For any slate featuring three games or fewer, we break down the night by the games rather than player position. 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.
Finally, note there are Showdown slates available with differing pricing and lineup structure on both DraftKings and FanDuel. In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are six utility spots with a $50k salary cap. DraftKings has also debuted a “Captain” mode in which there are five utility spots with a CAPTAIN. This specific player receives 1.5x multiplier but also costs more if deployed in that spot.
On FanDuel, the one-game contests include an MVP spot (2x multiplier), STAR (1.5x), PRO (1.2x) and two utility spots. The Full Roster contests on FD also 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.
11/29/18 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Mini Blizzard Encore: $15 entry, $450k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot Machine: $7.77 entry, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Slam: $44 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Game Breakdown for November 29, 2018
Golden State Warriors (+9) at Toronto Raptors (Over/Under – 226.5)
With Steph Curry (groin) and Draymond Green (toe) out, the Warriors have still begun to right the ship thanks to superhuman efforts from Kevin Durant ($11.0k, $11.5k). The former MVP is playing like one again with averages of 35 PPG, 9.3 RPG, and 5.8 APG while shooting 47 percent from the floor over his last six appearances.
Curry will not return tonight, so Durant is definitely worth a look despite his lofty price tag.
Quinn Cook ($4.8k, $5.4k) will start at PG again. He has a solid floor and a low ceiling in this matchup. With Curry out, Cook has the potential for 6x salary returns per models on FantasyLabs.
Andre Iguodala ($3.9k, $4.0k) should see steady run against an athletic Raptors team. He’s a better option in this matchup than Jonas Jerebko. Even with a low usage rate, Iggy is worth using as a value as long as Draymond is out.
The Raptors give up the 10th-most 3PT attempts but rank sixth in opponent 3PT shooting (.334). With plenty of length on the wing, they should be able to hold Klay Thompson ($7.4k, $7.0k) in check.
On the Raptors’ side, Leonard has a higher floor and celing than Kyle Lowry ($8.0k, $8.0k). The first-year Toronto star has held his own against Durant and gave the Warriors fits when he was with the Spurs.
In today’s NBA, you need big men like Pascal Siakam ($6.1k, $6.8k). That’s especially true against a Warriors team that spearheaded the small-ball revolution. Siakam and Leonard have the highest floors among Raptors with respective rebounding rates of 12.3% and 13.7% this season.
Serge Ibaka ($5.5k, $6.0k) is bound to log heavy minutes next to Siakam over Jonas Valanciunas, who simply can’t match up with the ultra-quick Warriors. Ibaka owns a projection of 33.1 DK points per models on FantasyLabs.
Due in part to game flow, the Warriors are facing the most 3PT attempts (34) per game but rank seventh in opponent 3PT shooting (.335). We still like Danny Green ($4.1k, $4.3k) in tournaments as a lengthy defender capable of staying on the floor and potentially cashing in on looks from deep. That said, Fred VanVleet ($4.6k, $4.7k) is a better Cash play and may be the Raptors’ best option to guard Curry if the sharpshooter returns.
Los Angeles Clippers (-3) at Sacramento Kings (Over/Under – 235)
The Clippers are the surprise of the year with the best record (13-6) in the West. They’re 8-1 at home but 5-5 and coughing up 115.3 PPG on the road this season.
Therefore, this game has been assigned a huge 235-point Over/Under. The Kings rank second in pace and are seventh in PPG (114.2) this season. Strangely enough, Sacramento averages only 108.8 PPG at home, so betting the Under (235) isn’t a terrible idea.
The Clippers are tough on opposing PGs but middling against opposing SGs and weak against forwards. Marvin Bagley III ($5.3k, $6.7k) is coming on strong with averages of 16 PPG and 10 RPG and will be able to bully his way down low against the Clippers’ smaller frontcourt. He’s tied with Ibaka for the best per-dollar rating on FantasyLabs for DK lineups.
Nemanja Bjelica ($4.2k, $4.4k) is a longshot to consider. He shoots 56.7 percent from deep at home this season.
The Clippers are fifth in opponent 3PT shooting, so Bjelica and Buddy Hield ($5.7k, $6.0k) are risky plays as pure shooters. Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5.2k, $5.7k) might play as more of a slashing wing.
Along those lines, you can consider Iman Shumpert ($3.6k, $4.5k) as a punt play against an athletic Clippers team that forces the opponent to play multiple wings.
Willie Cauley-Stein ($5.9k, $6.8k) is worth using against a Clippers team that yields the second-most PPG (21.47) to opposing centers. His price tag is way down on DK, and he’s been far more productive at home.
Both De’Aaron Fox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are excellent young defenders, limiting the upside of either PG.
Lou Williams ($5.6k, $6.2k) is coming off his quietest game of the season while Tobias Harris ($8.2k, $8.4k) went off for 34 points in Portland Sunday. Their production should regress toward the mean in this plus matchup, giving Lou-Will upside as a contrarian tournament option. Harris is still a great Cash option.
The Clippers’ interior defense has improved thanks to Montrezl Harrell ($7.6k, $8.5k). He remains a solid Cash play but doesn’t necessarily have the upside to justify his lofty price tag on FanDuel.
Danilo Gallinari ($6.5k, $7.0k) rounds out the list of acceptable Cash options from the Clippers’ balanced offense.
Indiana Pacers (+4.5) at Los Angeles Lakers (Over/Under – 215.5)
As LeBron James starts to impose his will on his new team, the Lakers are slowing down the pace and producing less DFS-friendly results. Indiana ranks 27th in pace and yields the second-fewest PPG (102.2) this year, so this is a game to target sparingly.
The Pacers do offer value with Victor Oladipo (knee) likely out. And while the Lakers have been slowing the pace, they’re bottom five defending every individual position over the last 14 days.
Domantas Sabonis ($7.5k, $7.5k) continues to dominate with Oladipo out, yet his playing time is criminally low. He’s still worth paying up for against a Lakers team that yields the most FPPG (50.13) to opposing PFs by far.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($5.3k, $5.3k) and Darren Collison ($4.7k, $6.3k) are also seeing upticks in production. Collison offers the potential for 5.3x salary returns at that modest price tag on DK.
Myles Turner ($6.2k, $7.2k) is very tough to trust but will also be tough for the Lakers’ bigs to guard on the perimeter. Thaddeus Young ($4.5k, $5.2k) offers a solid floor as a bargain.
But if you’re looking for a true bargain, Doug McDermott ($3.5k, $3.9k) has dropped 21 points in consecutive games with a 24.6 percent usage rate in those appearances.
For the Lakers, LeBron James ($10.7k, $11.4k) is taking the reins and plans to play PG going forward.
Lonzo Ball (ankle) is questionable and Rajon Rondo (hand) out, so LeBron and Lance Stephenson ($3.7k, $3.7k) could see an increase in ball-handling and play-making responsibilities. Stephenson will gladly fire away against his former team and is an intriguing tournament punt play, especially if Ball is inactive.
Kyle Kuzma ($5.3k, $6.1k) is a natural pick-and-pop partner with LeBron and is going to see a rise in production with James running the show. He’s one of the best per dollar options on the slate.
Tuesday night, JaVale McGee ($5.1k, $6.2k) struggled in a tough matchup at Denver and is losing playing time to Tyson Chandler. Even so, he’s the Lakers’ best bet to contain quicker bigs in Turner and Sabonis.