NBA DFS Projections Preview | DraftKings & FanDuel Lineup Optimizer Values 12/5/22
We’re back with a solid eight game slate today that could see the return of James Harden. Boston, Memphis, Phoenix, and Indiana are on back-to-backs so we’ll get their official injury reports later.
This is a daily weekday NBA article that can hopefully show you some lineup building tools on RG as well as provide some picks and analysis based on those tools.
Today’s FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Projections Preview
There are ways to get edges in DFS NBA, such as tracking injury news right up to lock and swapping in top value plays if a questionable player gets ruled, knowing which teams are on a back-to-back and not fully rested, and adjusting to daily positional matchups and team pace matchups to always be targeting the players and teams with the highest daily upside. I will be focusing on the “main slate” each weekday, but you can still find plenty of analysis for any other slates including weekends on RG, and feel free to leave suggestions in the comments sections for any strategies / tools you’d like to see here!
This article is meant to highlight some of RG’s most helpful tools for NBA, including our industry-leading NBA DFS projections and NBA lineup optimizer, with some picks and analysis along the way. Let’s get to it!
NBA DFS Injury Roundup
Before we take a look at the projected lineups and picks for the day it’s important to get a feel for any injuries that we’ll need to monitor throughout the day and how these injuries will affect our builds if a questionable player ends up out. For cash games I’m looking for big minutes, high usage, and fast-paced games with bad defenses so knowing who is dealing with any kind of injury and might not get 30+ minutes is critical as well as how a regular starter being out will affect other players’ usage rates and if their replacement starter is worth using.
Looking at The Situation Room we can see who is definitely out, likely out, and questionable for today’s main slate and how it will affect lineups if certain questionable players end up sitting.
- James Harden is questionable to return from his foot sprain and hopefully we learn his status before lock as Philly has an excellent matchup with Houston. If Harden plays then I’d be hard-pressed to use any other Philly player outside of Embiid but if Harden remains out then all the Philly starters (outside of Tucker) would be high-upside plays. Georges Niang and Jaden Springer are also Q for Philly.
- Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Luke Kennard are all questionable to return from their various injuries and we will know their statuses before lock. For now I would need both George and Leonard to be out to consider Jackson and Mann as strong value plays and if 2 or 3 of the Q guys end up playing then it’d be hard to trust any Clippers players to have ceiling games today.
- Jimmy Butler is questionable with knee soreness and if out Max Strus would likely start while Lowry, Herro, and Adebayo would get nice usage bumps in a tough matchup with Memphis. Gabe Vincent and Dewayne Dedmon are also questionable for Miami.
- Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are questionable for the Warriors and if both end up out we would likely see Kuminga or Lamb start at SF today. It’s an excellent matchup with the Pacers so Curry, Klay, and Green would be more appealing plays if Wiggins or Poole end up out.
- Brook Lopez and Grayson Allen are questionable for the Bucks so Bobby Portis would likely start if Lopez sits while Jevon Carter likely starts if Allen sits.
- Malcolm Brogdon is questionable with an illness while Marcus Smart is off the injury report after sitting yesterday so Smart, White, and Pritchard would all absorb Brogdon’s minutes if out.
- We’ll see the Pacers’ injury report later but consider TJ McConnell questionable after missing yesterday’s game with an illness so Andrew Nembhard would be an even better value play if McConnell sits again.
- Christian Wood is questionable with his illness and if out Kleber and Green would get more bench minutes while the starters have safer usages.
If you want to see how someone out will affect the rest of the team check out the Court IQ Tool where you can see what players’ usage rates and FPPM (fantasy points per minute) are for any team with certain teammates on or off the floor.
NBA Projected Lineups – Analysis & Top Games to Target
Let’s take a look at NBA Starting Lineups to see any major lineup news, such as guys missing or interesting depth chart changes as well as which teams or games I’m looking to target. This page is my favorite tool for NBA DFS as we get betting lines, DFS salaries, projected ownership, and updated depth charts that we can refer to as we build our lineups or see what is affected by any news throughout the day, so make sure to take advantage of this page to keep you up to date on a variety of beneficial DFS info.
- The Grizzlies blew up the slate around 2PM when they ruled out Jaren Jackson and listed Ja Morant & John Konchar as doubtful. Tyus Jones will for sure start at PG for Morant while David Roddy is a strong candidate to start for Konchar while Santi Aldama likely starts for Jackson although it could be Brandon Clarke. Steven Adams is off the injury report and will start at C.
- Tyrese Haliburton is out again for the Pacers so either Andrew Nembhard or TJ McConnell (Q) will start at PG with Nembhard being my preferred play regardless. Buddy Hield will have to carry a lot more offense as well as shown by his 37 minute, 45+ FP performance last night with no Haliburton while the rest of the starters all get big usage bumps as well.
- John Collins, DeAndre Hunter, and Trent Forrest are all out for the Hawks while Justin Holiday will be available so AJ Griffin and Jalen Johnson should continue to start at the forward spots with both being very strong value plays. Jarrett Culver will also continue to benefit off the bench having seen 29 and 32 minutes the last two games.
