The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Thursday features a nine-game slate starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Damian Lillard leads the PG position on today’s slate with a salary of $9,700 on FanDuel and has provided a solid average Plus/Minus of +4.14 over his past 10 games. He has a nice matchup today against the Cleveland Cavaliers, evidenced by an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.44, and the Blazers’ implied team total of 113.5 is the second-highest mark on the slate. While that number may not jump off the page, it does represent an increase of more than 7.5 points compared to the Blazers’ season-average (105.8). Lillard has also historically smashed in games with a comparable implied team total:
Emmanuel Mudiay hasn’t helped the Knicks at all from a non-fantasy perspective – they’ve gone just 1-11 since acquiring him – but he has been a decent producer of fantasy points. He’s averaged 0.81 fantasy points per minute over the past month, and there’s a chance he could see a few additional minutes today with Tim Hardaway Jr. currently questionable. Mudiay has a solid matchup against the 76ers, evidenced by his Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.56, and his $4,600 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 90 percent.
Ricky Rubio has been an awesome fantasy producer of late, with his only real blemish coming in a blowout win against the Pistons in his last outing. He has a fantastic matchup today against the Phoenix Suns and boasts an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.13 on FanDuel. The Jazz are implied for 112.75 points on today’s slate, which represents an increase of almost 10 points compared to their season-average (102.9). Of course, there’s always concern when rostering players against the Suns since Phoenix has shown an inability to keep games competitive this season. The Jazz are currently the largest favorite of the day at 12.5 points, and the Suns have lost three of their past four games by at least 22 points.
Dejounte Murray has the best matchup of the day against the New Orleans Pelicans, giving him an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.15 on DraftKings. He’s been extremely volatile recently in terms of his fantasy numbers and playing time, but his current $5,900 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 93 percent. He’s remained efficient on a per-minute basis, averaging 1.06 fantasy points per minute, and he’s currently projected for 29.7 minutes in our NBA Models. He could be worth a look in guaranteed prize pools at likely low ownership.
Today features a strong group of SGs at the top, but make sure to note which players are more valuable on DraftKings versus FanDuel. There are some big pricing discrepancies with some of the elite options:
- Donovan Mitchell: 95 percent Bargain Rating on DraftKings
- Victor Oladipo: 90 percent Bargain Rating on DraftKings
- Lou Williams: 90 percent Bargain Rating on FanDuel
- Jrue Holiday: 86 percent Bargain Rating on DraftKings
Let’s start with Mitchell. He has the best matchup of the bunch against the Phoenix Suns, blowout concerns notwithstanding. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.98 on DraftKings, and Mitchell has crushed the Suns in his past two meetings:
Oladipo isn’t in great recent form, posting an average Plus/Minus of -2.85 over his past 10 games, but it has resulted in a salary decrease of $1,400 over the past month. He has a tough matchup today against the Raptors, who rank fourth in defensive efficiency this season, but he could be worth some consideration as a buy-low option.
Williams is the lone member of the quartet who’s a better value on FanDuel after receiving a salary decrease of $1,100 for today’s matchup against the Rockets. He’s currently priced at just $7,300, and Williams has crushed this season with a comparable salary:
Holiday has been the best of the bunch recently, averaging 1.24 fantasy points per minute on DraftKings over the past month and posting an average Plus/Minus of +6.05 over his past 10 games. That said, he has a brutal matchup against the Spurs, who rank second in defensive efficiency despite missing their best defensive player (Kawhi Leonard) for the majority of the season. The Pelicans are implied for 108 points, which represents a decrease of more than four points compared to their season-average (112.1).
Kyle Korver has played well recently for the Cavs, scoring at least 20 DraftKings points in four of his past five games. He joined the starting lineup for their last game against the Suns and will likely remain in that role if Rodney Hood remains out.
Devin Booker isn’t really a value on one site or the other like some of the other top SGs, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t also be in consideration. He’s seen sizable salary decreases on both FanDuel and DraftKings in anticipation of a tough matchup against the Utah Jazz, who are tied with the Spurs for second in defensive efficiency this season. That said, Booker has averaged a positive Plus/Minus through his first three meetings with the Jazz this season, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.84 over his past 10 games on FanDuel.
