FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 12/2/19

Giannis Antetokounmpo's Bucks are heavy favorites. Can you trust him tonight in your 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/
Phoenix Charlotte 224.0 +4.0 114.0 110.0 10 25
Golden State Atlanta 223.0 -6.5 108.25 114.75 13 12
New York Milwaukee 221.5 -17.0 102.25 119.25 22 1
Indiana Memphis 216.0 +9.5 112.75 103.25 20 9
Chicago Sacramento 211.0 -5.5 102.75 108.25 4 26
Utah Philadelphia 208.5 -6.0 101.25 107.25 16 21

Point Guard

Tyus Jones ($4,000) should see plenty of work over the next few weeks with Ja Morant dealing with back issues. Jones played 25 minutes yesterday and averages a solid 0.83 FanDuel points per minute. numberFire projects him for 26 minutes in a middling matchup with the Indiana Pacers, but he's a potential building block at the price.

Dennis Smith ($3,600) also rates out as an elite value play based on numberFire's projections. We peg him for 28.4 FanDuel points -- 7.88 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary. We generally should shoot for 5.00. Smith should get up near 30 minutes (we have him at 34) in a pace-up matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. There's huge blowout risk, but the opportunity would be immense for Smith if Frank Ntilikina (questionable) sits. Smith put up 32.7 FanDuel points in 38 minutes last game.

The value at point guard could leave the pricier plays under-owned in tournaments. Trae Young ($10,000) in particular rates out for a great night against the terrible Golden State Warriors' defense.

Core Plays: Tyus Jones, Dennis Smith, Trae Young
Secondary Plays: Kris Dunn ($4,700), De'Anthony Melton ($3,500), Cory Joseph ($4,700)
Tournament Plays: Malcolm Brogdon ($8,400), Ben Simmons ($8,900), Tomas Satoransky ($5,100)

Shooting Guard

DeAndre Bembry ($4,200) faces the Warriors' 27th-ranked defense tonight, and he projects as the best per-dollar shooting guard play in my model. There are injuries among the Atlanta Hawks' wing positions, paving the way for Bembry to get minutes in the mid-20s in that great matchup.

Buddy Hield ($7,000) and Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,200) for the Sacramento Kings pop tonight against the Chicago Bulls. It's a big jump in pace for the Kings, as the Bulls are fourth in offensive seconds per play. Hield (0.91 FanDuel points per minute) and Bogdanovic (1.02) are both productive players, and each should see safe minutes (Hield around 34 and Bogdanovic around 28).

Core Plays: DeAndre' Bembry, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic
Secondary Plays: Devonte' Graham ($7,400), Dillon Brooks ($4,900), Furkan Korkmaz ($3,500)
Tournament Plays: Devin Booker ($8,300), RJ Barrett ($6,200), Jeremy Lamb ($6,700)

Small Forward

The value at point guard should be used on Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,200) in cash games. There's blowout risk, as the Bucks are favored by 17, but in order for them to get there, Antetokounmpo will likely have a big night. He leads the entire NBA in FanDuel points per minute (1.87) and is second in usage rate (36.4%). The New York Knicks are 22nd in defensive rating.

The Warriors are in an enticing matchup tonight against the Hawks, who are 12th in pace and 29th in defensive rating. That puts Alec Burks ($6,200) and Glenn Robinson III ($4,900) on the map. Near the top of the map? Whatever. They're good plays. Both have minutes projections above 34. Burks (0.94 FanDuel points per minute) is the better play over Robinson (0.72) outright, but the savings puts Robinson ahead. Either way, the Warriors' matchup is pristine here.

Core Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks
Secondary Plays: De'Andre Hunter ($5,000), Jae Crowder ($5,000), James Ennis ($3,600)
Tournament Plays: Harrison Barnes ($6,200), Tobias Harris ($7,100), Bruno Caboclo ($3,500)

Power Forward

Richaun Holmes ($6,400) rates out at the top of the board for me tonight in a matchup with the Bulls. Teammate Nemanja Bjelica ($5,500) is second. The Bulls are a decent 14th in defensive rating but are 4th in pace, a good boost for the Kings' slow offense. Holmes (1.02) and Bjelica (0.93) are good per-minute producers, and anytime we get that in an uptempo game, we should take note.

There are appealing cheaper plays, but Domantas Sabonis ($8,300) isn't all that pricey. His Pacers could blow out the Memphis Grizzlies, though he's such a key piece that he'd likely get his anyway. Sabonis has a 23.1% usage rate, and Memphis is 23rd in defensive rating. He owns the best 75th-percentile value among all power forwards, according to my model. That means he's a great tournament option. He's also third in floor/ceiling combination.

Core Plays: Richaun Holmes, Domantas Sabonis, Nemanja Bjelica
Secondary Plays: Eric Paschall ($5,900), Jabari Parker ($7,000), Dario Saric ($6,000)
Tournament Plays: Al Horford ($7,300), PJ Washington ($5,500), Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,300)


Robin Lopez ($3,500) is a fantastic bet to pay off a minimum salary tag. Brook Lopez is out, and last game, Robin saw 23 minutes of action. He averages 0.74 FanDuel points per minute, so he should pay off his tag in around 24 minutes if he sticks to that number. He projects for just that by numberFire's projections. Lopez' matchup is nice against the Knicks' 22nd-ranked defense. They're also 27th in rebounding rate.

Yet another Warrior, it's Willie Cauley-Stein ($5,200) against the Hawks, who are 20th in rebounding rate. Cauley-Stein has played 24 minutes in consecutive games and has 10 shots in each. His 1.05 FanDuel-point-per-minute average gives him a high floor and ceiling in what should be a back-and-forth game.

Core Plays: Robin Lopez, Willie Cauley-Stein
Secondary Plays: Bismack Biyombo ($4,700), Damian Jones ($4,100)
Tournament Plays: Joel Embiid ($10,900), Wendell Carter Jr. ($7,200), Jonas Valanciunas ($7,600)