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.
12/4/18 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Big Jam: $10 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $125k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot Machine: $7.77 entry, $375k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Slam: $33 entry, $110k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for December 4, 2018
Best Guards for December 4, 2018
Donovan Mitchell vs. SA ($7.9k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
The Jazz return home from a long road trip tonight to face a Spurs team that is not playing up to their usual standards defensively. They rank 27th in defensive rating and 28th in opponent FG shooting (.481) this year. Donovan Mitchell is not shooting efficiently from deep but is getting to the rim with regularity. He’s also averaging 23.3 points per 36 minutes while shooting a high percentage in the paint. Mitchell leads Utah with a 30.8% usage rate, which has risen to a 32.9% usage rate over his last three appearances, as he works his way back from a rib injury. Mitchell’s averages rise to 22.4 PPG and 4.4 APG at home, and he should have a big night trading baskets with San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan.
Bogdan Bogdanovic @ PHO ($5.8k DraftKings, $6.6k FanDuel)
We’d expect one of the Bogdanovic brothers to have a big performance tonight. Bojan Bogdanovic will look to lead the Pacers against the lowly Bulls with Victor Oladipo (knee) still out. Meanwhile, Bogdan Bogdanovic draws an even better matchup for his position, as the Suns rank 20th in DvP against opposing SGs over the last 14 days and will be without Devin Booker (hamstring) tonight. He’s taking off in his second year with averages of 21.2 points and 4.6 assists per 36 minutes and will continue to earn more playing time after averaging 22 PPG with a 23.3% usage rate over his last three outings. Bogdan has a ceiling of 46.7 DraftKings points with the potential for 5.2x salary returns per models on FantasyLabs.
Jamal Crawford vs. SAC ($3.9k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)
On the other side of the ball in Phoenix, Jamal Crawford stands out as an appealing GPP play against an equally inept Kings defense. With Booker out, Elie Okobo ($4.4k, $4.7k) has a clear path to big minutes, but his offensive limitations will cap his upside. Crawford is still producing at the age of 38 and has the second-highest usage rate (21.8%) among Suns players expected to be active tonight. Since Phoenix ranks 28th in offensive rating, the Suns will quickly turn to Crawford and his ability to create instant offense in a matchup with the high-scoring Kings.
Other guards to consider: DeMar DeRozan, Luka Doncic, Darren Collison, Buddy Hield, J.J. Barea, Wayne Ellington, Derrick White, Elie Okobo
Best Forwards for December 4, 2018
Domantas Sabonis vs. CHI ($7.2k DraftKings, $7.7k FanDuel)
While he’s coming off his worst outing since Victor Oladipo (knee) went down, Domantas Sabonis is primed to bounce back in this spot. Chicago simply can’t defend the paint and is yielding the most RPG (49.4) this season. The Bulls rank 20th in DvP against opposing centers over the last 14 days and will be hard-pressed to stop Sabonis with either rookie center Wendell Carter Jr. or undersized PF Jabari Parker. Sabonis was also quiet in a previous meeting with Chicago this season but sees a 2.5% increase in usage rate and averages 1.48 FPs per minute when Oladipo is off the floor this year. He’s been incredible with a .690 true shooting percentage. He remains Indiana’s best option to generate offense with Dipo out and has the second-higher per-dollar rating on FantasyLabs tonight.
Wesley Matthews vs. POR ($4.7k DraftKings, $5.1k FanDuel)
Wesley Matthews would assuredly love to burn his former team tonight. It doesn’t hurt that the Blazers rank 28th in opponent 3-point shooting (.376) this season. Portland’s defense has fallen apart lately, yielding what would be a league-high 118.9 PPG over a 10-game span while dropping 7 of those 10 contests and falling to 20th in defensive rating. Matthews posted his fourth-highest PPG (17.5) average when facing the Blazers last year and has been an absolute marksman this year at home, where he’s shooting 44.6% from downtown. Luka Doncic (hip) is expected to play tonight but has not been carrying the Mavs offense while dealing with that injury.
Richaun Holmes vs. SAC ($3.8k DraftKings, $5.5k FanDuel)
Several Suns will be asked to step up with Devin Booker out tonight, and T.J. Warren (ankle) is also expected to sit out this game. Along with rookie Mikal Bridges ($3.8k, $4.3k), Richaun Holmes could serve as a great value (more so on DK) against a Kings team that ranks 29th in DvP against opposing PFs over the last 14 days. Despite playing just 17.6 MPG over his last 6 appearances, Holmes has routinely met value with averages of 10.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, and 2.2 BPG during that span. His 18.2% total rebounding rate is a notch above No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton. The Kings are providing ample opportunities for boards while playing at the second-fastest pace this year.
Other forwards to consider: Aaron Gordon, Jabari Parker, Josh Jackson, Rudy Gay, Al-Farouq Aminu, Nemanja Bjelica, Mikal Bridges
Best Centers for December 4, 2018
Hassan Whiteside vs. ORL ($7.7k DraftKings, $8.2k FanDuel)
A typical GPP play given his shaky health and ability to put up mind-blowing numbers when given huge minutes, Hassan Whiteside flashed that upside with 23 points and 20 boards in a close win over Utah Sunday. He dominated Nikola Vucevic in a matchup with Orlando earlier this season and averaged 15.3 PPG and 14.3 RPG over four meetings with the Magic last season. Whiteside’s averaging a clean 15 PPG, 15 RPG, and 3.5 BPG while shooting much better (.541) from the floor at home this season. He’s not the best Cash play given his inconsistent playing time due to balky knees but has an enticing ceiling of 62.9 DK points per FantasyLabs.
LaMarcus Aldridge @ UTA ($7.6k DraftKings, $8.0k FanDuel)
Like the Spurs, the Jazz aren’t playing up to their typical defensive standards this year. It was stunning to see Rudy Gobert give up a 20-20 game to Whiteside on Sunday, and Derrick Favors has never been a tough adversary at the PF position. Utah ranks 22nd in DvP against opposing centers this season and LaMarcus Aldridge actually averaged more PPG (29) against the Jazz than any other opponent last year. His price tag is down with relatively modest production over his last five appearances. Yet he’s shooting 56% from the field during that span. While Aldridge has seen a decline in usage rate (25.6%) this year, he’s posting his highest defensive rebounding rate (22.4%) since joining the Spurs.
Other centers to consider: Rudy Gobert, Deandre Ayton, Willie Cauley-Stein, Myles Turner