Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis. Value plays on the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice so always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
The Full Roster contests on FanDuel include a new scoring system in which the lowest score of the nine selected players is dropped, allowing users to take more risks with a punt play or two. Then, DraftKings has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
11/5/18 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Big Jam: $10 entry, $425k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Sharpshooter: $3 entry, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings)
5th on November Shot: $5.55 entry, $333k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $50,000 to 1st!
Slam: $33 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for November 5, 2018
Best Guards for November 5, 2018
Russell Westbrook vs. NO ($11.1k DraftKings, $12.0k FanDuel)
We’ve been slow to recommend Russell Westbrook as he works his way into a rhythm following offseason knee surgery. But tonight is the night to pay up for “The Brodie.” The Thunder have averaged 120 PPG during a four-game winning streak, and Westbrook has been orchestrating it all with a 44 percent assist rate during that span. He met value over just 26 minutes in a blowout win at Washington and returns home to face a Pelicans team that gives up 120.6 PPG and ranks 25th in defensive rating this year. With a 238-point Over/Under and a close spread (OKC is +4.5) assigned to this game, Westbrook could exceed his projection of 55.2 DraftKings points on FantasyLabs.
Victor Oladipo vs. HOU ($8.2k DraftKings, $9.1k FanDuel)
The Rockets have been playing at a slower pace than we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, but with James Harden working his way back from a hamstring pull, they should pick it up offensively. That said, harden’s return won’t help their backcourt defense since he can’t be expected to contain Indiana’s primary weapon. Victor Oladipo is rocking a 30 percent usage rate in his second season since re-fashioning his body. He’s scored 20-plus points in nine straight games and averaged 23.5 PPG on 51.4% FG shooting over two meetings with Houston last year. At this price tag on DK, he has the potential for 5.2x salary returns.
Frank Ntilikina vs. CHI ($4.3k DraftKings, $5.5k FanDuel)
Given his steady playing time, Frank Ntilikina is an easy choice of salary relief on DK tonight. The second-year guard is logging 30.2 MPG and posting a 112 defensive rating just like he did throughout his rookie campaign. The Bulls rank 26th in defensive rating and give up the most APG (24.9) and RPG (47.1) this season. Ntilikina should be in line for inflated production against this sieve of a defensive team, giving him the most potential of any value play (5.7x salary returns) per Peter Jennings’ Pro Model on FantasyLabs.
Other guards to consider: Steph Curry, Zach LaVine, Tim Hardaway Jr., Ricky Rubio, Tyus Jones, Darren Collison, Gerald Green, D.J. Augustin
Best Forwards for November 5, 2018
Jimmy Butler @ LAC ($8.2k DraftKings, $9.5k FanDuel)
The apparent trend with Jimmy Butler is that he now suits up when he wants. The disgruntled Wolves forward should be active Monday after sitting out Sunday’s loss to Portland. If so, he’s a strong GPP option to consider at the Staples Center, where the rich and famous go to take in basketball. Butler would be in line for heavy usage with Jeff Teague (knee) and Derrick Rose (ankle) likely out. Meanwhile, Tyus Jones could struggle against a slew of athletic Clippers guards. When he’s a full go, “Jimmy Buckets” is still capable of putting on a show. As has been the case all season, he’s less affordable on FanDuel.
Aaron Gordon vs. CLE ($6.5k DraftKings, $7.3k FanDuel)
After dropping a massive dud in a blowout loss at the Clippers, Aaron Gordon rebounded with 26 points and 8 boards against the Spurs on Sunday. He should still have low ownership tonight despite a $700 drop in his price tag on DK. But Gordon is primed for a big-game against the Kevin Love-less Cavs, who are using Sam Dekker and Cedi Osman at PF. He’s a good bet for a double-double at home against a Cavs team that ranks dead last in defensive rating and 24th in rebounding this year. Jonathan Isaac (ankle) is looking doubtful for tonight, clearing more usage for Gordon and Evan Fournier ($5.8k, $6.0k)
Justin Holiday @ NYK ($4.9k DraftKings, $6.9k FanDuel)
Much like Ntilikina on the Knicks’ side of the ball, Justin Holiday offers an excellent floor given his path to steady playing time for the Bulls. He benefited from the absence of Denzel Valentine early in the season and has played 36.3 MPG over his last three appearances with Bobby Portis (knee) on the shelf. The usage hasn’t really been there for Holiday with Zach LaVine leading the offense, but he’s shooting 41.7% from 3-point range with a 120 offensive rating. The Knicks rank 22nd in 3-point defense (.375%) this year and are an undisciplined young team that could leave Holiday open for several long-range attempts.
Other forwards to consider: Blake Griffin, Nikola Mirotic, Jae Crowder, Domantas Sabonis, Jabari Parker, Larry Nance Jr., Jerami Grant, Wes Iwundu
Best Centers for November 5, 2018
Andre Drummond vs. MIA ($8.6k DraftKings, $9.2k FanDuel)
After getting utterly embarrassed by Joel Embiid on Saturday, Andre Drummond should be out to prove himself at home in what could be another premier center matchup. Miami’s Hassan Whiteside (knee) is OUT tonight, so Drummond could have an easy target for his frustration in Kelly Olynyk or second-year man Bam Adebayo. Even with Whiteside healthy most of the year, Miami is giving up the third-most RPG (15.25) to opposing centers and allowing them to shoot a league-high 54.5% from the floor this season. Drummond averaged 17.7 PPG and 18.3 RPG over three meetings with the Heat last year and is under priced on DK once again given his massive double-double upside.
Marc Gasol @ GSW ($7.9k DraftKings, $8.6k FanDuel)
Splits against the Warriors seem to matter more than any other specific opponent because of how the champs dictate the pace of the game. Marc Gasol managed to stay on the floor and thrive with averages of 27.3 PPG and 9.7 RPG while shooting 52.3% from the floor over three meetings with Golden State last year. Now, he has Mike Conley to work with in pick-and-pop sets and a far more competitive supporting cast. Gasol has led the Grizzlies with 57 points on 21-of-38 FG shooting (55.2%) over his last three appearances and left points out there with some uncharacteristically poor FT shooting. Memphis often surprises by playing the Warriors tough. Gasol would be a key component of a GPP lineup that predicts a close game at Oracle Arena.
Other centers to consider: Nikola Vucevic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Myles Turner, Boban Marjanovic, Bam Adebayo