FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Friday 2/7/20
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 studs tonight, but we also have some cheaper point guard plays to save salary.
Ben Simmons ($8,800) faces the Memphis Grizzlies, who play much faster than the Philadelphia 76ers. That can bump up Simmons' per-minute production. He already posts 1.19 FanDuel points per minute on the season but did play 41.5 minutes last night against the Milwaukee Bucks. He has averaged 36.5 minutes, 15.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 9.4 assists on no rest this season, so I'm buying in.
There's a ton of usage open in the Detroit Pistons' offense, as Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond -- among others -- are all out. Reggie Jackson ($5,700) has a 29.8% usage rate and averages 1.38 FanDuel points per minute with Rose, Drummond, Blake Griffin, Markieff Morris, and Luke Kennard off the floor.
Kendrick Nunn ($4,600) and Goran Dragic ($5,300) and the Miami Heat have opportunity with Jimmy Butler doubtful and Tyler Herro out. Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow just got traded, as well. The tight spread and modest matchup with the Sacramento Kings make for one of the best composite matchups among all point guards, too. The Kings are just 21st in defensive rating since the start of December.
Core Plays: Ben Simmons, Reggie Jackson, Kendrick Nunn
Secondary Plays: Goran Dragic, Jalen Brunson ($5,400), Ricky Rubio ($5,300)
Tournament Plays: Damian Lillard ($9,400), Trae Young ($9,700), Austin Rivers ($4,000)
James Harden ($11,800) and Devin Booker ($8,200) square off in the game with the highest total and a tight spread, so that's fun. The Houston Rockets traded Clint Capela, and Russell Westbrook is out. Harden's usage rate without those two is a silly 47.3%.
Booker's game environment is too good to ignore, and he just played 41.8 minutes on Wednesday while the Phoenix Suns are a little thin. He has a top-10 ceiling on the entire slate. This stack is really enticing.
Bruce Brown Jr. ($4,900) should clear 30 minutes pretty easily with such a short rotation for the Pistons. He's played 38.0, 38.4, and 33.2 the past three games. The Oklahoma City Thunder are a pretty tough matchup for shooting guards, but the extended opportunity should win out for the price.
Core Plays: James Harden, Devin Booker, Bruce Brown Jr.
Secondary Plays: Donovan Mitchell ($7,100), Marcus Smart ($5,300), Victor Oladipo ($5,100), Jimmy Butler ($7,800; doubtful)/Duncan Robinson ($4,300)
Tournament Plays: Bradley Beal ($10,300), Kevin Huerter ($4,600), Jeremy Lamb ($4,100)
Kelly Oubre ($6,800) gets the Rockets, and his team is quite banged up. Oubre has played 39.1, 36.2, 38.4, and 41.9 minutes the past four, and the Rockets are really soft against scoring wings such as Oubre. P.J. Tucker is playing center now, and the Suns' wings benefit.
Jaylen Brown ($6,400) is questionable, as are Gordon Hayward ($6,700) and Kemba Walker ($7,300), so either Brown or Hayward could be stellar plays depending on how the injuries shake out by tip-off time. The Boston Celtics get a pace boost against the Atlanta Hawks, who are the worst small forward defense on the board. Brown ranks second at the position in floor/ceiling rating in my model. Update: Welp. Brown, Hayward, and Theis are out. Walker will be on a minutes restriction, and Marcus Smart will play.
Tobias Harris ($6,200) is actually first in floor/ceiling ratio in my projections because he just plays so many minutes all the time. There's a blowout blemish in his recent games (25.2 minutes two games back), but he has averaged 35.0 over the past 10. The Grizzlies struggle to contain versatile forwards, too.
Core Plays: Kelly Oubre,
Jaylen Brown, Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari ($5,700)
Secondary Plays: Eric Gordon ($4,700), Joe Ingles ($4,400), Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,900)
Tournament Plays: Pascal Siakam, Carmelo Anthony ($5,100), Mikal Bridges ($4,800)
John Collins ($7,500) is a likely beneficiary of the Hawks' rotation. He played 40.8 minutes on Wednesday and put up 44.4 FanDuel points. Collins is a 1.26-FanDuel-point-per-minute producer this season, and he ranks with the best floor/ceiling rating and tournament value in my projections among all power forwards.
Serge Ibaka ($6,200) -- despite his matchup with the Pacers -- remains relevant for DFS. With Marc Gasol off the floor, Ibaka has a 25.4% usage rate and averages 1.10 FanDuel points per minute. For the price, he's quite affordable and rates out as a strong cash-game play with a high floor.
Nemanja Bjelica ($5,400) has seen his price -- justifiably -- return to a more palatable number over the past two weeks. He could hit the 30-minute mark tonight against the Heat, a mid-range power forward defense. Bjelica averages just shy of a FanDuel point per minute and rates out as the second-best power forward play in my projections.
Core Plays: John Collins, Serge Ibaka, Nemanja Bjelica
Secondary Plays: Jayson Tatum ($8,300), Al Horford ($5,700), Bam Adebayo ($8,000)
Tournament Plays: Kristaps Porzingis ($9,600; questionable), Davis Bertans ($5,300), Sekou Doumbouya ($3,700)
Center is pretty loaded at the top, but I'm keying in on Deandre Ayton ($8,800), who faces a small Rockets team. The Rockets were just torched by Anthony Davis last night (32 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 3 steals over 40 minutes). Ayton isn't Davis, sure, but the Rockets are undersized after trading away Capela, and Ayton should dominate the matchup.
Enes Kanter ($4,700) never really gets heavy minutes but will have an opportunity to produce while Daniel Theis is out. Kanter played 26.0 minutes last game without Theis, and the Celtics face a Hawks team still without Capela. His floor/ceiling rating is one of the highest I've had all season.