FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 1/27/20

Key injuries in Houston open up a lot of opportunity. Which players stand out most on Monday's six-game slate?

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/
Sacramento Minnesota 226.0 -3.0 111.5 114.5 17 10
Dallas Oklahoma City 225.5 +1.0 113.25 112.25 22 16
Houston Utah 223.0 -12.5 105.25 117.75 2 24
Cleveland Detroit 220.0 -7.0 106.5 113.5 30 26
San Antonio Chicago 216.5 +2.5 109.5 107.0 15 9
Orlando Miami 210.5 -5.0 102.75 107.75 27 25

Point Guard

Luka Doncic ($10,900) and the Dallas Mavericks have a slight pace-up game with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are a tough defense on the full season. They're also second in defensive rating against top-10 offenses since December 1st. Still, Doncic rates out with the second-best ceiling of any player, and on a mid-sized slate, that matters. Doncic has taken 23, 26, 25, and 25 field goal attempts over the past four games and has the best composite matchup of any point guard. Salary isn't super relevant tonight, so Doncic is a core play.

De'Aaron Fox ($7,700) ranks better than Doncic on a per-dollar basis in my model. His matchup is much friendlier against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are 25th in defensive rating since December 1st and 30th against combo guards such as Fox on the full season.

Austin Rivers ($3,600) and Chris Clemons ($3,500) have low-end punt appeal, as Russell Westbrook is out and James Harden ($10,500) is doubtful. The matchup is dreadful against the Utah Jazz, but it's hard to hate all the open usage for such low prices. Clemons has a 33.9% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.13 FanDuel points without Westbrook and Harden on the floor over a decent 118-minute sample. Rivers' numbers are 23.9% and 0.90, respectively.

Core Plays: Luka Doncic, De'Aaron Fox, Austin Rivers/Chris Clemons
Secondary Plays: Darius Garland ($4,300), Markelle Fultz ($5,300)
Tournament Plays: Derrick Rose ($7,800), Collin Sexton ($6,100), Chris Paul ($7,500)

Shooting Guard

Jimmy Butler ($8,600) is questionable, but so are Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn. If Butler plays, he'd be freed up to facilitate. He has a 32.8% usage rate without Dragic and Nunn on the floor. He also averages 1.32 FanDuel points per minute. Tyler Herro ($4,300) and Duncan Robinson ($3,800) are also in play for the Miami Heat. Herro (0.78 FanDuel points per minute) and Robinson (0.69) will need minutes to pay off, but they should get them tonight -- especially if Butler sits.

Bogdan Bogdanovic ($4,500) is a pretty steady producer and has 10 or more shot attempts in four games since returning from injury, including 30 total three-point attempts. There's a lot of variance in that shooting workload. The Timberwolves are the most generous fantasy defense against shooting guards among teams in action tonight.

Ben McLemore ($3,600) is another Rockets value player we can consider with injuries to their studs. McLemore has played only 98 minutes without Russ and Harden, but he has a decent enough 0.81 FanDuel point per minute mark. He could surpass 30 minutes, and that's very promising even against the Jazz.

Core Plays: Jimmy Butler, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Ben McLemore
Secondary Plays: Donovan Mitchell ($7,600), Evan Fournier ($5,200), Tyler Herro
Tournament Plays: Duncan Robinson, Andrew Wiggins ($7,100), Bruce Brown Jr. ($4,600)

Small Forward

Small forward is not a position full of studs tonight, so our only option is to save some salary. Danuel House Jr. ($3,500) and Eric Gordon ($4,400) headline the position because of the Rockets' situation. Gordon is the more promising pick from a usage standpoint, as -- in 62 minutes without Westbrook or Harden -- he has put up a whopping 40.1% usage rate with 1.25 FanDuel points per minute. House's numbers are 16.0% and 0.60, respectively.

Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,800) on the other side of that game is intriguing. The Jazz carry a lot of blowout risk, but Bogdanovic doesn't need a huge workload to pay off a modest price tag. He has double-digit shot attempts in seven straight games, including at least seven three-point attempts in six of those games. Houston is the weakest small forward defense on the slate.

Core Plays: Danuel House Jr., Eric Gordon, Bojan Bogdanovic
Secondary Plays: Danilo Gallinari ($6,200), Jarrett Culver ($4,700), Harrison Barnes ($4,600)
Tournament Plays: Joe Ingles ($5,500), Rudy Gay ($3,800), Josh Okogie ($4,000)

Power Forward

Oh, hey. Another Rocket. P.J. Tucker ($4,100) already plays heavy, heavy minutes (34.6, 41.2, 31.5, 36.0, and 38.4 over the past five games) and will be needed to do something similar again tonight unless this game gets really out of hand from the onset. Tucker just doesn't have much usage (a laughable 7.5% over 86 minutes without Westbrook and Harden), but the minutes will lead to fantasy points.

Kevin Love ($7,300) faces a Detroit Pistons team that is 23rd defensively since December 1st and 23rd in rebounding rate in that span, as well. Love has played right around 32 to 34 minutes over the past two weeks, and Detroit ranks a beatable 9th among 12 teams playing tonight in power forward defense.

Nemanja Bjelica ($6,100) has three straight games with at least 30 FanDuel points and should own a solid role with Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes out. Bjelica projects for 32.4 minutes, and he has averaged 1.05 FanDuel points per minute without Bagley and Holmes on the floor.

Core Plays: P.J. Tucker, Kevin Love, Nemanja Bjelica
Secondary Plays: Bam Adebayo ($8,100), Aaron Gordon ($5,700), Robert Covington ($5,500)
Tournament Plays: LaMarcus Aldridge ($8,000), Thaddeus Young ($5,500), Royce O'Neale ($4,100)


Clint Capela ($8,000) has played only 21 minutes without Harden and Westbrook this season. The returns were great: 2.00 FanDuel points per minute and an 18.3% usage rate. Of course, he'll have a tough individual test with Rudy Gobert ($9,600) and the Jazz, but the offense will have to flow through Capela a little more. We'll be dealing with a less efficient offense overall (though Houston has done fine without both stars somehow), but Capela's minutes could creep into the upper 30s.

Dewayne Dedmon ($3,700) saw his minutes fall from 31.1 to 18.7 due to foul trouble last game. His price came down $200, and that keeps him in elite value territory provided the minutes return. The Timberwolves are 26th in rebounding rate since December 1st, and Dedmon should be a key source of value tonight.

Core Plays: Clint Capela, Dewayne Dedmon
Secondary Plays: Steven Adams ($5,300), Andre Drummond ($10,500)
Tournament Plays: Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,400), Tristan Thompson ($5,700)