FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 1/14/20

Even with only six games, we have studs, injuries, and values to make for a great fantasy slate. Who should you target?

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/
Houston Memphis 238.5 +5.0 121.75 116.75 2 10
New York Milwaukee 227.0 -16.5 105.25 121.75 17 1
Phoenix Atlanta 225.0 +5.0 115.0110.0 11 9
Cleveland LA Clippers 224.0 -15.0 104.5 119.5 30 4
Dallas Golden State 222.5 +8.0 115.25 107.25 22 13
Utah Brooklyn 219.0 +2.5 110.75 108.25 23 6

The Houston Rockets/Memphis Grizzlies game is the premier matchup on the docket. Two of the six games have very real blowout risk, but that doesn't rule out the studs on the favorites. Let's look at the top plays from each position.

Shooting Guard

James Harden ($11,700) is in a game between two teams with top-10 offensive paces, and he'll be without Russell Westbrook, who is sitting out this game in a back-to-back set. Harden averages 1.78 FanDuel points per minute and a 47.6% usage rate without Westbrook on the court, according to NBAWowy. The Memphis Grizzlies are merely 21st in defensive rating over the past 15 games.

Lou Williams ($6,300)' Los Angeles Clippers have legitimate blowout risk against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but Williams ranks as a strong value play with Paul George out. In that split, Williams sees a 31.2% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.18 FanDuel points. He's a top-10 value play in numberFire's projections.

Kevin Huerter ($4,800) is projected for 28 minutes and nearly exactly 5.0 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary (or 5x value). Huerter has some opportunity open because Jabari Parker and Alex Len are out. Huerter ranks fourth among shooting guards in my projections in tournament value, as well.

Core Plays: James Harden, Lou Williams, Kevin Heurter
Secondary Plays: Donovan Mitchell ($7,200), D'Angelo Russell ($7,300), Elie Okobo ($3,500)
Tournament Plays: Devin Booker ($8,700), Delon Wright ($4,100), Khris Middleton ($7,100)

Power Forward

Kawhi Leonard ($9,800) owns a per-minute average of 1.50 FanDuel points and a 37.6% usage rate without Paul George on the court. There are -- again -- blowout concerns for the Clippers, but Leonard is nearly 40% of the offense without George on the floor, and a rout will flow through Leonard against the NBA's 29th-ranked defense over the past 15 games.

Draymond Green ($5,900) and Omari Spellman ($4,600) are both strong plays for the Golden State Warriors. Spellman is actually numberFire's top-ranked power forward value and does rank better in my projections than Green. In a matchup with the Dallas Mavericks, a neutral one for power forwards, the Warriors' duo can pay off their modest salaries, as both average at least 0.90 FanDuel points per minute. We'll need to save somewhere to spend up for studs everywhere else.

Core Plays: Kawhi Leonard, Draymond Green, Omari Spellman
Secondary Plays: John Collins ($8,300), P.J. Tucker ($3,900), Jarrett Allen ($5,500)
Tournament Plays: Julius Randle ($7,700), Kevin Love ($7,000), Brandon Clarke ($4,900)

Point Guard

Luka Doncic ($10,900) draws an improving Warriors defense (they're 10th over the past 15 games in defensive rating). However, they ranks a a below-average fantasy defense against combo guards such as Doncic. Luka owns the third-highest ceiling outcome of the night, and Doncic's 1.63 FanDuel points per minute rank second in the NBA.

Patrick Beverley ($5,100) has returned from his absence to see 30, 35, and 28 minutes in three games. He's generated 24.0, 44.7, and 26.7 FanDuel points in those. The matchup and blowout potential with the Cavaliers could lead to more of a floor game than a ceiling game for Beverley -- and he still has only a 13.8% usage rate without Paul George -- though he doesn't need a massive game to pay off his $5,100 tag. He's a safe option.

Eric Bledsoe ($6,200) has notched 40-plus FanDuel points in two straight games while seeing 17 and 20 shot attempts in them. The Milwaukee Bucks are heavy, heavy favorites on the New York Knicks, who rank 26th in defensive rating over the past 15 games. Bledsoe projects for a top-four per-dollar projection tonight, per numberFire, and he has the second-best floor/ceiling rating in my model.

Core Plays: Luka Doncic, Patrick Beverley, Eric Bledsoe
Secondary Plays: Elfrid Payton ($5,600), Austin Rivers ($3,500), Collin Sexton ($5,700)
Tournament Plays: Trae Young ($10,000), Darius Garland ($5,000), Ja Morant ($7,400)

Small Forward

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) has full-on eruption potential in this game against the Knicks. Antetokounmpo's 1.84-FanDuel-point-per-minute average is best in the NBA (Harden's mark without Westbrook is still just 1.78 by comparison). While Harden ranks as the better floor play because of the potential game script, Antetokounmpo is an elite tournament play for his high-end outcome, as the Knicks are 29th against versatile forwards.

Kelly Oubre ($7,200) and Mikal Bridges ($4,000) are another duo we can target. The Phoenix Suns' small forward options get a bump with Ricky Rubio out. Oubre has a 24.0% usage rate without Rubio and averages 1.04 FanDuel points per minute in this split. Brides is way off the mark at merely 12.7% and 0.72, respectively, but he's a punt option with the best floor/ceiling rating in my model. Oubre is actually second, followed by Giannis.

Core Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kelly Oubre, Mikal Bridges
Secondary Plays: Alec Burks ($5,600), Danuel House Jr. ($4,000), Eric Gordon ($4,100)
Tournament Plays: De'Andre Hunter ($4,400), Joe Ingles ($5,400), Glenn Robinson III ($4,600)


Clint Capela ($7,900) boasts merely a 16.4% usage rate with Russell Westbrook off the court, but he manages 1.16 FanDuel points per minute without Russ, and Capela is in the premier game of the night. The Grizzlies rank 17th against post bigs such as Capela, and he projects for 35 minutes. Capela is the second-most expensive center of the night but actually rates with a higher ceiling than Rudy Gobert ($9,000), in terms of 75th-percentile outcomes in my projections.

Deandre Ayton ($7,600) also has a 75th-percentile outcome on par with Gobert's and is in a much friendlier fantasy environment. Ayton's Suns face an Atlanta Hawks team that is up to 15th in defensive rating over the past 15 games but is still last in rebounding and will be without Alex Len. Ayton should be lower owned than he should be, given his proximity to Capela.

Core Plays: Clint Capela, Deandre Ayton
Secondary Plays: Montrezl Harrell ($6,600), Dwight Powell ($5,400)
Tournament Plays: Tristan Thompson ($6,400), Rudy Gobert, Jonas Valanciunas ($6,700)