NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 12/10/15

After a brutal loss to the Jazz, Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks look to bounce back against the defensively-challenged Kings.

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 six games due to a hamstring injury, Durant has been scorching hot since his return to action. In the seven games since being reinserted into the Thunder lineup, the former NBA MVP has averaged 27.6 points, 8.6 boards, 4.7 dimes and 1.4 steal in 35.6 minutes per game. KD currently sits fifth in our player power rankings with a 16.6 nERD and has been one of the most efficient players in the NBA all season long, ranking second in the league in efficiency according to our metrics. With the Thunder currently locked in as 7.5-point favorites in what Vegas expects to be the highest scoring game on tonight's slate, Durant should have little trouble reaching value at his still very reasonable price of $10,300 on FanDuel and $10,100 on DraftKings. He is our top overall projected player on the board tonight.

Blake Griffin - Following an injury-riddled start to the season, the Clippers have now won six of their last seven games and are starting to look like the team we expected them to be. With their entire starting backcourt -- Chris Paul and J.J. Redick -- both in and out of the lineup over the past few weeks, much of Los Angeles' recent success can be attributed to the outstanding play of their star big man Griffin, who has filled up the stat sheet with 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6 assists over that seven game span. Griffin has been the focal point of Los Angeles' offense all season long, leading the team with a 30.4% Usage Rate while averaging nearly six points per game more than any of his teammates. Tonight, the Clippers' star forward gets a great matchup against a Bulls' defense that has struggled to defend opposing big men and should makes a great play in all formats on a night with a very small slate.

Top Mid-Range Values

Kristaps Porzingis - The Knicks were absolutely destroyed by one of the best defensive teams in basketball last night, however, they have a spectacular opportunity to bounce back tonight against one of the worst defensive units in the NBA in Sacramento. The Kings currently rank 28th in the league in Defensive Rating (108.7) and have given up the second most opposing points per game in all of basketball (108.7). They also play at the second fastest pace in the league, which makes them an ideal defense to target in daily fantasy. While New York is technically on the second night of a back-to-back set, given the fact that none of their starters played their full compliment of minutes in an embarrassing loss to the Jazz yesterday, it's unlikely that Coach Derrick Fisher shies away from his normal rotation tonight. With this in mind, Porzingis makes a strong play against a Kings' frontcourt that has given up the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards on the year. 

Jimmy Butler - After a breakout campaign a year ago, Butler has continued to look like an All-NBA performer through the first quarter of this season. He's averaging 21.2 points to go along with 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game in a whopping 37.2 minutes per game all while covering the opposing team's best wing player on a nightly basis. The Bulls' star will likely be guarded by a combination of two terrible defenders in Redick and Jamal Crawford tonight -- they have earned horrific 110 and 109 Defensive Ratings, respectively, this season -- and should see another heavy workload in what is expected to be a very close, high-scoring game. Butler should be a staple in your lineups for tonight's four game slate.

Basement Ballers

Omri Casspi - With Willie Cauley-Stein on the shelf, Casspi has been in the starting lineup each of the Kings' last three games and he has made the most of his opportunity. The Kings' versatile forward has posted 15 points, 5.6 boards, 2 assists and a block per game over three game span and is coming off of an impressive 19-point, 10-rebound, 4-assist performance in 41 minutes against a very strong Utah defensive unit. Casspi should remain in the Sacramento starting lineup in a much more favorable matchup against the struggling Knicks, who haven't been able to slow down opposing forwards over their last seven games and should see minutes in the mid-30s once again. He is dollar for dollar my favorite player on the board tonight.

Bojan Bogdanovic - Speaking of players coming off of monster outings, Bogdanovic just dropped 19 points with 5 boards, 2 steals and an assist in 38 minutes of action against the Rockets in a spot start for the injured Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on Tuesday night. He has started each of the last two games for the Nets' rookie and should see a third consecutive start in a dream matchup against a 76ers squad that has given up the second most points per game to opposing small forwards on the year. Although it's hard to expect the same type of performance he put up against Houston, Bogdanovic should provide excellent cap relief at just $4,200 on DraftKings and $3,900 on FanDuel on a night where value is not particularly easy to come by.