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.
11/23/18 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Black Friday Doorbuster: $10 entry, $500k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Sharpshooter: $3 entry, $75k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $9.99 entry, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $50,000 to 1st!
Slam: $88 entry, $200k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for November 23, 2018
Best Guards for November 23, 2018
James Harden @ DET ($10.7k DraftKings, $17.0k FanDuel Single Game)
Perhaps he’ll be overshadowed by the H2H battle between Russell Westbrook and Kemba Walker, but James Harden draws a far easier matchup than either superstar PG tonight. The Pistons rank 27th in opponents 2PT shooting (.542%) and yield the third-most APG (9.03) and fourth-most FPPG (42.06) to opposing PGs this season. Harden has had some huge games against Detroit’s defense in the past, including 43 points and 9 assists in a 126-124 win over the Pistons on Wednesday. Detroit’s PG duo of Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith leaves a lot to be desired defensively and they’re very inexperienced on the wing with pure shooter Reggie Bullock and third-year SF Stanley Johnson sharing time. This game is absent from the 11-game main slate available on FanDuel, but our next two recommendations are worthy replacements at SG.
Jrue Holiday @ NYK ($8.3k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
With defenses doing everything they can to contain Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday continues to power the Pelicans offense. He’s running the show with Elfrid Payton (finger) out indefinitely, averaging 22.8 PPG and 10.2 APG over his last 5 appearances. Tonight Holiday faces a Knicks team that allows the seventh-most PPG (21.34) to opposing PGs and has become much more vulnerable defensively with offensive stud Trey Burke taking over at PG for Emmanuel Mudiay (the nominal starter). Burke is an absolutely fantastic GPP play in his own right at just $4.4k on DraftKings and $4.9k on FanDuel. Holiday worth using in both Cash games and GPPs with the potential for 6x salary returns per models on FantasyLabs.
Donovan Mitchell @ LAL ($7.4k DraftKings, $7.6k FanDuel)
While they’ve been better of late, the Lakers remain a sieve defensively. They’re playing at the fifth-fastest pace and allowing the fifth-most PPG (114.8) in a very DFS-friendly style. That puts Utah’s guards squarely in play on tonight’s full slate, with Ricky Rubio carrying a high floor and Donovan Mitchell rocking a ceiling of 52.5 DK points per pro models on FantasyLabs. Mitchell has scored 28-plus points in 3 of his last 4 outings, including low-scoring (by today’s standards) contests at the 76ers and Celtics. Tonight’s game has an Over/Under of 220 points, which is higher than most games involving the Jazz. We should therefore see inflated production from Utah’s best offensive player.
Ryan Arcidiacono vs. MIA ($3.7k DraftKings, $4.3k FanDuel)
It’s always to great to be able to punt with a starting PG in Cash games, since the ball is in their hands enough to rack up assists along with turnovers. Ryan Arcidiacano has made quite a leap as a sophomore with a 131 offensive rating and excellent true shooting percentage (.665%). He’s played 31 minutes in B2B outings and needs that time of playing time to produce given his modest 10.2% usage rate this season. He’ll also need to maintain his hot shooting from Wednesday (4-6 from 3-point range), but has a good chance to do so against a Miami team that ranks 26th in opponents 3PT shooting (.372%) this year.
Other guards to consider: Kemba Walker, Devin Booker, Zach LaVine, Eric Bledsoe, Trae Young, Jordan Clarkson, Trey Burke, Monte Morris
Best Forwards for November 23, 2018
Kevin Durant vs. POR ($10.4k DraftKings, $10.5k FanDuel)
Stunningly, the Warriors did not snap out of their funk after returning home from a rough road trip. Instead, they lost by 28 to the Thunder, but a bounce-back effort is coming, and it will assuredly be led by Kevin Durant. With Draymond Green (toe) and Steph Curry (groin) both expected out, Durant should maintain a usage rate of 33-38% in a plus matchup against Portland. The Blazers give up the third-most RPG (8.75) to opposing SFs, but Durant is essentially playing like a 7-foot PG with Quinn Cook doing little to help run the team in Curry’s absence. Portland allows the most PPG (22.27) to opposing PGs this season. Durant averaged a whopping 39.3 PPG while shooting 58% over 3 meetings with the Blazers last year and has tremendous upside given his increased usage rate.
Blake Griffin vs. HOU ($9.2k DraftKings, $15.0k FanDuel Single Game)
The perfect pairing with James Harden in DK tournaments, Blake Griffin is exactly the type of talent the Rockets can’t guard this year with Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute gone. He torched Houston for 37 points on 9-of-21 FG shooting on Wednesday and will look to repeat that effort at home tonight. The Rockets are coughing up the fourth-most FPPG (45.62) to opposing PFs this season and rank 23rd in defensive rating.
Noah Vonleh vs. NO ($4.3k DraftKings, $4.8k FanDuel)
So far we’ve suggested a ton of high-priced options at guard and forward, so consider a few young Knicks for value to round out those Black Friday lineups. Trey Burke and Noah Vonleh have been key contributors for HC David Fizdale and are worth using in GPP formats only given Fizdale’s fickle rotations. Vonleh in particular is risky given his penchant for foul trouble and the possibility he has to guard Anthony Davis at times, but he’s been dynamite when on the floor with averages of 12 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks per 36 minutes. New Orleans coughs up the second-most PPG (117.1) while playing at the third-fastest pace in the league and is giving up 117.8 PPG on the road.
Dewayne Dedmon vs. BOS ($4.2k DraftKings, $5.0k FanDuel)
Even though the Celtics are still third in defensive rating and PPG allowed, they’re vulnerable at all levels while going through this early-season funk. Boston is 29th in collective FG shooting (.429%) and thusly giving up the third-most defensive RPG (37.9) this season. Dewayne Dedmon owns a 28.5% defensive rebounding rate and has snared 35 boards over his last 4 appearances. He surprised with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks in his first appearance against Boston last year and could exceed value with even a third of that production tonight.
Other forwards to consider: Ben Simmons, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nikola Mirotic, Pascal Siakam, Jabari Parker, Taurean Prince, Thaddeus Young, Jonathan Isaac, Mario Hezonja
Best Centers for November 23, 2018
Nikola Vucevic @ DEN ($8.1k DraftKings, $9.0k FanDuel)
The Magic should continue to run offense through versatile center Nikola Vucevic, who is sporting a career-high 118 offensive rating and a team-high 26.1% usage rate this season. He’ll face off with fellow versatile center Nikola Jokic tonight and could take the matchup personally. On the road this year, Vucevic is shooting an impressive 59% with averages of 19.7 PPG and 11.2 RPG. He has sneaky upside tonight and could pay off as a lightly owned play with better per-dollar results if Joel Embiid or Anthony Davis winds up resting down the stretch of blowout wins.
Deandre Ayton @ MIL ($6.4k DraftKings, $6.8k FanDuel)
Deandre Ayton stands out as an obvious value on DraftKings tonight, despite the fact his Suns (+13.5) could be blown out in Milwaukee. Ayton is logging consistent minutes even when games are out of hand, as the Suns hope to develop their No. 1 overall pick. This is a mouth-watering draw against a Bucks team that yields the fifth-most FPPG (45.86) to opposing centers this season and plays at the fourth-fastest pace in the league, leading to big box score results from both sides.
Other centers to consider: Joel Embiid, Enes Kanter, Jusuf Nurkic, Tristan Thompson