The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Wednesday features an 11-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Trae Young is coming off a rough game yesterday vs. the Heat. He struggled to score, shooting just 7-19 from the field and 3-11 from 3-point range, resulting in just 35.3 FanDuel points over 41.1 minutes. He also declared the game “over” after the Hawks were leading by six with 50 seconds left, and they ultimately lost in overtime.
Still, it’s hard to overlook Young on FanDuel, where his $9,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%. He also leads the position with 12 Pro Trends, and PGs with a comparable number of Pro Trends have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.75 (per the Trends tool).
It’s hard to trust anyone on the Bucks at the moment. They lead the league in Net Rating by a drastic amount, and they’ve won their past 15 games by an average of 16.1 points. They’ve played in so many blowouts that none of their starters have been playing regular minutes.
That said, they have tremendous upside if today’s game vs. the Pelicans stays competitive. They will be playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo — who is getting the night off for rest — which should obviously help in that department.
Eric Bledsoe stands out at the PG position. His salary has decreased to just $6,000, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 85%. That’s a decrease of -$1,300 over the past month. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.99, which is the second-highest mark at the position, and he’s averaged 1.30 DraftKings points per minute with Giannis off the court this season.
The Suns are another team with a great matchup. They’re taking on the Memphis Grizzlies, and their implied team total of 119.5 points ranks third on the slate. Ricky Rubio has one of the better individual matchups on the team, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.66 on FanDuel.
Kyle Lowry has seen an insane workload since returning from injury four games ago. He’s logged at least 37.7 minutes in each contest, and he’s eclipsed 40.8 minutes in two of them. He would likely be looking at another monster workload if Fred VanVleet is unable to suit up. VanVleet is currently questionable, and Lowry has averaged 1.06 DraftKings points per minute with FVV off the court this season.
Has James Harden become too expensive on DraftKings? It’s possible. He’s been priced up to $12,900 for today’s matchup vs. the Cavaliers, an increase of +$1,200 over the past month. Harden was already one of the most expensive DFS options to begin with, and he hasn’t exactly crushed recently either: He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in each of his past three games.
Still, history suggests he’s still been an excellent investment with a comparable price tag. He’s been priced between $12,400 and $13,400 in 29 previous contests, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.97.
He has a nice matchup today vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, who current rank 29th in defensive efficiency. The Rockets’ resulting implied team total of 120 points ranks second on the slate. There is some blowout potential — the Rockets are favored by 11.5 points despite being on the road — but Harden definitely has a chance to pay off his elevated price tag if this game stays competitive.
It’s much easier to roster Harden on FanDuel, where his $12,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%.
The Hawks are still exercising caution with Kevin Heurter, limiting him to approximately 25 minutes in each of his past two games, but that hasn’t stopped him from providing excellent value on FanDuel. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.04 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he doesn’t need much playing time to pay off his $4,400 salary.
There are plenty of appealing options at SG in the tier below Harden. Donovan Mitchell stands out on DraftKings, where his $7,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 75%. He also has a nice matchup vs. the Timberwolves, and he leads the position with 12 Pro Trends.
It’s hard to ignore Devonte’ Graham at just $7,700 on FanDuel. It results in a Bargain Rating of 94%, and he’s in an elite spot vs. the Brooklyn Nets. They’ve struggled against opposing guards this season, giving Graham an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.85.
With Giannis out of the picture, LeBron James becomes the highest priced SF on today’s slate. Unfortunately, he has a difficult matchup vs. the Orlando Magic. They’ve played at the second-slowest pace this season, and they also rank 10th in defensive efficiency. That’s not an appealing combo for fantasy purposes.
With that in mind, spending down for Khris Middleton — who has SF eligibility on DraftKings — makes a ton of sense. He’s seen a massive +8.0% usage bump with Giannis off the court this season, resulting in an average of +1.31 DraftKings points per minute. It’s tough to pass up that kind of production at just $6,400.
Cedi Osman stands out as a nice value option at just $3,300 on DraftKings. He’s currently projected for 28.5 minutes in our NBA Models, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.96. He’s scored at least 33.0 DraftKings points in two of his past five games, so he has nice upside at his current price tag.
Miles Bridges has played big minutes recently, logging at least 37.7 in each of his past two games. He’s increased his output to 0.84 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and his $5,100 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 77%.
Kawhi Leonard makes his return to Toronto tonight to take on the Raptors. It’s unclear what kind of reception he’ll receive from the fans — I would bet it’s pretty positive after bringing them a title — but he could be extra motivated playing against his old teammates. His production has dipped a bit with Paul George in the lineup, but his $8,700 salary on DraftKings does come with a Bargain Rating of 81%.
Domantas Sabonis is coming off a big performance in his last outing, scoring 55.4 FanDuel points over 35.8 minutes. He’s in a much tougher spot today vs. the Boston Celtics, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of -1.11, but he still leads the position with 14 Pro Trends. Historically, players with a comparable number of Pro Trends have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.26.
On the other side of that matchup, Daniel Theis stands out as a nice potential value. The Pacers play one of the biggest lineups in basketball — Sabonis and Myles Turner are both averaging at least 30.7 minutes per game this season — so Theis could see a few additional minutes. He’s averaged 0.98 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he could take advantage of the additional playing time.
Jabari Parker is a nice buy-low option on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $6,300, a decrease of -$900 over the past month. He’s still playing solid minutes — he’s currently projected for 28.6 vs. the Bulls — and he’s averaged 1.10 FanDuel points per minute this season.
Sticking with the Hawks, De’Andre Hunter has been an excellent source of value recently. He’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.04 over his past 10 games on DraftKings, and he’s increased his production to 0.76 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Clint Capela is an interesting option today vs. the Cavaliers. He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in each of his past three games on DraftKings, which has caused his price tag to drop to $8,000. This is an elite bounce-back spot given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.23.
Cody Zeller has been effective on a per-minute basis this season, averaging 1.01 FanDuel points per minute. The problem has been a lack of playing time, but that’s not a major issue at his current price tag. He’s priced at just $4,700, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 71%.
He’s in a fantastic spot today vs. the Nets, who have hemorrhaged fantasy points to opposing centers this season. Zeller owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.89 on FanDuel, which is one of the top marks at the position.
Tristan Thompson has been a nice value recently. He’s scored at least 30.5 DraftKings points in five of the past six games, and he’s coming off 35.5 minutes in his most recent contest. He’s underpriced at $6,100 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 78%.
Virtually no one is going to pay up for Karl-Anthony Towns today, which makes him an interesting target for guaranteed prize pools (GPPs). He has a tough matchup vs. the Jazz, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.11 on FanDuel, but he scored over 55 FanDuel points in his last matchup vs. the Jazz.
Credit:Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Bucks PG Eric Bledsoe (6)