The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Monday features a 10-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
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Steph Curry has not had a good start to his season. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of -2.97 over his past 10 games on DraftKings, and his shooting efficiency has declined without Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant playing alongside him. Still, he’s averaged 1.41 DraftKings points per minute, which is a very respectable mark.
Curry is an excellent buy-low target tonight vs. the Timberwolves. It’s an elite matchup – Minnesota ranks 27th in defensive efficiency this season – and they’ve been an absolute dumpster fire with Karl-Anthony Towns off the court. The Warriors’ implied team total of 118.0 ranks second on the slate, and Curry owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.99 on DraftKings.
Dejounte Murray is a bit more expensive than the typical “value” option, but he’s easily one of the top values on DraftKings. He’s priced at just $6,500, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99% for tonight’s matchup vs. the Pelicans. Murray has averaged a stout 1.15 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s coming off a triple-double yesterday vs. the Wizards. Overall, Murray has scored at least 38.5 DraftKings points in five straight games (excluding the game where he played just one minute due to injury).
Damian Lillard is another option to consider paying up for. He’s increased his production to 1.29 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and that number could be underselling his fantasy value. The Blazers are without both C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, which leaves Lillard to shoulder the load offensively. He’s posted an average usage rate of 36.3% in two full games without both players this season, and he’s averaged 1.45 FanDuel points per minute in those contests.
Jalen Brunson continues to serve as a strong value option at the position. He’s played at least 30.6 minutes in three straight games, and he’s projected for 30.1 minutes in our NBA Models. Brunson is also priced at just $4,300 on FanDuel, and he’s historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.84 with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool).
Jaylen Brown barely broke a sweat yesterday vs. the Cavaliers. He played just 19.2 minutes, but that didn’t stop him from racking up an unbelievable 33 points. He ultimately finished with 43.25 DraftKings points – aka 2.25 DraftKings points per minute – and made a little bit of history:
Jaylen Brown scored 33 points in fewer than 20 minutes played tonight.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 25, 2021
That means Brown should be fresh for tonight’s matchup, and he has huge upside with Jayson Tatum still out of the lineup. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 39.4% in each of his past three games, and the increased volume has done very little to impact his efficiency.
He’s in a great spot vs. the Bulls, who rank just 24th in defensive efficiency this season, and his $8,500 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%.
If you want to save a bit with the Celtics, Marcus Smart also stands out as an excellent option. He’s scored at least 36.8 FanDuel points in three straight games, yet his salary has stayed pretty stagnant across the industry. He benefits from the same elite matchup as Brown, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.12.
James Harden is a very interesting option on today’s slate. The Nets’ implied team total of 121.0 is the top mark on the slate by a significant margin, and Harden has been priced down to just $9,800 on FanDuel. That would obviously make him almost a must-play if he was still with the Rockets, but things are a bit different in Brooklyn. He’s posted a usage rate of 23.0% or less in each of his past three games, which gives him way less upside as a scorer. He still has excellent upside, but he also carries some downside playing alongside Kyrie Irving and Durant.
The Pistons are going to be playing without Derrick Rose tonight, which means Delon Wright should draw another start at PG. He was excellent in that role in his last game, finishing with 28.75 DraftKings points, and he’s scored at least 26.75 DraftKings points in six of his past seven games. He should serve as one of their top offensive options behind Blake Griffin.
Brandon Ingram’s price tag has been in a free-fall recently. He was priced as high as $9,400 on FanDuel this season, but he’s down to just $7,700 for tonight’s matchup vs. the Spurs. That makes him an appealing buy-low target. Ingram has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.01 with a comparable price tag, including a mark of +6.72 this season.
The Spurs also represent a solid matchup, giving Ingram an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.63.
Duncan Robinson is logging massive minutes for the shorthanded Heat at the moment. They will be without Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro once again, and Robinson is projected for a position-high 37.5 minutes in our NBA Models. He’s priced at just $4,700 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 75%, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.77.
Kelly Oubre has had some dreadful shooting performances to start the year, but that hasn’t stopped him from averaging a solid 0.91 FanDuel points per minute. He’s coming off a disastrous 7.9 FanDuel points in his last outing, which has caused his price tag to drop to just $5,200. He’s an excellent buy-low option at that price tag, especially given his matchup vs. the Timberwolves.
Jerami Grant leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on DraftKings, where his $7,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%. Grant is not the sexiest player to roster, but he’s been one of the most consistent values in the league this season. He’s posted a perfect 100% Consistency Rating over his past 14 games on DraftKings, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.38 over his past 10 games.
It angers me that Domantas Sabonis doesn’t get as much love as he deserves. He has evolved into one of the best big men in basketball, and his skill set is tailor-made for fantasy. He’s averaging 20.9 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game this season, and his average of 38.4 minutes per game ranks first in the league. He’s currently projected for a whopping 39.5 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s played at least 40.1 minutes in three straight games.
Sabonis has the potential to be even more productive moving forward. He’s increased his usage rate, assist rate, and rebound rate with Victor Oladipo off the court, and the newly acquired Caris LeVert will not be making his Pacers’ debut for the foreseeable future. He’s too cheap at $9,600 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 60%.
Isaiah Roby should continue to garner plenty of interest with Al Horford out of the lineup. He’s started six games in place of Horford this season, and he’s scored at least 27.25 DraftKings points in four of them. Overall, he’s averaged 0.98 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he’s underpriced across the industry.
Draymond Green and Robert Covington are a pair of interesting buy-low candidates. Both players have seen sizable price decreases across the industry, and both players have struggled to return fantasy value recently. That said, both guys are still seeing plenty of minutes, and they are capable of filling up the stat sheet. They have excellent upside at their current price tags.
Zion Williamson has not been the same dominant force on a per-minute basis as he was last season, but he’s still been effective recently. He’s scored at least 39.0 DraftKings points in seven of his past eight games, yet his price has not budged over that time frame. He should thrive in this matchup vs. the Spurs, who allow the seventh-most points in the paint per game.
There are a bunch of strong options at center, but Bam Adebayo stands out as the best. He has an excellent matchup vs. the Nets, who have been allergic to defense this season. They’ve allowed at least 113 points in eight straight games, and Adebayo crushed the Nets for 62.75 DraftKings points in his last game.
He should also continue to benefit from the absences of Butler and Herro. Adebayo has increased his usage rate by +2.6% with both players off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.33 DraftKings points per minute.
He stands out as one of the best values of the day on DraftKings, where his $8,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%.
Karl-Anthony Towns will miss another contest for the Timberwolves, which means Naz Reid is looking at another expanded workload. He’s averaged 1.07 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he’s definitely capable of taking advantage of a boost in playing time. He’s scored at least 27.1 FanDuel points in three straight games – including a 40.6 FanDuel point performance vs. the Hawks – so he’s underpriced at $5,000.
Nikola Vucevic is another excellent candidate to pay up for tonight. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.46 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he leads the position with 14 Pro Trends. He’s also underpriced at $8,700, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%.
If you’re looking for a pure punt play on DraftKings, Robert Williams makes sense at $3,200. He’s projected for 16.0 minutes vs. the Bulls, and he’s averaged 1.29 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s another excellent value on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 96%.