FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 2/5/20
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.
Injuries and trades headline the slate, so it'll be vital to stick close to the news up to tip off for Wednesday's nine-game set.
Most of the stud point guards are dealing with an ailment of some sort.
Trae Young ($9,600) gets a soft matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves and will be freer than usual with a laundry list of injuries to the Atlanta Hawks' roster. Minnesota is 14th among 18 teams playing tonight in point guard defense. Young has taken at least 20 shots in four of his past six games and has twice surpassed 70 FanDuel points in that span. The ceiling is immense for him tonight, and with the injuries to other expensive point guards, there's a significant opportunity cost in fading Young if the ceiling hits.
Mike Conley ($4,300) saw his minutes shoot up to 30 last game after a reduced role, which has led to a reduced price. Conley was productive in that opportunity with 31.8 FanDuel points (22 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds). We project him for 27.3 minutes and a value rating of 5.35x (5.35 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary) for his matchup with the Denver Nuggets.
Chris Paul ($7,400) draws the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers' defense, which is the most generous unit against opposing point guards among 18 teams on the slate. There's blowout risk, but Paul isn't priced high enough to have too much concern. He has put up 1.14 FanDuel points per minute on the season and can pay off even if the Oklahoma City Thunder run away with it.
Core Plays: Trae Young, Mike Conley, Chris Paul
Secondary Plays: Kyle Lowry ($6,800), Ricky Rubio ($5,500), Reggie Jackson ($5,000)
Tournament Plays: Kemba Walker ($7,300), Ja Morant ($6,900), Kendrick Nunn ($4,400)
Andrew Wiggins ($6,900) won't necessarily see a huge minutes boost even after the Timberwolves traded Robert Covington, Shabazz Napier, and Keita Bates-Diop. Wiggins already played 34.3 minutes per game over his past 10, but there's some room to grow to the upper 30s. Where he'll really benefit is the shots department. Without the relevant Minnesota players on the floor, Wiggins has a 26.4% usage rate and averages 1.02 FanDuel points per minute. He also has the best shooting guard matchup of any player.
When Kyrie Irving is out, Caris LeVert ($4,500) and Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,000) will be relevant DFS plays. Dinwiddie surges to a 32.8% usage rate and averages 1.17 FanDuel points per minute without Irving. LeVert is at 31.2% and 0.99, respectively. The matchup with the Golden State Warriors is one of the most promising for all shooting guards, as well.
Core Plays: Andrew Wiggins, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie
Secondary Plays: Jeremy Lamb ($4,300), Delon Wright ($4,700), Bruce Brown Jr. ($5,000)
Tournament Plays: Devin Booker ($8,500), Kevin Huerter ($5,100), Lou Williams ($5,500)
Jarrett Culver ($4,000) and Josh Okogie ($3,900) do figure to see significant minutes increases with the Timberwolves' trade. Culver and Okogie each should crack 30 minutes. Over the past 10 games, Culver averages 26.2 minutes, and Okogie has played 24.9. Each puts up around a 20.0% usage rate and a fine-for-the-price 0.80 FanDuel points per minute when we remove the relevant Timberwolves from the court. The Hawks represent the best overall matchup for small forwards tonight.
Kelly Oubre ($6,500) always logs heavy minutes (35.7 over his past 10 on average) and faces a Detroit Pistons team that is 23rd in defensive rating since December 1st. Despite a price in the mid-$6,000 range, his ceiling is on par with that of Paul George's ($8,200).
Kemba Walker has missed three of the past four games and is questionable tonight -- as is Marcus Smart. Jaylen Brown ($6,600) and Gordon Hayward ($6,800) would stand to benefit. Without those two plus Daniel Theis and Robert Williams on the floor, Brown owns a 28.4% usage rate, and Hayward is at 27.7%. The matchup with the Orlando Magic and their possession-sucking pace hurts, but they're still in play at a weak small forward pool.
Core Plays: Jarrett Culver, Kelly Oubre, Jaylen Brown
Secondary Plays: Gordon Hayward, Josh Okogie, Joe Ingles ($4,400)
Tournament Plays: Danilo Gallinari ($6,000), Derrick Jones Jr. ($4,100), Paul George
Power forward is a position worth spending up for today.
Kawhi Leonard ($9,800) has a matchup with the Miami Heat. The Los Angeles Clippers are favored by 7.0 points, and the total is 223.0, so the Clippers are still expected to score around 115 points. Leonard would be the key catalyst in that. He is tied (with Trae Young) for first on the slate in usage rate (33.9%) and leads in per-minute FanDuel points (1.51).
Kristaps Porzingis ($8,700) leads the Dallas Mavericks with a 29.7% usage rate when Luka Doncic and Dwight Powell are sidelined. He also averages 1.35 FanDuel points per minute (48.7 per 36 minutes). The Memphis Grizzlies represent the second-best composite matchup for all power forwards tonight, and Porzingis ranks second in tournament value in my range-of-outcome projections behind only Leonard.
Serge Ibaka ($5,900) has shown a high floor with all the Toronto Raptors' injuries in the frontcourt. Marc Gasol is out tonight, and when he's on the bench, Ibaka has a 25.1% usage rate with a per-minute average of 1.09 FanDuel points. It's a gross matchup with the Indiana Pacers, but the floor is still good for the price.
Core Plays: Kawhi Leonard, Kristaps Porzingis, Serge Ibaka
Secondary Plays: Christian Wood ($4,500), Nerlens Noel ($4,600), Maxi Kleber ($4,300)
Tournament Plays: Jayson Tatum ($7,900), John Collins ($8,100), Bam Adebayo ($8,000)
Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,100) and Gorgui Dieng ($3,500) should see extra chances after the Timberwolves' trade. Towns owns the second-best tournament rating in my model (behind just Wiggins) against the Hawks, who are again the best matchup of the night for opposing centers. Dieng, who puts up 1.20 FanDuel points per minute, should see his minutes creep up into the 20s.
Enes Kanter ($4,200) is listed as probable. The Magic are a tough center defense, but Kanter's low price and all of the Celtics' injuries are good enough to rank him second in my floor/ceiling ratings among centers behind just Dieng. He should build on his 16 minutes after a five-game absence due to the injuries.
Core Plays: Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, Enes Kanter
Secondary Plays: Tristan Thompson ($4,900), Steven Adams ($5,100), Enes Kanter ($4,200)
Tournament Plays: Andre Drummond ($9,900), Montrezl Harrell ($6,100), Rudy Gobert ($8,200)