NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 12/26/18
If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes hugely on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a ton of other great resources to help give you an edge.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each price point.
Let's take a look at who you should target on today's main slate.
Best of the Best
Anthony Davis ($12,500): As far as tonight goes, it's The Brow then everyone else. Not only is he the one player we have projected for over 60 FanDuel points, but he's the sole player set to exceed 52. That should come as no surprise, though, as he's averaging 61.5 per game on the year, including 66.6 per game over his last five. He's played at least 38.9 minutes in four out of the last five en route to 5.26 points per $1,000 over that span. He's flat-out money in the bank, and now he draws a Dallas Mavericks team ranked 29th in defensive rating over the past five games. A 112.75 implied team total gives him, without a doubt, the highest ceiling of the night.
Andre Drummond ($9,700): While paying up for AD seems like a no-brainer, it's going to be tough to pass up Drummond against the Washington Wizards. The Pistons' 112.75 total is tied for fourth on the slate and is 4.35 points beyond their season average in terms of points per game. That's great and all, but as we know Drummond gets a lot of his production in the rebound department. He enters play averaging a league-leading 15.5 rebounds per game, which balloons to 16.7 per game at home, where he's averaged 8.6 more FanDuel points than on the road. Add in a matchup with Thomas Bryant and a team dead last in rebound rate with him as their starting center, and you got yourself 20-20 potential at the center spot tonight.
Victor Oladipo ($8,500): If you think Oladipo is underpriced, it's because he is. He's the fifth-highest priced shooting guard on a loaded slate, after spending a lot of the year in the $9,000 to $9,600 range. The only reason for his price drop seems to be a lack of consistency with his shot of late. Since returning from a long injury absence, the All-Star guard has shot just 41.6% from the floor after hitting 44.0% of his shots prior to the injury. He's shown flashes, though, all the while racking up 38.3 FanDuel points thanks to 6.6 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game in that same time frame. And tonight, he has the best matchup of all shooting guards, as the Atlanta Hawks surrender a league-worst 46.39 FanDuel points per game to the position. Our projections have him as the night's top-scoring two-guard and expect him to exceed 5.0 points per $1,000 at this price.
Myles Turner ($7,300): 'Dipo's teammate is in a similar value spot despite a mid-range price. He too will face a Hawks team ranked 23rd on the year in defensive rating, having allowed 118.0 points per game over the last 10, including 124 or more on 5 occasions. At the center spot particularly, they've let up 57.97 FanDuel points per 48 -- 24th among all teams. As for Turner himself, the 2018 breakout appears to be back on. Since the calendar hit December, he's averaged a double-double and 40.5 FanDuel points over 30.3 minutes game. His usage rate is up to 21.5% (it was 19.6% in November) in the 12 games this month, and a nice 111.75 total -- 5.65 points above their average -- is more than enough to put him in play in tournaments in spite of other pricier centers at the top.
Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,100): Wednesday's Western Conference matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings features the highest over/under on the slate, at 237.5 points. It's worth getting exposure at all salary levels but particularly in this $5,000 to $6,000 area. On the road, Sacramento's 116.0 total is second on the slate, and while others may look to Buddy Hield or Willie Cauley-Stein, Bogdanovic is the cheapest of the three. Plus, he's logged 30 or more minutes in six of his last eight games, which has him averaging 27.6 FanDuel points per game, even with a 6.4 dud holding that down. When you consider his opponent sits 29th in defensive rating over the last 10, a repeat of Sunday's 40.3-point showing is certainly in the cards.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($5,600): On the other side of tonight's game between the NBA's second- and ninth-fastest paced teams, the Clips' rookie point guard is in a prime spot. He enters having played 30 minutes in three of the last seven, along with two games of 27-plus minutes. He's averaging just 21.7 FanDuel points a game on the season, yet he's posted three games of 28.9 or more in the same seven-game span. Last time against these Kings, he played over 32 minutes and produced 41.0 FanDuel points -- his highest mark of the year. That was no fluke either. Sacramento's been had for the third-most points per game (48.93) from the point guard slot.
Mikal Bridges ($4,600): Tonight, the Phoenix Suns will be without the services of veteran wing Jamal Crawford, which opens up about 15 to 20 minutes at the shooting guard and small forward spots. Josh Jackson and Kelly Oubre will see more minutes, but it will also help solidify Bridges' playing time. He's already averaging a hefty 32.6 in his last 10 and 35.1 in his last five, which has helped to bolster his DFS floor. Since December 2, he's posted seven games exceeding tonight's salary-implied total (23.0) with only three falling short of even four-times value (18.4). The Suns' 102.5 total is second-lowest on the slate, which makes Bridges more of a tournament option on this size of a slate.
Rodions Kurucs ($4,000): Kurucs is quite the opposite to a tournament play. The first-year player has found success in recent games, starting six straight and (according to Basketball Reference) playing 69% of his minutes at power forward. His minutes have been up and down, but that puts his average at 27.6, including four games of 28.4 or more. He has produced 33.6 and 32.0 FanDuel points in his last two games, while playing 34.4 and 33.0 minutes, respectively. Brooklyn is a 1.5-point favorite with a 111.0 implied total at home against the Charlotte Hornets, so Kurucs is likely to continue to his streak of fantasy production.
Delon Wright ($3,800): The Toronto Raptors are expected to be without starting point man Kyle Lowry, who's considered doubtful after missing shootaround this morning. That could mean more opportunities for Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet, but when Lowry's been forced to sit it has put Wright on the DFS radar. Despite playing from the bench the majority of the time, he has averaged 19.9 FanDuel points across 26.0 minutes in the five games Lowry has missed. With him off the floor, Wright has averaged a not-so-great 0.80 FanDuel points, but to reach five-times value all he needs is roughly 24 minutes at that rate.
Brett Oswalt is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
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