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.
Russell Westbrook has been on a tear recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past five games, and he’s scored at least 60.3 FanDuel points in each of his past four. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.44 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and no one at the position is projected for more than his 38.2 minutes.
Westbrook is in a nice spot today vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. They’ve played at the eighth-fastest pace this season, and the Rockets’ implied team total of 120.25 ranks first on the slate.
Malcolm Brogdon has been ruled out with a concussion, which makes Aaron Holiday an interesting option. He’s priced at just $3,800, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%. Holiday has seen a usage bump of +3.6% in 12 games without Brogdon this season, and he’s averaged 28.47 FanDuel points in those contests. Overall, he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +9.5 with Brogdon out of the lineup despite an average salary higher than $4,500.
Ricky Rubio looks like a prime buy-low target on FanDuel. He’s coming off a poor performance in his last contest, but he was limited to just 22.6 minutes in a blowout loss. That’s caused his salary to drop to $5,700, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s expected to return to his normal workload vs. the Spurs, and he’s averaged 1.13 FanDuel points per minute this season.
Ja Morant has one of the best individual matchups at the position. He’s taking on the Detroit Pistons, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.44 on DraftKings. Morant is reasonably priced at $7,000, posting an average Plus/Minus of +1.63 with a comparable price tag this season (per the Trends tool).
Westbrook’s production recently has come at the expense of James Harden. Those players have a correlation of -0.12 on DraftKings, which makes Westbrook Harden’s worst-correlated teammate.
That’s definitely a concern for Harden, but it’s hard not to like him at his current price tag. He’s seen a price decrease of nearly $2,000 over the past two weeks on DraftKings, and Harden has averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.94 with a comparable salary this season. He benefits from the same excellent matchup as Westbrook, and he could also command lower ownership than usual. He’s an awesome pivot off Westbrook for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
The Thunder are dealing with a few injuries on the wing at the moment. Terrance Ferguson will miss his fourth straight game, and Abdel Nader will miss his fifth. Luguentz Dort has started each of the past two games, and he remains priced at the minimum on FanDuel. That could make him an interesting target. He’s currently projected for 26.5 minutes in our NBA Models, and min-priced players have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.73.
That said, Dennis Schroder is the guy who figures to benefit the most. He’s played at least 33 minutes in four of the past five games, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in all of them. He’s coming off 47.1 FanDuel points in his last game, so he has awesome upside at just $5,700.
Both players benefit from an awesome matchup vs. the Hawks, who rank third in pace and 24th in defensive efficiency. The Thunder’s implied team total of 117.75 ranks second on the slate.
D’Angelo Russell has been an awesome source of value recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +7.30 over his past 10 games on DraftKings. He struggled in his last game, but he was limited to just 27.6 minutes in a blowout loss to the Jazz. He’s averaged 1.39 DraftKings points per minute this season, which trails only Harden’s mark among today’s SGs.
Andrew Wiggins has been a boom-or-bust option recently. He’s scored at least 42.5 FanDuel points in two of his past three games, but he’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in five of his past seven. That said, he has seen a boost in value in games without Jeff Teague this season, averaging 1.17 DraftKings points per minute.
Kawhi Leonard is a SF on DraftKings and a PF on FanDuel, but he deserves consideration today regardless of where you play him. Paul George will miss his eighth straight game with a hamstring injury, and Patrick Beverley is doubtful with a groin injury. Leonard played 35.2 minutes in his first game with both players out of the lineup, and he’s averaged 1.56 DraftKings points per minute this season.
The Heat have been a tough opponent this year, but they have started to slip defensively. They’re down to just 12th in defensive efficiency, and Matt Moore believes they’re a regression candidate moving forward.
Will Barton remains underpriced on FanDuel given the Nuggets’ current injury situation. Gary Harris is expected to return to the lineup today, but Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap remain without a timetable to return. Michael Porter Jr. is also questionable with a back injury, and the Nuggets may exercise caution with him given his injury history.
