NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 11/20/15

Blake Griffin has been one of the best players in the NBA through the first month of the season.

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

Blake Griffin - Remember when Griffin was criticized for being just a dunker? Well if he hasn't already, the Clippers' star has done his best to shed that narrative through the early stages of this season. Griffin is averaging 26.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists with a massive 30.7% Usage Rate. He ranks inside of the top five in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating (30.4) and Win Shares per 48 minutes (.265) and currently sits third in our player power rankings with a 15.3 nERD. With a matchup against a Portland squad that ranks 22nd in Defensive Rating (107.4) and 23rd in Defensive Efficiency according to our metrics, Griffin should be in store for another big game tonight in what Vegas expects to be the highest scoring game on tonight's slate with a massive 211 over/under. 

Kyle Lowry - The Lakers are always one of my favorite teams to target in daily fantasy. They play terrible defense -- they rank 24th in Defensive Rating (107.5) and have given up the 6th most points per game in the league (105.5) this season -- and play at the 10th fastest pace in the league. While there are several Toronto players that are viable options tonight, Lowry is definitely my favorite. The Raptors' point guard has gotten off to a scorching hot start to the season, scoring a career-best 20.3 points to go along with 6.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and a whopping 2.6 steals per game. He has scored at least 20 points in each of his last six games and draws a matchup against a Lakers' backcourt that has allowed the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards on the year. While Russell Westbrook is still the top point guard play on the board tonight, Lowry makes a great pivot at a significantly cheaper price.

Top Mid-Range Values

Brandon Knight - After what seemed like a rotating door in the Suns' backcourt the past few years, Phoenix has finally found a perfect pair of starting guards. Both Knight and his running mate Eric Bledsoe have been outstanding to start the 2015-16 season. The are averaging 20.5 and 22.8 points, respectively. Bledsoe has also contributed 6 assists, 4.3 boards and 2.1 steals, and Knight has added 4.9 dimes, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals. Both players have amassed Usage Rates above 26% and are the only two players on the team playing more than 30 minutes per game. Both make strong fantasy plays tonight. However, if I had to choose just one it would be Knight. Not only is he the less expensive of the two at $7,500 on both FanDuel and DraftKings, but also he draws the better matchup, considering the Nuggets have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards on the year. Look for Knight to reach value easily against a defensively-challenged Denver squad.

Brook Lopez - The question about Lopez has never been in regards to his talent but his ability to stay healthy. Despite some concern about a foot injury earlier this season, Lopez has managed to play in all 12 of the Nets' games this season. The Nets' big man has been very impressive in those 12 games, averaging 19.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He leads the team with a 26.3% Usage Rate and has already recorded six double-doubles on the year. Tonight, he gets a plus matchup against a Celtics team that has struggled to defend the interior over the past few years. While they have admittedly shown a great deal of improvement this season, they are still allowing the 11th most fantasy points per game to opposing centers over their last seven games and have seen few centers as talented as Lopez over that span. Lopez should dominate the paint tonight en route to another big double-double in Boston.

Basement Ballers

Jamal Crawford - While Chris Paul made his return to the court last night, J.J. Redick is still doubtful to suit up tonight. That means that Crawford will likely make his third consecutive start tonight. In his last two games, both while in the starting lineup, the journeyman guard averaged 26 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5 assists in a ridiculous 40.5 minutes of action. He may not see quite as many minute with a healthy CP3 in the lineup, but Crawford should still see minutes in the mid-to-upper 30s. He is averaging 19.4 points, 3 rebounds and 3.2 assists on a per-36 minute basis and should have little trouble reaching value in a dream matchup against a Portland team that has given up the third most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards on the year. Crawford is an absolute steal at just $4,400 on FanDuel and $5,000 on DraftKings.

Jeff Green - Since being inserted into the Grizzlies' starting lineup three games ago, Green has really stepped up his game. Over that span, he has posted 16.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game with a 23% Usage Rate. He gets a tremendous matchup against Houston, who has allowed the third most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards, and costs just $4,300 on FanDuel and $3,900 on DraftKings. Assuming Green continues to start and sees close to 30 minutes per game, he should reach value easily tonight against a struggling Rockets' defensive unit.