FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 11/22/19

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
Charlotte Washington 234.5 -6.5 114.0 120.5 21 5
Houston LA Clippers 227.0 -5.0 111.0 116.0 2 8
Atlanta Detroit 223.5 -6.0 108.75 114.75 11 29
Cleveland Dallas 221.0 -10.0 105.5 115.5 30 18
San Antonio Philadelphia 221.0 -7.5 106.75 114.25 14 15
Miami Chicago 216.0 +5.0 110.5 105.5 22 4
Sacramento Brooklyn 213.5 -1.5 106.0 107.5 25 6
LA Lakers Oklahoma City 211.0 +4.5 107.75 103.25 20 26
Golden State Utah 208.0 -15.5 96.25 111.75 13 19
Boston Denver 206.5 -4.5 101.0 105.5 17 28

It's a 10-game slate, but there's a pretty big divide between the top five games and the bottom five games in terms of over/under, so you could do worse than just cutting off the bottom five games (outside of the elite values) and stacking up the games with more juice. A lot of tie-breakers will be settled -- for me -- based on the game environments.

Point Guard

Studs at point guard aren't scarce tonight, but you don't have to break the bank to roster standout plays for your teams.

Russell Westbrook ($9,000) will be featured in a game between teams that are top-eight in offensive seconds per play offensively. Westbrook got into foul trouble in a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers earlier in the month and posted just 20.4 FanDuel points despite still seeing 20 shot attempts.

Chris Paul ($7,200) draws a matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers but rates out as a high-floor play for the salary. Paul averages 1.08 FanDuel points per minute on the year and projects for more than 30 minutes tonight. I hate the game, but he's a solid mid-range value.

There actually isn't a ton of value early in the day, so someone like Terry Rozier ($7,100) -- in the game with the highest total of the night -- looks enticing. Rozier averages a somewhat subpar 0.91 FanDuel points per minute, but the game environment should help elevate that against the NBA's 29th-ranked defense by defensive rating.

The best tournament values in my model rate out as: Kemba Walker ($7,600), Westbrook, Mike Conley ($7,300), Paul, Cory Joseph ($4,900), Ben Simmons ($9,000), and Trae Young ($9,000)

Core Plays: Russell Westbrook, Terry Rozier, Trae Young
Secondary Plays: Mike Conley, Chris Paul, Ben Simmons
Tournament Plays: Kemba Walker, Luka Doncic ($12,100)

Shooting Guard

Langston Galloway ($4,000) has played 37 and 39 minutes the past two games and owns a decent 16.6% usage rate but has put up double-digit shot attempts in his past five games. He doesn't do much outside of scoring, but he's up in pace against the Atlanta Hawks. He is numberFire's top shooting guard value by a huge margin.

Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,500) has a 31.9% usage rate without Kyrie Irving, who is out. It is a pace-down game for the Brooklyn Nets, but he still ranks as a high-floor play given the usage. Garrett Temple ($4,200) owns a better value projection on a per-dollar basis. He has played 32 and 30 minutes the past two games.

If spending up, Bradley Beal ($9,800) is my preference. James Harden ($11,500) should face some tough perimeter defense, and Beal gets the game of the night in terms of over/under.

Core Plays: Langston Galloway, Spencer Dinwiddie, Bradley Beal
Secondary Plays: Garrett Temple, Dennis Schroder ($5,400), Gary Harris ($4,700)
Tournament Plays: James Harden, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,000), Louis Williams ($6,900)

Small Forward

In a 27-minute sample with Kawhi Leonard ($9,800), Paul George ($8,600) posted a 32.9% usage rate (compared to Leonard's 33.3%). That keeps George on the map, and we also saw him play 37 minutes in an overtime game on Wednesday. Arrows are up for George, despite Leonard's return, and he's the top small forward play on the board, according to my model.

Luke Kennard ($6,100) is numberFire's -- and my -- second-best value play at the position in a minutes load that should be 35-plus against the uptempo Hawks, who rank 27th in defensive rating.

Troy Brown ($3,900) -- and to a lesser degree Nicolas Batum ($4,200) and Miles Bridges ($5,400) -- get a bump in the game of the night. Brown generates a nice 0.89 FanDuel points per minute for someone at a sub-$4,000 salary. He's my third-best value option at the position tonight.

Joe Harris ($4,900), Taurean Prince ($5,600), and Dzanan Musa ($3,500) -- in that order -- can offer up value for the shorthanded Nets, as well.

Core Plays: Paul George, Luke Kennard, Troy Brown
Secondary Plays: Joe Harris, Nicolas Batum, Taurean Prince
Tournament Plays: Danilo Gallinari ($6,100), Tobias Harris ($7,200), Glenn Robinson III ($4,600)

Power Forward

Assuming Kawhi plays, he's near the top of the board. Again, when sharing the court with Paul George, he had a 33.3% usage rate in a small sample -- a very promising number.

The other preferred options at the position are also at least a little pricey: Bam Adebayo ($8,600), Blake Griffin ($7,700), Al Horford ($7,000), and Richaun Holmes ($6,500). In terms of safety, these four are a cut above the rest of the position.

There's still value to be had, primarily with Omari Spellman ($3,700), P.J. Tucker ($4,700), Maxi Kleber ($4,400), and Daniel Theis ($4,900).

The best tournament values here are Leonard, Adebayo, Griffin, Tucker, Horford, Anthony Davis ($11,300), and Holmes, according to my model.

Core Plays: Bam Adebayo, Blake Griffin, Richaun Holmes
Secondary Plays: Kawhi Leonard, Omari Spellman, Maxi Kleber
Tournament Plays: P.J. Tucker, Al Horford, Anthony Davis


numberFire projects five centers for at least 5.0 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary: Damian Jones ($3,800), Andre Drummond ($9,600), Ivica Zubac ($4,100), Montrezl Harrell ($7,000), and Moritz Wagner ($4,300). Drummond really stands out at the salary in a spot against the Hawks. He's my top adjusted value of the night among centers.

Nikola Jokic ($9,000) just missed that 5.0-FanDuel-point-per-$1,000 cutoff at 4.95, and he's second in my value marks in a spot against the Boston Celtics. I don't love that game with such a low total, so that bumps down Joker even though the simulations like him.

Rudy Gobert ($8,600) should eat up the Golden State Warriors' below-average rebounding and league-worst defense, and Thomas Bryant ($6,900) gets elevated in the game of the night, as the Charlotte Hornets are 23rd in defensive rating and dead last in rebounding rate. Wagner is also in that same matchup and projects for around 20 minutes.

Core Plays: Andre Drummond, Rudy Gobert, Thomas Bryant
Secondary Plays: Moritz Wagner, Ivica Zubac, Steven Adams ($5,600)
Tournament Plays: Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid ($10,100), Damian Jones