NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 1/26/16

Archie Goodwin and Devin Booker should see all the minutes they can handle tonight for the short-handed Suns. Who else should you play in DFS?

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

DeMarcus Cousins (FD: $11,200, DK: $11,000) - Boogie's coming off of a 56-point, 12-rebound, 4-assist outing against Charlotte last night, and poured in 48 points to go along with 13 rebounds and 2 assists on Saturday against the Pacers. The Kings' star has recorded 11 straight double-doubles, averaging 34.6 points, 14 rebounds and 3.1 assists with a 37.9% Usage Rate over that span. He's our top overall projected player on the board tonight.

Kevin Durant (FD: $10,200, DK: $9,800) - Averaging an impressive 26.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, Durant has scored at least 20 points in 31 straight games, and now finds himself sitting third in our player power rankings with an impressive 18.8 nERD. Tonight, he gets a plus matchup against a Knicks squad that ranks just 20th in Defensive Efficiency according to our metrics, making him a great play in all formats.  

Damian Lillard (FD: $8,800, DK: $9,300) - The Kings have been one of the worst defensive teams in all of basketball this season, ranking 20th in Defensive Rating (106.9) while giving up the most points per game (107.7) in the NBA and playing at the fastest pace in the league. This bodes extremely well for Lillard, who plays extremely well in transition and should have little trouble taking advantage of Rajon Rondo and a Sacramento backcourt that has given up the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards on the year.

Top Mid-Range Values

Ishmael Smith (FD: $6,900, DK: $7,400) - Much like the aforementioned Kings, the Suns have been horrendous on defense this season, ranking 25th in Defensive Rating (108.1), giving up the second most points per game in the league (106.6) and playing at the third fastest pace in the NBA. Additionally, Phoenix has dealt with a plethora of injuries as of late, particularly to their best parameter defender in Eric Bledsoe. Smith should absolutely dominate the banged-up Suns' backcourt that has allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing point guards on the season.

Victor Oladipo (FD: $6,200, DK: $7,200) - Oladipo has seen his playing time increase dramatically over the past month, scoring 18 points to go along with 4.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists in a whopping 35.5 minutes per game over his last nine outings. He draws an outstanding matchup against a Milwaukee defense that ranks 29th in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency, and should continue to see a massive workload for the foreseeable future. 

Robert Covington (FD: $5,100, DK: $6,100) - Covington has looked very impressive when in the starting lineup this season, averaging 11.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game in 22 starts this season. He'll draw another start tonight in a dream matchup against the injury-riddled Suns who have allowed the third most fantasy points per game to both opposing shooting guards and small forwards on the year and can still be had for a very reasonable price across the industry.

Basement Ballers

Devin Booker (FD: $4,500, DK: $5,400) and Archie Goodwin (FD: $4,100, DK: $4,500) - As I already mentioned, the Suns will be missing their entire starting backcourt among others tonight, which means Booker and Goodwin will once again see all the minutes they can handle tonight. They should be the two focal points of the Suns offense in an outstanding matchup against a 76ers defense that ranks in the bottom 10 of the league in both opposing points per game (104.9) and Defensive Rating (107) and will likely both see 35-plus minutes tonight. 

Salah Mejri (FD: $3,900, DK: $3,500) - With Zaza Pachulia already ruled out, Mejri will draw his second consecutive start tonight. The Tunisian rookie posted a double-double in 29.3 minutes in his lone start of the season and is averaging 14 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.5 blocks on a per-36 minute basis this season. He makes a tremendous play at near minimum value tonight.

Willie Cauley-Stein (FD: $4,300, DK: $4,800) - The Kings' rookie has seen his playing time increase dramatically recently, posting 9.8 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 32.8 minutes over his last four outings. He should see another heavy workload tonight in a great matchup against a Portland squad that has struggled to defend opposing big men all season long in what Vegas expects to be tonight's highest-scoring affair.