The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Wednesday features a 12-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
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Steph Curry has been up-and-down to start the season, but he’s in an elite spot tonight against the Timberwolves. They’ve struggled mightily on the defensive end this season — they rank just 28th in defensive efficiency — and they’ve been even worse with Karl-Anthony Towns off the court. Curry shredded the Timberwolves for 53.5 DraftKings points in his last game, and the Warriors’ implied team total of 118.25 ranks second on Wednesday’s slate.
Curry also stands out as one of the better pure values at the position. He’s priced at $9,300 on DraftKings, and Curry has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.72 with a comparable salary (per the Trends tool).
Raul Neto missed one game for the Wizards, but he was back in the lineup last night against the Rockets. He finished with 24.25 DraftKings points over 22.5 minutes, and he has a chance to see a larger workload on tonight’s slate.
The Wizards are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, which makes Russell Westbrook a prime rest candidate. Neto has thrived in place of Westbrook this season, posting an average Plus/Minus of +7.8 in four starts.
Neto also owns one of the best matchups at the position. He’s taking on the New Orleans Pelicans, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.31.
Darius Garland missed eight straight games for the Cavs due to a shoulder strain, but he’s been in the lineup in each of the past three games. His minutes have been monitored in those contests, which has limited him to 20.0 DKFP or fewer in each game. That said, it’s only a matter of time before the Cavs start ramping up his workload. He’s currently projected for 27.9 minutes in our NBA Models, and Garland has averaged 0.89 DraftKings points per minute this season. He’s too cheap at $4,600, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 94%.
Jerome Robinson is a nice potential source of value on FanDuel at just $3,600. He’s currently projected for 32.8 minutes, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.67.
Bradley Beal is on pace for a career year. He’s posted a mark of at least 43.3% in his past two contests — even though Westbrook played in both contests — and his average usage rate of 37.7% is the top mark in the league. His average of 34.4 points per game is also the top mark in the league, and his average of 46.7 FanDuel points per game over the past year trails only James Harden’s number of 47.5.
If Westbrook is given the night off, Beal would be even more valuable than usual. He’s increased his usage rate by +2.8% with Westbrook off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.59 DraftKings points per minute.
Joe Ingles missed some time recently with an Achilles injury, and he’s played limited minutes since returning to the lineup. He played 19.5 minutes or fewer in each of his first three games back, but that didn’t stop him from scoring at least 20.5 DraftKings points in all three contests. His playing time increased to 27.1 minutes yesterday vs. the Knicks, but he responded with a disappointing 18.5 DraftKings points.
If he can combine the per-minute efficiency of his first three games with the playing time volume from yesterday’s, he has the potential for a big game. His $4,200 salary on DraftKings also comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%.
Eric Bledsoe got off to a slow start with the Pelicans, but he’s quietly heating up. He’s increased his fantasy production to 0.91 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in three of his past four games. Bledsoe’s in a potential smash spot against the Wizards given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.17, and his $5,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 63%.
Terrence Ross has posted an average Plus/Minus of -2.74 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, which has caused his salary to drop to $4,900. That makes him an appealing buy-low target. He’s currently projected for 28.5 minutes in our NBA Models, and Ross has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.32 with a comparable salary and minute projection as a member of the Magic.
Gordon Hayward has been one of the most undervalued fantasy assets to start the season.
He’s playing huge minutes for the Hornets — he’s logged at least 38 minutes in three of his past four games — and no one at the position is projected for more minutes on today’s slate. He’s also averaged a solid 1.13 DraftKings points per minute this season. Hayward is capable of racking up fantasy points in every category across the board, and he’s simply too cheap at $7,500 on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 94%.
Devin Booker is going to miss his second straight game for the Suns, which means Mikal Bridges should be looking at a few additional minutes.
Bridges has averaged a respectable 0.85 DraftKings per minute this season, so he’s capable of doing some damage with additional playing time. He’s also in a solid spot vs. the Thunder, who rank just 22nd in defensive efficiency this season.
