NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS primer: Nov. 17


Paul George and De’Aaron Fox are players to watch on Thursday night.

We’ve seen some strange slates over recent weeks, but this one takes the cake. East Coast people probably won’t even stick around, with all three games starting at 10 p.m. ET or later. With that in mind, let’s dive into these games!

Injury Report

  • Kyrie Irving (Personal) OUT
  • T.J. Warren (foot) OUT
  • Justise Winslow (illness) Questionable
  • Keon Johnson (hip) Questionable
  • Gary Payton (core) OUT
  • Isaiah Stewart (foot) OUT
  • Cory Joseph (hip) OUT
  • Cade Cunningham (shin) OUT
  • Kawhi Leonard (knee) OUT
  • Paul George (hand) Questionable
  • Keegan Murray (back) Questionable

Core Plays

Paul George (SF/PF – LAC): $10,200 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel
It does concern me that PG-13 is questionable here, but he’s a core play as long as he suits up. This All-Star is carrying the load without Kawhi Leonard, flirting with a 35 percent usage rate with Kawhi off the floor. It really shows in his recent form, averaging 51 DraftKings points per game across his last nine outings. A matchup with Detroit is the best part of this, though, with the Pistons ranked dead last in defensive efficiency.

De’Aaron Fox (PG – SAC): $9,000 DraftKings, $9,600 FanDuel
Fox has quietly had a monster season in Sacramento, and it’s time people start taking notice. The speedster has scored at least 36 DraftKings points in every game he’s finished, falling just shy of a 50-point average. That makes it hard to believe he’s still below $10K, and a matchup with the Spurs is one of the best in basketball. San Antonio sits 29th in defensive efficiency while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA. In their two meetings last season, Fox finished with 56 DraftKings points in both of them!

Cash Game Considerations

Kevin Durant (SF/PF – BKN): $11,600 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
KD is playing at an MVP level. The former MVP has scored at least 42 DK points in every game this season en route to a 52-point average. That makes him the safest play out there, and it’s no surprise since he’s doing everything with Kyrie Irving sitting at home. We’re not worried about him facing Portland, with KD dropping at least 54 fantasy points in both of their meetings last season.

Domantas Sabonis (PF/C – SAC): $9,400 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel
Sabonis got off to a slow start this season, but he’s one of the hottest players in the NBA right now. The big man has at least 39 DK points in all but one game since the opener, generating a 51-point average across his last seven outings. That’s the stud we saw in Indiana, and we expect it to continue against a 29th-ranked Spurs defense. In addition, San Antonio is surrendering the fifth-ost fantasy points to opposing big men as well.

Keldon Johnson (SF – SAS): $7,400 DraftKings, $7,100 FanDuel
The Spurs are in for a long season, but it’s no fault of KJ. This guy has been a breakout for this rebuilding team, averaging 37 DraftKings points per game. That alone is an amazing total from a $7K player, with KJ scoring at least 32 fantasy points in all but one game this year. We’re not concerned about a matchup with Sacramento, with Johnson scoring at least 37 fantasy points in two of their three meetings last year. That was a much smaller role, and we believe KJ is in line for 35 minutes and 20 shots in this spot!

GPP Targets

Jusuf Nurkic (C – POR): $6,800 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel
Big Nurk has been in and out of the lineup with an adductor issue, but we were encouraged to see him return on Monday. He didn’t do much in that game, but the big man was averaging 38 DK points per game across 31 minutes a night through the first eight games of the year, and it’s just a matter of time before he returns to that form. The injury risk has forced him into the GPP section, but we expect him to start a new hot streak against a Nets team that allowed 152 points on Tuesday night.

Nicolas Claxton (C – BKN): $5,500 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
Claxton had a nightmarish game along with the rest of the Nets on Tuesday, but this center was a stud before that. In fact, Clax was averaging 34 DraftKings points per game across his previous eight outings. That even included a dud where he got injured, which means his average should be closer to 40 fantasy points. You’re not going to find many $6K players with that production, especially since he faces a Portland team that owns a 21st OPRK against opposing centers.

Jalen Duren (PF/C – DET): $4,100 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
This is risky, but someone needs to play center in Detroit with Isaiah Stewart sidelined. Durant is the only other traditional center on the roster, and this rookie has flashed moments of brilliance. He’s averaging 18.4 DK points per game across 21 minutes a night, and a bump to 25-30 minutes could be just what the doctor ordered. The center spot is one position you can exploit the Clippers too, sending out one of the worst frontcourts in the NBA.

Value Plays

Killian Hayes (PG/SG – DET): $5,000 DraftKings, $5,300 FanDuel
With Cade Cunningham out for the next week, Hayes has taken over the starting point guard duties in Detroit. The former Top-10 pick is averaging 28 DK points per game across 29 minutes a night over his last four fixtures. That’s all you can hope for from a $5K player, and the stat-stuffing ability makes him a reliable option with very little depth behind him. We also don’t mind that LA owns a 22nd OPRK against opposing point guards.

Reggie Jackson (PG – LAC): $4,700 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel
It’s been a terrible year for Jackson, but the role is still there for him to be a $6K player. Over his last 12 games, R-Jax is averaging 11 shots and 30 minutes a game. That role earned him a $6K price tag last season, and a hot shooting night should be right around the corner. Facing Detroit’s disastrous defense might get him there,, surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards.

Advantageous Pricing

  • Paul George (SF/PF – LAC): $10,200 DraftKings, $9,400 FanDuel
  • De’Aaron Fox (PG – SAC): $9,000 DraftKings, $9,600 FanDuel
  • Domantas Sabonis (PF/C – SAC): $9,400 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel
  • Nicolas Claxton (C – BKN): $5,500 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
  • Jalen Duren (PF/C – DET): $4,100 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
  • Jakob Poeltl (C – SAS): $7,200 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel
  • Harrison Barnes (SF/PF – SAC): $4,900 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
  • Damian Lillard (PG – POR): $10,000 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel
  • Jerami Grant (PF – POR): $7,600 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
  • Josh Hart (SG/SF – POR): $6,500 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
  • Cam Thomas (PG/SG – BKN): $4,200 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
  • Marcus Morris (S/PF – LAC): $6,300 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
  • Norman Powell (SG/SF – LAC): $4,200 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel


Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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