NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 1/12/16

Jimmy Butler looks to stay hot against one of the worst defensive teams in all of basketball.

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.

Oh, and if you're interested, check out our daily fantasy basketball heat chart for today's slate. It's full of information like tonight's Vegas lines, team offensive and defensive efficiency ratings, pace, fantasy points against and so much more.

As for today's picks -- let's get to it.

The Best of the Best

Kevin Durant (FD: $10,000, DK: $9,800) - Durant comes into tonight having scored at least 20 points in each of his last 23 games, currently sitting third in our player power rankings with an impressive 18.3 nERD. The former MVP gets a plus matchup against a Timberwolves' team that ranks 20th in both Defensive Rating (106.8) and opposing points per game (102.6) in a game that Vegas expects to be the highest scoring on tonight's slate tonight.

LeBron James (FD: $10,200, DK: $9,900) - King James is playing some of his best basketball of the season right now, posting a ridiculous 27.8 points, 7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game over his last six outings. He is coming off of arguably his best game of the season -- he poured in 37 points with 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and just 2 turnovers against the 76ers on Sunday -- and draws a solid matchup against a struggling Mavericks' defense tonight. 

Jimmy Butler (FD: $8,700, DK: $8,400) - Speaking of players coming into tonight scorching hot, Butler is averaging 27 points, 6.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game since the calendar flipped to January. The young Bulls' star gets the pleasure of facing off against a Bucks' squad which ranks dead last in Defensive Efficiency (109.9) according to our metrics tonight, and should have little trouble reaching value considering his price still remains below $9,000 on both FanDuel and DraftKings.

Top Mid-Range Values

Kyrie Irving (FD: $7,600, DK: $7,000) - Although his playing time has been somewhat inconsistent since his return to action, Irving has played at least 30 minutes in two of his last three outings and has shown flashes of his old self, including a 32-point, 5-rebound, 3-assist performance against Washington last Wednesday. Uncle Drew gets a great matchup against the aging Deron Williams and his career 110 Defensive Rating, and can still be had for a very reasonable price across the industry.

Tyreke Evans (FD: $7,800, DK: $8,100) - The Lakers have been horrific defensively this season, ranking inside of the bottom five in the NBA in both Defensive Rating (109.9) and opposing points per game (105.9). They have also given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. The Pelicans' point guard makes a tremendous play regardless of whether or not Anthony Davis suits up, however, if Davis is unable to go, Evans would immediately become a must start in one of the best overall matchups on the board.

Michael Carter-Williams (FD: $6,900, DK: $7,500) - Jerryd Bayless is still unlikely to return from his ankle injury, which means Carter-Williams will once again see all the minutes he can handle for the Bucks tonight. He draws an outstanding matchup against a Bulls' backcourt that has given up the third most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards, and should continue to be a fantasy monster as long as Bayless remains sidelined.

Basement Ballers

Devin Booker (FD: $3,900, DK: $4,900) - In the eight games since becoming the Suns' starting shooting guard, Booker has averaged 11 points, 3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 28.8 minutes per game. He has played at least 32 minutes in four of his last five outings and is averaging 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 rebounds per game over that span. The Suns' rookie makes a great play in all formats in a strong matchup against a Pacers' team that has given up the eighth most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards on the year.

Robin Lopez (FD: $4,500, DK: $5,000) - Lopez has seen a significant increase in playing time as of late, averaging 32.1 minutes per game over his last five outings while scoring 13.8 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 blocks per game over that span. The Knicks' big man should have little trouble staying hot tonight against a Celtics' team that has struggled to defend the interior all season long and ranks just 23rd in the league in rebounding differential.

Jon Leuer (FD: $4,500, DK: $4,700) - Leuer's minutes have been a bit inconsistent as of late, but he should see a heavy dose of action tonight with Alex Len already ruled out with a hand injury. The Suns' young big man has been very impressive when given the opportunity, averaging 15.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists on a per-36 minute basis, and should push for close to 30 minutes tonight in a plus matchup against the Pacers.