FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 12/11/19

Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz benefit from Mike Conley's absence. Who else is in play on Wednesday's slate?

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/
New Orleans Milwaukee 235.5 -13.0 111.25 124.25 3 1
Memphis Phoenix 231.5 -7.5 112.0 119.5 8 12
Houston Cleveland 228.5 +11.5 120.0 108.5 2 30
Utah Minnesota 223.0 +1.0 112.0 111.0 16 7
Atlanta Chicago 222.0 -5.0 108.5 113.5 11 6
LA Clippers Toronto 220.5 +2.5 111.5 109.0 4 10
Charlotte Brooklyn 217.0 -9.5 103.75 113.25 25 9
LA Lakers Orlando 213.0 +7.5 110.25 102.75 13 27
Boston Indiana 210.5 +1.0 105.75 104.75 19 18
New York Golden State 209.5 -4.5 102.5 107.0 21 15
Oklahoma City Sacramento 209.5 -1.5 104.0 105.5 23 26

Shooting Guard

Three shooting guards stick out tonight, and they make for a good starting point when building lineups. While James Harden ($12,200) has both blowout risk and pace concerns against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he has played at least 39 minutes in four straight games, and the Houston Rockets are dealing with a long list of injuries. Harden's floor is lower than we may like, given the red flags, but he is still a top-flight ceiling play.

Donovan Mitchell ($8,100) is much more salary friendly. The Utah Jazz get a pace bump against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who rank 20th in garbage-time-free defensive rating. Mitchell has had 24, 17, and 25 shot attempts the past three games, and Mike Conley remains out. In 36.5 projected minutes, Mitchell is very much a building block piece, and he has the best composite matchup possible.

Bogdan Bogdanovic ($4,500) should see minutes in the mid-20s even if Marvin Bagley III ($7,000) returns. Bogdanovic averages 0.95 FanDuel points per minute and rates out as the top overall per-dollar play in my model early in the day -- despite being involved in the game with the lowest total on the board.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo ruled out, Khris Middleton ($6,800) and the Milwaukee Bucks all get boosted. Middleton has a 32.6% usage rate and a 1.25-FanDuel-point-per-minute average without Antetokounmpo on the floor.

Core Plays: James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, Khris Middleton
Secondary Plays: Donte DiVincenzo ($3,700), J.J. Redick ($4,300), Bogdan Bogdanovic
Tournament Plays: Louis Williams ($6,000), Andrew Wiggins ($7,700), Devin Booker ($8,700)

Point Guard

Spencer Dinwiddie ($8,000) should thrive with Kyrie Irving out and Iman Shumpert doubtful. Dinwiddie should get minutes in the mid-30s and has a usage rate of 30.5% without those two guards on the floor. Dinwiddie draws the 29th-ranked Charlotte Hornets defense tonight, too.

Now that Giannis is out, Eric Bledsoe ($7,000) rates as an elite play in the fantasy game of the night between teams that rank top three in pace. Bledsoe has a 33.7% usage rate without Antetokounmpo on the court, and the New Orleans Pelicans are just 25th in defensive rating.

When few plays really stand out, I like to err on upside. The best tournament values in my model are Dinwiddie, Kyle Lowry ($8,000), Jeff Teague ($5,300), Darius Garland ($4,100), Coby White ($4,800), and Ricky Rubio ($8,000).

Core Plays: Spencer Dinwiddie, Eric Bledsoe, Kyle Lowry
Secondary Plays: Jeff Teague, Darius Garland, Coby White
Tournament Plays: Ricky Rubio, Russell Westbrook ($10,400), Tomas Satoransky ($6,000)


Center is pretty loaded, but Rudy Gobert ($8,000) ranks as my preferred option tonight. Gobert's price is still down a bit from where it normally is, and he has been involved in three straight non-competitive games. Gobert still averages 1.13 FanDuel points per minute, and there's just a one-point spread tonight against a below-average Minnesota Timberwolves defense. The game environment is elite for Gobert.

Wendell Carter Jr. ($6,900) and the Chicago Bulls face the Atlanta Hawks in a game that looks pretty average compared to the full slate, but both teams are top-11 in pace, and Atlanta is 28th in defense. Carter Jr. generates 0.95 FanDuel points per minute and ranks as a top-four tournament value among centers.

Bismack Biyombo ($3,900) is a cheap option for the Hornets here. He is numberFire's top center value in a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. Biyombo just played 23 minutes and is projected for 24 tonight while the Hornets' frontcourt is thinned out.

Core Plays: Rudy Gobert, Wendell Carter Jr., Bismack Biyombo
Secondary Plays: Clint Capela ($8,800), Brook Lopez ($5,200), Cody Zeller ($4,700)
Tournament Plays: Karl-Anthony Towns ($11,100), Tristan Thompson ($6,900), Myles Turner ($6,300)

Small Forward

I originally had a lot of info on why you needed to play Giannis here, so, welp. LeBron James ($10,900) had a similar price-adjusted range of outcomes as Antetokounmpo did, and with Giannis ruled out, James deserves a lot of attention from an opportunity cost standpoint. No other small forward has a ceiling within 10 points of James' -- and that's with an unappealing matchup with the Orlando Magic.

Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,300) and Joe Ingles ($5,000) get a boost again without Conley. Bogdanovic played 31 minutes, and Ingles played 34 minutes on Monday. Both project as high floor options against the Timberwolves. Their game environment is second-best among all small forwards. Glenn Robinson III ($4,600) and Danuel House Jr. ($4,800) both rate out similarly to Ingles and are decent spend-down options, as well.

Core Plays: Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, LeBron James
Secondary Plays: Pascal Siakam ($8,700), Glenn Robinson, Danuel House
Tournament Plays: Kelly Oubre ($7,200), Jonathan Isaac ($6,700), Miles Bridges ($5,100)

Power Forward

Jabari Parker ($6,300) climbed his way to the top in a matchup with the Bulls, who are the best power forward matchup of the night. Parker projects for minutes in the upper 20s and already averages 1.10 FanDuel points per minute. Put in a plus matchup with fast paces, Parker is an affordable first power forward option.

Thaddeus Young ($3,700) is actually the likeliest power forward to hit 5x value tonight, per my model, which means just 18.5 FanDuel points. That's exactly what numberFire projects him for. Young always gets 18 to 20 minutes, and now those will come in a juiced-up game.

With power forward mostly looking flat, I'll be prioritizing ceiling. The best tournament values in my model are Parker, Kawhi Leonard ($9,600), Royce O'Neale ($3,600), Domantas Sabonis ($9,000), Young, Anthony Davis ($11,800), and Dario Saric ($5,700).

Core Plays: Jabari Parker, Thaddeus Young, Kawhi Leonard
Secondary Plays: Domantas Sabonis, Dario Saric, Royce O'Neale
Tournament Plays: Anthony Davis, PJ Washington ($6,000), Khem Birch ($4,400)