FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 11/26/19

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/
Washington Denver 228.0 -10.0 119.0 109.0 5 28
LA Clippers Dallas 227.0 +1.5 114.25 112.75 7 18

We've got two games, so options are few. The Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks game has a much tighter spread than the Washington Wizards and Denver Nuggets. Each game represents a pace-up matchup for the home teams.

Today, it's more about roster construction than anything else. Stacking up one game or the other makes a lot of sense -- in case the games with similar totals play out drastically differently.

Point Guard

The Clippers could throw a lot of looks at Luka Doncic ($12,500), but his floor is higher than all other point guard's ceilings (mathematically, I have his 25th-percentile outcome at 46.2 FanDuel points and nobody else above 44.1 in terms of a 75th-percentile outcome among point guards).

Jamal Murray ($7,800) rates out as the best adjusted value at the position yet is far from a must-play given the price that's a bit high for a two-game slate. Murray has played 31 or more minutes in four straight games and draws a plum of a matchup. Having he or Doncic in a lineup makes sense so that you aren't capping your lineup's ceiling too much.

Ishmael Smith ($4,200) and Isaiah Thomas ($5,200) are good salary-saving options for the Wizards. They are both top-four tournament values behind Murray and Doncic. Smith is numberFire's top projected point guard value.

Core Plays: Jamal Murray, Luka Doncic
Secondary Plays: Ishmael Smith, Isaiah Thomas
Tournament Plays: Monte Morris ($3,700), Patrick Beverley ($5,700)

Shooting Guard

Gary Harris ($4,500) is the top per-dollar play on the slate, according to my model. He averages just 0.63 FanDuel points per minute on a 15.0% usage rate, but the minutes should clear 30 easily against the Wizards' 29th-ranked defense.

I always love playing Bradley Beal ($9,700). He has a 1.23-FanDuel-point-per-minute average on a 31.1% usage rate and has logged 37 minutes or more in eight straight games. That safety can lead to a lot of value on a two-gamer.

Shooting guard drops off after that. Delon Wright ($4,300), Jordan McRae ($3,700), and Lou Williams ($7,200) rate out with the best tournament values in my model. Harris and either Beal or Wright would be the ideal build.

Core Plays: Gary Harris
Secondary Plays: Bradley Beal
Tournament Plays: Delon Wright, Jordan McRae, Lou Williams

Small Forward

Small forward is pretty ugly if seeking positive value plays, so that does two things. One, it means we could just spend down if no options project as likely to pay off their salary. Two, it means we could always give extra attention to the upside of Paul George ($9,500) (from a raw FanDuel point outcome).

Despite that, it's Will Barton ($6,700) who looks to have more per-dollar pop at the high end of his range of outcomes than does George. Barton is also numberFire's top value small forward.

Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,400) rates out tops for me at the position and is second in numberFire's model. He puts up just 0.72 FanDuel points per minute on a 13.8% usage rate, keeping him a low-ceiling play. Still, he projects for around 27 minutes, fourth-most behind Barton (33), George (32), and Davis Bertans ($6,000; 30) -- all of whom are substantially more expensive.

Troy Brown ($3,700) ranks second in my value projections. He puts up 0.85 FanDuel points per minute on a 14.2% usage rate, similar marks to Finney-Smith for a cheaper price.

Core Plays: Will Barton, Troy Brown
Secondary Plays: Dorian Finney-Smith, Paul George
Tournament Plays: Maurice Harkless ($3,800), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,400), Davis Bertans

Power Forward

The Mavericks' duo of Kristaps Porzingis ($8,500) and Maxi Kleber ($4,200) rate out best for me tonight on a per-dollar basis, with Kleber owning a pretty good floor/ceiling combo at the salary. Kleber got up to 25 minutes last game. He's dealing with a knee injury but is probable. Porzingis has 14 or more shot attempts in six straight games and has settled into a 1.21-FanDuel-point-per-minute average for the season.

Kawhi Leonard ($10,200) obviously has the best ceiling, but Porzingis is close enough that the savings go a long way. Leonard still has a 32.3% usage rate when sharing the court with Paul George. You can kind of take your pick with Leonard or George, but Porzingis is the priority over Leonard given the salary.

It's a pretty big drop to everyone else, but Jerami Grant ($3,700) sticks out from the others in terms of tournament value. He should see around 20 minutes against a dreadful defense, clearing a path to some upside.

Core Plays: Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber
Secondary Plays: Kawhi Leonard, Jerami Grant
Tournament Plays: JaMychal Green ($3,800), Paul Millsap ($6,600)


I think center is a spot where you should take a stand and spend up for either Nikola Jokic ($10,800) or Thomas Bryant ($6,800), as they rate out at the top of my model by a comfortable margin.

However, numberFire's projections actually rate Montrezl Harrell ($7,600), Dwight Powell ($4,600), and Mason Plumlee ($4,100) higher. Powell's status depends a good bit on Kleber's health.

The reasons I like Jokic and Bryant: Jokic's ceiling is untouchable by the rest of the position, and Bryant rates out very similarly on a range-of-outcome (in terms of raw fantasy points) basis as the more expensive Harrell in my projections. Bryant has an 18.9% usage rate and averages 1.11 FanDuel points per minute. Harrell has a 19.2% usage rate with Leonard and George on the court and 0.98 FanDuel points per minute.

Core Plays: Nikola Jokic, Thomas Bryant
Secondary Plays: Mason Plumlee
Tournament Plays: Dwight Powell, Montrezl Harrell