FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 1/7/20

There are only six games on the slate tonight, but there is a lot of value -- and a lot of studs. Who projects for a big fantasy night?

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 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 bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.

Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.

We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.

Let's take a look at who you should target on today's main slate.

The Slate

Away Home Over/
Minnesota Memphis 229.0 -3.5 112.75 116.25 8 10
Sacramento Phoenix 226.0 -6.5 109.75 116.25 22 11
New York LA Lakers 222.0 -13.0 104.5 117.5 16 15
Detroit Cleveland 219.5 +3.5 111.5 108.0 27 30
Portland Toronto 219.5 -2.5 108.5 111.0 20 13
Oklahoma City Brooklyn 216.0 +2.5 109.25 106.75 17 7

Point Guard

Kyle Lowry ($8,400) has averaged 39.9 minutes per game over his past 10 contests and projects for 41.1 tonight, a slate-high number, according to numberFire's projections. Lowry will draw a matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers, who are 28th in defensive rating since the start of December. Lowry has an elite floor/ceiling combination rating in my model, making him prime for cash games and tournaments.

Chris Paul ($6,800) will be playing without Danilo Gallinari tonight. That doesn't fully change what Paul does from a production standpoint (he has a 22.6% usage rate without Gallinari), but he has a soft perimeter matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, who play faster than the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul projects for 5.3 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary, or 5.3x value.

Derrick Rose ($6,100) has settled into a role of minutes in the upper 20s over the past few games. The Detroit Pistons are thinned out with no Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, and Markieff Morris. Without those four on the court, Rose has a 34.5% usage rate and averages 1.27 FanDuel points per minute.

Core Plays: Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose
Secondary Plays: Collin Sexton ($5,900), Ricky Rubio ($7,000), Elfrid Payton ($5,600)
Tournament Plays: Damian Lillard ($8,900), Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,500), Darius Garland ($4,700)

Shooting Guard

Terence Davis II ($3,600) gets bumped up with the absence of Fred VanVleet, among other Raptors (including Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol, as well as probably Norman Powell, who is doubtful). Davis averages 0.86 FanDuel points per minute on the full season, which actually drops to 0.74 with them off the court. He's a low-usage player even with the missing pieces (16.9%). However, Davis is just $100 above the minimum and projects for 28 minutes.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($6,500) and Dennis Schroder ($6,000) get boosted with Gallinari off the court. Gilgeous-Alexander puts up a 28.2% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.00 FanDuel points with Gallinari sidelined. Schroder actually has a 31.7% usage rate and 0.98 FanDuel points per minute without Gallinari. The Thunder duo is up in pace, as well, against the Nets. They're top-three shooting guard plays in my model.

Core Plays: Terence Davis, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schroder
Secondary Plays: Andrew Wiggins ($6,900), Buddy Hield ($6,400), Bruce Brown Jr. ($4,800)
Tournament Plays: C.J. McCollum ($6,900), Patrick McCaw ($3,700), RJ Barrett ($5,100)

Small Forward

LeBron James ($10,900) has been stellar since Christmas Day, only once producing fewer than 51.3 FanDuel points. James is dealing with an illness -- and that could cap his minutes -- but even when projecting him for his low end (around 34 minutes), he rates out as a top-three small forward value as well as the best tournament value. The New York Knicks are dead last in fantasy defense against versatile forwards.

OG Anunoby ($4,800) is the only other small forward who stands out significantly from the crowd. There are a lot of solid plays, but Anunoby is the only other one who looks like a core-level play so far. Anunoby has a 16.2% usage rate without the relevant injured Raptors on the court, but he should crack 30 minutes at a sub-$5,000 salary. Anunoby draws a reeling Blazers defense, as well.

Core Plays: LeBron James, OG Anunoby
Secondary Plays: Carmelo Anthony ($6,400), Mikal Bridges ($4,400), Trevor Ariza ($3,800), Harrison Barnes ($4,800)
Tournament Plays: Kelly Oubre ($7,600), Taurean Prince ($4,900), Joe Harris ($4,900)

Power Forward

Serge Ibaka ($7,500) sees a 1.6-percentage-point boost to his usage rate without the relevant Raptors on the court, and he uses 26.2% of the team's possessions in that split. Along with it comes 1.14 FanDuel points per minute. Ibaka's matchup with the Blazers actually rates out as the best from a composite perspective -- combining his defense versus position matchup (best on the slate) as well as the over/under and point spread.

Christian Wood ($4,700) and Sekou Doumbouya ($4,600) benefit from open minutes in the Pistons' rotation. Wood has seen a 19.7% usage rate without Griffin, Morris, Kennard, and Jackson on the floor, producing 0.98 FanDuel points per minute in that split. Wood ranks as numberFire's fourth-best value play regardless of position on the full slate. Doumbouya's price jumped from the minimum to $4,600, but it's warranted. He has played 27, 38, and 34 minutes over the past three games, taking 11, 10, and 12 shot attempts in them. He has some scoring potential, with double-digit points in all of them, and we're looking at 30-plus minutes for just $4,600.

Core Plays: Serge Ibaka, Christian Wood, Sekou Doumbouya
Secondary Plays: Kevin Love ($6,900), Robert Covington ($5,500), Jarrett Allen ($5,500)
Tournament Plays: Anthony Davis ($11,600), Julius Randle ($7,100), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4,900)


Andre Drummond ($10,300) puts up 1.36 FanDuel points per minute without Griffin, Morris, Kennard, and Jackson, which is actually 0.12 worse than he has with them and his full season rate of 1.44. Still, Drummond is freed up and needed to play elevated minutes. numberFire projects Drummond for 37.3 minutes, second-most of any player on the board. He also projects for 20.1 points and 16.3 rebounds, making him an interesting 20/20 threat.

Steven Adams ($6,500) has one of the best floor/ceiling combinations I've seen all year. He is up in pace against the Nets, who are actually seventh in rebounding rate since the start of December. However, Adams is coming off of two straight 40-plus-FanDuel-point outings and just played 35 minutes last night. That can be a detriment, but the Nets are still only 11th in center defense among 12 teams in action, and Adams' overall game environment is good enough to make him a core play.

Core Plays: Steven Adams, Andre Drummond
Secondary Plays: Gorgui Dieng ($6,000), Hassan Whiteside ($8,900), Tristan Thompson ($5,800)
Tournament Plays: Deandre Ayton ($8,100), Jonas Valanciunas ($6,700), Aron Baynes ($4,800)