FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 2/20/20
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.
Value could prove more difficult to find tonight, as there are fewer injuries after a week off. Difficult, but not impossible.
Coby White ($4,600) - Believe it or not, some of the best value you'll find tonight will be on the Chicago Bulls. Chicago's injury report is as big as a McDonalds menu: Chandler Hutchison, Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter, Denzel Valentine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen are all out for the Bulls. That means that the one and half healthy bodies that they do have should see extended usage. Enter Coby White. White has received 30-plus minutes of playing time eight times this season, including two of his last three. In those eight contests, he has totaled at least 32.7 in six of them -- with an average of 33.8 overall. At $4,600, White needs just 23 points to equal reach 5x value, or 5.0 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary. Given that our models project White for 33.6 minutes tonight, he could easily exceed 7x -- especially against a Hornets team that's allowed the third-most fantasy points to the position over their last 15 games. Shaquille Harrison ($3,700) is another option to consider if you're willing to risk a near-dud in order to load up on studs.
Derrick Rose ($5,500) - Another team with plenty of potential value tonight is the Detroit Pistons. I, for one, am thankful that Detroit fully embraced the tank -- hello, value. In an effort to lose by more than they were already losing, the Pistons traded Andre Drummond for dirty socks and bought out Reggie Jackson so that he could sign with the talent-starved Los Angeles Clippers. That brings us to Derrick Rose. In his 478.8 minutes without Drummond or Jackson on the court this season, Rose has a 33.0% usage rate and is averaging a salivating 1.36 fantasy points per minute. In his 14 games prior to his most recent injury, Rose averaged 31.4 minutes per game -- at 1.36 points per minute, that equates to 42.7 fantasy points. Tonight, you can get Rose for the lowest price he's been since November -- and there's good reason to pounce. The only danger here is how much court time would he get if the Milwaukee Bucks were to be up by 45 at the end of the first quarter.
Bruce Brown Jr. ($3,800) - The tank won't just benefit Rose -- it will also make Bruce Brown Jr. very chalky. Just like in a classroom, sometimes you need the chalk. Brown should see a heavy increase in minutes with the Pistons now lacking capable NBA players, and at $3,800, he's too cheap to pass up. However, unlike Rose, Brown should have a higher minutes floor in case the Pistons completely shi...I mean poop the bed against the Bucks. Over their 15 games, only two teams have been more generous against shooting guards than Milwaukee -- who are surrendering 44.9 fantasy points per game to the position. Our model currently projects Brown to be the best value at the position...by far.
James Harden ($11,000) - I get it: saying that James Harden will score a lot of fantasy points isn't really the analysis most of you are looking for. But...James Harden will score a lot of fantasy points. Creating DFS lineups isn't just about unearthing value; it's also about hitting on your studs. Which brings me to the guy who has scored 62 or more points in five of his last seven games. Without Clint Capela on the court this season, Harden has seen a 3.3% increase in usage and has scored an additional 0.17 fantasy points per minute. That's huge for a player that was already averaging 1.54 points per 60 seconds (that's a minute, FYI). Tonight, the Beard will go up against the Golden State Warriors. This season, Golden State has -- to put it nicely -- sucked
defensively at basketball. Even better, over their last seven games, only the New Orleans Pelicans have allowed more points to opposing shooting guards. According to our models, no player has a higher ceiling on the slate than the Bearded One. Pretend like you're Harden behind the three-point line, and just fire him up at every possible chance you get.
Derrick Jones Jr. ($3,600) - The 2020 Slam Dunk should've-finished-second-but-ended-up-being-the-Champion is in a great spot tonight. The Atlanta Hawks aren't very familiar with the concept called "defense", and that's especially the case against small forwards. On the season, no team has allowed more points to the position than Atlanta's 47.12 average. Jones has been hit-or-miss this season, but he only needs 18 points to his 5x value. It's worth noting that prior to his most recent three games, Jones had a five-game streak going of at least 18.2 points -- including one with 48.3. With the potential to eat up some garbage time minutes, Jones could be a solid play if you're looking to create a stud-loaded lineup.
Tobias Harris ($6,200) - One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Philadelphia 76ers trying to figure out how to fix their chemistry and lineup messes has to be Tobias Harris. With Al Horford being relegated to the bench, there should be room for an increased role for Harris. Using a huge sample size of one game -- Harris posted 53.5 fantasy points in his mid-January meeting with the Brooklyn Nets. His ownership will be high, but it's tough to ignore a guy who's essentially guaranteed for 30-plus minutes and is looking at a potentially increased role.
Draymond Green ($5,800) - Here's a game where we should get to see a lot of Draymond Green, the center. With Houston lacking size, Green should be in a position to do it all tonight for Golden State. Green needs just 29 points to reach 5x, and that's a number he's comfortably exceeded in five of his last eight contests. The Rockets, meanwhile, have allowed the seventh-most points to power forwards over their last seven games. Our model projects Green to score 33.1 points tonight, making him the best value play at power forward.
Bam Adebayo ($8,500) - Over their last 15 games, no team is allowed more fantasy and real-life points to power forwards than the Atlanta Hawks. At $8,500, Bam certainly is not cheap, but he has the third-highest floor on the slate, according to our algorithm. The eye-test backs that up, as Bam has totaled at least 39.9 FanDuel points in 9 of his last 10 games. He's also scored at least 38.1 in eight consecutive road contests. Adebayo has faced Atlanta three times already this season and has posted an average of 49 fantasy points against them. He's a strong play tonight.
Brook Lopez ($5,800) - "Splash Mountain" has rejuvenated his fantasy value over his last six games, posting at least 31 fantasy points in five of them. Over their last seven games -- coincidentally, since they traded Drummond -- the Pistons have surrendered an astonishing 66.74 points to the center position on average. Lopez -- who has had multiple blocks in seven of his last nine -- could be swatting shots like flies in the paint against the team that's surrendered the most blocks per game to the position (3.55) over their last 30. Our model projects the more normal Lopez twin to post 2.5 blocks en route to 27.5 fantasy points.