FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 1/10/20

Friday's 10-game slate features plenty of great fantasy games and matchups. Who rates out well for tonight?

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/
San AntonioMemphis231.5+1.0116.25115.251210
New OrleansNew York225.5+5.0115.25110.25317
LA LakersDallas222.5-1.5110.5112.01521
Golden StateLA Clippers221.5-13.0104.25117.25134

It's a huge 10-game set, so tracking injuries will be vital for tonight's action.


Nikola Vucevic ($8,800) could be in store for a huge usage rate tonight, as Jonathan Isaac is out and Aaron Gordon is questionable. Without those two on the court, Vucevic has a 28.3% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.29, which expands to 46.3 over 36 minutes. Vucevic projects for not quite 36 minutes but is set for 32.4 based on numberFire's projections, and he draws a matchup with the Phoenix Suns, who are just an average rebounding team over their past 15 games. The Magic also see a pace bump tonight, as the Suns are 11th in offensive seconds per play.

Bobby Portis ($4,400) and Mitchell Robinson ($5,400) both look to have some value for tonight's slate. Julius Randle is out, and Marcus Morris ($6,000) is questionable. Portis rates out as the better per-dollar play in my model and is one of the best overall center values on the slate by numberFire's projections, as well. Robinson and Portis will face the New Orleans Pelicans, who are actually 7th in rebounding rate over their past 15 games but are also 10th in pace and just 15th in defensive rating in that split. It's a promising spot for the Knicks' bigs.

Core Plays: Nikola Vucevic, Bobby Portis, Rudy Gobert
Secondary Plays: Mitchell Robinson, Montrezl Harrell ($6,500)
Tournament Plays: Myles Turner ($6,200), Dewayne Dedmon ($3,700)

Power Forward

Kawhi Leonard ($9,400) will be without Paul George tonight, and Leonard's stellar numbers get even better without George on the court. Leonard posts a 36.7% usage rate and 1.55 FanDuel points per minute without George on the floor alongside him. Those are boosts of 2.7 percentage points and 0.12 FanDuel points, respectively. Leonard has plenty of blowout risk against the Golden State Warriors, who are actually up to 11th in defensive rating over their past 15 games. Leonard's projected workload (33.1 minutes) is enough for him to become a standout play on this slate.

The San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies aren't quite what they used to be, and LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,400) is now in the game with the second-highest total on a 10-game slate. Both teams are top-12 in offensive pace. Aldridge has experienced a significant price drop over the past week due to a drop in rebounding numbers. The Grizzlies are just 25th in defensive rating over their past 15 games. Aldridge ranks with the third-best floor/ceiling rating in my model among power forwards.

Nemanja Bjelica ($4,800) is the second-best power forward in numberFire's value ratings for tonight, as he faces the Milwaukee Bucks. The Sacramento Kings have frontcourt injuries to Bogdan Bogdanovic and Richaun Holmes, who are out. Marvin Bagley III is also questionable. Bjelica is projected for 26.6 minutes and just played 38 minutes last game. Keep an eye on the injury news here. Bjelica is a volatile player (39.2, 17.4, 21.0, 25.5, 19.5, and 35.9 FanDuel points in his past six games), but volatility can be a good thing.

Core Plays: Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jarrett Allen
Secondary Plays: John Collins ($8,300), JaMychal Green ($3,600), Thaddeus Young ($5,400), Jarrett Allen ($5,500)
Tournament Plays: Bam Adebayo ($8,200), Aaron Gordon ($5,900), Draymond Green ($5,800)

Small Forward

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,100) is listed as probable for his matchup with the Kings. Sacramento ranks 10th in defensive rating over their past 15 games and 19th in net rating. We actually should want some resistance here, as the Bucks are favored by eight points. It's a pace-down matchup for Giannis, sure, but he leads the NBA in FanDuel points per minute (1.85) and has -- unsurprisingly -- the highest ceiling on the slate (and the second-best floor).