Regardless of what happens with MPJ, Barton should benefit from the absence of Murray and Millsap. He’s seen a usage bump of +3.7% with both players off the court, and he’s coming off 38.4 minutes in his last game. His $6,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%, making him one of the best values of the day.
DeMar DeRozan has dual SG/SF eligibility on DraftKings, which increases his appeal vs. the Suns. He posted a negative Plus/Minus in his last game, but he’s still been one of the most consistent producers in fantasy recently. That performance snapped a streak of 13 straight games with a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings, and his salary has remained reasonable at $7,800. The Suns have been better defensively this season, but they’re still not a particularly scary matchup.
Danilo Gallinari is another SF who stands out as an excellent value on FanDuel. He owns a Bargain Rating of 95%, and he should benefit from their current injury situation. He’s averaged 1.05 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he has the potential to see a few additional minutes with Ferguson and Nader out of the lineup. Overall, Gallo has averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.05 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, yet his salary has actually decreased over that time frame.
The buy-low window on Domantas Sabonis has officially closed. He’s coming off 49.25 DraftKings points in his last game, which has caused his salary to jump from $7,900 to $8,600.
That said, he’s still an elite target today given his matchup vs. the Golden State Warriors. They’ve been a dream matchup for big men this season, giving Sabonis an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.34 on DraftKings.
He should also benefit from the absence of Brogdon. He’s increased his usage rate by +1.0% with Brogdon off the court this season, resulting in a slight bump in fantasy production.
Jerami Grant is an excellent target today at $5,200 on FanDuel. He’s scored at least 25.4 FanDuel points in five of his past six games, and he should continue to see a large workload with Millsap out of the lineup.
He would be an even better play if Porter is unable to suit up. Grant logged nearly 34.7 minutes with MPJ out of the lineup in his last game, and he responded with a season-high 41.9 FanDuel points.
Regardless, he’s in an excellent spot today vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. They rank fourth in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency. They could improve defensively with Zion Williamson back in the lineup, but his role should be pretty minimal tonight.
Robert Covington has been productive when on the court this season, averaging 1.04 FanDuel points per minute. He’s been playing more minutes recently, and he always has big upside on FanDuel given his ability to rack up defensive stats. He’s a strong target today vs. the Rockets given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.17.
Chandler Hutchison is an interesting value option at $3,300 on DraftKings. He’s been productive when on the court this season, averaging 0.84 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s playing a solid handful of minutes at the moment. He doesn’t have a huge ceiling, but he can provide a solid multiplier on his current salary.
Karl-Anthony Towns is making his way back from injury, and he dropped 40 points in just 31.3 minutes in his last contest. He’s averaged 1.68 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he’s simply too cheap at $9,800 on FanDuel if he’s going to return to his normal workload. Towns has dominated with a comparable salary over the past two seasons, averaging a Plus/Minus of +3.47 on FanDuel.
He leads the position with 12 Pro Trends, and he’s in an awesome spot vs. the Rockets. His Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.3 is one of the top marks at the position.
The Kings are going to be without Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes tonight, which makes Dewayne Dedmon a very appealing value at just $3,900 on FanDuel. It results in a Bargain Rating of 96%, and Dedmon scored 27.0 FanDuel points over 31.1 minutes with both players out of the lineup in his last contest.
He owns an elite matchup today vs. the Bulls, who have been extremely vulnerable against opposing centers this season. They rank 29th in team rebound rate, and Dedmon owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.16.
Myles Turner is an interesting option today for the Pacers. His playing time has been down recently, but he should see a slight boost in value with Brogdon out of the lineup. He’s seen a usage bump of +2.2% with Brogdon off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.04 DraftKings points per minute. He also leads all centers with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.53 vs. the Warriors.
Andre Drummond missed the Pistons’ last game, and he’s been downgraded to questionable for today’s contest vs. the Grizzlies. That said, he’s a strong target if he’s able to suit up. He’s been priced down to $9,500 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 91%, and he’s averaged 50.13 DraftKings points per 36 minutes in games without Blake Griffin.
Pictured: Timberwolves C Karl-Anthony Towns (32)
Photo Credit: Ned Dishman-NBAE via Getty Images