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.
Damian Lillard has cooled off a bit after a torrid stretch during the month of January, which has caused his salary to come back to reality on FanDuel. He’s priced at $9,500, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 95%. That’s still expensive, but it represents a solid decrease from his peak of $10,900.
Lillard is in an excellent spot today vs. the Grizzlies. They’ve played at the fifth-fastest pace this season, giving Lillard an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.65. He also leads the position with 12 Pro Trends.
On the other side of that matchup, the Grizzlies have some appealing PG options as well. Ja Morant is the obvious target — particularly on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 97% — but De’Anthony Melton is an interesting value option. He’s been an excellent fantasy option when given the chance to play this season, averaging 1.06 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s currently projected for a solid handful of minutes in our NBA Models. The Grizzlies are also implied for 119.25 points, which is the top mark on the slate.
Luka Doncic is expected to return after missing each of the past seven games with an injury. He will likely be on some sort of minute restriction, but it’s hard to completely write him off at just $9,700 on FanDuel. That’s ridiculously cheap for Doncic, who has averaged a Plus/Minus of +13.46 with a comparable price tag this season (per the Trends tool).
Kyle Lowry is taking on the Brooklyn Nets today, which is an incredibly juicy matchup. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.85 on FanDuel, which is the top mark at the position. The Raptors also have the potential to be shorthanded — Marc Gasol is out, Serge Ibaka is questionable — which would further increase his appeal.
Devin Booker is coming off a poor game in his last outing, scoring just 19.3 FanDuel points vs. the Lakers. That said, the Lakers are a brutal matchup, and Booker was limited to just 31.5 minutes in a blowout loss.
He should find much less resistance today vs. the Warriors, who have been much worse defensively this season. They currently rank 23rd in defensive efficiency, and the Suns’ implied team total of 117.25 ranks fourth on the slate. His $8,100 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%, so this is a nice buy-low opportunity.
Victor Oladipo is still working his way back from an injury, but he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings in each of his past two games. He also shot just 35.7% from the field in his last contest, so he has upside for a bigger performance today. He remains very affordable across the industry, and he has a decent matchup vs. the Bucks. They are excellent defensively, but they’ve also played at the fastest pace in the league.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out for the Bucks, which makes Khris Middleton an elite option. He’s been absolutely dominant in five games without Giannis this season. He’s seen a team-high usage bump of +7.5% in those contests, resulting in an average of 49.45 DraftKings points per game. Middleton is a steal on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 99%, and his 12 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position.
Kyrie Irving is expected to miss another game for the Nets, which means Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert are once again looking at expanded workloads. Dinwiddie has increased his fantasy production to 1.19 DraftKings points per minute in games without Irving this season, and LeVert has averaged 1.06 DraftKings points per minute in that situation. LeVert is the stronger target on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 95%, but Dinwiddie makes more sense on DraftKings since the price differential isn’t as large.
Pascal Siakam is coming off 54.7 FanDuel points in his last contest, and he could be looking at a monster workload if Ibaka is unable to suit up. Siakam has increased his usage rate by +3.1% with both players off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.27 FanDuel points per minute. His 12 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position, and he’s in a great spot vs. the Nets. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.84, and the matchup would be even better if he spends more time than usual at the PF position.
Pat Connaughton could be an interesting value option at SF with Giannis out of the lineup. He’s increased his fantasy production to 0.83 DraftKings points per minute with Giannis off the court this season, and he’s currently projected for 25.1 minutes in our NBA Models. He scored 21.75 DraftKings in his last contest, which would be more than enough for him to return value at his current price tag.
Kelly Oubre has provided awesome fantasy value recently. He struggled in his last game, but very few players have seen as much playing time as Oubre lately. He’s played at least 35.6 minutes in six of his past seven games, and he leads the position with 38.1 projected minutes on today’s slate. Oubre has also averaged 1.01 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he’s capable of taking advantage of a monster workload.
Speaking of monster workloads, Trevor Ariza hasn’t wasted any time integrating himself into the Blazers’ rotation. He’s currently projected for 37.4 minutes in our NBA Models, which makes him tough to avoid at $4,400 on FanDuel. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.19.
Anthony Davis has had a slightly disappointing year from a DFS perspective. That said, he has started to turn things around recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in two of his past three games, and the lone exception was a blowout where he played just 31 minutes. He’s in a solid spot today vs. the Nuggets, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.09 on DraftKings.
It’s hard to find strong values today on DraftKings, but James Johnson stands out as one of the lone exceptions. He owns a Bargain Rating of 92% on DraftKings, and his move to Minnesota has been excellent for his fantasy value. He was buried on the Heat’s depth chart, but he’s had the opportunity to play a solid chunk of minutes for the Timberwolves. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past two games with the Wolves, and he owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.91 vs. the Hornets.
P.J. Washington is another potential value option. He’s coming off nearly 36 minutes in his last contest, and he’s projected for a comparable workload today. Historically, players with a comparable salary and minute projection have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.03 DraftKings.
Domantas Sabonis continues to be underpriced on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $8,100, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 99%, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +6.61 over his past 10 games. That said, his salary has actually decreased by -$1,300 over that time frame. He leads the position with 13 Pro Trends, and the Pacers are in the largest pace-up spot of the day vs. the Bucks.
Karl-Anthony Towns seems refreshed following the trade of Andrew Wiggins. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past two games, and he’s come close to a triple-double in both contests. He did post a lower usage rate in his last game with D’Angelo Russell making his debut, but he still appears to have more upside he did with Wiggins in the lineup.
He’s in a wonderful spot today vs. the Charlotte Hornets. They rank 26th in defensive efficiency and 24th in team rebound rate, which makes them a prime matchup for big men. Towns owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.68 on FanDuel, where his $10,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%.
Deandre Ayton is listed as doubtful for the Suns, which means Cheick Diallo could be looking at a massive workload. He’s coming off 39.0 minutes in his last game, and he responded with 25.5 DraftKings points. He’s averaged 1.00 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he could put together an even larger performance with a comparable workload today. He also owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.12 on DraftKings vs. the Warriors, so he owns an elite matchup as well.
Jonas Valanciunas is another center with a great matchup. He’s taking on the Trail Blazers, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +6.05 on FanDuel. He’s also been incredibly effective recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +6.64 over his past 10 games on FanDuel.
Pictured above: Phoenix Suns PF/C Cheick Diallo (14)
Photo credit: Michael Gonzales-NBAE via Getty Images