FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 11/24/19

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/
Sacramento Washington 234.0 -3.5 115.25 118.75 25 5
New Orleans LA Clippers 232.0-12.0 110.0 122.0 3 8
Brooklyn New York 214.5 +2.5 108.5 106.0 7 24
Phoenix Denver 213.5-10.0 101.75 111.75 10 28

Point Guard

Point guard maxes out at Jamal Murray ($7,200) in terms of salary. He rates out sixth on a per-dollar basis at the position in my model; numberFire has him fourth. There's merit to spending for Murray in a pace-up game against the Phoenix Suns, but you don't have to.

With Ricky Rubio likely out again, Tyler Johnson ($4,200) shapes up as a value play against the Denver Nuggets. Johnson owns a mere 16.4% usage rate with 0.64 FanDuel points per minute without Rubio on the floor, but the minutes projection in the mid-20s is still fine for the price on a short slate.

numberFire is keen on Frank Ntilikina ($4,400) and Dennis Smith ($3,500) for the New York Knicks. Ntilikina has cleared 29 minutes in four straight games; Smith bumps between 15 and 19 of late but is a full-on punt play option even if the minutes stay shy of 20.

Yogi Ferrell ($3,500) and Cory Joseph ($4,900) will be up in pace against the Washington Wizards and rate out top-three for me today.

Core Plays: Frank Ntilikina, Yogi Ferrell, Cory Joseph
Secondary Plays: Tyler Johnson, Jamal Murray
Tournament Plays: Dennis Smith, Isaiah Thomas ($5,300)

Shooting Guard

Shooting guard is much more appealing, with Lou Williams ($6,900), Buddy Hield ($7,500), Bradley Beal ($10,200), and Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,900) rating out at the top for me. All project for at least 30 minutes. All but Hield average at least 1.07 FanDuel points per minute (Hield is at 0.89) and a 28.0% usage rate (Hield is at 26.7%).

Despite a tougher individual matchup, Jrue Holiday ($8,600) finds himself in a game with a 234.5-point total between top-eight-paced squads.

Gary Harris ($4,700) has played 35 and 34 minutes the past two games; numberFire projects him for another 30 tonight, so he's a viable spend-down play against the Suns.

Punt options include Justin James ($3,500) and Theo Pinson ($3,500). James puts up 0.94 FanDuel points per minute; Pinson is at 0.81. Pinson's minutes are likely low, but James gets a huge boost if Bogdan Bogdanovic is out.

Core Plays: Lou Williams, Bradley Beal, Justin James (if Bogdanovic is out)
Secondary Plays: Buddy Hield, Spencer Dinwiddie
Tournament Plays: Jrue Holiday, Gary Harris, Theo Pinson

Small Forward

There are a lot of values here today, but we shouldn't overlook Paul George ($9,100) entirely. His 25th-percentile outcome of 37.0 FanDuel points is higher than any other small forward's 75th-percentile outcome tonight, according to my model. That should give us pause about completely fading George against the New Orleans Pelicans -- despite the cheaper options.

Troy Brown ($3,900), Harrison Barnes ($5,500), Joe Harris ($4,900), and Maurice Harkless ($4,100) are the top four early-day values at small forward, according to numberFire's projections. On a per-dollar basis, they're all top five (in that order) with George in the middle for me. Brown should surpass 20 minutes again in a spot against the Sacramento Kings with Barnes running it back on the other side (he averages 34.0 minutes per game).

Core Plays: Paul George, Troy Brown, Harrison Barnes
Secondary Plays: Joe Harris, Maurice Harkless, Taurean Prince ($5,600)
Tournament Plays: Dzanan Musa ($3,500), Kelly Oubre ($7,300), Will Barton ($6,100)

Power Forward

Kawhi Leonard ($9,800) may be the top overall play on the board, regardless of his position. Same as George, his realistic floor is higher than any other power forward's realistic ceiling on this short slate. The Pelicans can bring out the best in everyone's range of outcomes.

Nemanja Bjelica ($5,700) should surpass 30 minutes against the Wizards' 29th-ranked defense and is a per-dollar play close to Leonard in my projections. Teammate Richaun Holmes ($6,300) rates out as the second-best floor play at the position behind only Leonard for me today.

Frank Kaminsky ($4,000) is a source of salary relief. Kaminsky ranks third in value for both numberFire's model and mine. He has played 23, 24, and 29 minutes the past three games, and Aron Baynes is still doubtful.

Core Plays: Kawhi Leonard, Nemanja Bjelica, Frank Kaminsky
Secondary Plays: Richaun Holmes, Taj Gibson ($3,800)
Tournament Plays: Julius Randle ($8,000), Paul Millsap ($6,600)


Nikola Jokic ($10,000) is a building block and actually has the best adjusted value in my model against the Suns, who should be thin in the frontcourt without Baynes. Jokic -- just like Paul and Leonard -- has a floor untouchable by all other center's ceilings today. That doesn't mean he's guaranteed to be the highest-scoring center of the day, but in terms of probability, well, it's likely.

After Jokic, Thomas Bryant ($6,900) and DeAndre Jordan ($5,400) would be the next places to look. Bryant rates out more likely to hit 6.0 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary than he does to fall shy of 4.0, meaning he's got a good floor/ceiling combination, according to my model. Bryant puts up a healthy 1.13 FanDuel points per minute. Jordan is at 1.20 and gets right around 20 minutes. His matchup with the Knicks is a bit tough, but can't-miss options are hard to find outside of Jokic.

Dewayne Dedmon ($3,500) is a punt option against the Wizards' terrible defense (29th in defensive rating and 27th in rebounding rate).

Core Plays: Nikola Jokic, Thomas Bryant
Secondary Plays: DeAndre Jordan, Dewayne Dedmon
Tournament Plays: Mason Plumlee ($3,700), Mitchell Robinson ($6,400)