FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 11/27/21
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, and we also have player news updates.
We'll be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.
James Harden, PG/SG, (FanDuel Salary: $10,000) - The top DFS game of this seven-game slate is the headline clash between the Brooklyn Nets and Phoenix Suns, which has a 3.0-point spread (in Brooklyn's favor) with a 221.5-point total. Harden has averaged 53.9 FanDuel points per game over the last four with a team-high 27.8% usage rate in that span. Phoenix has given up the 13th-most FanDuel points per game to point guards (46.7). This should be a great game for DFS, and Harden is an excellent way to get exposure to it.
Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG, $7,900 - Mitchell gets a sweet matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, a team that sits 4th-worst in defensive rating and is allowing the 11th-most FanDuel points per game to shooting guards (40.3). Mitchell hasn't popped for a ceiling game in a while, but he's played at least 33 minutes in three straight while garnering a team-leading 30.4% usage rate across the last five. Our model projects him for 39.3 FanDuel points (as of Saturday morning), which is just shy of 5.0 per $1,000.
Kyle Lowry, PG, $6,700 - Lowry is the top point-per-dollar PG-only play, per our projections. The Miami Heat are facing the Chicago Bulls in a game with a lowly 212.0-point total. Lowry needs 33.5 FanDuel points to get to 5.0 per $1,000, and he's gone for at least 33.0 FanDuel points in five of his last eight outings. He's logged at least 35 minutes in three of his past four games, and we project him for 34.5 FanDuel points (5.16 per $1,000).
Christian Wood, PF/C, $7,000 - This slate has just two games with a total over 220.0. One is the aforementioned Suns-Nets contest, and the other is a game between the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Hornets, which carries a 221.0-point total and a 6.0-point spread in favor of Charlotte. But this game could be a DFS dream if it stays close as both teams are in the top three in pace and bottom 11 in defensive efficiency. This is a money spot for Wood. Houston will be without Jalen Green (hamstring). When Wood is on the floor this year sans Green, he's seen a 25.0% usage rate, which is 3.0 percentage points higher than his season-long clip, according to RotoGrinders CourtIQ. Charlotte has permitted the third-most FanDuel points per game to power forwards (49.1). We forecast Wood for 38.2 FanDuel points (5.46 per $1,000).
Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, $6,900 - Sticking with the same game, it's also a great spot for Hayward. Houston is surrendering the most FanDuel points per game to small forwards (47.0). If we remove a 12.6-point dud, Hayward is averaging 38.0 FanDuel points per game across his last four. He's another great way to get a piece of what should be a superb DFS game environment.
Kevin Porter Jr., PG/SF, $5,600 - One more from the Houston-Charlotte game. Porter is one of my favorite plays on the slate. With Jalen Green off the floor this year and Porter on it, Porter owns a team-best 30.7% usage rate over a 86.4-minute sample, which is up 6.3 percentage points from his year-long clip. For the year, Porter is averaging 26.6 FanDuel points per game, and he needs just 28.0 to reach 5.0 per $1,000. He's scored at least 28.2 FanDuel points in four of his past five games. Fire up Porter with confidence. We project him for 30.7 FanDuel points (5.48 per $1,000).
Jonas Valanciunas, C, $7,500 - Our algorithm loves Valanciunas tonight in a date with the Utah Jazz. We project him for a whopping 43.9 FanDuel points, which amounts to 5.85 per $1,000 and makes JV the best overall point-per-dollar play on the slate (as of early Saturday). There's definitely some blowout risk with the Pels a 12.5-point underdog, but if you use Mitchell, you need this game to stay competitive, so Valanciunas correlates well with Utah's star guard. JV paces New Orleans' regulars with a 30.6% usage rate over the last four games.
Wendell Carter Jr., PF/C, $5,800 - Carter projects as a nice point-per-dollar play in a game that the masses may skip over. The Orlando Magic are tangling with the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game with an ugly 200.5-point total, which is 11.5 points lower than any other game's total. And Orlando is a 7.0-point 'dog, giving them a meager 96.75-point implied total. Carter is averaging 30.4 FanDuel points per game for the season and has put up 36.2 and 47.0 over his past two outings. We have him pegged for 33.1 FanDuel points (5.7 per $1,000).