FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Friday 12/1/23

Austan Kas
Austan Kas@AustanKas

Since NBA DFS is easier to predict than baseball or football, it would likely get plenty of votes as the best sport to play on FanDuel. Basketball players usually stick to the same minutes and produce at roughly the same rate. Sounds easy, right? Trust me -- it's not!

As a result, NBA daily fantasy is highly reliant on a player's opportunity, so you'll need to ensure that you're up to date with key injuries. numberFire's projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news. numberFire also has player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.

In addition to daily projections, numberFire also offers a matchup heat map and a lineup optimizer to help give you an edge.

Here at FanDuel Research, we'll also come at you each day with this NBA DFS primer, which breaks down a few of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's dive into today's main slate on FanDuel.



Top Plays

Kyrie Irving ($8,300) -- Luka Doncic is out today. Hello, Kyrie Irving. Kyrie has been good for 53.0 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with Luka off the floor this year, according to RotoGrinders' CourtIQ. Irving was projecting well before the Doncic news broke -- now he looks like the slate's best play and will be chalk city. He has sky-high upside versus the Memphis Grizzlies, a team giving up the fourth-most FanDuel points per night to point guards (52.2). He's tough to fade in cash games, but I don't mind being light on him in GPPs if his draft percentage is expected to be through the roof.

Jalen Suggs ($5,900) -- In his most recent game, Jalen Suggs delivered 34.1 FanDuel points in 28 minutes against the Washington Wizards. Tonight, he gets the Wizards again, and the Orlando Magic boast a slate-high 124.25-point implied total. There's blowout concern with Orlando favored by 11.0 points, but Suggs posted the 34.1 FanDuel points in a 19-point win in said last game.

Derrick Rose ($4,800) -- Derrick Rose started in Memphis' last game and produced 31.3 FanDuel points in 26 minutes. If he keeps a starting place today, D-Rose is a sweet value option, and he serves as a nice bring-back stacking piece with Luka. It's not a lock Rose starts, but given his strong game last time out (7-for-11 shooting with 9 assists), he's got a good shot to keep the gig.

Others to Consider

Jeremy Sochan ($5,600) -- Eligible at PG and PF, Jeremy Sochan catches my eye in a date with the New Orleans Pelicans. The 12.0-point spread in this game is scary, but if the San Antonio Spurs can keep things competitive, this game can be a DFS goldmine. Both teams rank in the top nine in pace, and the over/under is 235.0. Sochan ripped off 49.6 FanDuel points in his last game and can thrive in a fast-paced affair.

Tim Hardaway, Jr. ($4,800) -- I'm putting Tim Hardaway Jr. in the guard section because wing is full of good options today. THJ gets a team-best usage-rate bump of 7.0 percentage points with Luka off the floor this season. Even if he sticks in a bench role, Hardaway can pop in this spot.


Top Plays

Desmond Bane ($8,400) -- The Mavs are 24th in defensive rating and 8th in pace. They're a pace-up foe for Memphis, who is just 19th in pace. That puts me on Desmond Bane. In his most recent game, Bane rebounded from a cold streak and tallied 44.9 FanDuel points. He fits well as a bring-back to Luka or Kyrie, and he's logged at least 34 minutes in three straight. numberFire pegs Bane for 41.0 FanDuel points (4.88 per $1,000).

Jaylen Brown ($8,200) -- I don't think I've been right on Jaylen Brown yet this season. The Boston Celtics have so many quality offensive players that it's tough to predict whose night it'll be. That's not as big of a problem today with Kristaps Porzingis expected to sit, and I'm into Brown in what shapes up as a competitive affair with the Philadelphia 76ers. While this game's 224.5-point total is a bit lacking on this slate, half of the night's six games carry double-digit spreads. Blowout risk shouldn't be a concern for Brown.

Brandon Ingram ($7,900) -- C.J. McCollum returned last game for the Pels, and that's another big mouth to feed. Brandon Ingram is still projecting well, though, as numberFire forecasts him to score 40.4 FanDuel points (5.11 per $1,000). Given McCollum being thrown back into the mix and Zion Williamson ($8,800) going off for 58.6 FanDuel points last game, Ingram might not attract as much attention as he should in a soft matchup with San Antonio.

Others to Consider

Jayson Tatum ($10,100) -- Due to some injury question marks with a few of this slate's high-salary stars, it's a little hard to predict -- as of early Friday -- what Jayson Tatum's popularity will look like. If it looks as if Tatum is slipping through the cracks a bit, I want in. Philly's weak spot on D has been against power forwards, permitting the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to the position (48.7). Tatum has amassed 50.0 and 50.6 FanDuel points in two meetings with the Sixers, although Brown missed one of those.

Paolo Banchero ($7,800) -- The wing spots are loaded tonight. While Paolo Banchero faceplanted as chalk against the Magic in his last game (12.8 FanDuel points), that means very little today. Banchero had scored at least 41.6 FanDuel points in each of the two games before that, and he's fully capable of a monster effort against a Wiz team that ranks 2nd in pace and 28th in defensive rating.


Top Plays

Nikola Jokic ($12,700) -- Even at this salary, Nikola Jokic gets the nod over Joel Embiid ($12,300) -- who is questionable -- for me as the night's top high-salary big. Both are in games that should be close. Jokic will battle the Phoenix Suns in a clash with a 225.0-point total and 2.5-point spread. Jokic returned from a one-game absence on Wednesday and was his usual self, recording 69.5 FanDuel points. He's gone for at least 63.7 FanDuel points in his last four appearances.

Jaren Jackson, Jr. ($8,000) -- One more Memphis player. Jaren Jackson Jr. has the best matchup of any of the Grizzlies as Dallas has allowed the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to centers (57.1). He showed off his blocks/steals upside with seven stocks en route to 48.7 FanDuel points last time out. However, that's the only game over his last 10 in which he's topped 40.0 FanDuel points. I'm still interested tonight, though, in this pace-up matchup.

Jonas Valanciunas ($6,500) -- Jonas Valanciunas is a modest-salaried way to get exposure to the Pelicans-Spurs game, and JV may be the least popular of New Orleans' key pieces. numberFire projects him for 32.7 FanDuel points (5.03 per $1,000). He's a sneaky-good play, and the salary is easy to like.

Others to Consider

Julius Randle ($8,500) -- We have just six games today, yet I haven't touched on the New York Knicks-Toronto Raptors matchup until now. That says a lot. This game has a slate-low 217.0-point total. We can't just ignore it, though, and Julius Randle is an enticing play. He's red-hot right now, scoring 53.0 and 58.5 FanDuel points over his past two games, and numberFire has him at a solid projection of 40.0 FanDuel points (4.70 per $1,000).

Zack Collins ($6,600) -- Victor Wembanyama is questionable with a hip issue. If Wemby sits, the Spurs will become a much-needed source of value. Zack Collins benefits as much as anyone. With Wemby off the floor this year, Collins registers 43.8 FanDuel points per 36 minutes and sees a usage-rate bump of 3.9 percentage points. If Wemby suits up, Collins isn't nearly as appealing.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.