Daily Fantasy

NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Dec. 8

FantasyPros walks through the best player values for DraftKings and FanDuel NBA DFS.

Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers face the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.

That Wednesday card was wild. We had 11 games in total, but it’s leaving us with a small slate here. We have just three games, but it should be a fun night. We have two great matchups between four contenders and the two worst defenses in the NBA facing off in the other outing. With that in mind, let’s get started.

Injury Report

  • Paul George (B2B) Questionable
  • Kawhi Leonard (B2B) Questionable
  • Norman Powell (groin) OUT
  • John Wall (knee) Questionable
  • Marcus Morris (illness) Questionable
  • Jimmy Butler (foot) Questionable
  • Gabe Vincent (knee) OUT
  • Tyler Herro (ankle) Questionable
  • Jae’Sean Tate (ankle) OUT
  • Jakob Poeltl (quad) OUT
  • Josh Richardson (ankle) OUT
  • Devin Vassell (knee) Questionable
  • Kevin Porter Jr.(knee) Questionable
  • Jeremy Sochan (quad) OUT
  • Michael Porter Jr.(heel) Questionable
  • Gary Payton Jr (core) OUT
  • Nassir Little (hip) OUT
  • Josh Hart (ankle) Probable

Core Plays

Kevin Porter Jr.(PG/SG – HOU): $7,300 DraftKings, $7,600 FanDuel
This kid was nearly out of the league with some off-court issues, but he’s really turned his career around in Houston. KPJ has scored at least 27 DraftKings points in all but one game this year, averaging 36 fantasy points per game. He’s been even better recently, registering a 38-point average across his last 10 games. That number should be easy to reach against San Antonio, who sit dead last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency.

Keldon Johnson (SF – SAS): $7,600 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
This dude is in a nightmarish shooting slump, but he’s still producing fantasy value. KJ is averaging 36 DK points per game across his last five fixtures, which is right on par with his 37-point average through the first 12 games of the year. A week-long shooting slump hurt his averages, but the usage is still there for him to be a beast. Johnson is averaging 18.2 shots across 34 minutes a night. If he has that usage against this 28th-ranked Houston defense, KJ should be in for a big night. Not to mention, he’s got at least 42 DK points in his last two games against the Rockets.

Cash Game Considerations

Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $11,300 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
Jokic is the safest play on every slate and more so on a three-game card. The big man has scored at least 39 DraftKings points in all but three games since the start of last year, averaging over 60 fantasy points per game. That’s why he’s the two-time reigning MVP and why he’s the best play on every slate. Portland is a phenomenon matchup, too, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing centers.

Damian Lillard (PG – POR): $9,700 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
Dame changes everything for this Portland team. The former All-Star has at least 40 DraftKings points in nine of 12 games this year, with two of those being limited because of a blowout and an injury. That means if he gets his usual 35 minutes, Lillard is a safe bet for 40-50 fantasy points. Dame has demolished Denver over recent years, scoring at least 35 DK points in each of their last 10 meetings while posting a 51-point average in those games.

GPP Targets

Alperen Sengun (PF/C – HOU): $5,800 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
As long as Sengun gets the minutes, he shouldn’t be this cheap. The big man has played at least 24 minutes in 14 games this season, generating a 37-point average in those outings. That’s amazing from a player in this price range, especially since Sengun has one of the best per-minute averages in the NBA. Squaring off with San Antonio is the best part of this, though, with the Spurs surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers. He had at least 28 DK points in all three of their matchups last year and did that damage in a limited role.

Reggie Jackson (PG – LAC): $5,700 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
It feels like we’re going to get a game without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. We expect both of those guys to sit in the second half of a back-to-back set, and that doesn’t even include John WallNorman PowellLuke Kennard and Marcus Morris being on the injury report. If even half of those guys sit, Jackson should see the workload that made him a $7K player last season. He should play 30-35 minutes and take 15-20 shots, averaging over 30 fantasy points per game in that role last year.

Value Plays

Tre Jones (PG – SAS): $6,400 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
Jones doesn’t have a huge upside but using any point guard against the Rockets is a cheat code. Houston is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing ball handlers and is lapping the field in that statistic. We love that with Tre’s recent form, averaging 35 DK points per game across his last five outings. That total should be easy to reach in this matchup, making Jones a heck of a value below $7K.

Terance Mann (PG/SG – LAC): $5,300 DraftKings, $5,100 FanDuel
We just discussed how many players are on the Clippers injury report, and it could force Mann into a 30-minute start. Whenever this guy gets that sort of role, he’s a beast. Mann has played at least 31 minutes in 42 games since the beginning of last year, averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game in that span. It’s no surprise with the way he stuffs the stat sheet, and he’d be one of the best values if those aforementioned players end up sitting.

Advantageous Pricing

  • Alperen Sengun (PF/C – HOU): $5,800 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
  • Jimmy Butler (SF/PF – MIA): $8,600 DraftKings, $9,900 FanDuel
  • Tyler Herro (PG/SG – MIA): $7,700 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
  • Kawhi Leonard (SF – LAC): $7,100 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
  • Jabari Smith (PF/C – HOU): $5,000 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
  • Jerami Grant (SF/PF – POR): $7,400 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel
  • Justise Winslow (SF – POR): $4,900 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel


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