FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Saturday 2/13/21

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 on FanDuel:

The Slate

HoustonNew York210.5-1.0104.75105.75930
BrooklynGolden State243.0+4.0123.50119.5062

The bulk of the fresh injury news lies with the ailing Houston Rockets. Christian Wood remains out with his ankle injury, and Victor Oladipo has already been ruled out after getting hurt on Thursday. Even the reliable P.J. Tucker is questionable with a thigh issue, and all of these concerns will thrust a bulk of the scoring and rebounding onto John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon and Jae'Sean Tate.

The only known issue outside of Houston is on the other sideline of the Rockets' game, as Mitchell Robinson broke his hand for the New York Knicks last night. That should make for yet another regular starting opportunity for former lottery pick Nerlens Noel, who will be a top value play on Saturday's slate at power forward.

Point Guard

Stephen Curry ($10,800): The fantasy game of the day is in San Francisco, where the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors face off in primetime in Kevin Durant's first return to Golden State. These two squads are sixth and second, respectively, in pace, and both are missing rim protectors for this contest. DeAndre Jordan will miss the game for personal reasons, and James Wiseman remains out due to injury. That should lead to plenty of points, something Curry is not exactly struggling with anyway. Curry has scored at least 28 points in seven straight games, and his usage has been cranked to maximum in the past week, as he leads the Dubs in both usage (34.5%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.70) in that span. This is a great game to stack, and Curry should be a part of any game stacks.

Malcolm Brogdon ($7,200): It certainly is fascinating what has happened to Brogdon since the Indiana Pacers jettisoned backcourt mate Victor Oladipo. In that timeframe, Brogdon still leads Indiana in usage (28.2%) and is second on the team in FanDuel points per minute among current rotation players (1.05). The issue for Brogdon is his efficiency has tanked, as he is shooting just 38.5% from the field in February. Brogdon is receiving the same role -- if not a better one -- than he was with Oladipo, when the Pacers' floor general was regularly breaking 40 FanDuel points, but he has not gotten shots to fall. Perhaps a dream matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, who have surrendered the third-most FanDuel points to opposing point guards, gets Brogdon's offensive rhythm back.

Other Notable Plays: Kendrick Nunn ($5,300), Elfrid Payton ($5,100)

Shooting Guard

Donovan Mitchell ($8,300): With Mike Conley still on the sidelines, the Utah Jazz's game-plan has become Mitchell, Mitchell, and some more Mitchell. "Spida" is up to 1.59 FanDuel points per minute and a whopping 33.7% usage rate this past week while Conley has missed time, and with that usage, Mitchell is still a value at his heightened salary. Certainly, Utah's game with the Miami Heat is not the starting point on the slate since the two teams are in the bottom 10 in pace, but it should help Mitchell's production that Miami has allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to shooting guards this year.

Eric Gordon ($5,600): Gordon has already been announced into the starting lineup Saturday for the shorthanded Rockets with Oladipo out, and the former three-point contest champion is finally starting to deliver on his long-distance looks. That makes him easier to trust in this spot in which he will carry enormous popularity. Gordon is up to 40.4% shooting in the month of February from three-point territory, and he has hit at least three long-distance looks in five of his last six contests. He has forced himself into the offensive pecking order by taking at least 12 shots in each of his last six game, which gives him a tremendous amount of upside at this salary if his efficiency holds.

Other Notable Plays: Andrew Wiggins ($6,800) Jordan Clarkson ($4,700)

Small Forward

Kevin Durant ($10,000): Now beyond his bizarre COVID-19 protocol saga, Durant gets to return to the Nets in a game he has likely circled on the calendar. On national television, Durant returns to the place that made him a two-time champion. Since trading for James Harden, Durant leads all Brooklyn players in usage (30.4%) and FanDuel points per minute (1.37), and that came on 52% shooting for the month of January. It's worth noting, as well, that Durant may see a bump to his rebounding and block totals as Brooklyn's tallest player since they are without DeAndre Jordan on Saturday.

Joe Harris ($4,800): In a rare scenario, it makes plenty of sense to play two players from the same squad at the same position. In what profiles to be a small-ball, pace-and-space game, Harris should see a majority of minutes. Instead of losing playing time to Jeff Green, Harris and Green will likely start and play together quite often on Saturday. Harris is an affordable salary plug with insane upside, which he has showcased before by scoring more than 20 real-world points in six contests this year. In what should be a shootout, Harris is easy to like.

Other Notable Plays: Jimmy Butler ($9,100), Justin Holiday ($5,100)

Power Forward

Draymond Green ($7,600): In a totally inexplicable puzzle, Green is back to his ways as a facilitator, as he is averaging 11.5 assists per game in February despite laughably low usage -- just 12.5%. Whether that is a legitimate trend of handing the ball off to Curry -- or an unsustainable run of counting stats -- remains to be seen, but it is hard to deny Green's 1.08 FanDuel points per minute in that span. Green's salary may be a bit much for cash games (Julius Randle might be the best bet in that format), but if you are stacking this game in tournaments, Green has indisputably been the second most productive Golden State player this month.

Jeff Green ($4,500): Brooklyn does not have a defined backup center, as Norvel Pelle Jr. and Noah Vonleh see sparse minutes in the role, but neither are in FanDuel's player pool at center. The most likely event at this time appears to be that the 6'8" Green, who averaging 28.8 minutes per game this month, moves into the starting lineup with Durant shifting to the five. Both teams in the game would prefer to play small anyway, which bumps up players like Green and Kelly Oubre. With Nerlens Noel sliding into a 30-minute role at center for the Knicks, he is probably the cash-game value option on this slate, but once again, there is huge upside in the Nets-Warriors clash. Green is a great path to pursue it.

Other Notable Plays: Julius Randle ($8,600), Royce O'Neale ($4,800), Nerlens Noel ($4,000)


DeMarcus Cousins ($6,200): Simple economics indicate supply and demand determine popularity, and it will be difficult to find a reason to not simply fall in line with a majority of the player base by rostering Cousins for the shorthanded Rockets. Cousins has stepped in admirably for Christian Wood as the starting five, posting a team-high 1.19 FanDuel points per minute over the course of the past week after assuming the role. On a larger slate, Cousins is an unstable asset who is worth deviating from when he is expected to be popular. But on this small slate, there is no alternative in a depleted center pool who has Boogie's combination of floor, upside, and value. This is not a good slate to get cute by fading him.

Other Notable Plays: Myles Turner ($6,600)

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.