LeBron James stands in his own tier at SF on today’s slate: He’s priced at $12,500 on FanDuel, and the second-most expensive option (Taurean Prince) checks in at just $7,000. LeBron has been a stud recently, averaging 1.67 DraftKings points per minute and posting a perfect 100 percent Consistency Rating over the past month. He leads all SFs with 12 Pro Trends on DraftKings, where he has a Bargain Rating of 98 percent. He should remain a building block for cash-game lineups.
The Raptors are going to be a little thin on the wing tonight, with both O.G. Anunoby and Norman Powell unlikely to play. That should result in a few additional minutes for C.J. Miles, who has averaged 0.80 fantasy points per minute over the past month. Miles is priced at the absolute minimum on FanDuel, so he doesn’t need to play much to have a shot at returning value.
Robert Covington has been mired in a deep shooting slump for most of the season, but he’s started to show positive signs. He’s made 36.2 percent of his 3-point attempts over his past seven games, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +8.30 over that time frame. He has an elite matchup today against the New York Knicks, who have allowed 120.1 points per 100 possessions over their past 11 games.
David Nwaba has started each of the past two games for the Chicago Bulls, and he’s been a solid value this season when given the chance to start. He’s averaged 26.6 FanDuel points per game in 10 starts and has scored at least 19.6 FanDuel points in all 10 contests. That’ll play at $4,500.
No one has been a better fantasy producer recently than Anthony Davis:
He’s averaged a ridiculous 1.83 fantasy points per minute over the past month on FanDuel and has scored at least 70.3 FanDuel points in three of his past four games. That includes a tough matchup against the Jazz, but Davis’ matchup against the Spurs is arguably his biggest challenge yet. They held him to ‘just’ 47.5 FanDuel points in their last matchup, and the Spurs have historically been one of the few teams capable of holding Davis in check:
It’s going to be difficult to choose between Davis and LeBron on today’s slate – especially considering that both have Bargain Ratings of 98 percent on DraftKings – but the matchup likely makes The King the safer option of the two.
Noah Vonleh saw 27 minutes of playing time in the Bulls’ last game, which should make him one of the most popular value options on today’s slate. He’s averaged 0.99 fantasy points per minute over the past month, and he remains extremely affordable at $3,600 on FanDuel and $3,800 on DraftKings.
LaMarcus Aldridge is in an elite spot today against the Pelicans, who have averaged 103.7 possessions per game over their past 11 games. The Spurs have played at the second-slowest pace this season, which makes this one of the most extreme pace-up spots we’ve seen all year. The Spurs’ resulting implied team total of 111.5 represents an increase of over nine points compared to their season-average (102.2). Aldridge also has an excellent individual matchup, evidenced by an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.90.
Blake Griffin will likely be overlooked on today’s slate, but he leads all PFs with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel. He had returned value in five straight games prior to a blowout loss against the Jazz, but that poor performance has resulted in a salary decrease of $600 on FanDuel.
Dwight Howard has exceeded salary-based expectations in four straight games and has an elite matchup today against the Atlanta Hawks. Howard has an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.06 on FanDuel, thanks in part to the Hawks owning the fifth-worst team rebound rate in the league. Dwight owns a Bargain Rating of 75 percent on FanDuel, which is the top mark among the high-priced centers on today’s slate:
On the other side of the same matchup, Dewayne Dedmon could be a potential value today for the Hawks. He’s played at least 26.5 minutes in six of his past seven games and has averaged 1.00 fantasy point per minute on the season.
Nikola Jokic is the ultimate DFS wildcard. Head coach Mike Malone occasionally forgets that he’s one of the most dominant big men in the league, so his playing time can fluctuate from game to game. That said, he offers tons of upside at his current salary and should be low-owned on today’s slate.
Clint Capela has been priced down to $6,300 on DraftKings given his poor recent play, but he’s in an elite bounce-back spot today against the Clippers. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.60 on DraftKings, where he has a Bargain Rating of 98 percent. So far this season, Capela has been a strong value at his current salary:
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA news feed.
Photo credit: Derek E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports