NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 11/5/15

Hassan Whiteside looks to continue his impressive start to the season tonight against the Timberwolves.

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

Kevin Durant - After missing most last season with a foot injury, Durant definitely looks fully healthy to start the 2015-16 campaign. The Thunder star is averaging 29.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 blocks in 37.6 minutes per game. Although his Usage Rate isn't quite as high as his running mate Russell Westbrook, Durant's 27.8% Usage Rate is still very respectable, especially considering the fact that he ranks second in our player power rankings with a 21.2 nERD and 6th among all players who average at least 20 points a game with a 6.4 numberFire efficiency rating. With a matchup against a Bulls squad that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards in the league this season, Durant makes a truly elite play in what Vegas expects to be tonight's highest scoring game.

Hassan Whiteside - Whiteside seemingly came out of nowhere a season ago to post a monster campaign for the Heat and has picked up right where he left off a year ago. The Heat big man is averaging 15.8 points to go along with 11 boards and a whopping 3.5 blocks per game. He is finally seeing 30-plus minutes a game and will likely only see his role increase from his current 19.8% Usage Rate as the season goes on. Although Miami's opponents tonight -- the Minnesota Timberwolves -- seem to be a much improved bunch on both ends of the floor, they still struggle to defend the paint, allowing the 12th most fantasy points per game to opposing centers on the season. Look for Whiteside to have his way with the Timberwolves' interior defense en route to another impressive double-double tonight.

Top Mid-Range Values

Mike Conley - The Grizzlies have had a rather interesting start to their season. Memphis been involved in several blowouts -- both wins and losses -- and it has been difficult to truly get a sense of how their team will break down moving forward from a production standpoint. One thing that we do know, however, is that the Grizzlies' point guard Conley is really good. So far this season he has only averaged 29 minutes per game, but he should see that number continue to increase as the season progresses. He's averaged 16.7 points, 8.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds on a per-36 minute basis and could see close to that allotment tonight in what is expected to be a close game against Portland. With the Trail Blazers giving up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards, look for a breakout performance from Conley in what should be a very competitive game. 

Dwyane Wade - Although the aging superstar Wade has not been able to suit up for more than 70 games since 2010, he continues to produce when on the court. The Heat star is averaging 21.5 points, 4.8 assists, 2.5 boards and a steal per game this season and has poured in at least 20 points in each of Miami's first four games. While he isn't playing nearly as many minutes as he used to, Wade ranks second in the NBA with an enormous 33.4% usage rate and draws a tremendous matchup against a Minnesota backcourt that has allowed the seventh most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards on the year. With his price tag all the way down to $7,100 on FanDuel and $6,900 on DraftKings, Wade makes an excellent play in all formats tonight.

Basement Ballers

Al-Farouq Aminu - With Gerald Henderson still sidelined, both C.J. McCollum and Aminu will remain in Portland's starting lineup for the foreseeable future. Outside of McCollum and Damian Lillard, Aminu has been the Blazers' second best player so far this season, scoring 14.2 points to go along with 8.4 boards, 1.4 assists and a block per game to open the year. As long as Henderson is out of commission, Aminu will continue to see 30-plus minutes per game and should remain a major part of Portland's offensive game plan. Tonight, the Blazers' forward gets a matchup against a Memphis squad who has not been as impressive on the defensive end in years past, ranking 23rd in the league in Defensive Rating (106.4) and giving up the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. Aminu can help provide some salary relief tonight on a night where value plays will be tough to come by. 

Rodney Hood - Hood has struggled through foul trouble in the early parts of this season, which has kept him minutes down to just 26 per game. However, if he is able to stay on the floor, Hood should make an outstanding value play tonight. The Jazz sophomore is averaging 19.4 points, 4.1 assists, 3.8 boards and 1.7 steals on a per-36 minute basis and has seen his Usage Rate climb all the way up to 25.5%. He should see plenty of action tonight in a matchup against a Nuggets' defense that has allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards and costs just $4,500 on FanDuel and $4,800 on DraftKings. Hood is dollar for dollar one of my favorite plays on the board tonight.