The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Friday features a 10-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Tonight’s game between the Hawks and Wizards figures to be one of the best of the day from a fantasy perspective. Both teams rank in the top-four in pace and bottom-four in defensive efficiency, and the 238.5-point total is the highest of the day by a significant margin.
That makes Trae Young a very appealing option. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in nine of his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he’s coming off 72.6 FanDuel points in his last game vs. the Rockets. He’s underpriced at $10,000 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 81%.
The Heat are basically back at full strength, which leaves them pretty crowded in the backcourt. Kendrick Nunn has seen a reduction in playing time recently, logging 27.5 minutes or fewer in each of his past three games.
That said, his price tag has dropped significantly across the industry. He’s currently priced at $4,600 on DraftKings, which represents a decrease of $2,100 over the past month. He’s still averaged 0.84 DraftKings points per minute over that time frame, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to potentially pay off his current price tag.
Nunn also benefits from an elite matchup vs. the Nets, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.67.
Kristaps Porzingis remains out for the Mavericks, so Luka Doncic should continue to benefit from a bump in value. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 40.7% in each of his past three games, and he’s averaged 1.80 FanDuel points per minute with Porzingis off the court this season. He has a tough matchup vs. the Lakers, but his $11,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%.
De’Aaron Fox has seen a nice bump in value recently, increasing his fantasy output to 1.26 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s in an interesting spot today vs. the Bucks. There is obviously some blowout concern — the Kings are nine-point underdogs at home — but Fox has nice upside if this game stays competitive. The Bucks have played at the fastest pace in the league, giving Fox an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.18 on FanDuel.
Donovan Mitchell is coming off just 31.6 FanDuel points in his last contest, which has caused his salary to decrease by $500 for today’s matchup vs. the Hornets. His poor performance wasn’t really his fault — he was limited to just 25.3 minutes in a blowout win — and he’s increased his production to 1.12 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. The Hornets are also a nice matchup, ranking just 26th in defensive efficiency.
Mitchell’s 14 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position on FanDuel, and his $7,800 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 81%.
Reggie Bullock has started each of the past two games for the Knicks, and he will likely draw another start today. Julius Randle and Dennis Smith Jr. are both out, while Marcus Morris is doubtful.
He’s currently projected for 28.7 minutes in our NBA Models, which makes him an appealing punt play at just $3,600 on FanDuel. Historically, players with a comparable salary and minute projection have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.22 (per the Trends tool).
Bradley Beal has missed each of the past four games on FanDuel, and he’s questionable to make his return to the lineup today. If he does suit up, he has the potential to be an elite value on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $7,600 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 98%. Make sure to monitor his status using the Labs Insiders tool to get real-time updates on his availability.
It’s a little tougher to find strong values at SG on DraftKings, but Jimmy Butler stands out. His price discrepancy between the two sites isn’t that large, and his 13 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position. He also benefits from an elite matchup vs. the Nets, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.05.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been a contrarian option recently. He had average ownership of just 3.3% on DraftKings in his last contest, which makes him an excellent option for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). He posted a usage rate of 40.4% in his last game, and he’s averaged a ridiculous 1.93 DraftKings points per minute this season. Very few players can match his upside when he actually plays a full game.
Kevin Knox is another potential value option for the Knicks today. He’s priced at the absolute minimum on FanDuel, and he’s coming off 29.3 minutes in his last contest. That’s a lot of potential playing time at just $3,500.
The Lakers are going to be without Anthony Davis today, which obviously increases the appeal of LeBron James. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.5% with AD off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.54 DraftKings points per minute. LeBron has also increased his usage rate by +6.0% in two full games without Davis. His fantasy production doesn’t exactly jump off the page in those contests — he’s averaged just 44.0 DraftKings points per game — but he’s been limited to an average of just 30.7 minutes of playing time. He has massive upside vs. the Mavericks and should be one of the highest-owned players on the slate.
The Warriors are going to be without D’Angelo Russell today, which opens up plenty of usage for the rest of the roster. Alec Burks has SF eligibility on FanDuel, and he’s increased his usage rate by +1.9% with Russell and Steph Curry off the court this season. He scored 37.5 FanDuel points with Russell out of the lineup in his last contest, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +7.33 over his past 10 games.
Damion Lee has SF eligibility on DraftKings, and he’s been arguably the Warriors’ best player recently. He’s averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s currently projected for 31.6 minutes in our NBA Models. He has nice upside at $5,300.
Paul George will miss today’s contest with a hamstring injury, which increases the appeal of Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has increased his usage rate by a team-high +2.7% with George off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.48 FanDuel points per minute. Overall, Leonard has averaged 47.41 FanDuel points per game in 10 games with George out of the lineup.
Kawhi is way too cheap at $9,400 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 91%, and the Clippers’ implied team total of 117.25 ranks third on the slate.
Sticking with the Clippers, JaMychal Green is a prime candidate to replace George in the starting lineup. He’s been productive when on the court this season, averaging 0.83 FanDuel points per minute, and he’s currently projected for 25.3 minutes in our NBA Models. He’s scored at least 27.7 FanDuel points in two of his past three games, which gives him solid upside at his current price tag.
Derrick Favors wasn’t really needed in the Pelicans’ last game, resulting in just 24 minutes of playing time. He should return to his normal workload if today’s game vs. the Knicks stays competitive, and he’s averaged a stout 1.16 DraftKings points per minute this season. The Knicks are also a strong matchup, ranking just 28th in defensive efficiency.
Marvin Bagley is currently questionable with a foot injury, but he has the potential to carry a large workload if he’s available. Richaun Holmes and Bogdan Bogdanovic have both been ruled out, which opens up significant minutes in the frontcourt. He’s also an excellent value at just $5,000 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99%.
The center position is a little weaker than usual today, but Bam Adebayo stands out as an elite option. His 12 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position on DraftKings, and he has an absolutely elite matchup vs. the Brooklyn Nets. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.01, which is one of the top marks at the position.
Willie Cauley-Stein makes sense if you’re looking to go cheap at the position today. He’s averaged 1.06 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +3.57 over his past 10 games. The Warriors recently released Marquese Chriss, so his role in the rotation should be solidified.
Bobby Portis is coming off 28.9 minutes in his last contest, and he has the potential to carry a large workload today for the Knicks. He’s currently projected for 28.4 minutes in our NBA Models, and Portis has increased his fantasy production to 1.09 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He scored 37.6 FanDuel points in his last outing, so he has nice upside at just $4,400 today vs. the Pelicans.
Montrezl Harrell has seen one of the largest bumps in value with George off the court this season. He’s increased his production to 1.22 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s coming off nearly 36 minutes in his last contest. He has an amazing matchup today vs. the Warriors, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.53.
Pictured: Hawks PG Trae Young (11)
Photo credit: Jasear Thompson-NBAE via Getty Images