FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Tuesday 2/4/20

Tuesday's four-game slate has plenty of stars, so how should you be building your FanDuel lineups?

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/
MilwaukeeNew Orleans246.0+6.5126.25119.7513
San AntonioLA Lakers228.5-12.0108.25120.251514

Point Guard

Austin Rivers ($4,000) should be freed up to ball out at a low price with Russell Westbrook listed as doubtful and Clint Capela out. In that split, Rivers has a passable 17.6% usage rate but puts up only 0.76 FanDuel points per minute even without the high-usage players sharing the floor. Rivers, though, should get at least 30 minutes in a matchup with the New Orleans Hornets, who are 28th in defensive rating since December 1st.

Terry Rozier ($6,200) on the flip side of that game should probably play more minutes than any point guard other than Damian Lillard ($10,900). Lillard faces the Denver Nuggets, while Rozier gets the Houston Rockets. Obviously, they're not the same player, but the point is that we're getting minutes in a great fantasy environment for Rozier, who puts up 0.87 FanDuel points per minute on a 24.5% usage rate when PJ Washington is out (Washington is questionable). Houston is 29th against combo guards such as Rozier.

Eric Bledsoe ($6,300) and the Milwaukee Bucks are in the premier fantasy game of the night, so for the price, we have to get excited when point guard is so thin. Bledsoe ranks as a high-ceiling play against the most generous combo guard defense in the NBA.

Core Plays: Austin Rivers, Terry Rozier, Eric Bledsoe
Secondary Plays: Dejounte Murray ($5,600), Derrick White ($4,300), Damian Lillard
Tournament Plays: Lonzo Ball ($6,900), Rajon Rondo ($4,300)

Shooting Guard

You're going to want to get yourself some marble columns James Harden ($11,600) tonight. Harden has a 49.4% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.87 FanDuel points per minute without Westbrook and Capela on the floor. The only blemish here is the Charlotte Hornets' offensive tempo. There's really not a whole lot of point in fading Harden even on a small slate. He has put up 72.2 and 67.5 FanDuel points in his past two games after a lull.

After Harden, it's a solid five-player next, but Jrue Holiday ($7,500) rates out best for me in that game with a 246.0-point over/under. The matchup is tough (Milwaukee is seventh against combo guards), but Holiday still has a great composite matchup due to the total.

Gary Harris ($4,000) would be a strong value if Jamal Murray were to miss. Murray is questionable. Harris played 31.3 minutes last game after missing two of his own. He's numberFire's top projected shooting guard value, so keep an eye on the news surrounding Murray.

Core Plays: James Harden, Jrue Holiday, Gary Harris
Secondary Plays: Khris Middleton ($7,200), DeMar DeRozan ($7,600), Devonte' Graham ($6,700)
Tournament Plays: C.J. McCollum ($6,900), Donte DiVincenzo ($4,600), Ben McLemore ($3,600)

Small Forward

Small forward is thin on actual plays who will get relevant minutes, and that makes Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500) and LeBron James ($10,400) interesting from an opportunity cost standpoint.

Antetokounmpo averages 1.87 FanDuel points per minute this season -- the same mark as Harden without Westbrook and Capela. That's wild. Inject that into a game with a 246.0-point total, and the ceiling becomes massive. James' ceiling is barely in that realm, as he'll deal with a San Antonio Spurs defense that ranks 11th against versatile forwards. James is still a strong floor/ceiling play in my model, especially relative to the rest of the position. The four-game set has as much to do with lineup construction and game theory as it does matchups, so you'll want to spend up for one of the small forwards in most lineups.

Eric Gordon ($4,900) should be a popular player paired with either Giannis or LeBron. He owns an elite 31.0% usage rate and records 1.08 FanDuel points per minute when Westbrook and Capela are on the sidelines. For $4,900, you can't really nitpick that opportunity even in a pace-down game with the Hornets' bad defense.

Core Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Eric Gordon
Secondary Plays: Brandon Ingram ($7,600), Trevor Ariza ($4,500), Will Barton ($6,200)
Tournament Plays: Danuel House Jr. ($5,100), Miles Bridges ($5,400)

Power Forward

Anthony Davis ($10,200) could be a little light on ownership relative to the other studs on the slate, at least Harden in particular. Davis has only once surpassed 50.0 FanDuel points over his past six games, but that was a 79.0-point outburst (37 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists). The Spurs are dead last against versatile bigs such as Davis, so while he won't be a completely low-owned option, there's leverage in looking to Davis while the attention is focused elsewhere.

Zion Williamson ($7,100) and Derrick Favors ($5,500) are other reasons to think Davis gets a little lighter ownership than he deserves. Williamson has settled into a 1.21-FanDuel-point-per-minute average over his 158 minutes, and Favors is close behind at 1.17. Williamson has yet to produce fewer than 26.3 FanDuel points despite just having once cracked 30 minutes. We project him for 32.1 tonight. Favors, meanwhile, is more of a low-20s-minute option but is generous enough against versatile bigs to target in the shootout of the night.

Core Plays: Anthony Davis, Zion Williamson, Derrick Favors
Secondary Plays: LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,900), P.J. Tucker ($4,800)
Tournament Plays: Jerami Grant ($6,100), Kyle Kuzma ($4,200)


While Nikola Jokic ($10,400) and the Nuggets could be mired in a slow-paced game with the Portland Trail Blazers, only the Bucks' centers have a better composite matchup tonight. Along the same thought process as with Davis, we'll be inclined to spend up elsewhere, leaving Jokic a bit of a tournament pivot. With Murray off the floor, Jokic has carved out a go-to role: 31.0% usage rate and 1.44 FanDuel points per minute.

Cody Zeller ($4,900) has been really steady for quite some time now, and he has played 28.9, 24.3, 30.0, and 26.6 minutes over his past four with at least 26.0 FanDuel points in every one of them. The Rockets will be without Capela, opening up opportunity for the Hornets' frontcourt to excel. Zeller is third in tournament value among all centers for me tonight.

Core Plays: Nikola Jokic, Cody Zeller
Secondary Plays: Hassan Whiteside ($9,100), JaVale McGee ($4,000)
Tournament Plays: Guillermo Hernangomez ($4,000), Brook Lopez ($5,800), Dwight Howard ($4,400)