NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 1/13/16

With Carmelo Anthony's status uncertain, the Knicks will look to Kristaps Porzingis to carry the workload tonight.

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

Stephen Curry (FD: $10,700, DK: $10,600) - The reigning MVP has gotten off to a historic start to the 2015-16 season, scoring a league-leading 29.5 points per game to go along with 6.5 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game with a massive 32.3% Usage Rate. Curry currently sits number one in our player power rankings with a ridiculous 25.4 nERD and should see a significant boost in usage tonight with Draymond Green expected to take the night off in what Vegas expects to be one of the highest scoring games on the slate.

James Harden (FD: $10,000, DK: $9,700) - Harden's price has dropped considerably over the past few weeks and tonight presents a tremendous buy-low opportunity. The Rockets' star draws a plus matchup against a Timberwolves' defense that ranks 20th in the league in both Defensive Rating (106.7) and opposing points per game (102.5) and should should see 35-plus minutes in what should be a very fast-paced, high-scoring affair.

DeMarcus Cousins (FD: $10,600, DK: $10,500) - The Pelicans have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA this season, ranking 28th in the league in Defensive Efficiency according to our metrics and allowing the third most points per game in the league (105.7). They have also given up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing centers, and may be without their best defensive player by far in Anthony Davis.

Top Mid-Range Values

Khris Middleton (FD: $6,700, DK: $6,800) - Middleton comes into tonight red hot, having posted 20.2 points, 5.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds in a whopping 37.6 minutes per game over his last six outings. He gets the pleasure of facing off against a Wizards' backcourt that has given up the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards on the season and should continue to see a slight increase in minutes with Jerryd Bayless still out of the lineup.

Kristaps Porzingis (FD: $6,300, DK: $7,000) - Speaking of young players who are scorching hot, Porzingis is averaging 23 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game over his last three outings. The Knicks' rookie sensation has seen at least 30 minutes of action in five of his last six games and could see a major boost in both usage and playing time if Carmelo Anthony is unable to suit up tonight. 

Tyreke Evans (FD: $7,800, DK: $8,200) - As bad as the Pelicans have been on defense, the Kings have not been much better, ranking 25th in the league in Defensive Rating (107.8) while giving up the most points per game in all of basketball (108.6). Sacramento also plays at the fastest pace in the league, which bodes extremely well for a player like Evans who does his best work in transition. With Vegas projecting tonight's matchup between the Pelicans and Kings as the highest scoring game on the docket with a massive 214.5 over/under, Evans makes an outstanding play regardless of whether or not The Brow is able to return to action.

Basement Ballers

Drew Gooden (FD: $3,800, DK: $3,800) - Marcin Gortat has already been ruled out for tonight, and Nene Hilario is still on a minutes limit, which means Gooden will be forced into a heavy workload tonight. The Wizards' veteran big man is averaging 9.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.9 blocks on a per-36 minute basis and gets a dream matchup against the Bucks who rank dead last in the league in Defensive Efficiency.

Marreese Speights (FD: $3,600, DK: $3,300) - As I already mentioned, the Warriors starting power forward Green is expected to get the night off, which means we should see a heavy dose of Speights tonight. He's been extremely productive when given the opportunity, posting 18.8 points, 10.5 boards, 2.1 dimes and a block on a per-36 minute basis, and should have little trouble taking advantage of a plus matchup against a Nuggets interior defense that has struggled to slow down opposing big men for years.

Robin Lopez (FD: $4,500, DK: $5,000) - Lopez has seen his minutes trending up over the past few weeks and has made the most of his increased opportunity, averaging 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 blocks per game over his last seven games. He will likely see a bump in playing time if Anthony is unable to play tonight and will be looking to make a statement against his brother Brook Lopez and a Nets' defense that has allowed the third most fantasy points per game to opposing centers on the season.