NBA

FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Sunday 2/2/20

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

Away Home Over/
Under
Home
Spread
Away
Total
Home
Total
Away
Pace
Home
Pace
Denver Detroit 215 +2.0 106.5 108.5 29 23
New Orleans Houston 245 -5.5 119.75 125.25 6 2
Phoenix Milwaukee TBD -11 TBD TBD 10 1
Chicago Toronto 217 -10.5 103.75 114.25 16 15


It is important to note the missing total on FanDuel Sportsbook as we await news on several key players in the Milwaukee Bucks-Phoenix Suns contest, such as Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Suns guard Ricky Rubio.

Point Guard

Eric Bledsoe ($6,100): Part of the problem with the incredible depth the Bucks have is that their stars, like Bledsoe, see fewer minutes per game than they would on another squad. For the season, Eric Bledsoe has averaged 26.5 minutes per game, but that has elevated to 31.3 in his last three contests, thanks in part to the periodic absences of Giannis and backup point guard George Hill. Bledsoe has picked up his production in that span, averaging 41.8 FanDuel points per game, and he's up against a Phoenix team that has surrendered the fourth-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards.

Monte Morris ($4,300): The Denver Nuggets are incredibly injury-ridden, so there will be a mile-high theme to the slate as a result. The first value play is Morris, who will likely draw the start at point guard again for Jamal Murray. Despite seeing 32.5 minutes per game in his last four contests subbing for Murray, Morris's price tag remains where it is because he has failed to produce. However, there may be more room for the guard to operate on two fronts -- Denver will be without noted scorer Michael Porter Jr. for the first game in this span, and the Detroit Pistons surrender the seventh-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards.

Other Notable Picks: Ricky Rubio ($5,500), Tomas Satoransky ($5,400), Reggie Jackson ($4,600)

Shooting Guard

James Harden ($11,000): January was a rough go for the NBA's leading scorer, as "The Beard" dropped from his season-long average to put up just 28.6 points per game in the first month of 2020. February could be a different story for Harden, however, as he already appears to be primed to turn it around after dropping 35 points and a season-high 16 rebounds against Dallas on Friday night. Harden has already torched the fast-paced New Orleans Pelicans this year to the tune of 34.0 points per game in the two contests he has played. Harden's elevated price tag is worth it in a game with a whopping 245.0-point total.

Jrue Holiday ($7,800): Holiday has been incredible since returning from injury, averaging 43.95 FanDuel points in his six contests since coming back. Jrue has definitely not struggled in his matchups with the Houston Rockets this season, averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 assists, and 6.5 rebounds in two games. The sturdy, consistent Holiday is another great option at a shooting guard position that seems to be worth spending up at, as this grouping also includes the Chicago Bulls' top option, Zach LaVine.

Other Notable Picks: Zach LaVine ($8,100), Torrey Craig ($3,900), Malik Beasley ($3,700)

Small Forward

Pascal Siakam ($8,500): The Toronto Raptors are without Marc Gasol again, which opens up more rebounding opportunities for Siakam. Siakam has averaged 24.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per 36 minutes without Gasol on the floor this year, and that is right in line with his averages of the last two games without the Spanish center, a span in which Siakam has averaged 24.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. If Giannis Antetokounmpo sits, the small forward spot is barren of a pricey option worth paying for, which will make the elevated usage of Siakam a rightfully popular play.

Danuel House Jr. ($4,200): The Rockets will be without starting center Clint Capela, which means their rebounding duties are delegated mostly to the undersized forwards in the frontcourt. House Jr. certainly represents that, as he has averaged 36.0 minutes per game in the last three contests without Capela (some run even without Harden or Russell Westbrook). House grabbed just three boards against Dallas on Friday but took 10 shots and dropped in 14 points, so perhaps his offensive role is growing as the season progresses. He sees a lot of minutes at a spot without other particularly consistent value.

Other Notable Picks: Brandon Ingram ($7,800), Eric Gordon ($4,900), Juan Hernangomez ($3,500)

Power Forward

Jerami Grant ($6,400): The Nuggets have been missing former All-Star Paul Millsap for a while, but now Grant has zero competition at the four spot with Michael Porter Jr. set to miss the game due to an ankle issue. The Pistons have struggled to find their footing at the four since losing Blake Griffin, which will make the athletic Grant a difficult matchup for their otherwise plodding contingent of Thon Maker, Christian Wood, and Markieff Morris. Grant should see heavy minutes and has been slowly increasing his volume offensively, taking at least 10 shots in his last seven contests.

P.J. Tucker ($4,300): Tucker is in a very similar spot to House, and he has actually seen the past two starts at center. Tucker is not a great natural fit for the position at 6'5", but perhaps the Pels will be willing to run small with Zion Williamson at center, which might help Tucker contribute on the glass. Tucker's stat line from the Dallas game on Friday seems laughably impossible, snagging only one rebound despite playing 36 minutes predominately at the five spot, but he averaged 9.5 boards in the two contests without Capela before that, which should be closer to what we can expect from Tucker in this high-paced affair.

Other Notable Picks: Zion Williamson ($6,500), Serge Ibaka ($5,800), Thaddeus Young ($5,200)

Center

Nikola Jokic ($10,000): As mentioned, the Nuggets are not just short bodies but also playmakers to run their offense through. Without Millsap, Murray, and Porter on the floor, the Serbian center possesses a huge 32.3% usage rate and averages 51.23 FanDuel points per 36 minutes with the trio missing. Not to mention, the return of Gary Harris actually helps Jokic's usage, as he sees an increase with the guard who prefers to catch and shoot on the floor. This Nuggets-Pistons contest should be a slow, low-scoring affair, but with four teams on this eight-team slate not having an eligible starting center on FanDuel, Jokic's role in Denver's offense gives him too high of a floor to pass up.

Other Notable Picks: Andre Drummond ($9,500), Brook Lopez ($5,000)



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.