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NBA DFS Breakdown (Tuesday, Jan. 12): Curry, Harden, Durant Headline Limited Options

The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.

Tuesday’s NBA main slate differs by site. DraftKings features a six-game lineup, starting at 7 p.m. ET, while FanDuel features a five-game schedule, commencing at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The difference between these two sites is that DraftKings is including the game between the 76ers and the Heat. That said, that game may not end up playing anyway. The Heat have just six players who are not on the injury report or in health and safety protocols, so they’ll need at least two of their three questionable players to suit up to reach the required minimum of eight active players.

This breakdown will focus on a few of those options, but make sure to utilize the Labs Insiders tool and follow the FantasyLabsNBA Twitter account for any updates.

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Point Guard

Stud

Steph Curry has been a boom-or-bust option recently. He’s scored 28.3 FanDuel points or fewer in two of his past three games, but he’s scored 50.8 FanDuel points or more in three of his past five. The result is an average of 1.39 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, which is the top mark on the slate at the PG position.

He’s in an interesting spot tonight vs. the Pacers. They’re a mediocre defensive team – they rank 19th in defensive efficiency this season – and they could be at less than full strength tonight. They’re on the second leg of a back-to-back, so it’s possible that they give some of their regulars the night off. Victor Oladipo stands out in particular since he has yet to play in a back-to-back this season.

Value

The Spurs could be a nice source of value on Tuesday. DeMar DeRozan remains out for personal reasons, which opens up plenty of opportunities for the rest of the roster.

Patty Mills has been an excellent value to begin with recently – he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.65 over his past 10 games on FanDuel – and he’s logged at least 29.3 minutes in back-to-back games. He’s currently projected for 27.6 minutes in our NBA Models, and Mills has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.10 with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool).

Fast Break

Sticking with the Spurs, Dejounte Murray is another option at point guard. He’s increased his usage rate by +4.6% with DeRozan and Derrick White off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.08 DraftKings points per minute. His 10 Pro Trends on DraftKings is also tied for the most at the position.

Malcolm Brogdon has been one of the best values in fantasy to start the year. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +9.13 over his past 10 games, and no one at the position is projected for more than his 37.7 minutes. He would be an even stronger play than usual if Oladipo is given the night off.

Shooting Guard

Stud

The Rockets completely overhauled their roster during the offseason, and the change has not been good for James Harden. His usage rate is way down – he’s posted a mark of 27.9% or less in four straight games – and he’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in each of his past six games on FanDuel. He’s also in a tough spot against the Los Angeles Lakers, who rank second in defensive efficiency to start the season.

However, Harden may be forced to play like his old self given the Rockets’ current injury situation. John Wall and Eric Gordon are both questionable, and Harden would be their lone remaining playmaker if both players are ruled out. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.5% with both players off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.65 FanDuel points per minute. That would make Harden a very tough fade if both players are ultimately inactive, especially since his price has decreased across the industry. This is an important situation to monitor before lineup lock.

Value

Lonnie Walker is coming off one of the best offensive games of his career in his last outing. He finished with a career-high 19 shot attempts thanks to a 33.9% usage rate, and he ultimately posted a Plus/Minus of +19.97 on FanDuel. His salary has come up a bit for tonight’s matchup vs. the Thunder, but he still seems massively underpriced at just $5,200 on FanDuel. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high +10.1% with DeRozan and White off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.12 FanDuel points per minute.

Fast Break

If the Heat game isn’t postponed, Tyler Herro is going to have to carry a massive workload. The Heat are without virtually every other playmaker on the roster: Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn, and Bam Adebayo have all been ruled out. The Heat have yet to play a single minute with all four of those players off the court this season, but there’s a good chance that Herro will lead the team in usage in that situation.

Aaron Holiday could be a nice source of value for the Pacers if they are shorthanded. He’s priced at just $3,300 on DraftKings, but he’s currently projected for 30.3 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, players with a comparable salary and minute projection have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.44.

