FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks and Helper: Wednesday 12/6/23
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.
On top of all that, here at FanDuel Research, we'll 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.
NBA DFS Picks
Luka Doncic ($12,400) -- There are a few elite high-salary options on this 11-game slate. Luka Doncic is one of them, and he could have a field day versus the Utah Jazz, a team that is 23rd in defensive rating and has surrendered the 10th-most FanDuel points per night to point guards (49.7). He's put up 86.0 and 71.3 FanDuel points in his past two games. The lone worry is blowout risk as the Dallas Mavericks are 10.0-point favorites.
Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,600) -- Spencer Dinwiddie is easy to love at this modest salary. He's part of one of the night's top game environments -- maybe the top one -- as the Brooklyn Nets-Atlanta Hawks clash carries a slate-leading 241.5-point total and 4.0-point spread. Dinwiddie has played at least 34 minutes in six straight and has produced stellar outputs of 47.2, 41.5 and 56.8 FanDuel points over that span.
Keyonte George ($5,800) -- Keyonte George is an appealing low-salary target from the Jazz and is a serviceable bring-back stacking partner for Luka or Kyrie Irving ($8,100). Dallas is giving up the sixth-most FanDuel points per game to PGs (50.7). The Mavs are 25th in defensive rating and 9th in pace. George has logged 32 and 35 minutes over his past two games. The opportunity and matchup are there.
Others to Consider
Tyrese Maxey ($9,200) -- Tyrese Maxey's breakout campaign has resulted in his salary skyrocketing from a $7,700 mark in his 2023-24 debut. It's deserved, though, as he's averaging 45.5 FanDuel points per game. He offers slate-breaking potential today against the Washington Wizards, a squad giving up the third-most FanDuel points per game to point guards (52.4). Like Luka, the biggest concern is blowout risk as the Philadelphia 76ers are 10.5-point favorites.
Fred VanVleet ($7,700) -- If you want to avoid blowout concern, the Houston Rockets-Oklahoma City Thunder game is for you. The total is 226.5 points, and the spread is 2.5 points. OKC (6th in pace) is a huge pace-up foe for Houston (28th). All in all, the stage is set for Fred VanVleet to have a big night, and OKC offers a handful of enticing bring-back pieces if you want to stack this game.
Jimmy Butler ($8,600) -- Popping in numberFire's projections, Jimmy Butler should garner a lot of attention today with the Miami Heat short-handed. The 219.5-point total in the Miami-Toronto Raptors game is tied for the lowest on the slate, but that doesn't mean we should stay away from Butler, who numberFire projects for 47.5 FanDuel points (5.52 per $1,000). Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro are both expected to sit, pushing a lot of the offensive responsibility onto Butler. With those two off the floor this year, Butler owns a 31.4% usage rate, a jump of 4.6 percentage points, per RotoGrinders' CourtIQ.
Desmond Bane ($8,200) -- There are a few wings salaried in the $8,000s who I have a lot of interest in, with Jimmy, Desmond Bane, Kyle Kuzma ($8,000) and Anthony Edwards ($8,800) being the others. Of that group, I side with Bane, who has a nice matchup against the Detroit Pistons. While this game is tied for the slate's lowest over/under, Detroit is playing at the 7th-fastest pace while ranking 24th in defensive rating, making them a team to pick on.
DeMar DeRozan ($7,700) -- The Chicago Bulls-Charlotte Hornets game could fly under the radar a bit, but it's got a 222.5-point total and 4.5-point spread. The Hornets (14th) are a sizable pace-up matchup for Chicago (last). With Zach LaVine out, DeRozan is projecting well as numberFire forecasts him to total 40.9 FanDuel points (5.31 per $1,000). With LaVine off the court this year, DeRozan has scored 43.5 FanDuel points per 36 minutes on a 28.8% usage rate.
Others to Consider
Kyle Kuzma ($8,000) -- The aforementioned Kuzma makes sense as a bring-back if you are plugging in Maxey or Joel Embiid, especially with Jordan Poole iffy to play. Kuzma's overall usage rate of 31.7% is plenty good, and that clip jumps to 35.3% with Poole off the court, so if Poole sits, it's all systems go for Kuzma despite the tough matchup. If the Wiz keep it competitive, Kuzma will likely play a big part in them doing so.
Toumani Camara ($4,200) -- Outside of the center position, there's not a lot of great low-salary value on this slate (as of early Wednesday). That puts Toumani Camara on my radar. He's penciled in as a starter for the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that is a 12.5-point underdog at the Golden State Warriors. Jerami Grant is out while Anfernee Simons is questionable and Deandre Ayton is doubtful. Keep an eye on Portland news, but there could be an opportunity for Camara to get big minutes.
Joel Embiid ($12,300) and Nikola Jokic ($12,600) -- Both are excellent plays, as always. While Embiid could absolutely nuke the Wizards if that game stays close, between these two MVPs, I lean toward Nikola Jokic due to his lack of blowout concern in a date with Los Angeles Clippers (227.0-point total and 1.5-point spread). Despite the sky-high salary, Jokic's projection of 62.7 FanDuel points -- per numberFire -- has him at nearly five-times value (4.98 per $1,000). Keep an eye on the statuses of Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon, both of whom are questionable.
Alperen Sengun ($8,900) -- Early draft percentage projections around the industry have Alperen Sengun with a single-digit draft percentage (likely due to the value centers I'll cover here shortly). If that is the case closer to lock, he'll be a core play for me. Sengun is in the OKC-Houston bout that should be sweet for DFS (226.5-point total and 2.5-point spread). As mentioned in the FVV writeup, OKC is a colossal pace-up matchup for the Rockets. They've also allowed the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to centers (57.3). numberFire has Sengun going for 46.0 FanDuel points (5.16 per $1,000).
Duop Reath ($4,000) -- With Ayton listed as doubtful, Duop Reath could draw a start for Portland. Across 32 total minutes over the last two games, Reath has generated a combined 35.1 FanDuel points. While he's eligible at only center and Portland could get blown out by the Dubs, Reath is a name to watch if Ayton sits.
Others to Consider
Jaren Jackson Jr. ($8,500) -- Chalk Jaren Jackson Jr. just rarely goes well for me, and as of early Wednesday, JJJ is shaping up to be popular, although that could change. It's easy to see why he's projecting well, though, as he gets a Detroit team that permits the most FanDuel points per game to centers (60.5), including the most blocks per night to the position (3.92). Jackson could feast.
Orlando Robinson ($4,500) -- Someone other than Jimmy is going to have to do some things tonight for the short-handed Heat. Orlando Robinson looks like a smashing value play, with numberFire projecting him for 27.9 FanDuel points (6.20 per $1,000). He's center-only, like Reath, which is a bummer, but if he replicates his 29-minute, 25.5-FanDuel-point showing from last time out, Robinson will be a sweet value cog.
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.