NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 2/4/16

James Harden looks to stay hot against the short-handed Suns tonight. 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

James Harden (FD: $11,000, DK: $10,800) - Harden comes into tonight as hot as any player in the league, averaging 30 points, 9.3 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game over his last eight outings. He draws a dream matchup against the Suns, who have allowed the fourth most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards on the year and will be without their two best backcourt players in Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. Harden his our top overall projected player on the board.

Anthony Davis (FD: $10,100, DK: $10,000) - Los Angeles has been nothing short of terrible defensively this season, ranking dead last in Defensive Efficiency according to our metrics while giving up the fourth most points per game in the league at 106.4 per game. They have also allowed the ninth most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards on the year, which bodes incredibly well for a now healthy Davis, who should have his way with the defensively-challenge Lakers en route to a monster outing tonight.

Andre Drummond (FD: $8,700, DK: $8,600) - Drummond has put together a breakout season, posting 17.3 points and a league-leading 15.1 boards per game while recording an NBA-best 40 double-doubles this season. He draws a plus matchup against a Knicks' front court that has struggled to defend the center position all season long, and should be in prime position to add to his league-leading double-double total on a night with a very short slate.

Top Mid-Range Values

Jrue Holiday (FD: $6,800, DK: $7,200) - Now fully recovered from his offseason leg injury, Holiday has seen a significant boost in both minutes and usage over the last month, averaging 29.1 minutes a game with a 29.5% Usage Rate over his last 15 games, both much higher than his season averages. Holiday should see close to 30 minutes tonight regardless of whether or not Tyreke Evans is able to suit up, and gets a matchup against a Lakers' backcourt that has given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards on the year.

Julius Randle (FD: $6,200, DK: $6,700) - The Pelicans have been one of the worst defensive teams in all of basketball this season, ranking 28th in the league in Defensive Rating (108.8) while allowing the fifth most points per game in the NBA (105.1). Meanwhile, Randle, who has played at least 30 minutes in each of his last three outings, has looked excellent as of late, averaging 14.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game over his last seven games. He should see another big workload and is great position to record his fourth straight double-double tonight.

Devin Booker (FD: $5,400, DK: $6,000) - Booker has stepped into a huge role with both Bledsoe and Knight sidelined, scoring 17.9 points to go along with 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 33.9 minutes per game over his last 15 games. He should see minutes in the high-30s once again tonight in a tremendous matchup with the defensively-challenged Harden in a game that Vegas expects to be the night's highest scoring affair by a wide margin.

Basement Ballers

Markieff Morris (FD: $5,200, DK: $5,700) - New coach Earl Watson has made it clear that he is going to reinsert Morris back into the banged-up Suns rotation, and it showed on the stat sheet on Tuesday, as he posted his best performance of the season, scoring 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. Look for Morris to have another outstanding performance in his second consecutive start tonight against a Rockets' defense that has given up the most fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards on the season.

Archie Goodwin (FD: $5,100, DK: $5,900) - In eight starts this season, Goodwin has posted 15.1 points, 4.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 34.4 minutes per contest. With Bledsoe and Knight both still out, Goodwin should continue to see all the minutes he can handle in a dream matchup against the porous Houston defense.

Josh Smith (FD: $4,200, DK: $4,800) - In seven games since returning to the Rockets, Smith has averaged 10.3 points, 4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 blocks and a steal per game. He should see a boost in playing time with Terrence Jones out tonight, and still costs less-than $5,000 on both FanDuel and DraftKings. J-Smoove makes an excellent value play on a night where value in very hard to come by.