordon, Domantas Sabonis ($9,000), Holmes, Kristaps Porzingis ($8,400), and Jabari Parker ($7,000)

Core Plays: Julius Randle, Anthony Davis, Aaron Gordon
Secondary Plays: Richaun Holmes, Kristaps Porzingis, Domantas Sabonis
Tournament Plays: Jabari Parker, Rui Hachimura ($5,500), Kevin Love ($9,300)


Center is very deep, and while we can prioritize certain plays, this may come down to slotting in whichever center price point fits after the first eight players are rostered.

Karl-Anthony Towns ($11,500), Andre Drummond ($10,900), and Joel Embiid ($10,600) all rate out well at the top (in that order for me and my model). Towns played 33 minutes in his return from suspension and now faces a Warriors team that ranks dead last in defensive rating by nearly 4.0 full points.

Nikola Jokic ($8,500) is priced down for his slow start but does draw a tough matchup against Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. He's still my top per-dollar value and is third in numberFire's value projections.

The two best cheaper plays are pretty clearly Dwight Powell ($5,100) and Bobby Portis ($4,400) in a game against one another. Powell has played 25, 27, and 34 minutes in his past three games; Portis has hovered right at 20 in his past three but should have some added chances without Robinson in the lineup.

Core Plays: Karl-Anthony Towns, Dwight Powell, Nikola Jokic
Secondary Plays: Andre Drummond, Bobby Portis, Joel Embiid
Tournament Plays: Hassan Whiteside ($7,800), Jonas Valanciunas ($6,000), Nikola Vucevic ($8,400)