FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 1/29/20
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 take a look at who you should target on today's main slate.
We've got Russell Westbrook ($11,000) and Damian Lillard ($9,800) going against one another. We've got Kyrie Irving ($9,300) and De'Aaron Fox ($8,100) also near the top of the board. Per dollar, my model ranks them Irving, Fox, Lillard, Westbrook. For Westbrook, he's priced up about $1,000 after a string of five consecutive games with at least 60 FanDuel points ended on Monday with a 49.9-point showing. James Harden ($10,700) is questionable.
For Fox, he has generated 40.7 and 47.4 FanDuel points in his past two games and faces an Oklahoma City Thunder team that is 24th against combo guards such as Fox. Irving faces a Detroit Pistons defense that is 25th in defensive rating since December 1st.
Dejounte Murray ($4,400) and Mike Conley ($3,800) are cheaper plays in a game between the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz. The total isn't substantially low relative to the non-Portland/Rockets games. These two rank as numberFire's top-two point guard values for tonight. LaMarcus Aldridge is out, and Murray averages 1.22 FanDuel points per minute on a 21.4% usage rate without him. At the salary, that helps in the difficult matchup.
James Harden ($10,700) is questionable, but he's primed for a dominant game if he plays. numberFire projects him for 56.3 FanDuel points over 37.0 minutes against a soft perimeter defense in the second-best overall game environment for all shooting guards.
Donovan Mitchell ($7,600) has played 37.0 and 36.4 minutes over the past two games and has taken 25 shots in both games. He has scored at least 22 points in seven straight games. Mitchell is projected for 5.21 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary (or 5.21x value), and if Harden were to sit, Mitchell's 75th-percentile outcome in my model would be best at the position.
Bogdan Bogdanovic ($4,400) has the best tournament value rating in my model among all shooting guards aside from Harden. Bogdanovic is projected for a 5.65x value mark. He has had a solid high floor for his price over the past five games and is projected for 27.9 minutes for the shorthanded Sacramento Kings.
Core Plays: James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, Bogdan Bogdanovic
Secondary Plays: DeMar DeRozan ($7,900), C.J. McCollum ($7,400), Victor Oladipo ($4,000)
Tournament Plays: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,500), Jeremy Lamb ($4,400), Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,900)
No small forward costs more than $6,200 tonight, so we have no choice but to save a bit. Marcus Morris ($5,800) doesn't have a great overall matchup, but he still has the best ceiling among small forwards. Morris has logged at least 29.8 minutes and 24.1 FanDuel points in six straight games. The Memphis Grizzlies represent a significant pace boost for the New York Knicks, making Morris stand out among a pretty depleted small forward pool.
Carmelo Anthony ($5,900) and Trevor Ariza ($3,700) are strong targets for the Blazers in the game with the best total of the night. Anthony has played 42.7, 37.4, and 33.5 minutes over the past three games and can get up shots better than most. Houston is 23rd against versatile forwards such as Anthony, further speaking to his good matchup. Ariza has played 35.8 and 32.0 minutes in two games with the Blazers. He recorded very different results but had 11 and 7 shots in these games. In the matchup, he makes sense to pair with Anthony or Morris.
Core Plays: Marcus Morris, Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza
Secondary Plays: Danilo Gallinari ($6,200), Taurean Prince ($4,700), Rudy Gay ($3,700)
Tournament Plays: Joe Harris ($4,400), Harrison Barnes ($4,400), T.J. Warren ($5,700)
Julius Randle ($7,500) is actually a standout play on a lukewarm slate. Randle has played right around 34 minutes in three straight games and has scored between 30.9 and 46.6 FanDuel points in eight straight games. Randle is one of five power forwards on the slate with a usage rate above 20%, and his is 27.1%. Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,400) is in core play territory on the other side of that game. He rates out with the best value rating among power forwards and has the third-best game environment at the position.
Domantas Sabonis ($8,500) has a 22.9% usage rate of his own, and we'll have to see how Oladipo mixes into the offense. But the Indiana Pacers could be without Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon, who are questionable. With both of them off the floor, Sabonis has a 25.2% usage rate and averages 1.34 FanDuel points per minute.
Core Plays: Julius Randle, Domantas Sabonis, Jaren Jackson Jr.
Secondary Plays: P.J. Tucker ($4,300), Jarrett Allen ($6,200), Nerlens Noel ($4,300)
Tournament Plays: Thaddeus Young ($5,500) Nemanja Bjelica ($6,400), Luke Kornet ($4,500)
Jakob Poeltl ($4,400) and Mitchell Robinson ($4,500) are cheap center options. Poeltl is possibly the top per-dollar play of the night, regardless of position. His value projection is an astounding 7.99, and he has a per-minute average of 1.19 FanDuel points with LaMarcus Aldridge off the floor. He'll have his work cut out for him against the Jazz, but the minutes should be guaranteed, sans foul trouble.
Robinson has a soft overall matchup and ranks second behind Poeltl in tournament value in my model. He isn't a lock for heavy minutes, but even over just 23.0 projected minutes, numberFire's algorithm likes Robinson to return a value mark of 5.57x.
With value at center, Andre Drummond ($10,200) and Hassan Whiteside ($8,900) could go overlooked despite their elite ceilings relative to the rest of the position. This is one of the best leverage spots on the slate.