FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 11/15/19
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.
Lines for Pacers/Rockets and Kings/Lakers are delayed. Russell Westbrook seems likely to sit out, but that's not confirmed early. The Wizards/Timberwolves total is so high that it's nearly comical, and that gives a boost to a lot of those players.
We have to wait and see what the deal is with Westbrook, which will impact the guard situation, but regardless of what happens, we still have some strong plays at center.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($11,400) faces a Washington Wizards team that is 26th in rebounding rate and 27th in FanDuel points per 48 minutes allowed to centers. Towns' 1.62 FanDuel points per minute rank him third among all players.
Andre Drummond ($10,300) owns a per-minute average of 1.52 FanDuel points to rank him seventh. No team is more generous to opposing centers than the Charlotte Hornets. These are the two core plays at center despite their prices -- even with Drummond's teammates ( Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin) coming back.
Thomas Bryant ($6,800) would be the next place to look in a spot against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bryant has an average of 1.15 FanDuel points per minute and projects for more than 30. That high total should lead to plenty of extra possessions in those minutes, so Bryant is a strong play at $6,800.
Anthony Davis ($11,800) and Domantas Sabonis ($9,500) should both be worth the price of admission tonight, and each rate out top-five in my model in adjusted value. The issue is that we have other studs worth prioritizing, as well, but too many good plays isn't the worst problem to have. Davis' 1.51 FanDuel points per minute rank him eighth in the NBA. Sabonis draws a matchup with the Rockets' defense, which ranks 27th in FanDuel points per 48 minutes allowed to power forwards. Their defensive rating climbs to 114.4 without Clint Capela, and Sabonis has thrived without Myles Turner.
Robert Covington ($5,500) is part of that premier game of the night and draws the best power forward matchup on the board, as well. Covington puts up a sturdy 0.95 FanDuel points per minute.
LeBron James ($11,600) is squarely in play against the Kings, but he won't be a priority piece relative to the other studs on the board. That should leave him underowned. James' 25th-percentile outcome is 43.5 FanDuel points in my projections. That's higher than any other small forward's 75th-percentile outcome tonight.
A cheap option in the Timberwolves/Wizards game pops today: Troy Brown ($4,000). Brown should be set for around 25 minutes. The pace in that game makes that workload really viable.
Aside from those two, no small forwards particularly stand out early in the day. Joe Ingles ($4,300), JaKarr Sampson ($3,500), and Jae Crowder ($4,900) shape up as solid mid-level plays with unappealing ceilings. Hopefully some value opens up before tip-off, so be sure to be checking our projections and the news.
James Harden ($12,500) has a 56.0% usage rate without Capela and Westbrook. It's a limited sample, but we can bank on Harden to post crazy numbers if Westbrook does miss. Even if he doesn't, he rates out as an elite play.
Bradley Beal ($9,300) is in that 240.5-point over/under matchup, so with his 32.3% usage rate, he checks the box for a sub-$10,000 player with massive upside. He's second in my model on a per-dollar basis, and a Harden/Beal duo is really enticing -- and the priority if possible.
Cheaper plays that stand out include Danny Green ($4,100) and Jordan Poole ($4,400). numberFire actually prefers Avery Bradley ($3,900) instead of Green for the Lakers. Neither Green (0.69) nor Bradley (0.67) are prolific per-minute options, but each should get minutes in the mid-20s.
So, if Westbrook plays, he's an affordable stud at $9,500. Simple as that. Westbrook rates out first among point guards and fourth overall in my model on a per-dollar basis, assuming a full workload. If he's out, then Austin Rivers ($3,500) should draw the start, but he's a low-usage play (12.6% on the full season, 9.9% without Westbrook). He'd be a punt play to help roster other studs.
Malcolm Brogdon ($8,200) on the opposite side of that game makes a lot of sense, as he has a 26.7% usage rate and 1.24 FanDuel points per minute.
Chris Paul ($6,900) projects for nearly 5.0 FanDuel points per $1,000 in numberFire's model, and he's a really high-floor play in mine. Pairing him with Westbrook or Brogdon will elevate a lineup's floor.