FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Wednesday 2/26/20
If you're new to daily fantasy basketball -- maybe you started your DFS journey during the MLB or NFL seasons, or maybe basketball is your sport and this will be your first year giving it a shot -- you're in for a treat. The NBA scene changes on a week-to-week, day-to-day, and -- depending on injury news -- even a minute-to-minute basis, making every slate a unique one that requires an ever-changing approach.
With so much changing so quickly, we're here with plenty of tools to help you out. We have daily projections, a matchup heat map, a lineup optimizer, and a bunch of other great resources to help give you an edge.
Daily fantasy NBA is very reliant on opportunity, so you'll need to make sure that you're up-to-date with key injuries. Our projections update up until tip-off to reflect current news, we have player news updates, and the FanDuel Scout app will send push notifications for pressing updates regarding your players.
We'll also be coming at you with this primer every day, breaking down a few of the day's top plays at each position.
Let's take a look at who you should target on today's main slate.
Russell Westbrook ($10,400), Luka Doncic ($10,000), and Trae Young ($9,600) all rate out well enough tonight in their individual matchups, but for the price, it's Doncic who should be the priority against the San Antonio Spurs. Doncic played just 25.2 minutes last game but still put up 47.3 FanDuel points (20 points, 9 boards, 7 assists, 2 steals, and a block). We're nearly splitting hairs, but Doncic's range of outcomes is best in my model.
With Kyrie Irving injured, we can turn back to Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,100), who owns a 31.6% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.16 FanDuel points with Irving out. He also has the pristine matchup that is the Washington Wizards, who are sixth in pace and 17th among 18 teams playing tonight in fantasy points allowed to point guards.
Terry Rozier ($5,000) rates as the best floor/ceiling play in my range-of-outcome projections among all point guards, but there's still a lack of a massive, raw ceiling here. The Charlotte Hornets' game environment is rough, and the total is a full 10 points lower than any other. However, the New York Knicks are a below-average point guard defense, and Rozier's price is down $1,200 from where it was just before the All-Star break.
Core Plays: Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, Terry Rozier
Secondary Plays: Trae Young, Russell Westbrook, Ja Morant ($6,100)
Tournament Plays: Ricky Rubio ($6,400), De'Anthony Melton ($4,100), Dejounte Murray ($5,800)
DeMar DeRozan ($6,900) will face the Dallas Mavericks and be without high-usage teammate LaMarcus Aldridge for this one, and with LMA sidelined, DeRozan has a 33.5% usage rate and a per-minute average of 1.23 FanDuel points. He tanked on Sunday with 19.5 FanDuel points in 23.5 minutes, but he's been off since then, and that should help with his back spasms.
Josh Richardson ($5,100) will be without Ben Simmons, and Richardson has played 31.5, 38.9, 26.6, and 38.9 minutes over his past four games. He'll get that run against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, who are 12th among tonight's 18 teams against shooting guards.
Dillon Brooks ($4,100) could very well see extra run in small ball lineups against the Houston Rockets. The Memphis Grizzlies are missing Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke in the frontcourt, and Houston is, well, small. Brooks' fantasy production has been meek (shy of 16 FanDuel points in five straight games), but the price is low, and the opportunity is obvious.
Core Plays: DeMar DeRozan, Josh Richardson, Dillon Brooks
Secondary Plays: James Harden, Jimmy Butler, Caris LeVert ($6,500)
Tournament Plays: Devin Booker ($8,100), Bradley Beal ($9,400), Marcus Smart ($5,700)
We're lacking a stud small forward, so we have natural savings built into our lineups tonight.
Tobias Harris ($6,600) owns a 24.2% usage rate when Ben Simmons is out -- just a 0.5-percentage-point-boost -- but the opportunity is there for a big night against the Cavaliers, who are 17th among tonight's 18 teams in small forward defense. Harris has cleared 35 minutes and 38 FanDuel points in three of his past four games.
Jaylen Brown ($6,300) has an ugly matchup with the Utah Jazz, and the total in that game is in the bottom tier. However, Kemba Walker is out, and that takes out a significant chunk of the Boston Celtics' usage. With Kemba out, Brown has a 26.5% usage rate but is a little disappointing with 0.96 FanDuel points per minute. Brown has played 33.3, 38.9, and 34.2 minutes the past three games with at least 38.2 FanDuel points in all of them.
Josh Jackson ($3,500) has put up at least 22.6 FanDuel points in each of his past three games while playing 18.0, 22.7, and 25.8 minutes. He should see run again against the Rockets while Memphis is thin in the frontcourt.
Core Plays: Tobias Harris, Jaylen Brown, Josh Jackson
Secondary Plays: Taurean Prince ($4,500), Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,200), Rudy Gay ($3,900),
Tournament Plays: Joe Harris ($4,800), James Ennis ($3,500), Gordon Hayward ($6,800)
Kawhi Leonard ($9,800), Bam Adebayo ($8,900), and John Collins ($8,000) are all looking to be worth the salaries, especially from a ceiling perspective. So while there's merit to spending up at power forward, there's also some clear-cut value that is worth targeting.
Al Horford ($4,800) averages 1.00 FanDuel points per minute without Simmons and just played 30.8 minutes last game. Horford rates out with the best floor/ceiling rating in my model. Naz Reid ($4,700) has a floor with Karl-Anthony Towns out. Reid has played 22.1, 32.6, 21.9, and 26.8 the past four games with FanDuel totals of 25.2, 40.3, 21.5, and 24.0.
A cut above, we have Robert Covington ($6,400), who is fourth among power forwards in tournament value, according to my projections. Covington has shown a high floor of late and is part of the game with the highest total of the night. The only blemish in his profile is the 11-point spread in Houston's favor.
Similar to power forward, center is deep, particularly at the top with Joel Embiid ($10,200), Nikola Vucevic ($9,300), and Rudy Gobert ($7,800) rating out best in my model, but it's hard to pass up Jakob Poeltl ($4,000).
Poeltl is projected for 29.5 minutes and 33.8 FanDuel points. That's a value mark of 8.44x, or 8.44 FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary. It doesn't get much better than that. Poeltl has averaged 1.21 FanDuel points per minute without Aldridge over an 851.9-minute sample.
Gorgui Dieng ($4,500) is also in play for a big value opportunity without Towns. Dieng is projected for a value rating of 7.33x over 27.7 minutes against the Rockets. Poeltl is the preference, but Dieng is more than fine as a pivot.
Core Plays: Jakob Poeltl, Gorgui Dieng
Secondary Plays: Joel Embiid, Nikola Vucevic
Tournament Plays: Rudy Gobert, DeAndre Jordan ($5,000)