FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 11/19/19

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/
Portland New Orleans 233.5 +4.0 118.75 114.75 20 4
Golden State Memphis 221.0 -7.0 107.0 114.0 9 11
Phoenix Sacramento 216.5 -2.0 107.25 109.25 10 25
Oklahoma City LA Lakers 210.0 -11.0 99.5 110.5 26 19

The Portland Trail Blazers/New Orleans Pelicans game is the matchup of the night on this short slate. Pretty much any time the Pels are on the board, we have to take notice. Even the Golden State Warriors/Memphis Grizzlies game looks like a cut above the other two, though the spread is a little concerning.


With just one center to roster on FanDuel and one very appealing value, we'll start there. Jaxson Hayes ($4,800) rates out as numberFire's second-best value play on the entire slate, and we project him for 32 minutes. Derrick Favors is out, and Brandon Ingram ($8,700) is questionable, so there's plenty of opportunity in the frontcourt for Hayes and his 1.02 FanDuel-point-per-minute average in the game of the night.

If not Hayes, it should be Hassan Whiteside ($8,200) on the other side of that matchup where we turn to next. That'll require saving salary or building around Whiteside from the start. Whiteside puts up 1.26 FanDuel points per minute, and the Pelicans rank 26th in rebounding rate and 28th in defensive rating.

Willie Cauley-Stein ($6,100) and Steven Adams ($5,700) are a firm tier below those two but do have decent floors, according to my model.

Core Plays: Jaxson Hayes, Hassan Whiteside
Secondary Plays: Willie Cauley-Stein, Steven Adams
Tournament Plays: Jonas Valanciunas ($7,800), Aron Baynes ($6,200)

Point Guard

Point guard is pretty bleak overall. We do have a great value play, but as far as safe, projectable value, there isn't much.

With Damian Lillard out, Anfernee Simons ($4,300) pops as a go-to value play. Without Lillard, Simons has a 27.7% usage rate with a per-36-minute average of 30.9 FanDuel points. We project him for 33.1 minutes.

Ky Bowman ($4,700) projects for around 28 minutes but may not start (it could be Alec Burks ($5,600)). Still, without D'Angelo Russell, Bowman ranks as a top-three point guard play on a per-dollar basis.

Jevon Carter ($3,500) would be a punt play if Ricky Rubio ($7,500) sits with back spasms. Carter has just a 13.3% usage rate without Rubio with a 0.74 FanDuel-point-per-minute average, but the minutes (24 last game) would make him justifiable at the minimum.

Core Plays: Anfernee Simons, Ky Bowman
Secondary Plays: Jevon Carter (if no Rubio), Ja Morant ($8,400)
Tournament Plays: Chris Paul ($7,000)

Shooting Guard

C.J. McCollum ($7,400) has a 28.4% usage rate without Lillard, which is pretty hefty. It's not super elite, but on this slate, it puts him into dominant territory over the other shooting guards. Jrue Holiday ($9,000) is very much in play, particularly for game stacks, especially if Lonzo Ball and Frank Jackson sit.

Buddy Hield ($7,900) doesn't project for the floor or ceiling that McCollum does, but he's still a priority shooting guard if you can get there. It'll depend on the value. Hield has played 37-plus minutes in three straight games with 21, 15, and 24 shot attempts. These top three are a cut above the rest of the position.

Dennis Schroder ($5,300) is a full $2,000 cheaper than teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,300) and rates out as numberFire's third-best shooting guard value (he's second in my model). Schroder is always a safe bet for minutes in at least the mid-20s, and that has value on this short slate.

Core Plays: C.J. McCollum, Jrue Holiday
Secondary Plays: Buddy Hield, Dennis Schroder
Tournament Plays: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jordan Poole ($3,800)

Power Forward

Anthony Davis ($11,200) has a 25th-percentile outcome (44.9 FanDuel points) above any other power forward's 75th-percentile outcome, so there's a lot of opportunity cost in not having exposure to Davis in tournaments, even though his individual matchup is less than ideal for paying off such a high salary. The pace is rough, and both teams are top-12 in defensive rating.

Warriors teammates Draymond Green ($7,100) and Eric Paschall ($5,900) top numberFire's power forward projections tonight. Each are slotted for 33-plus minutes against the Grizzlies' 24th-ranked defense and 11th-ranked pace.

Richaun Holmes ($6,500) has played at least 26 minutes in all six games in November. Holmes (0.98 FanDuel points per minute) ranks as the third-best floor/ceiling power forward in my simulations in a spot against the Phoenix Suns.

Core Plays: Draymond Green, Eric Paschall
Secondary Plays: Anthony Davis, Richaun Holmes
Tournament Plays: Dario Saric ($5,300), Nerlens Noel ($4,200)

Small Forward

Small forward is probably the deepest position on the slate, and there are plenty of cheap options. That starts with Kent Bazemore ($4,100) in a spot without Damian Lillard. Without Dame, Bazemore has a 22.7% usage rate. Teammate Rodney Hood ($4,500) has a 14.1% usage rate in that split. Hood has averaged just 0.64 FanDuel points per minute on the season but should see minutes into the 30s.

Kenrich Williams ($5,200) could see a huge boost, depending on which Pelicans actually sit, and Alec Burks ($5,600) could start, so we'll have to keep an eye on the news there.

The cheaper options could leave LeBron James ($12,000) underowned in a game with the lowest total of the night. The Oklahoma City Thunder did play last night but rank 12th in defense and 26th in offensive pace. Like with Davis could have a hard time paying off that elevated salary in such a bleak game, but he still has tournament appeal with his ceiling compared to the rest of the small forward options.

Core Plays: Kent Bazemore, Rodney Hood
Secondary Plays: Kenrich Williams, Alec Burks, Kelly Oubre ($6,700)
Tournament Plays: LeBron James, Brandon Ingram