FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 11/21/19

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/Under Home Spread Away Total Home Total Away Pace Home Pace
New Orleans Phoenix 235.0 -4.0 115.50 119.50 4 9
Portland Milwaukee 228.5 -13.0 107.75 120.75 20 1

It's just a two-game slate, but both games have fantasy appeal and good paces. The Milwaukee Bucks have blowout risk over the Portland Trail Blazers, so that's the main wrinkle for this short slate.

Small Forward

Small forward is a relatively deep position tonight, though there's substantial opportunity cost on a two-game slate if you opt not to roster Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,600). According to my model, his 25th-percentile outcome of 54.0 FanDuel points is higher than any other player's 75th-percentile outcome -- across all positions. He's a game theory avoid in tournaments, but even then, I think you can differentiate elsewhere.

Kent Bazemore ($4,200) and Carmelo Anthony ($3,800) look good for the Blazers, as they'll be without Damian Lillard. Anthony played 24 minutes and had 14 shot attempts in his debut, good for a stellar 36.5% usage rate. Bazemore played 28 minutes in that game and has had a steady 0.84 FanDuel points per minute this season. Bazemore would get a boost if Anfernee Simons ($4,800) were to sit.

Core Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony
Secondary Plays: Kent Bazemore, Kelly Oubre ($7,300)
Tournament Plays: Cameron Johnson ($4,400), Brandon Ingram ($8,900)

Point Guard

If Anfernee Simons plays, he'll be a priority play at point guard. Simons has double-digit shot attempts in eight of his past nine games, and he just played 36 minutes without Lillard on Tuesday.

Ricky Rubio ($6,600) is doubtful, so there's opportunity for Tyler Johnson ($3,500) and Jevon Carter ($3,500), though neither Johnson (0.63) nor Carter (0.76) are particularly productive players.

That lends merit to spending up for Eric Bledsoe ($7,700), who owns a 27.9% usage rate without Khris Middleton. George Hill ($4,400) is at 16.1% and projects for around 23 minutes tonight.

Core Plays: Anfernee Simons, Eric Bledsoe
Secondary Plays: Tyler Johnson, George Hill
Tournament Plays: Lonzo Ball ($6,900), Jevon Carter

Shooting Guard

The top two options on the board are Devin Booker ($8,500) and C.J. McCollum ($7,500), and I don't think it's particularly close on a per-dollar basis. Booker has a 32.2% usage rate without Rubio and a corresponding 1.28 FanDuel-point-per-minute mark. McCollum's usage rate is 27.9% without Lillard, and he averages 1.05 FanDuel points per minute in that split.

That lends credence to a pivot to Jrue Holiday ($8,700) in tournaments, but Booker and McCollum are going to be the shooting guard duo in my primary lineup.

After them, it's taking your pick between the Bucks' trio of Sterling Brown ($4,100), Wesley Matthews ($3,500), and Donte DiVincenzo ($5,000). I'd rank them in that order tonight, based on my model. numberFire's projections actually rank them DiVincenzo, Pat Connaughton ($3,500), Matthews, and Brown.

Core Plays: C.J. McCollum, Devin Booker
Secondary Plays: Jrue Holiday
Tournament Plays: Sterling Brown, Donte DiVincenzo

Power Forward

Power forward is a mess. There's no Derrick Favors, so nobody costs more than $5,100. The Phoenix Suns offer some value.

Frank Kaminsky ($4,600) rates out as the best play. numberFire projects him for nearly 28 minutes as Aron Baynes is out. Kaminsky averages 0.88 FanDuel points per minute. Dario Saric ($5,100) also projects for a similar workload and is a similar producer (0.85 FanDuel points per minute). Heck, even Cheick Diallo ($3,500) is in play. He averages 0.98 FanDuel points per minute and should get around 17 tonight.

With Hassan Whiteside ($7,800) questionable, we could see Skal Labissiere ($3,600) unleashed. A good per-minute producer (0.93), Labissiere has upside if the minutes are there.

Core Plays: Frank Kaminsky, Dario Saric
Secondary Plays: Cheick Diallo, Skal Labissiere
Tournament Plays: Ersan Ilyasova ($3,500), Nicolo Melli ($4,700)


Five center-eligible plays project for minutes, and that includes Whiteside, who is questionable.

The top play looks to be Jaxson Hayes ($5,000), who has played 23, 32, and 21 minutes the past three games and averages 1.08 FanDuel points per minute. Whiteside would be a close second on a per-dollar basis if he is given a full workload.

Brook Lopez ($6,800) is spendy but would be the only other center to top 22 minutes, so he's in play by default despite rating out poorly overall.

The only other center options who project for minutes are Jahlil Okafor ($4,600) and Robin Lopez ($3,500). Even Okafor is questionable.

Core Plays: Jaxson Hayes, Hassan Whiteside (if he plays)
Secondary Plays: Brook Lopez
Tournament Plays: Jahlil Okafor (if he plays), Robin Lopez