FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 11/14/19

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/
LA Clippers New Orleans 235.5 +4.0 119.75 115.75 8 3
Chicago Milwaukee 229.5 -11.5 109.0 120.5 4 1
Atlanta Phoenix 227.5 -7.0 110.25 117.25 16 13
Brooklyn Denver 221.5 -8.5 106.5 115.0 5 29
Dallas New York 215.5 +7.5 111.5 104.0 19 25

We have two games with both teams in the top-eight in offensive seconds per play, and the Los Angeles Clippers/New Orleans Pelicans game is all sorts of stackable. For a Thursday, a five-game slate should have us feeling #blessed.

Small Forward

The stud of the night is Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,400), and playing him really will cause you to tighten the purse straps for the other eight positions, but he looks worth the salary independent of everything else. Antetokounmpo averages an NBA-best 1.86 FanDuel points per minute. Nobody else qualified has averaged more than 1.65. The pace should be rapid in a matchup against the Chicago Bulls' mid-level defense (15th in defensive rating).

Kelly Oubre ($5,500) grades out as an elite per-dollar play in my model, as well, and pairing him with Giannis helps with Antetokounmpo's salary. Oubre's price has dropped by $1,000 since Tuesday, when he played just 19 minutes in a foul-trouble game. Oubre averages a strong 0.95 FanDuel points per minute.

Atlanta Hawks Cam Reddish ($3,500) and De'Andre Hunter ($4,600) have an elevated minutes projection while Vince Carter and Kevin Huerter are out. They're numberFire's top two projected small forward values.

Maurice Harkless ($3,800) is a tier below those four but stands out relative to the rest of the pool. He's played 32 and 24 minutes the past two games. We don't know what his minutes will be with Paul George ($9,400) back, but Kawhi Leonard is out after playing last night on the first night of a back-to-back.

Core Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kelly Oubre, Cam Reddish
Secondary Plays: De'Andre Hunter, Maurice Harkless
Tournament Plays:
Paul George, Brandon Ingram ($8,700 -- if he plays)

Shooting Guard

Lou Williams ($7,000) will be free of Leonard's usage tonight, and he has a 35.2% usage rate without Kawhi on the court, according to RotoGrinders' CourtIQ. Paul George's return would throw a wrench into the mix, but Williams is still a premier shooting guard option tonight.

numberFire projects DeAndre Bembry ($4,400) for 32.8 minutes for the shorthanded Hawks. Bembry averages 0.80 FanDuel points per minute. He rates out first for me in adjusted value.

It's a drop down to everyone else at the position, but up next is Jrue Holiday ($8,500), whose 75th-percentile outcome (49.0) is on par with Devin Booker's ($9,200; 49.4). I wouldn't prioritize him in cash games, but if you have the cash to do so, more power to you.

Garrett Temple ($3,600), Pat Connaughton ($3,500), Wesley Matthews ($3,500), Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($3,500) are all punt-play viable tonight. Matthews and Alexander-Walker are top-three small forward values in numberFire's projections. Temple (0.80) and Connaughton (0.77) are decent per-minute producers. Matthews (0.52) is more of an attrition play due to minutes. Alexander-Walker (0.98) has more boost but lesser minutes.

Core Plays: Lou Williams, DeAndre Bembry, Jrue Holiday
Secondary Plays: Garrett Temple, Pat Connaughton, Wesley Matthews
Tournament Plays:
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Devin Booker

Point Guard

The value options at shooting guard are of particular note if we choose to spend up at point guard, which is very enticing.

Luka Doncic ($11,200) and Trae Young ($10,100), and Kyrie Irving ($9,800) can all pay off their tags. Doncic gets the New York Knicks' 21st-ranked defense and is averaging 1.53 FanDuel points per minute. Young (1.38) and Irving (1.45) have dates with top-half defenses but are at a much more palatable price. I'm ranking them Irving, Young, and Doncic. Just keep an eye on Irving's injury status.

Patrick Beverley ($5,000) and Coby White ($4,800) are top-three in both my projections and numberFire's. Beverley projects for 32 minutes, and White is at 27. White (0.85) and Beverley (0.77) are not elite per-minute producers but have the minutes projection to provide value in their respective matchups.

Core Plays: Trae Young, Patrick Beverley, Kyrie Irving
Secondary Plays: Luka Doncic, Coby White
Tournament Plays:
Jamal Murray ($7,500), Ricky Rubio ($7,700)

Power Forward

We can't spend too much on power forwards given the the nature of the position, but among Kristaps Porzingis ($8,400), Julius Randle ($7,900), and Jabari Parker ($7,200), Parker rates out best for me tonight. He has played 32-plus minutes in three straight games with 18, 23, and 18 shot attempts. That's heavy usage for his price.

JaMychal Green ($3,900) again rates out as a value play (6.90 FanDuel points per $1,000, according to numberFire's projections). Green has played 24 and 32 minutes the past two games with 11 shots in each and 26 total rebounds. He's trending up in terms of productivity, but the price hasn't budged.

Dario Saric ($4,700), Thaddeus Young ($4,500), and Jarrett Allen ($4,900) are three more sub-$5,000 options. Saric (0.84), Young (0.88) and Allen (0.96) have the production to post spike nights in the right spots. If seeking floor, we should probably bank on Young, given the uptempo matchup he's in against the Milwaukee Bucks, but all three rate out nearly identical in boom-to-bust ratio outcomes in my model.

Core Plays: JaMychal Green, Jabari Parker, Thaddeus Young
Secondary Plays: Dario Saric, Jarrett Allen, Derrick Favors ($6,600)
Tournament Plays:
Maxi Kleber ($4,700), Kristaps Porzingis, Julius Randle


Building around the affordable Nikola Jokic ($9,600) makes a lot of sense. He's overcome his low-volume start and has had 22, 23, and 19 shot attempts in his past three games but is still $1,200 cheaper than where he was when he started the season. Jokic's 25th-percentile outcome (so a low-end projection) of 40.2 is higher than any other center's 75th-percentile outcome, according to my projections.

The next three centers in my projections are at varying price points: Brook Lopez ($5,800), Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,600), Alex Len ($3,800), and Damian Jones ($3,500). Lopez is projected for 28 minutes against the NBA's worst rebounding team. Carter Jr.'s has settled into 27.6 minutes per game with a per-minute average of 1.04 FanDuel points.

Len (0.94 FanDuel points per minute) and Jones (0.79) face a mid-range Suns defense but each project for around 20 minutes at basement prices.

Core Plays: Nikola Jokic, Brook Lopez, Wendell Carter Jr.
Secondary Plays: Alex Len, Damian Jones
Tournament Plays: Aron Baynes ($6,500), Montrezl Harrell ($8,000)