FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 2/8/20

Karl-Anthony Towns should be awfully busy tonight with Andrew Wiggins out of town. Who else is worth rostering?

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

AwayHomeOver/UnderHome SpreadAway TotalHome TotalAway PaceHome Pace
New YorkDetroitTBD+1.0TBDTBD2224
New OrleansIndianaTBD-2.5TBDTBD326
LA ClippersMinnesotaTBD+7.5TBDTBD87
LA LakersGolden StateTBD+13.5TBDTBD1312
San AntonioSacramento224.5+2.5111113.51425

It is important to note the missing totals on FanDuel Sportsbook as we await news on several key players involved in mid-week trades, including new Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell, and Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris.

Point Guard

Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,400): The Brooklyn Nets are still without Kyrie Irving, which means Dinwiddie will lead the offensive charge. Unfortunately, Dinwiddie has struggled in the last two games without Kyrie, but he still paces Brooklyn with a 32.5% usage rate without Irving on the floor, and he leads the team in minutes played sans Kyrie. A large part of Dinwiddie's struggles have been due to the emergence of Caris LeVert, but the offense may change gears against the Toronto Raptors, who have bottled shooting guards like LeVert this season 10th-best FanDuel points against this season) and allowed the sixth-most FanDuel points to floor generals like Dinwiddie.

Jamal Murray ($6,400): The concern with Jamal Murray returning from his ankle injury was a possible minutes limit, but with a short rotation on Wednesday, Murray played 42 minutes. With those concerns behind him, Murray is just too affordable in this spot, as before the injury, he averaged 36.72 FanDuel points in the five full games he played. He draws a high-paced Phoenix Suns team that, because of their speed, has allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards.

Other Notable Picks: Elfrid Payton ($7,000), Dejounte Murray ($4,900), Ky Bowman ($3,600)

Shooting Guard

DeMar DeRozan ($7,700): The San Antonio Spurs have had an incredibly messy backcourt situation, with Dejounte Murray, Patrick Mills, Derrick White, and Bryn Forbes all averaging over 20 but under 30 minutes per game, but it appears DeRozan's role is set, averaging 34.3 minutes per game and starting at small forward. DeRozan also has his role carved out in the offense, averaging 24.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists early on in February. Rotating so many guards makes it hard for one of those guys to find a rhythm, which may partially explain DeRozan's consistent production and respectable 27.7% usage as a forward.

Damion Lee ($4,500): The Warriors emptied the cupboard at the trading deadline, shipping off D'Angelo Russell, Alec Burks, and Glenn Robinson III. New acquisition Andrew Wiggins may or may not play in this contest, but Wiggins likely would start at small forward anyway. Lee's usage spikes to 20.4% with those three off the floor, albeit in an incredibly limited sample. As the normal starting two guard, with no price increase, Lee should be able to hit value at this price, projected for a respectable 23.7 FanDuel points by numberFire (as of early Saturday) in a blowout.

Other Notable Picks: Devonte' Graham ($6,800), Victor Oladipo ($5,100), Jordan Poole ($4,100)

Small Forward

LeBron James ($10,300): There is definite blowout concern with the Los Angeles Lakers and their stars, as they are heavy 13.5-point favorites over the short-handed Warriors in the NBA's showcase game on Saturday, and that is for good reason. Los Angeles has had a game decided by fewer than 10 points just once in their last seven contests. However, LeBron is still worth this depressed price tag, as he has averaged 51.66 FanDuel points in his last five contests despite the blowouts, and in that span, he was never lower than 44 points. His solid floor is always in play, especially against a Warriors team giving up the fourth-most FanDuel points to opposing small forwards.

Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,900): Kristaps Porzingis finally has seen his price tag raise to $9,600, which means it may be wise to explore other avenues to find exposure to the Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks. Hardaway seems like a natural fit, as he has the second-highest usage rate amongst Dallas starters with Doncic off the floor. His results without Luka in four games have been mixed, scoring more than 35 FanDuel points twice but also fewer than 23 FanDuel points the other two games. That ceiling is more tantalizing than that of his teammate, Dorian Finney-Smith, who is worth considering, as well.

Other Notable Picks: Kelly Oubre ($6,600), Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,800), Taurean Prince ($4,700)

Power Forward

Domantas Sabonis ($8,100): The Indiana Pacers got back Victor Oladipo last week, and since then, Sabonis' production has dropped considerably. The All-Star is averaging 41.85 FanDuel points per game over his last four, which explains the considerable price drop. However, compared to his season averages, only his rebounding numbers have dropped so far in February. With no rotational changes in the frontcourt and Sabonis still seeing 35.3 minutes per game this month, look for positive regression on the glass and a big night with a significant pace increase against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Nemanja Bjelica ($5,200): With the Sacramento Kings still missing Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes still fighting to return from his shoulder injury, Bjelica remains one of the few solid options in the Sacramento frontcourt. In February, Bjelica saw playing time take a hit due to Dewayne Dedmon seeing more minutes, but with Dedmon shipped to Atlanta, Bjelica returned to a solid 36.7 minutes against Miami Friday, posting 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists. He will battle a San Antonio Spurs team that has juggled its power forward spot next to LaMarcus Aldridge all season and has struggled doing so, giving up the eighth-most FanDuel points to opposing fours this season.

Other Notable Picks: Julius Randle ($8,000), Josh Okogie ($4,500), Sekou Doumbouya ($3,700)


Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000): With Andrew Wiggins sent to the Bay Area and D'Angelo Russell still battling a quad injury, Karl-Anthony Towns is going to get all of the shots and touches he can handle. He leads the Wolves with a gigantic 30.6% usage rate with Wiggins off the floor. The Los Angeles Clippers are a great opponent to give centers touches against as they are giving up the second-most points to opposing centers. The spread is slightly concerning in this game, especially with so many unproven teammates sharing the floor, but Towns should be a lock for a healthy double-double at home on Saturday.

Other Notable Picks: Mitchell Robinson ($5,000), Thon Maker ($4,100)

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.