FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 1/22/20

We have 12 games to dig through for Wednesday's slate. Who is set up 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/
San AntonioNew Orleans237.0-3.5116.75120.25153
LA ClippersAtlanta233.0+4.0118.5114.548
LA LakersNew York223.0+11.0117.0106.01318
UtahGolden State217.5+7.5112.5105.02414
Oklahoma CityOrlando209.0-1.5103.75105.251627

Point Guard

The Denver Nuggets are not at full health tonight, paving the way for Monte Morris ($4,000) and others to play bigger minutes. Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap are out, and Gary Harris is doubtful. Morris has a 19.4% usage rate without those three on the court. More importantly, he should get to 30 minutes in a matchup with the uptempo Houston Rockets.

Kemba Walker ($6,800) draws a nice matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies, who are 20th against combo guards such as Walker this year in fantasy defense. Walker has a value projection of 5.44 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary (5.44x), which is above the general 5.0 threshold we should be seeking. Walker's 75th-percentile outcome of 45.4 FanDuel points in my model makes him the second-best tournament value at the position.

Ricky Rubio ($6,100) is another mid-range play we can build around, as the studs have tougher matchups overall. Rubio's got claim to the best tournament value rating in my model for his matchup with the Indiana Pacers. While the broad matchup is not promising, Indy is 23rd against distributing guards such as Rubio. Rubio owns the the fourth-best value projection by numberFire's algorithm, as well, in what should be a back-and-forth game.

Core Plays: Monte Morris, Kemba Walker, Ricky Rubio
Secondary Plays: Dejounte Murray ($5,300), Malcolm Brogdon ($6,700), Goran Dragic ($4,400)
Tournament Plays: Ben Simmons ($9,300), Trae Young ($10,200), Markelle Fultz ($5,600)

Shooting Guard

Donovan Mitchell ($6,200) is still cheap despite some solid production of late: 31.0, 59.2, 27.8, and 37.9 FanDuel points over his past four games. Mitchell's matchup with the Golden State Warriors is a plush one. Golden State is 29th against combo guards, and Mitchell's 6.29x value rating is too good to ignore even with the Utah Jazz' status as a 7.5-point favorite.

The Los Angeles Clippers list Paul George as out, Patrick Beverley is dealing with a sore groin from last night, and then we have Kawhi Leonard on a back-to-back. Lou Williams ($6,300) should pick up a lot of slack. With those three off the court, Williams has a stellar 34.9% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.38 FanDuel points. That's an elite role, and it's a long-time-ago revenge game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Buddy Hield ($5,300) plays a lot of minutes (37.8, 37.5, 34.6, 42.6 minutes the past four) and just dropped 51.9 FanDuel points in his last game with a 20-point, 7-rebound, 7-assist, 3-steal, 2-block stat line. Hield is facing the Detroit Pistons, who are 20th in defensive rating since the start of December.

Core Plays: Donovan Mitchell, Lou Williams, Buddy Hield
Secondary Plays: James Harden ($11,400), Bradley Beal ($7,200), Evan Fournier ($5,200)
Tournament Plays: Jimmy Butler ($8,900), Andrew Wiggins ($6,400), Bogdan Bogdanovic ($4,600)

Small Forward

Jaylen Brown ($5,900) and Gordon Hayward ($5,800) rated out as some of the best small forward plays of the day, but Brown has been ruled out. The Grizzlies are an uptempo team that is just 21st in defensive rating since the start of December and very generous to wing positions. Hayward has double-digit shot attempts in 13 straight games, which carries plenty of floor and ceiling boosting potential against a weak defense. Hayward has a 2.5-percentage-point boost to his usage rate without Brown.

Tobias Harris ($6,400) boasts a 25.5% usage rate -- a team-high -- when Joel Embiid is off the floor, and Embiid is out indefinitely. Harris is also productive enough (1.13 FanDuel points per minute in this split) to love at this salary. The total is second-lowest on the full slate, which is a bit problematic, but the Toronto Raptors are beatable on the wing, and Harris has a workload that's simply better than the $6,400 salary implies. He's a high-floor play with a path to a ceiling if the game stays close.

Core Plays: Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris, LeBron James ($11,200)
Secondary Plays: Alec Burks ($5,100), Marcus Morris ($5,200), Matisse Thybulle ($4,200)
Tournament Plays: Brandon Ingram ($8,700), Will Barton ($6,500), Pascal Siakam ($7,300)

Power Forward

The Sacramento Kings have value at power forward tonight in Marvin Bagley III ($5,100) and Nemanja Bjelica ($5,400). Bagley has played 23.2, 30.0, 30.2, and 38.4 minutes in four games since returning from injury. He has put up at least 30.2 FanDuel points in three of them and has 17, 9, 19, and 13 field goal attempts in these contests. The Pistons, again, are not a defensive matchup to fear. Bagley ranks as the best overall play in my model from a floor and ceiling perspective -- adjusted for salary. Bjelica is a big step down from Bagley, but he benefits from the same matchup, which is one of the best overall game environments of the night, based on defensive matchup, over/under, and point spread.

Michael Porter Jr. ($5,300) and Jerami Grant ($4,200) are another duo to like. The Nuggets are very thin right now, and that gives these two elevated minutes projections (at least 30 minutes for each). Grant owns a 20.6% usage rate and a per-minute average of 0.86 FanDuel points without Murray, Millsap, and Harris on the court over a 462-minute sample. Porter Jr.'s numbers are 20.4% and 1.12, respectively, over 267 minutes. The Nuggets will see a lot of added possessions against the Rockets.

Core Plays: Marvin Bagley, Nemanja Bjelica, Jerami Grant
Secondary Plays: Michael Porter Jr., Jayson Tatum ($7,600), John Collins ($7,600)
Tournament Plays: Bam Adebayo ($8,000), Derrick Favors ($5,900), Lauri Markkanen ($5,100)


Montrezl Harrell ($5,900) is the top projectable center value tonight with the Clippers looking likely to be lacking bodies. Harrell's matchup is with the Hawks. Atlanta is 19th among 24 teams in action in fantasy points allowed to centers, and the over/under and spread combine for an elite matchup for Harrell overall. Montrezl has a 366-minute sample without Beverley, Leonard, and George this year. His usage rate is 31.3%, and his FanDuel-point-per-minute average is 1.28.

Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,100) saw his price drop $300 from last game despite 51.1 FanDuel points over 35.2 minutes. He's now played 28.1, 27.0, and 35.2 minutes in three games since returning from a lengthy layoff. Towns faces the Chicago Bulls, who are 23rd among 24 teams in center defense. The 219.5-point total doesn't jump off the page, but it's a one-point spread, so Towns could be involved deep into the fourth quarter in an elite matchup.

Core Plays: Montrezl Harrell, Karl-Anthony Towns
Secondary Plays: Deandre Ayton ($8,200), Willie Cauley-Stein ($4,300)
Tournament Plays: Andre Drummond ($10,300), Nikola Vucevic ($8,300), Steven Adams ($5,700),