FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 1/12/20

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 break down today's main slate:

The Slate

Golden StateMemphisTBD-6.5TBDTBD145
San AntonioTorontoTBD-3.0TBDTBD1116
LA ClippersDenver221-1.5109.75111.25629

It is important to note the missing totals on FanDuel Sportsbook as we await news on several key players, including Golden State Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam.

Point Guard

Trae Young ($10,200): Trae Young had a bad night at the office on Friday night in a great matchup against the Washington Wizards, failing to score 20 points for the first time in January. However, with Young still averaging 50.9 FanDuel points per game this month, it is fine to trust the Hawks' young star again on a five-game slate. It should be noted Young is actually dealing with some hamstring pain entering this game. Assuming he plays, Young is up against Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving in Irving's return to the lineup, and regardless who has manned that defensive spot for Brooklyn this year, it has been troublesome as the Nets give up the second-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards.

Kyle Lowry ($8,200): The Toronto Raptors are still without Fred VanVleet due to his hamstring injury, which means Kyle Lowry has been one of the few remaining options to conduct offense for Toronto without VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Marc Gasol on the floor. The Raptors will get back Norman Powell to help Lowry on Sunday, but Lowry should continue to see a heavy minutes load. Lowry has averaged 41 minutes per game in his last four contests, and at 1.03 FanDuel points per minute this season, it makes sense for Lowry to pay off this price tag. His workload makes him a high-floor play.

Other Notable Picks: Terry Rozier ($6,800), Dejounte Murray ($5,700)

Shooting Guard

D'Angelo Russell ($7,000): Russell has been out for the last six games due to a shoulder injury, but injury reports indicate he should play Sunday. Assuming Russell's minutes are not heavily restricted, this price tag is just too low for the Warriors' guard as in his last five outings before the injury, he was averaging 41.26 FanDuel points per game. Russell continues to lead Golden State with a 33.1% usage rate this season and will see a pace uptick against a fast Memphis Grizzlies squad.

Devonte' Graham ($6,800): Due to the Charlotte Hornets' tendency to play slow -- they are dead last in the NBA in pace -- I love to deploy Devonte' Graham in these matchups with high-paced squads that will speed up Charlotte. Graham, not prized offseason acquisition Terry Rozier, is the Hornets' conductor, leading the starting unit with a 25.5% usage rate. With more opportunities against the speedy Phoenix Suns, Graham should threaten in this one for a double-double with assists, since Graham is already averaging 8.2 dimes for the month of January.

Other Notable Picks: Caris LeVert ($5,400), Norman Powell ($5,000), Gary Harris ($4,100)

Small Forward

OG Anunoby ($4,800): Some may cross OG off the list if Pascal Siakam does indeed return from injury on Sunday, but Anunoby's usage really is not affected by Siakam's presence. It rises only 0.5% -- to 16.4% -- without Siakam, and Anunoby should still see his full allotment of minutes with or without Siakam as they monitor their All-Star's workload. Anunoby has averaged 33.0 minutes per game in January with all of Toronto's injuries, and that will give him plenty of opportunity to exploit a San Antonio Spurs squad that has given up the second-most FanDuel points per game to opposing small forwards this year.

Glenn Robinson III ($4,100): The Warriors have had a muddled rotation with a cast of rotating characters, but the one constant seems to Glenn Robinson on the wing. Partly due to injury, he is the only Warriors player to average over 30 minutes per game this season. Robinson is starting to make the best of them, too, averaging 16.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in his last three contests, making him a great value plug against Memphis if he stays the course.

Other Notable Picks: Taurean Prince ($5,000), Kelly Oubre ($7,000)

Power Forward

PJ Washington ($5,800): With so many high-priced stars in the backcourt, saving some money in the frontcourt appears to be an option for this slate. Similar to deploying Graham against high-paced teams, it may be wise to pair him with Washington, who sees significant time at both the four and five spots for Charlotte. Throwing out a terrible game against the Utah Jazz in which the Hornets were non-competitive from the start, Washington is averaging 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in January, and perhaps most significant of all, he's at a whopping 36.5 minutes per game. With a higher pace, Washington will have more opportunities to inflict damage on the glass and from three.

Jarrett Allen ($5,500): One-game samples are usually fool's gold, but Jarrett Allen turned in his best game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks back on December 4th, posting 20 points and 13 boards in a monster win. That was a Hawks squad missing John Collins, but Allen sees most of his minutes at center and will once again face off with Alex Len. Allen and DeAndre Jordan are both solid options because of how leaky Atlanta is on the defensive glass, with the Hawks giving up the third-most offensive rebounds in the league. With Allen at only $5,500, a double-double would assuredly hit value in this spot.

Other Notable Picks: Kawhi Leonard ($9,700), Jerami Grant ($4,000)


Deandre Ayton ($7,800): Speaking of double-doubles, the 2018 number-one overall pick is one waiting to happen. Ayton has scored at least 13 points in all but one game this year and hasn't posted fewer than 9 rebounds in a game this season. Ayton is starting to get more aggressive on the offensive end, as well, as he is up to 13.6 field goal attempts per game in the month of January. Ayton will look to post his best game of the season against a Charlotte squad that has given up the fourth-most points to opposing centers on FanDuel this year.

Other Notable Picks: Montrezl Harrell ($6,500)

Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. 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.