FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 12/26/19

Luka Doncic is back and is the second-highest projected scorer on the slate. Who else should you target tonight?

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 break down today's main slate:

The Slate

San AntonioDallas226.5-6.5110.0116.51217
New YorkBrooklyn224.5-8.0108.25116.252610
MemphisOklahoma City223.5-5.5109.0114.5621

Point Guard

Luka Doncic ($10,500): He's back. Real-life and fantasy superstar Luka Doncic is reportedly making his return to the lineup tonight after missing four games with an ankle sprain. Doncic will face the San Antonio Spurs, a team allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to point guards this season. His price of $10.5K is actually the cheapest he's been since early November, a span of 18 games. Doncic would need just 52.5 FanDuel points to equal 5x, and that's a number he's topped in 71 percent of his healthy games this season. Any way you look at it, he's probably the best stud on the slate -- and one you want to roster.

De'Aaron Fox ($6,900): While he's not the cheapest option, our models project Fox to be the best value at the position and fifth-best value overall. Going up against a Minnesota Timberwolves team that's allowing the second-most real-life points and seventh-most fantasy points to point guards, Fox is in a position to leave his price tag in the dust. At $6.9K (nice), Fox would need just 34.5 points to return 5x -- that's a number that he's exceeded in 3 of his 4 games since returning from injury and in 9 of his last 10 overall. This is only the fourth time this season that Fox is priced under $7K, so take advantage of it while you still can.

Other notable picks: Jeff Teague ($5,400), Elfrid Payton ($5,400), Spencer Dinwiddie ($8,100).

Shooting Guard

Gary Payton II ($4,000): With Isaiah Thomas suspended and half of the Washington Wizards roster banged-up, the team signed Payton from the G-League. In his first game of NBA action this season, Payton totaled 10 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 steals in 34 minutes -- coming out to a whopping 46.7 FanDuel points. Thomas is once again out tonight, yet you can roster Payton for merely $4K. Our models projects Payton to return 5.84x value, which seems conservative. It helps that Payton is playing in the game with the highest projected total on the slate.

Dennis Schroder ($6,300): Over his last five games, Schroder has averaged 37.64 fantasy points -- a number that would be well above the 5x value we'd like to see him post tonight. The Oklahoma City Thunder have the fourth-highest implied total on the slate, and they'll be facing a Memphis Grizzlies that's allowing the sixth-most points to opposing shooting guards. While OKC doesn't usually play at a fast pace, their opponent does, with Memphis playing at the sixth-fastest pace in the league coming into today. Schroder probably won't get you 50, but he has a solid floor and decent enough upside.

Other notable picks: Bradley Beal ($9,600), Garrett Temple ($4,300), Bruce Brown Jr. ($4,200 - questionable).

Small Forward

Taurean Prince ($4,800): The small forward position is a complete wasteland tonight, with no studs and few value options available. Prince is one of the exceptions, as he's projected as the slate's second-best value play by our models. His opponent, the New York Knicks, are surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to the position. At $4.8K, Prince needs just 24 points to return 5x tonight, and that's a number he's topped in 9 of his last 13 games. At a barren position, go with the potential value in Prince.

Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,700): At $5.7K, Bojan is somehow the second-priciest active player at the small forward position. Bogdanovic is one of the few players at the position capable of posting 40-plus fantasy points. He would need 28.5 points to return 5x, and he's averaged 33 over his last five games. Bojan has also posted 45.5 and 34.3 fantasy points in his last two home contests, respectively. While the game has the lowest projected total on the slate, the Utah Jazz do have the sixth-highest implied total. Our models project Bogdanovic to post 21.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assist, and 29.3 fantasy points.

Other notable picks: Troy Brown ($5,000), Joe Harris ($4,600), Carmelo Anthony ($6,200).

Power Forward

Blake Griffin ($5,600): It's not often that you can get a player of Griffin's caliber at $5.6K, yet here we are. As his last couple of weeks have proven, Blake's floor is undeniably low, as he's had fewer than 24 points in four of his last five contests. That said, Griffin has also shown the ability to be a fantasy asset, racking up 32 or more FanDuel points on five different occasions this season. In DFS, you're not looking to play guys who are "safe" -- you're looking for as much upside as possible. Griffin possesses that upside, especially with the Detroit Pistons having the slate's highest implied total against a Washington Wizards team allowing the eighth-most points to the position. Our algorithm projects the 30-year-old to post 20.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 32.7 fantasy points -- resulting in the highest projected value at the position.

LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,400): Rostering Aldridge with the hope of him matching Monday's performance is probably foolish. That said, he still presents a solid choice in DFS. The San Antonio Spurs are taking part in the game with the second-highest projected total, and LA figured to play a key role if they are to have any chance of winning. The Dallas Mavericks are surrendering the second-most real-life points to power forwards this season, and Aldridge is primed to take advantage of that. LaMarcus need just 37 FanDuel points to get to 5x value, and that's certainly attainable considering his 48.8 average over his last four road contests. With a limited number of studs available on tonight's slate, Aldridge is certainly worthy of your consideration.

Other notable picks: Jarrett Allen ($6,400), Royce O'Neale ($4,100), Robert Covington ($4,900).


Andre Drummond ($9,500): Excluding one game where he played just 24 minutes, Drummond is averaging 54.7 points over his last eight contests. Drummond will be going up against the Washington Wizards tonight, and they've allowed the most rebounds and fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers. On a small slate with limited star power, Drummond has (arguably) the best combination of floor, ceiling, and value. Our models project the 26-year-old to put up 18.5 points, 18.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and nearly 4 combined blocks and steals -- resulting in 53.6 FanDuel points. Drummond is the second-best projected value play on the slate.

Other notable picks: Ian Mahinmi ($4,500), Steven Adams ($5,900), Rudy Gobert ($8,300).