FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 12/3/19

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/
Houston San Antonio 234.5 +5.5 120.0 114.5 2 16
Dallas New Orleans 232.5 +4.0 118.25 114.25 17 3
Portland LA Clippers 230.5 -9.0 110.75 119.75 18 6
Orlando Washington 227.0 -2.0 112.5 114.5 27 5
Detroit Cleveland 216.5 +3.0 109.75 106.75 29 30
Miami Toronto 212.5 -5.0 103.75 108.75 24 11
LA Lakers Denver 207.5 -2.0 102.75 104.75 14 28

Point Guard

Point guard is loaded at the top with Luka Doncic ($12,400), Russell Westbrook ($9,000), and Damian Lillard ($9,000). When examining prices and salaries, Westbrook jumps to the top of my model for the night. The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs have the highest total of the night. Westbrook has a 30.5% usage rate and averages 1.28 FanDuel points per minute on the year.

Lonzo Ball ($6,200) is in a pace-down game, but that's the case for just about every game the New Orleans Pelicans play. Ball isn't on a minutes restriction, though, and should have a high floor so long as he doesn't get in foul trouble if he guards Doncic.

Kendrick Nunn ($4,800) tops the value board at point guard in numberFire's projections. The Miami Heat are 24th in offensive pace, but the Toronto Raptors are 11th, so he'll eke out more value playing up in pace. Nunn should get near 30 minutes without Goran Dragic.

Core Plays: Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, Lonzo Ball
Secondary Plays: Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Markelle Fultz ($5,900)
Tournament Plays: Fred VanVleet ($8,200), Darius Garland ($4,600), Patty Mills ($3,500)

Shooting Guard

James Harden ($12,000) and Doncic are both intriguing high-end spends, but my model prefers Harden, for what it's worth. Like with point guard, there are other enticing options at the high end, primarily Bradley Beal ($9,700), DeMar DeRozan ($8,200), and Jrue Holiday ($8,300). numberFire ranks them Holiday, DeRozan, Beal, but I have them in the inverse. The point is: the opportunity cost in not getting to Harden is lessened because we have these three.

Josh Hart ($4,700) rates out as an elite value play with Kenrich Williams and Derrick Favors absent from the Pelicans' frontcourt. numberFire projects Hart for 30.7 minutes, and Hart has the best floor/ceiling combination in my model. Hart averages a sound 0.92 FanDuel points per minute and seems like a safe bet to return value in an expanded role.

Terrence Ross ($4,700) at the same price also rates out top-five in numberFire's median value projections. Ross is locked into minutes in the upper 20s and has had double-digit shot attempts in eight of his past nine games. The Orlando Magic all get a bump against the Washington Wizards' fifth-ranked pace and league-worst defense.

Core Plays: Josh Hart, Bradley Beal, James Harden
Secondary Plays: Terrence Ross, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday
Tournament Plays: C.J. McCollum ($6,900), Tyler Herro ($4,600), Evan Fournier ($6,900)

Small Forward

With the Los Angeles Lakers owning the lowest total of the night, LeBron James ($11,400) rates out poorly tonight, and small forward is a position where we can save some salary overall.

Between the next tier of Brandon Ingram ($9,300), Paul George ($9,300), and Pascal Siakam ($9,200), it's Siakam who jumps out with a higher floor and ceiling tonight by a tad. Siakam is actually fourth in numberFire's value rating. At the price, he's more of a secondary option -- not someone to build around primarily but someone better suited for cash-game lineups than Ingram and George.

Rudy Gay ($5,300) gets a significant bump with LaMarcus Aldridge ruled out. Gay's usage rate jumps up nearly four percentage points without Aldridge to 24.5%.

Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,000) has had 18, 8, 14, and 10 shot attempts over the past four games to mixed box score results, but he now gets those chances against the Pelicans' 25th-ranked defense. He and Gay are a fine duo to build around in a cash-game format.

Core Plays: Rudy Gay, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Secondary Plays: Pascal Siakam, Brandon Ingram, Dorian Finney-Smith ($3,500), Justise Winslow ($5,500)
Tournament Plays: Paul George, OG Anunoby ($5,500), Will Barton ($6,900)

Power Forward

Kristaps Porzingis ($8,100) and his 24.6% usage rate meet the weak Pelicans defense. He grades out second in adjusted value at the position and first in tournament value in my model. He's a building block on a slate where power forward is overall disappointing.

Aaron Gordon ($6,200) has played 31 and 30 minutes in two games since returning but has made 4 of 22 shot attempts. He should have a good chance to correct that against the Wizards' NBA-worst defense.

The best tournament values at power forward -- using 75th-percentile outcomes -- are Porzingis, P.J. Tucker ($5,100), Bam Adebayo ($7,900), Blake Griffin ($7,400), Gordon, Anthony Davis ($11,200), Kawhi Leonard ($10,200), and Rui Hachimura ($5,400).

Core Plays: Kristaps Porzingis, Aaron Gordon, P.J. Tucker
Secondary Plays: Bam Adebayo, Blake Griffin, Rui Hachimura
Tournament Plays: Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, JaMychal Green ($4,400)


Jakob Poeltl ($5,100) has just a 14.1% usage rate without LaMarcus Aldridge, but that's actually a bit higher than it is when sharing the court with him. The reasons to play Poeltl are simple: minutes. numberFire projects him for 24.4, a big deviation from his season average of 17.9. Poeltl averages 1.07 FanDuel points per minute.

I can't get enough of Thomas Bryant ($6,300), regardless of his results. Bryant is the top center play in my model, and Moritz Wagner is questionable. If he sits, then Bryant's minutes should bound up. He averages 1.10 FanDuel points per minute and is one of my favorite plays on the board.

Andre Drummond ($9,800) draws the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are 17th in rebounding rate and 23rd in defense. So it's not quite as elite a matchup as it used to be, and Drummond's ceiling has seen a dip while sharing the floor with Blake Griffin. He's still a strong play regardless, and his floor is outdone by only three other centers' ceilings (Nikola Jokic ($8,900), Clint Capela ($8,800), and Hassan Whiteside ($8,300)).

Core Plays: Jakob Poeltl, Thomas Bryant
Secondary Plays: Andre Drummond, Nikola Jokic
Tournament Plays: Clint Capela, Jaxson Hayes ($4,500), Ivica Zubac ($4,000)