FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 12/30/20

Jrue Holiday is our model's top-projected value at point guard. What other players should you target on Wednesday's six-game slate?

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 tonight's six-game slate, which locks at 7:30 PM Eastern Time.

Point Guard

The Milwaukee Bucks bulldozed the Miami Heat by 47 last night, and the game never even felt that close. Despite that, Jrue Holiday ($6,400) managed to record 50.1 FanDuel points in 26.2 minutes of action. That'll do. Tonight, Jrue goes up against Miami again at the very same salary -- which means he'll need just 32 FanDuel points to return 5X value (or 5.0 fantasy points for every $1,000 in salary). numberFire's models have Holiday as the top-projected value at the position.

With Josh Richardson questionable for tonight's matchup, Trey Burke ($3,800) could wind up being an excellent salary-saver. Along with Holiday and Lou Williams ($4,600), Burke is just one of three point guards projected to surpass 5X value by our models. Williams got off to a slow start in his first three games, but he did manage 31.25 FanDuel points in last night's victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. While we're in the bargain bin, it's worth mentioning Payton Pritchard ($3,500). Pritchard has averaged 25.1 minutes over his last three outings, while posting 20 and 23.5 FanDuel points in his last two, respectively. At a minimum salary, the rookie would need just 17.5 to achieve 5X.

Our models don't see value in paying up at point guard. None of Luka Doncic ($11,400), Trae Young ($9,800), Kyrie Irving ($9,400), and Damian Lillard ($9,200) are projected to reach 4.8X value. Of the four, Lillard is our model's preferred play.

Shooting Guard

With Kawhi Leonard once again questionable for tonight's contest, Paul George ($7,600) is numberFire's top-projected value at the two-guard. PG13 should be a solid start as long as the Los Angeles Clippers can avoid blowing their opponent out of the water (or vice-versa), and it helps that the Clips are favored by just 3.5 tonight. George would need 38 for 5X, and that's easily attainable if he's the top dog in a competitive game.

Devonte' Graham ($5,900) has posted 33.6 and 33.1 in his last two games, and he'd need 29.5 at tonight's salary to accrue 5X. Our models have him getting there, projecting Graham for 30.1. For just $400 more, you can roster Caris LeVert ($6,300) against the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta ranks as the best matchup for shooting guards, according to Brandon Gdula. LeVert dropped 63.1 FanDuel points on Monday with quite a few players sitting for the Brooklyn Nets, but he should have a significant role regardless with Spencer Dinwiddie out. Speaking of matchups, Marcus Smart ($5,900) gets a dandy against the Memphis Grizzlies, who rank fifth-worst against the position. Our model has smart eclipsing 5X, though I wonder if he has enough upside to be worth his salary.

If he plays, numberFire's algorithm sees Jimmy Butler ($8,000) as a fantastic play, projecting him for 42.3 FanDuel points in 36.9 minutes.

Small Forward

Tyler Herro ($4,500) dropped 39.1 fantasy points in last night's blowout loss, and he'd be a must-roster if Butler were to be inactive. Needing just 22.5 to reach 5X, Herro should garner consideration regardless of Butler's status.

On the more expensive side of things, our models like both LeBron James ($10,500) and Jaylen Brown ($8,000) to return more than 5X value. James is questionable with an ankle injury, so that's something worth keeping an eye on. James did post 54.8 FanDuel points on Monday, and it still feels like he's just getting warmed up. Meanwhile, Brown has surpassed 40 fantasy points (what he needs for 5X tonight) in two of his four outings this season, and our models project him for 40.6.

Our model's top-two projected values at the position are Donte DiVincenzo ($4,400) and Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,200). Finney-Smith should only be in play if Josh Richardson can't go. As for DiVincenzo, he posted 26.2 FanDuel points in just 19.3 minutes last night and definitely has the upside to do more in a more competitive game.

Power Forward

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000) has totaled fewer than 35 FanDuel points in two of his last three games, which makes him a scary player to pay up for at the second-most expensive salary on the slate. However, it also means that the masses might shy away from the two-time MVP and his tremendous upside. Our algorithm has the Greek Freak projected for a slate-high 57.6 FanDuel points. If you don't want to splurge for Giannis, you might want to consider rostering Jayson Tatum ($9,200). Tatum is averaging 44.7 FanDuel points per game this season, and he'd need a slight bump to 46 in order to achieve 5X.

The injury to Ja Morant means that there will be plenty of usage up for grabs for the Memphis Grizzlies, and one of the players who stand to benefit from that is Brandon Clarke ($4,600). With Morant missing most of Monday's contest, Clarke posted season-highs in minutes (29), real-life points (16), usage rate (20.4%), and FanDuel points (30.4). In that same salary range, our models also project Robert Covington ($5,200) to return good value. Covington would need 26 FanDuel points for 5X, and he's projected for 27.1.

Along with Giannis, another player the masses will likely fade is John Collins ($6,800). Collins hasn't exceeded 32 FanDuel points in any of his three outings thus far, but the Hawks will need all they can get from him tonight in order to keep the game competitive. numberFire's algorithm has Collins projected as the third-best value at the position.


With Cody Zeller out, Bismack Biyombo ($4,600) is firmly in play. Biyombo has seen 30.3 and 30.0 minutes in his last two outings, and that's not about to shrink. He would need just 23 FanDuel points for 5X. For $100 less, you can roster DeAndre Jordan ($4,500) in a delicious matchup. Gdula's matchup sheet has Atlanta as the third-best matchup for opposing centers. numberFire projects Jordan for 23.6 FanDuel points in 22.7 minutes of action.

If you have the salary, you can choose to pay up for Jonas Valanciunas ($7,500). Valanciunas is averaging 39.6 fantasy points per game this season, and he'd need 37.5 for 5X. Like the other Memphis plays, he too could benefit from Morant's absence with a bump in volume.