NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 11/4/15

With DeMarcus Cousins sidelined, Rudy Gay will be forced once again to carry the load for Sacramento.

If you've never played daily fantasy basketball before, it's time to start. Unlike traditional leagues, you're able to select the players you want on that specific day only, giving you a different squad to root for each and every NBA night.

Today's lineups can be found here. The information below is to help you understand why particular players are being picked, because we don't want you going into the night completely blind. We want to help you. Keep in mind, however, that things often change up until tip-off, so make sure you're refreshing the optimal lineups as close to the start of games as possible.

Let's get to it.

The Best of the Best

Russell Westbrook - The return of running mate Kevin Durant seems to have had little effect on Westbrook's fantasy output early in this season. Through the first four games of the year, the Thunder point guard has averaged 30.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.5 rebounds and 2 steals in 35.5 minutes per game. More importantly, Westbrook's Usage Rate remains one of the highest in the NBA at 34.8% behind only DeMarcus Cousins (36.9%). While Oklahoma City's matchup against a solid defensive team in the Raptors is less-than-ideal, Toronto has allowed the 15th most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards, not to mention the fact that Vegas anticipates tonight's game between the Thunder and Raptors to be one of the highest scoring games on the slate with a 212 over/under. Westbrook is our top overall projected player on the board tonight.

Blake Griffin - Much like Westbrook, Griffin has gotten off to a scorching hot start to the 2015-16 season. The Clippers' star is averaging 29.5 points, 9.3 boards and 3.5 dimes with the seventh highest Usage Rate in the league at 31.9%. He also ranks second in our player power rankings with a 25.4 nERD behind only Stephen Curry and his outrageous 49.2 nERD. The Clippers' big man does draw a relatively tough matchup against Draymond Green. However, Vegas projects a whopping 219.5 points between the Clippers and Warriors tonight, which means there should be plenty of opportunity for Griffin to amass fantasy points. Griffin is our highest projected power forward on tonight's slate.

Top Mid-Range Values

Rudy Gay - As I mentioned earlier, Boogie Cousins has posted the highest Usage Rate in the league through the first week of the NBA season, but he will be unable to suit up tonight as he recovers from an Achilles injury, which means the Kings will be forced to run their offense through the veteran Gay for the second straight game. Gay has posted 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals in just 31.25 minutes per game. That said, the Kings' swingman should see a significant boost on both his playing time and 25.2% Usage Rate as long as Cousins remains sidelined. Look for Gay to take advantage of this increased role en route to a big fantasy outing tonight in what is expected to be a shootout with the Suns.

Giannis Antetokounmpo - After being suspended for Milwaukee's season opener, Antetokounmpo has looked every bit as good as advertised this offseason, averaging 22.7 points, 8.7 boards and 2.3 dimes per game. The Bucks' versatile forward has played mostly power forward through his first three games of the season. However, with Jabari Parker back in the lineup, he is likely to play more of his natural small forward position tonight. Regardless of which forward spot he is playing, the Greek Freak draws an excellent matchup against a 76ers' defense that has allowed the sixth most points per game (106) in the league and ranks 26th in Defensive Efficiency (107.2) and 26th in Defensive Rating (110.7). Additionally, Philadelphia has given up the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards and fourth most to opposing power forward. Antetokounmpo makes an excellent play in all formats tonight.

Basement Ballers

Kosta Koufos - With Cousins out for tonight's matchup against Phoenix, Koufos will once again slide into the Kings' starting lineup. Although rookie Willie Cauley-Stein saw more action than Koufos in the Kings' last outing, the veteran big man was clearly the preferred option out of the two and only saw less court time due to foul trouble. Koufos has looked great when on the floor this season, scoring 12 points while grabbing 11 rebounds on a per-36-minute basis through his first four games of the year and should see 30-plus minutes against the Suns as long as he is able to stay out of foul trouble. The Kings' power forward provides excellent value at just $3,800 on FanDuel and $4,000 on DraftKings.

Jerryd Bayless - Bayless is coming off of a performance in which he scored 26 points while adding 3 rebounds and 2 assists in an absurd 47 minutes of action on Monday night. While it is hard to imagine the veteran guard seeing close to that many minutes tonight with Parker expected to make his season debut, Michael Carter-Williams and O.J. Mayo will both miss tonight's game, which means Bayless should still see a healthy allotment of minutes tonight. The Bucks' guard is averaging 13.1 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists on a per-36 minute basis and should see a major increase in Usage Rate tonight, especially in the absence of Milwaukee's starting point guard, Carter-Williams. Bayless is an absolute steal at just $3,500 on FanDuel and $3,800 on DraftKings.