FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 11/9/19

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/
Houston Chicago 234.0 +6.0 120.00 114.00 1 5
New Orleans Charlotte 232.5 +1.5 117.00 115.50 3 21
Golden State Oklahoma City 219.5 -12.0 103.75 115.75 11 26
Dallas Memphis 219.0 +3.5 111.25 107.75 16 13

Three of the four home teams are underdogs, and there's a clear divide between the two high-total games and the less enticing options. On this particular four-game slate, every team is in play, so we don't need to lop anyone off.


Team Injuries
CharlotteNicolas Batum (O; Finger)
ChicagoOtto Porter (O; Foot)
Golden StateStephen Curry (O; Hand), Draymond Green (O; Finger),
Kevon Looney (O; Hamstring), Alen Smailagic (O; Ankle),
Jacob Evans (O; Hip)
HoustonNene (O; Hip),Gerald Green (O; Foot)
MemphisAndre Iguodala (O; Not injury related),
Grayson Allen (O; Ankle)
New OrleansDarius Miller (O; Achilles), Zion Williamson (O; Knee)
Oklahoma CityAndre Roberson (O; Knee)

In addition to these, we could see Kristaps Porzingis sit on the second night of a back-to-back after playing 36 minutes last night.

Point Guard

Today, on the four-game slate, we have three players priced above $9,000 on FanDuel: James Harden ($11,700), Luka Doncic ($10,600), and Russell Westbrook ($10,000). We'll talk about Harden more in the shooting guard section (naturally), but on a four-game slate, roster construction can matter more than playing the best matchups. Embracing variance and putting your lineups in a good position can come down to where you don't spend just as much as where you do spend.

Doncic has three triple-doubles and 60-plus FanDuel points in three of his past four games, and he now faces a Memphis Grizzlies team that is 13th in offensive seconds per play and 20th in defensive rating. Possibly without Porzingis, Doncic is an elite play for $1,100 cheaper than Harden.

Westbrook has returned 1.48 FanDuel points per minute (same as Doncic, actually) and is in a matchup with another team that's top-five in pace and is 16th in defensive rating. It'll be pricey, but pairing both is something I'll be trying to do often.

Even if you don't roster either, you don't have to punt entirely, as Chris Paul ($7,000) and Terry Rozier ($7,300) grade out top-five in my model on a per-dollar basis along with Westbrook and Doncic. Paul is up in pace against the NBA's worst defense, and Rozier's Charlotte Hornets have the closest spread of the night in one of the two games with a total above 230.

Coby White ($4,200) is the go-to play for salary relief. He has 13 or more shot attempts in two straight games and a sticky role in a shootout.

Core Plays: Luka Doncic, Russell Westbrook, Coby White
Secondary Plays: Chris Paul, Terry Rozier, Tyus Jones ($4,400)
Tournament Plays: Ja Morant ($7,900), Lonzo Ball ($7,600)

Shooting Guard

Harden is certainly worth the price if you can get there and feel good with the rest of your lineup -- given his matchup. He's returned 1.56 FanDuel points per minute on the season and gets a stellar draw. He's a no-brainer, but you'll have to pick between he and one of the point guards. Harden/Doncic is probably the preferred route.

D'Angelo Russell ($8,400) has posted 1.25 FanDuel points per minute on a 30.5% usage rate. He'll get run against the Oklahoma City Thunder's sixth-ranked defense and is coming off a 52-point, 40-minute outing last night.

As enticing as Russell's upside is, it's hard to hate settling for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,100). He has played 35-plus minutes in five straight games with 0.94 FanDuel points per minute in those. He rates out well and isn't on a back-to-back.

Dennis Schroder ($5,700) always gets minutes in the mid-20s and generally returns value there, so he's a safe mid-range option in this matchup.

The Hornets' trio of Malik Monk ($3,700), Dwayne Bacon ($4,200), and Devonte' Graham ($6,400) rate out well enough for consideration, as well, in a shootout.

Core Plays: James Harden, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroder
Secondary Plays: D'Angelo Russell, Malik Monk
Tournament Plays: Dwayne Bacon, Jrue Holiday ($8,300), Zach LaVine ($7,900)

Small Forward

Small forward is a natural place to save salary here, as only Brandon Ingram ($8,800) is above $6,700. Ingram should be considered a strong tournament play, as he doesn't fit any builds where we're spending up on the chalkier studs.

The top per-dollar plays among small forwards in my model for tonight's main slate are (in order): Miles Bridges ($6,100), Glenn Robinson III ($4,800), Eric Gordon ($4,600), Danilo Gallinari ($6,700), and Darius Bazley ($3,600). Bridges really stands out from a floor/ceiling combination, primarily due to a safe minutes projection (he's averaged 34.0 on the season).

Without Otto Porter, the Chicago Bulls could offer up some value somewhere. That could point us to Chandler Hutchison ($3,600). Hutchison has a tiny 33-minute sample this year, in which he averaged 0.66 FanDuel points per minute. If he were to start, he's a punt play option.

Core Plays: Miles Bridges, Danilo Gallinari, Glenn Robinson
Secondary Plays: Chandler Hutchison, Eric Gordon
Tournament Plays: Brandon Ingram, Danuel House Jr. ($5,200)

Power Forward

If there's no Porzingis, we're looking at a small forward pool that starts with Lauri Markkanen ($7,000). He could be without Porter, and without Otto on the court, Markkanen has a 25.2% usage rate, via NBAWowy, up from 22.4% on the full season. He'd be my top play, but again, he doesn't fit builds super easily when prioritizing Harden, Doncic, or Westbrook, so he's more of a secondary option due to opportunity cost -- and an elite tournament play.

Sticking with the Bulls, Thaddeus Young ($5,000) rates out tops in my model. He will probably max out at 25 minutes but posts 0.89 FanDuel points per minute and should get extra juice per minute in the uptempo game.

Hornets teammates PJ Washington ($6,500) and Marvin Williams ($3,600) have appeal relative to their price. Washington has 23.4 FanDuel points or more in five straight games. Williams gets around 18 minutes and 0.71 FanDuel points per minute but has a nice draw against the NBA's 29th-ranked defense tonight.

Core Plays: Thaddeus Young, Lauri Markkanen, PJ Washington
Secondary Plays: Marvin Williams, Omari Spellman ($4,000), Jaren Jackson ($6,400)
Tournament Plays: Kristaps Porzingis, Eric Paschall ($6,500), Maxi Kleber ($4,900)


We have Clint Capela ($8,900) at the top -- and the fourth-most expensive player on the board overall. He's not going to be a priority play at that tag.

Steven Adams ($6,300), Dwight Powell ($5,100), Jonas Valanciunas ($7,100), and Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,400) rate out at the top for me, though nobody is a priority play relative to their price. They just rate out the best among a disappointing position. Swinging for upside (contextualized for price) makes the most sense given this center slate.

The best values based on 75th-percentile outcomes in my model are Adams, Powell, Carter Jr., Valanciunas, and Cody Zeller ($6,400).

Core Plays: Steven Adams, Wendell Carter Jr., Dwight Powell
Secondary Plays: Jonas Valanciunas, Cody Zeller
Tournament Plays: Clint Capela, Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,000), Jahlil Okafor ($4,800)