FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 12/4/19
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.
With Mike Conley out, Donovan Mitchell ($8,000) jumps up to the top of the board today and may be the best per-dollar option out of every position on the 10-game slate. Mitchell has a 31.7% usage rate without Conley on the court this season. The Utah Jazz play in the game with the lowest over/under, but both Utah and the Los Angeles Lakers are top-half in offensive seconds per play. numberFire projects Mitchell for nearly 37 minutes.
DeAndre Bembry ($4,700) should get his floor elevated tonight without De'Andre Hunter. Bembry's Atlanta Hawks host the Brooklyn Nets, a matchup between two teams in the top 12 in offensive seconds per play. Bembry is a decent per-minute producer (0.85 FanDuel points) and projects for more than 30 in a good matchup.
Core Plays: Donovan Mitchell, DeAndre Bembry, C.J. McCollum ($6,900)
Secondary Plays: Evan Turner ($3,600), Garrett Temple ($5,400), Dennis Schroder ($5,400)
Tournament Plays: Devin Booker ($8,200), Buddy Hield ($7,400), Jimmy Butler ($8,600)
Luka Doncic ($12,500) is a monster. He averages 1.70 FanDuel points per minute, second in the NBA behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo (1.88). The Dallas Mavericks draw the top fantasy game of the night and will be up in pace against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who rank a decent 12th in defensive rating. His low-end outcome (25th-percentile) in my projections is still 49.0 FanDuel points.
We don't have to spend on Doncic, though, as there are value plays and other point guards with high ceilings. Spencer Dinwiddie ($8,700) gets the Hawks in a game without Kyrie Irving. Dinwiddie has a 32.1% usage rate without Irving.
Emmanuel Mudiay ($3,500) can help get to Doncic. With Conley out, Mudiay projects for minutes in the low 20s and has a 24.5% usage rate without Conley on the court. He's a 0.88-FanDuel-point-per-minute producer in either split.
Core Plays: Spencer Dinwiddie, Luka Doncic, Emmanuel Mudiay
Secondary Plays: Kris Dunn ($4,700), Kemba Walker ($7,700), Kendrick Nunn ($4,800)
Tournament Plays: Trae Young ($10,300), Damian Lillard ($9,100), Tyus Jones ($4,600)
Power forward is pretty deep with very few standout plays.
Anthony Davis ($10,800) is in a tough matchup but is priced appropriately, Jabari Parker ($7,000) rates out second in tournament value in my projections, and Jaren Jackson Jr. ($7,000) gets a matchup with the Chicago Bulls that features two top-10-paced teams.
One thing we know for sure is that Frank Kaminsky ($4,300) jumps out as a salary-saver. Aron Baynes is out, but Cheick Diallo ($3,600) is probable. Either way, we're looking at around 30 minutes for Kaminsky, who averages 0.87 FanDuel points per minute on the season. It's Jackson and Kaminsky as the power forward duo in numberFire's optimal lineup today.
With a player pool like this, I tend to swing for upside, and the best tournament values in my model are Kaminsky, Parker, Royce O'Neale ($3,700), Robert Covington ($5,500), Aaron Gordon ($6,200), Anthony Davis, Bam Adebayo ($8,100), Young, Jackson Jr., and Richaun Holmes ($7,000).
Core Plays: Frank Kaminsky, Jaren Jackson Jr.
Secondary Plays: Anthony Davis, Jabari Parker, Royce O'Neale
Tournament Plays: Robert Covington, Aaron Gordon, Bam Adebayo
With LeBron James ($11,000) against the Jazz, Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,400) gets the nod at the top. He leads the NBA in per-minute fantasy production by a comfortable margin and faces a below-average defense tonight in the Detroit Pistons.
If not jamming in Giannis, we can save some dough. Taurean Prince ($5,500) sees his usage rate bump 2.6 percentage points without Irving on the floor, and he projects for 32.7 minutes, according to numberFire.
Core Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Taurean Prince, Bojan Bogdanovic
Secondary Plays: Cam Reddish ($3,800), Jae Crowder, Joe Ingles
Tournament Plays: Jaylen Brown ($7,000), Harrison Barnes ($5,600), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5,000)
Center is pretty clustered in the sense that we have good plays but nobody who really emerges as the clear-cut best option. Three expensive options rank as the core plays for me.
I've got Rudy Gobert ($7,800), Andre Drummond ($10,000), and Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,600) rated similarly when adjusted for salary, but Gobert does rank with the slightly better night against the Lakers. You can't really go wrong with any of them from a floor perspective. Gobert, though, is cheaper and is more likely to return at least 6.0 FanDuel points per $1,000 (19%) than Drummond (13%) or Towns (9%). They all rate out with the best tournament range of outcome values, too, so they're clearly the top priorities here.
There's a similar situation among some cheaper centers: Damian Jones ($4,800), Mohamed Bamba ($4,500), Willie Cauley-Stein ($4,800), and Dwight Howard ($4,100). I have them ranked in that way, but they're all a tier below the pricier plays.
Core Plays: Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond, Karl-Anthony Towns
Secondary Plays: Damian Jones, Mohamed Bamba, Willie Cauley-Stein
Tournament Plays: Wendell Carter Jr. ($7,400), Myles Turner ($6,800), Alex Len ($3,700)