FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 2/12/20
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.
Point guard is quite top heavy. Luka Doncic ($9,700) is returning, Trae Young ($10,100) faces the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Damian Lillard ($9,600) gets the Memphis Grizzlies after he was blown out last night.
While you can't really go wrong with any of the three, Lillard rates out best in my model. The Grizzlies are a plus matchup for combo guards and are a top-five team in tempo since the start of the 2020 calendar year. numberFire's projections strongly prefer Doncic, which is certainly understandable. Doncic is listed as questionable but is expected to play after a seven-game absence.
Eric Bledsoe ($6,700) and the Milwaukee Bucks will be without Giannis Antetokounmpo. That opens up monstrous opportunity for Milwaukee. With Giannis off the floor, Bledsoe has a 32.8% usage rate and averages 1.45 FanDuel points per minute over a 353.7-minute sample. For context, the usage rate would tie him for sixth in the NBA alongside Russell Westbrook. The per-minute production would tie him for eighth with Karl-Anthony Towns. Even against the Indiana Pacers, we can't overthink this.
Core Plays: Eric Bledsoe, Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic
Secondary Plays: Trae Young, Ja Morant ($6,700), Ricky Rubio ($5,900)
Tournament Plays: Collin Sexton ($5,800), Malcolm Brogdon ($6,200), Terry Rozier ($5,800)
Khris Middleton ($7,200) has a tough matchup with Indianapolis, but he boasts a 33.3% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.40 FanDuel points, numbers on par with Bledsoe's when Antetokounmpo is out. Middleton rates out as a stud in every sense of the word tonight.
Devin Booker ($8,100) has taken care of business against the Golden State Warriors this season, going for 65 points in two meetings. The Phoenix Suns are likely to be without four key frontcourt pieces -- Deandre Ayton (questionable), Aron Baynes (out), Frank Kaminsky (out), and Dario Saric (out). Without those four, Booker accounts for 28.1% of the team's offensive possessions.
It's a bit of a coin flip between C.J. McCollum ($6,400) and Donovan Mitchell ($6,700), but when that happens, it's usually best to side with the better game environment. That clearly favors McCollum against the Grizzlies rather than Mitchell against the Miami Heat. McCollum has taken at least 15 field goal attempts in eight of his past nine games, giving him a floor and ceiling in the uptempo matchup.
Core Plays: Khris Middleton, Devin Booker, C.J. McCollum
Secondary Plays: Kevin Huerter ($4,900, Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert ($6,000)
Tournament Plays: d Bradley Beal ($9,600), D'Angelo Russell ($7,600), Dillon Brooks ($5,400)
Kelly Oubre ($6,900) -- like Booker -- faces the Warriors. He has struggled mightily against them, combining for just 17 points over 55.3 minutes. In terms of fantasy scoring, he's put up just 0.64 FanDuel points per minute against Golden State this season. However, Oubre averages 0.98 FanDuel points per minute on the full season and should be thrust into extra minutes and shots with Phoenix's injuries. numberFire projects him for 34.4 minutes. Our projections also love Mikal Bridges ($4,800) in this matchup. He is projected for 32.9 minutes and sees slight boosts to his efficiency without all the frontcourt players on the floor.
Carmelo Anthony ($5,000) is yet another Blazer the projections like tonight. Anthony's minutes dropped from 35.4, 38.6, and 38.2 to just 26.1 last night in the blowout loss, but he actually had an eight-game high in field goal attempts with 16 in that timeframe. Melo is a top-four small forward play both in floor and ceiling tonight against the Grizz.
Core Plays: Kelly Oubre, Mikal Bridges, Carmelo Anthony
Secondary Plays: LeBron James' ($10,000), Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,300), Andrew Wiggins ($7,200)
Tournament Plays: Juan Hernangomez ($3,900), Pascal Siakam ($8,400), Taurean Prince ($4,700)
Ersan Ilyasova ($4,100) is quite cheap for his role without Antetokounmpo: 17.5% usage rate and 1.02 FanDuel points per minute. Ilyasova has played around 20 to 25 minutes without Giannis in recent games, including 24.9 minutes in Milwaukee's last game. He took 10 shots and pulled in 8 rebounds in that game for 23.1 FanDuel points.
John Collins ($7,800) has been logging heavy minutes (38.1, 40,8, 38.4, 49.9, and 33.2 over his past five games) and should do so again while the team is still without Clint Capela. On the other side of this game, Kevin Love is questionable, so Collins could be freed up even more. He's projected for an elite value rating of 5.15 FanDuel points per $1,000 over just 32.1 minutes.
Brandon Clarke ($4,500) is cheap exposure to a great game environment. The Blazers are the worst power forward defense in action, and the productive Clarke projects to pay off his salary even in just 23 minutes.
Core Plays: Ersan Ilyasova, John Collins, Brandon Clarke
Secondary Plays: Domantas Sabonis ($8,100), Serge Ibaka ($6,400), Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,600)
Tournament Plays: Anthony Davis ($10,400), Julius Randle ($8,600), Jarrett Allen ($5,100)
Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,300) has been seeing plenty of minutes in February (36.3, 37.4, 38.3, 34.2, and 36.8) and should have claim to a big workload again tonight against the lowly Charlotte Hornets, who are the worst center defense among teams playing tonight. Towns has at least 40.7 FanDuel points in five straight games and owns the best ceiling among all centers on a loaded slate, per my projections.
Brook Lopez ($5,600) bumps his usage rate 4.9 percentage points to 21.7% when Giannis Antetokounmpo is off the floor, and he has fantasy production to go along with it (1.07 FanDuel points per minute). Lopez actually has a fairly soft interior matchup with the Pacers (who are 18th among 22 teams playing tonight in fantasy points allowed to centers). While I'd rather spend up for a lot of options at center, Lopez is a high-floor option.