NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 1/28/16

Ryan Anderson will draw the start for the injured Anthony Davis tonight. Who else should you play in NBA 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: $11,200) - Despite a disappointing 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in his last outing, Cousins is still averaging 33.1 points, 12.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in the month of January. He gets the pleasure of facing off against a Pelicans defense that ranks 27th in the league in Defensive Efficiency according to our metrics, and will be without their best defender in Anthony Davis tonight. Boogie is our top overall projected player on the board.

John Wall (FD: $9,600, DK: $9,100) - The Nuggets have struggled to slow down opposing point guards all season long, ranking 28th in the NBA in defensive efficiency while allowing the third most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards this season. This bodes extremely well for Wall, who should have his way with rookie Emmanuel Mudiay and his 110 Defensive Rating.

Pau Gasol (FD: $8,700, DK: $8,700) - In the 15 games he has played without Joakim Noah in the lineup, Gasol has averaged 18.2 points, 10.9 boards, 3.5 dimes and 2.3 blocks in 33.2 minutes per game. Tonight, Gasol draws an outstanding matchup against a Lakers' frontcourt that has given up the second most fantasy points per game in the league to opposing centers and he may see an even bigger workload than usual with Nikola Mirotic sidelined as well.

Top Mid-Range Values

Giannis Antetokounmpo (FD: $7,500, DK: $7,100) - The Greek Freak has put together a breakout campaign, posting career-highs in points (15.8 per game), rebounds (7.2 per game), assists (2.8 per game), blocks (1.2 per game) and steals (1 per game). He's averaging 35.2 minutes per game over his last 13 contests, and gets a surprisingly good matchup against a Memphis defense that ranks 21st in the NBA in terms of fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards.

Jrue Holiday (FD: $6,800, DK: $6,700) - Despite coming off the bench, Holiday has been scorching hot over the past few weeks, averaging 16.8 points, 6.9 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game over his last 12 outings. He is coming off of a 32-point, 9-assist, 6-rebound performance Monday night, and should see a boost in both usage and playing time for the banged-up Pelicans tonight in a plus matchup against the Kings, especially if the questionable Tyreke Evans is unable to play.

Ryan Anderson (FD: $5,700, DK: $6,300) - Anderson has been magnificent in games that the aforementioned Davis has missed this season, pouring in 16.6 points to go along with 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 39.4 minutes per game. He should see all the minutes he can handle against the Kings who play at the fastest pace in all of basketball and give up the points per game in the league (107.8).

Basement Ballers

Taj Gibson (FD: $4,800, DK: $5,500) - Gibson should see a massive workload tonight with both Noah and Mirotic out of commission. He draws a matchup against the defensively-challenged Lakers who rank dead last in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency and should be in store for a huge outing. 

Willie Cauley-Stein (FD: $4,500, DK: $5,100) - Cauley-Stein has seen a dramatic increase in playing time as of late, averaging 10.2 points, 9.6 boards, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 steals in 32.2 minutes per game in his last five contests. He has topped 30 minutes in each of his last four games and should have little trouble taking advantage of a injury-riddled Pelicans' frontline that already gives up the most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards with a healthy Davis.

Norris Cole (FD: $4,300, DK: $5,100) - We should see a lot of Cole tonight with the Pelicans so short-handed. He's averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists on a per-36 minute basis and should push for 30-plus minutes tonight in what Vegas expects to be the highest scoring affair on tonight's slate by a wide margin.