Evan Fournier missed nine straight games due to an injury, but he’s been in the lineup in each of the Magic’s past four games. He’s been absolutely dominant over that stretch, posting a Plus/Minus of at least +8.98 on FanDuel in all four contests.
He’s also posted an average usage rate of 28.6% and an assist rate of 30.6% during that time frame, both of which represent sizable increases when compared to his career averages. Fournier is underpriced if he’s going to continue to dominate the ball for a Magic squad that is without their top two point guards.
Justin Holiday stands out as an excellent value at $4,100 on FanDuel. He doesn’t possess the highest ceiling, but he has a very safe floor given his current role for the Pacers. He’s played at least 30.5 minutes in four of his past five games, and he’s currently projected for 34.3 minutes in our NBA Models. His ownership should also be modest.
Zion Williamson hasn’t been the same dominant fantasy force that we saw last season, but he has been extremely consistent. He’s scored at least 39.0 DraftKings points in seven of his past eight games, yet his salary has dropped across the industry. That makes him an appealing target vs. the Wizards, who are playing without most of their frontcourt due to health and safety protocols.
Blake Griffin has been ruled out for the Pistons, which opens up some minutes in the Pistons’ frontcourt. Saddiq Bey will likely draw the start, but Sekou Doumbouya should also see a solid bump in playing time. He saw 18.8 minutes the last time that Griffin was out of the lineup, and he responded with 22.0 DraftKings points.
It’s weird seeing Draymond Green priced down at just $4,900 on FanDuel, but that’s what happens when you score 18.2 FanDuel points or fewer in three straight games.
Still, Green is capable of stuffing the stat sheet, so he’s an interesting buy-low target. He’s coming off 30.4 minutes in his last outing, and Green has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.89 with a comparable salary.
Anthony Gill moved into the Wizards’ starting lineup in their last game, and he responded with 16.0 DraftKings points in 22.3 minutes. That’s not overly exciting production, but it’s definitely passable for someone at just $3,000. He’s projected for a similar workload today, and it’s possible he could be a bit more productive if Westbrook is ruled out.
All Nikola Vucevic does is return value for fantasy players, yet his salary never seems to budge. He’s scored at least 45.25 DraftKings points in six straight games, and he now gets a juicy matchup against the Kings. They’ve been a disaster defensively this season, allowing 120.5 points per 100 possessions, which is the worst mark in the league by nearly five points.
To put that in perspective, the gap between the Kings and the Trail Blazers — who rank 29th — is larger than the gap between the Blazers and the Nets, who rank 20th. Unsurprisingly, Vucevic owns a solid Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.6 in this matchup.
Vucevic also leads all centers with 13 Pro Trends on DraftKings, and no other player owns more than 10.
Cody Zeller hasn’t played a ton of minutes since returning from an injury, but he hasn’t needed to. He’s scored at least 20.75 DraftKings points in each of his past two games, which is more than enough to return value at his current price tag. Zeller has averaged 1.15 DKFP per minute since returning to the lineup, which gives him a safe floor and a solid ceiling for such a minimal salary.
Deandre Ayton is priced in between the studs and the values on today’s slate, but he’s undoubtedly one of the best options at the position. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in three straight games on DraftKings, yet his salary has actually dropped by -$400 for tonight’s matchup vs. the Thunder.
OKC isn’t a bad matchup — Ayton owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.40 — and his current price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%. He’s also seen a nice boost in value with Booker off the court this season, leading the team with an average of 1.20 DraftKings points per minute.
Rudy Gobert had a monster performance last night against the Knicks, finishing with 54.25 DraftKings points over 31.5 minutes. He’s priced in the same range as Ayton at $7,200, and his Bargain Rating of 97% is also elite. His projected minutes are a bit lower than you’d like, but Gobert makes up for it given his average of 1.29 DraftKings points per minute.
Photo Credit: Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images.
Pictured: Thomas Bryant (left) and Bradley Beal (right).