FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Monday 2/3/20

Injuries to point guards help shape the 10-game slate. Whose production stands to benefit?

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/
Golden StateWashington235.0-5.5114.75120.25115
San AntonioLA Clippers227.5-10.0108.75118.75154
New YorkCleveland217.0-1.0108.0109.02030

Point Guard

Point guard has a lot of injuries at the top. Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Kemba Walker are out. Trae Young ($9,600) is questionable. Derrick Rose is doubtful.

Reggie Jackson ($4,500) would benefit from Rose's absence. Jackson already projects for just shy of 24 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies, who are just 17th in defensive rating and 6th in offensive seconds per play since December 1st. Jackson has a 28.8% usage rate and averages 1.35 FanDuel points without the Pistons' relevant injured players on the court in a small sample of 67 minutes.

De'Aaron Fox ($8,300) is one of the few expensive point guards left on the board, and he faces the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that is 26th in defensive rating since December and 12th in pace. The Sacramento Kings are up to 15th in offensive pace in that split, too. Fox's matchup environment -- individual matchup, points spread, and over/under -- is best among all point guards.

Trae Young is questionable, and if he were to miss, then Jeff Teague ($4,800) would likely play 30-ish minutes with his new team. Teague already rates out well enough in numberFire's projections (5.01 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary -- or 5.01x value) and could be an elite value option if Young sits.

Core Plays: Reggie Jackson, De'Aaron Fox, Trae Young/Jeff Teague
Secondary Plays: Ricky Rubio ($5,500), Malcolm Brogdon ($6,500), Ben Simmons ($9,000)
Tournament Plays: Ja Morant ($7,300), Kendrick Nunn ($5,500), Derrick White ($4,100)

Shooting Guard

Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,100) and Caris LeVert ($4,100) are a two-for-one without Kyrie Irving. The Phoenix Suns are not a pushover matchup, but they are just 21st in defensive rating since the calendar flipped to December, and they rank as an average offense in terms of pace. It's a top-three game environment on this 10-game set for shooting guards. When we look at the Brooklyn Nets without Kyrie, we see the best of Dinwiddie: 33.1% usage rate and 1.18 FanDuel points per minute. That usage rate would rank him sixth on the full season and would actually be higher than any player's usage rate on this slate. We're getting him for just $7,100 in a better-than-advertised matchup.

LeVert isn't too far behind. He has a 30.6% usage rate over a 317-minute sample without Kyrie. He's not as productive (0.95 FanDuel points per minute), but LeVert benefits from this promising matchup. His value rating of 5.77x really makes him a standout value play.

Bruce Brown Jr. ($4,000) is another cheap piece who could be without a key point guard in Derrick Rose. Brown has an 18.7% usage rate without Rose and other relevant Detroit Pistons on the floor. He should get minutes in the mid-to-low 30s.

Core Plays: Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Bruce Brown
Secondary Plays: Jimmy Butler ($8,300), D'Angelo Russell ($8,000), Marcus Smart ($6,000),
Tournament Plays: Bradley Beal ($10,500), Kevin Huerter ($5,000), Jeremy Lamb ($4,300),

Small Forward

Small forward has just one player priced above $6,800 (that's Paul George ($8,100)), so it's one of those types of nights.

Jaylen Brown ($6,800) and Gordon Hayward ($6,500) are another duo we can look to tonight. Kemba Walker is out, and Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter are questionable. Even without just Walker, Brown has a 26.7% usage rate and puts forth 0.99 FanDuel points per minute, while Hayward's marks are 22.1% and 0.93, respectively. The Boston Celtics' small forwards have the third-best overall game environment at the position, as the Atlanta Hawks are dead last against small forwards from a fantasy perspective.

Kelly Oubre's ($6,700) Suns are quite thin, and that could funnel usage to him. Without Ricky Rubio, Aron Baynes, Frank Kaminsky, and Dario Saric, Oubre boasts a 26.0% usage rate with a per-minute average of 1.09 FanDuel points. Oubre should flirt with the leaderboard in small forward minutes, as well. He's a high-floor play in my model.

Core Plays: Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Kelly Oubre
Secondary Plays: Tobias Harris ($6,500), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,500), Alec Burks ($4,100)
Tournament Plays: Paul George, Miles Bridges ($5,300), Harrison Barnes ($4,500)

Power Forward

Power forward is a nice position not to punt completely, as we have some borderline studs at reasonable salaries.

The Celtics' offense flows through Jayson Tatum ($7,900) when Kemba Walker is out. Tatum commands a 32.8% usage rate and is productive with his touches (1.24 FanDuel points per minute). That usage boost is 4.9 percentage points for Tatum, who becomes a different player when Walker is down. The matchup is second-best among the position, too, so Tatum is shaping up as one of the best plays of the night.

Domantas Sabonis ($8,100) has a steady role that nets him around 35 minutes a night, and two floor games have cut his price a tad. The All-Star sees his usage rate climb by 2.6 percentage points to 26.2% when T.J. Warren is off the court, and Warren is out. Sabonis grades as a high-floor option.

With Marvin Bagley III out and Richaun Holmes doubtful, Nemanja Bjelica ($5,600) doesn't exactly soak up a ton of extra usage (it's around 17.0% in either split), but he should see extended minutes for a mid-range price. Bjelica could clear 30 minutes in the best power forward matchup of the night.

Core Plays: Domantas Sabonis, Jayson Tatum, Nemanja Bjelica
Secondary Plays: LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,800), Kristaps Porzingis ($8,000), Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,500)
Tournament Plays: Kawhi Leonard ($10,100), Kevin Love ($7,200), Robert Covington ($5,300)


Studs are the name of the game at center tonight. We've got Andre Drummond ($9,700), Deandre Ayton ($8,300), Joel Embiid ($8,800), Nikola Vucevic ($8,600), and Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000), whom I'd rank in that order.

Drummond gets the Grizzlies with plenty of Detroit injuries. Without Rose, Blake Griffin, Markieff Morris, and Luke Kennard, Drummond has a 28.9% usage rate and puts up 1.46 FanDuel points per minute. The Grizzlies are 20th against post bigs and just 15th in rebounding rate, so there's nothing to worry about here.

Ayton is at the low end in salary of this quintet and has the best matchup of any center against the Nets. Ayton should be freed up with the Suns' thin frontcourt, and we've seen him twice play 39 minutes over the past four games.

Core Plays: Andre Drummond, Deandre Ayton
Secondary Plays: Joel Embiid, Nikola Vucevic
Tournament Plays: Karl-Anthony Towns, Dewayne Dedmon ($3,900), Myles Turner ($5,100)