Small Forward

Stud

Kevin Durant is a small forward on FanDuel and a power forward on DraftKings, but he stands out as one of the top studs on the slate regardless of where you play him. He was not limited in his first game back in the lineup, finishing with 54.2 FanDuel points over 37.7 minutes. He also posted a usage rate of 35.8%, which was his highest mark of the year.

Durant should continue to see an increased workload as long as Kyrie Irving is out of the lineup. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high +5.6% with Irving off the court, resulting in an average of 1.45 FanDuel points per minute.

Tonight’s game between the Nuggets and Nets is also expected to be one of the best on the slate. The total sits at a slate-high 230 points, and the Nuggets are listed as just one-point road favorites.

Value

The Cavaliers are another team that will be playing shorthanded. Darius Garland and Kevin Love remain out of the lineup, while Collin Sexton is listed as questionable. That means the team could be without three of their highest usage players on offense.

Cedi Osman has been asked to step up in their absence recently, doing an admirable job in the process. He’s scored at least 27.5 FanDuel points in four of his past five games, yet his salary has actually decreased over that time frame. He’s underpriced on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 72%.

Fast Break

Rudy Gay could be an interesting buy-low option. He’s been priced down to just $4,500 on FanDuel, which represents a decrease of -$1,000 over the past month. His playing time has been way down recently, but the Spurs will likely lean on him a little heavier with DeRozan out of the lineup. He’s currently projected for 25.0 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged 1.01 FanDuel points per minute over the past month.

Will Barton isn’t playing as many minutes now that Michael Porter Jr. is back in the lineup, but he’s still projected for more than 31 minutes vs. the Nets. That gives him a solid chance to return value at his current salary given his average of 0.87 FanDuel points per minute this season.

Power Forward

Stud

There are plenty of high-priced power forwards on today’s slate, but LaMarcus Aldridge stands out as the best pure value. He’s particularly appealing on DraftKings, where his $6,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%.

Aldridge has taken a backseat to some of the Spurs’ younger players this season, but he should operate as their primary scoring option with DeRozan out of the lineup. He’s coming off a season-high 36.7 minutes in his last contest, and he’s increased his usage rate by +5.0% with DeRozan off the court.

Value

Andre Iguodala is another member of the Heat who could see a boost in value if the game happens. He probably won’t see a huge boost in playing time, but he has the potential to be one of the primary playmakers when on the court. Iggy is dirt-cheap at $3,300 on DraftKings, so he makes a lot of sense in a stars-and-scrubs approach.

Fast Break

Domantas Sabonis is someone who deserves consideration every time he takes the court. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.17 over his first 10 games this season, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in eight of those contests. He shouldn’t find a ton of resistance from the Warriors, who rank 21st in defensive efficiency this season.

Darius Bazley stands out as one of the best pure values at the position on DraftKings, where his $5,900 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%. He’s struggled in back-to-back games, but he scored at least 35.5 DraftKings points in each of his three previous games. He’s also in a solid spot vs. the Spurs, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.80.

Center

Stud

Joel Embiid has the potential to be a monster on the slate. He was limited to just 22.8 minutes in a blowout loss on Monday, but he posted a usage rate of 46.4% in that contest. He scored 41.75 DraftKings points in his limited playing time, which was good for an average of 1.83 DraftKings points per minute.

Embiid probably won’t need to command as large of a usage rate today with Ben Simmons expected to play, but he should still see more opportunities than usual. Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, and Seth Curry remain out of the lineup, and Embiid has increased his usage rate by +14.8% with all three players off the court this season.

Value

Al Horford continues to be underpriced on FanDuel. His $5,500 salary for tonight’s matchup vs. the Spurs comes with a Bargain Rating of 65%, which is the top mark at the position. He’s not playing a ton of minutes at the moment, but he’s averaged 1.00 FanDuel points per minute this season. Overall, he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past seven games, and he went off for 37.7 FanDuel points in his last contest.

Fast Break

Nikola Jokic has been arguably the best player in fantasy this season. He’s averaged 1.59 FanDuel points per minute, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +6.49 on FanDuel. He’s also in a potential smash spot vs. the Nets, given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.25.

Myles Turner stands out as one of the best values on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s averaged 1.07 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for 31.7 minutes in our NBA Models.