FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 11/17/19

It's a four-game slate today, so how should you be building FanDuel lineups?

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/
Golden State New Orleans 226.5 -4.5 111.00 115.50 9 2
Washington Orlando 222.5 -6.5 108.00 114.50 7 27
Atlanta LA Lakers 216.5 -13.5 101.50 115.00 14 17
Denver Memphis 212.0 +7.0 109.50 102.50 29 10

Today's main slate is a short, four-gamer, and that'll put an emphasis on stacking the right games and opportunity cost of spending up on certain studs or not.

Point Guard

Trae Young ($10,400) has a 25th-percentile outcome of 38.4 FanDuel points, according to my model. No other point guard has a 75th-percentile outcome that high, so passing up on Young is a significant opportunity cost when building a high-ceiling lineup.

The value of the day at point guard is Ky Bowman ($3,800), as D'Angelo Russell is out. Without Russell, Bowman has an 18.0% usage rate, and in games in which Bowman has played significant minutes, he's returned 14.0, 32.9, and 34.4 FanDuel points.

Orlando Magic duo Markelle Fultz ($4,700) and Michael Carter-Williams ($3,800) offer salary relief, as they'll be up in pace against the Washington Wizards' 28th-ranked defense.

Core Plays: Ky Bowman, Trae Young
Secondary Plays: Markelle Fultz, Michael Carter-Williams
Tournament Plays: Isaiah Thomas ($5,800), Jamal Murray ($7,100), Lonzo Ball ($7,000)

Shooting Guard

Jordan Poole ($4,400) is another Golden State Warrior to use in the value range today (get used to that). Poole's got a 20.7% usage rate without Russell on the court this year, though he has averaged 0.62 FanDuel points per minute on the full season. We project him for more than 28 minutes, however, and that's a great role for the salary.

Terrence Ross ($4,500) is cheap and in that juicy Wizards/Magic game. Ross puts up 0.77 FanDuel points per minute and could see elevated shot attempts, given his 21.7% usage rate in the speedy game. Evan Fournier ($5,600) is a safer play if seeking a Magic shooting guard, as he posts 0.89 FanDuel points per minute.

Bradley Beal ($9,800) rates out as a really enticing stud, even against the Magic's fifth-ranked defense. Beal and Jrue Holiday ($9,400) have elite floors relative to the rest of the position, so this is another spot where opportunity cost matters. We can double down on that because those two are in the two best games on the slate.

Core Plays: Jordan Poole, Bradley Beal, Terrence Ross
Secondary Plays: Danny Green ($4,000) Jrue Holiday, Evan Fournier
Tournament Plays: DeAndre Bembry ($4,800), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,700)

Small Forward

Hey, another Golden State value: Alec Burks ($4,500). Burks averages 0.94 FanDuel points per minute and is projected for 28 minutes. He's numberFire's top value play -- and mine as well -- among small forwards. Glenn Robinson III ($4,600) ranks third in each. The Warriors' value is really enticing across the board.

Cam Reddish ($3,500) is again minimum salary despite putting up 28.0 FanDuel points in 32 minutes yesterday (with 15 shot attempts). In 25 projected minutes, he can pay off his salary against the Los Angeles Lakers. We have plenty of cheap options at small forward.

That leaves LeBron James ($11,800) potentially overlooked. Similar to Trae Young, James' 25th-percentile outcome is better than any other small forward's 75th-percentile outcome, in my simulations. He's (obviously) a high-floor, high-ceiling play who is worth the salary if you want to prioritize him among the studs. You easily can with all the value.

Core Plays: Alec Burks, Cam Reddish, LeBron James
Secondary Plays: Glenn Robinson, Troy Brown ($4,000)
Tournament Plays: De'Andre Hunter ($4,600), Jae Crowder ($4,900)

Power Forward

Power forward has three clear plays today: Anthony Davis ($11,600), Draymond Green ($7,000), and Eric Paschall ($5,000).

The Atlanta Hawks are 25th in defensive rating, and Davis (1.47) trails only LeBron (1.50) in per-minute fantasy production on the entire season. We don't need to do much to justify playing Davis today.

Green and Paschall are in line for a bump without Russell. Green still has just a 13.9% usage rate without Russell on the court; Paschall is at a 21.1% usage rate in that split. At more than 30 minutes apiece, both offer significant value.

Al-Farouq Aminu ($3,900) should start if Jonathan Isaac is out, and he put up 35.1 FanDuel points in 30.5 minutes last game in that circumstance. The pace is right to roll the dice if we need.

Core Plays: Anthony Davis, Eric Paschall, Draymond Green
Secondary Plays: Al-Farouq Aminu, Brandon Clarke ($4,800)
Tournament Plays: Aaron Gordon ($6,900), Derrick Favors ($7,400)


Nikola Vucevic ($8,800) has a lot of appeal, especially with all of the value from Golden State. Vucevic draws the Wizards, who are 28th in defense and 23rd in rebounding rate. He's my model's top center play by a comfortable margin.

On the other side of that game, Thomas Bryant ($6,600) is a top-three per-dollar center option. Orlando struggles against athletic bigs, according to the eye test and RotoGrinders' defense-versus-archetype tool.

I'm legally obligated to mention a Warrior here, and Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,700) rates out well against the New Orleans Pelicans' 29th-ranked defense (they're also 25th in rebounding rate).

Core Plays: Nikola Vucevic, Thomas Bryant
Secondary Plays: Willie Cauley-Stein, Jonas Valanciunas ($7,200)
Tournament Plays: Nikola Jokic ($9,400), Damian Jones ($3,500), Mason Plumlee ($3,800)