- Al Horford will sit on the b2b so Blake Griffin should start at C with Kornet and Vonleh in the mix for C minutes as well.
- Chris Paul and Torrey Craig remain out for Phoenix so Payne and Saric should remain as starters while Devin Booker will look to continue his hot streak in a fun matchup with Doncic.
NBA DraftKings & FanDuel Lineup Optimizer Picks
With a good feel for injuries, projected lineups, and top games to target, let’s check out LineupHQ, where you can create lineups in seconds with our lineup optimizer tool as well as the “build” tool where you can create up to 300 lineups at once based on your custom settings.
If we click on the “P/$” column header in the LineupHQ grid, it will rank all the available players from high to low based on their expected fantasy points per dollar of salary on the specific DFS site you have selected — this is one of the best starting points for finding value on any slate.
- With Morant, Konchar, and Jackson all out or likely out Tyus Jones ($5,200) becomes the top value play of the slate while Dillon Brooks ($5,900) is also a top play looking at huge minutes and usage tonight. We can’t start five grizzlies but David Roddy ($3,800), Santi Aldama ($4,600), Steven Adams ($6,000), and Brandon Clarke ($4,600) are all in play tonight so I would get in at least three Grizzlies in your main build and possibly four.
- Andrew Nembhard ($4,900) should start at SG or PG tonight depending if McConnell plays or not and I’d consider him a top play of the slate regardless of McConnell’s status. Nembhard has seen 37 and 35 minutes his last two games going for over 35 FP in both so this is probably the last game he’ll be under $5k for a while and even in a potential blowout spot against the Warriors he should still see big minutes. TJ McConnell ($4,200) would be in play for value as well if active but it’s a 10PM game so make sure to have swap options for him.
- Buddy Hield ($5,900) sees an additional .30 fantasy points per minute with Haliburton and Duarte off the floor and is at his cheapest salary since October making him one of my favorite plays of the slate along with Nembhard. Yesterday Hield saw 37 minutes and put up his best fantasy game of the season going for almost 44 FP including a season-high 11 rebounds and even though it’s a tougher matchup @ Golden State and McConnell could be available I still think his price warrants him as a top cash game play.
- AJ Griffin ($4,400) and Jalen Johnson ($4,000) are solid SF options today with Hunter and Collins out for ATL as both should start and see 30+ minutes in a nice matchup with OKC so I will likely use at least one if not both of them in my main build.
- With all of the Hornets players out today Terry Rozier ($7,100) leads the team with a 30.2% usage rate and is still at one of his cheapest price points of the season making him one of my favorite guard plays of the slate. Over his last five games Rozier is averaging almost 38 MPG and is scoring around 35 FPPG all while shooting just 5 for 27 from three so his ability to fill up the stat sheet in a variety of ways gives him a very solid floor and if he starts hitting just a few more threes he should be easily looking at a 40-50+ FP ceiling today. His teammate Jalen McDaniels ($4,700) is also a solid PF value option today.
- Another strong value SG/SF option today is Tim Hardaway ($5,200) who has been excellent as a starter over his last three games going for 40, 44, and 30 FP and his salary hasn’t caught up to his production yet. This should be a very competitive game with the Suns so I’d be looking to have exposure to both teams in cash games and Hardaway is my favorite value play for either team.
Looking at DraftKings:
- Tyus Jones ($4,300) is tonight’s free square on DK at an absurdly low price with Morant likely out while David Roddy ($3,100) should start and easily pay off that price tag. Whoever starts between Santi Aldama ($4,000) and Brandon Clarke ($3,700) would be my preferred value play although both have a great shot of going for 25-30 FP while Dillon Brooks ($6,200) and Steven Adams ($5,700) remain cheap and depending on your positional needs it’s going to be hard to not use the max four Grizzlies on DK today.
- Andrew Nembhard ($4,200) remains a top value play while Buddy Hield ($5,800) is still too cheap for his increased role with no Haliburton tonight. TJ McConnell ($3,900) will be a strong value play as well if he plays and starts.
- Jalen Johnson ($3,700) is my 2nd favorite value play after Nembhard as he is probably the cheapest player likely to see 30+ minutes today with all the forwards out for Atlanta while AJ Griffin ($5,000) is still in play at that price as well.
- Tim Hardaway ($4,600) comes at a $600 discount to FD and is still way too cheap for a high-upside starter and he will almost certainly be in my cash game lineup unless some other absurd value opens up today.
- Other strong p/$ plays tonight include Klay Thompson ($5,900), Jalen Smith ($4,800), Dario Saric ($3,300), Jalen McDaniels ($4,900), and Jabari Smith ($5,100).
Keep checking LineupHQ for any projections changes throughout the day, as the best p/$ plays could change in an instant if someone gets ruled out or some other type of news makes someone likely to see more or less minutes or usage.
NBA DFS – RotoGrinders Premium Tools Pre-Lock
If you have any tough lineup decisions or need some quick picks, be sure to check out the Consensus Value Rankings, Expert Survey, and LineupHQ tags from our DFS experts.
Good luck today!
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