Marcus Morris ($6,000) is questionable and has missed two straight games after dropping 38 points. If he plays, he's in play. If not, the Knicks will be without Morris and Julius Randle. That'd lead to useful minutes for Kevin Knox ($3,500). Knox averages just 0.71 FanDuel points per minute without them on the floor despite an okay 18.6% usage rate. Even with Morris projected for 30.8 minutes, Knox is projected for 20.9 minutes and 15.6 FanDuel points. The slightest of bumps to that will let him pay off, and significantly more run against the uptempo Pelicans is enticing.

Harrison Barnes ($4,400) ranks third in value in numberFire's projections and third in mine as well. Barnes is part of the thinned-out Kings rotation. Milwaukee is only 13th in fantasy points allowed to versatile forwards such as Barnes despite their elite defense overall. Barnes is in play for 35 minutes here.

A quick aside: Anthony Davis is questionable and could sit. LeBron James ($10,700) has a 37.2% usage rate and averages 1.56 FanDuel points per minute without Davis alongside him. James is fine even if Davis plays but would become really intriguing without AD.

Core Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Marcus Morris, Harrison Barnes
Secondary Plays: LeBron James, Joe Ingles ($5,600), Kevin Knox
Tournament Plays: Brandon Ingram ($9,400), Kelly Oubre ($7,200), Rudy Gay ($4,100)

Shooting Guard

Bradley Beal ($7,600) is questionable but rates out as one of my favorite plays, as usual. If he can't go, then Jordan McRae ($6,100) would deserve attention. The matchup for the Washington Wizards' shooting guards against the Atlanta Hawks is tied for the second-best overall game environment -- combining matchup, spread, and over/under. There's a lot of appeal in this game overall as a stack candidate. McRae has a 27.6% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.13 without Beal.

Shooting guard is pretty deep overall, but the mid-range is really enticing. DeMar DeRozan ($7,000), like Aldridge, has a strong matchup with the Grizzlies. Memphis is 17th in fantasy points allowed to shooting guards among 20 teams in action tonight, and DeRozan's combined game environment is third-best among all shooting guards tonight. DeRozan is priced down $800 from where he was three games ago despite minutes steadily over 30 and 40.3, 35.1, and 42.2 FanDuel points. He hasn't fully erupted, but at the salary and in the matchup, he rates out with a great floor/ceiling ratio.

Josh Hart ($4,400) should once again be freed up with Jrue Holiday sidelined. Hart puts up just 0.86 FanDuel points per minute without Holiday, but he just got 33 minutes last game and scored 28.5 FanDuel points -- on only 8 field goal attempts. We project Hart for 27.5 minutes even before removing Holiday from the equation.

Core Plays: Bradley Beal/Jordan McRae, Delon Wright, Josh Hart
Secondary Plays: Delon Wright ($4,500), Buddy Hield ($6,200), Evan Fournier ($5,800)
Tournament Plays: Donovan Mitchell ($7,800), RJ Barrett ($5,000), Devonte' Graham ($6,800)

Point Guard

Luka Doncic ($11,400) faces the Los Angeles Lakers, who are a top-eight defense over their past 15 games. However, they rate out just 25th against combo guards such as Doncic, who is second in the NBA in FanDuel points per minute (1.65). Doncic actually grades out with the best 75th-percentile outcome in my projections.

De'Aaron Fox ($7,400) has played at least 29.9 minutes in six straight games and is fresh off a 21-shot, 27-point, 42.8-FanDuel-point game but had his price drop by $400. The Bucks rank as only the 12th-toughest point guard matchup out of 20 teams in action, despite their stingy overall defense.

I know Trae Young ($10,000) is expensive, but with Antetokounmpo, James (potentially without Anthony Davis), and Doncic on the slate, he really could go overlooked more than he should in his matchup with the Wizards. The overall game environment for Hawks point guards ranks tied for second among all positions on the slate. Young is sixth in ceiling projections in my model and is fifth in numberFire's ceiling numbers. We'll have the value to load up on studs, and we should be putting Young near the top.

Core Plays: Luka Doncic, De'Aaron Fox, Trae Young
Secondary Plays: Tomas Satoransky ($5,400), Goran Dragic ($5,100), Ishmael Smith ($4,900)
Tournament Plays: Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,200), Lonzo Ball ($6,400), Ricky Rubio ($6,600)