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 six-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
The Mavericks are going to be shorthanded vs. the Denver Nuggets. Kristaps Porzingis and Seth Curry have both been ruled out, which opens up a healthy amount of minutes and usage for the rest of the roster. Luka Doncic in particular should command a massive workload. He’s increased his usage rate to 39.2% with both players off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.68 DraftKings points per minute.
The Nuggets are not an ideal matchup — they’ve played at the third-slowest pace this season — but Doncic has the ability to succeed against anyone. He should be one of the highest-owned players on the slate.
Mike Conley continues to stand out as an excellent option on DraftKings. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +5.47 over his past 10 games, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past seven games. He’s averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s currently projected for 32.6 minutes in our NBA Models.
Trae Young has been a nice value recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in seven of his past 10 games on FanDuel. That said, his price has actually decreased over that time frame, and his current price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 89%. He’s in a wonderful spot today vs. the New York Knicks. They rank just 23rd in defensive efficiency, and the Hawks’ implied team total of 118.0 is the top mark on the slate.
The Kings are in the largest pace up spot of the day vs. the Pelicans, who have played at the second-fastest pace in the league this season. De’Aaron Fox should be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He owns an elite Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.38 on FanDuel, and Fox has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +5.06 in comparable pace-up situations (per the Trends tool).
Jimmy Butler was unable to return to Sunday’s game vs. the Wizards, and he’s currently listed as questionable for today’s contest vs. the Hornets. That said, he’s be an appealing option if he’s able to suit up. Butler had posted a positive Plus/Minus in three straight games prior to Sunday, and the Hornets rank just 24th in defensive efficiency.
Butler has also seen a slight price decrease after Sunday’s outing, and his $7,800 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%.
R.J. Barrett is an awesome value today on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 96%, and he’s seen a slight boost in production recently. He’s increased his fantasy output to 0.87 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s also played at least 29.4 minutes in six of his past seven games.
Barrett should also benefit from his current matchup vs. the Hawks. They rank fifth in pace and 28th in defensive efficiency, which is an awesome combination for fantasy purposes. Overall, Barrett owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.91 on FanDuel.
Bogdan Bogdanovic has been a steady producer this season, averaging 0.97 DraftKings points per minute. His playing time has been a bit inconsistent, but he has played at least 30.1 minutes in three of his past four games. He should be able to return value at $5,100 on DraftKings if he sees a comparable workload today.
What does Kevin Huerter have to do to get some respect from FanDuel. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in nine of his past 10 games, yet his price has barely budged over that time frame. He’s seeing all the playing time he can handle at the moment, and he’s currently projected for a position-high 37.0 minutes on today’s slate. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.97.
Small forward is one of the weaker positions on today’s slate. Brandon Ingram is the most expensive option at $7,700 on FanDuel, but he’s seen a drop in production since Zion Williamson joined the rotation.
Still, his average of 1.00 FanDuel points per minute over the past month is nothing to sneeze at, and he leads the position with 11 Pro Trends. He provides the highest median, floor, and ceiling projections at the position within our NBA Models, which has value in cash games and guaranteed prize pools (GPPs).
Dorian Finney-Smith should command a pretty big workload today for the shorthanded Mavs, which makes him an appealing target at just $4,400 on DraftKings. He’s currently projected for 36.2 minutes, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.98. Finney-Smith isn’t exactly a fantasy monster when he’s on the court — he’s averaged just 0.69 DraftKings points per minute over the past month — but it’s hard to bust with that much playing time at such a cheap price tag.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has dual shooting guard/small forward eligibility on DraftKings, where his $6,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 89%. He leads the position with 10 Pro Trends, and he’s increased his fantasy production to 1.07 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. His matchup vs. the Jazz is tough on paper, but it would be a lot easier if Rudy Gobert is unable to suit up. They’ve allowed 110.5 points per 100 possessions with Gobert off the court this season.
Make sure to monitor Gobert’s status using the new Labs’ Insiders tool.
Joel Embiid is questionable to make his return today, but Ben Simmons remains out with an injury. That keeps Tobias Harris squarely on the DFS radar. He’s averaged 39.98 DraftKings points in 10 games without Simmons this season, resulting in an average Plus/Minus of +4.2 on DraftKings.
The Heat are another team that will be important to monitor prior to lineup lock. In addition to Butler, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro are also listed as questionable, so they have the potential to be pretty shorthanded.
Bam Adebayo would undoubtedly benefit if any of those players are ruled out, and he’s been a fantastic option recently. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.37 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +6.60 over his past 10 games. Despite that production, his salary has stayed pretty stagnant over that time frame, and his current $8,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%.
The Hornets also represent an excellent matchup for big men, ranking just 25th in team rebound rate.
Maxi Kleber will likely replace Porzingis in the Mavs’ starting lineup, which makes him one of the most appealing value options on the slate. He’s increased his fantasy production to 0.92 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he’s currently projected for 34.4 minutes in our NBA Models. The Nuggets have also been an elite matchup for big men this season, giving Kleber an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.91.
John Henson has been ruled out for the Pistons today, which means Thon Maker will likely move into the starting lineup. That makes him a really strong option at just $3,100 on DraftKings. He’s currently projected for 25.5 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged 0.96 DraftKings points per minute this season.
Sticking with the Pistons, Christian Wood has been dominant since Andre Drummond was traded to the Cavaliers. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in 13 of his past 14 games on DraftKings, and he’s averaged a stout 1.24 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s eclipsed 38.2 minutes in two of his past three games, and he has the potential to command another monster workload today with Henson out of the lineup.
Embiid is a really interesting option on FanDuel at $9,000 if he’s able to suit up today. He will likely be on some sort of minute restriction when he does return to the lineup, but he has the potential to increase his per-minute productivity with Simmons out of the lineup. He’s increased his usage rate by +4.3% with Simmons off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.55 FanDuel points per minute.
He should also command lower ownership than usual given the concerns about his workload, which increases his appeal for GPPs. He has the potential to be the highest-scoring player on a slate largely devoid of star power.
It could be a night to roster everyone’s favorite basketball player/caveman, Boban Marjanovic. There is definitely a path for him to see a few minutes with Porzingis out of the lineup, particularly against a team like Denver that employs a traditional center. When Boban gets on the court, it usually leads to fantasy production: He’s averaged 1.55 DraftKings points per minute this season. He’s very intriguing at the absolute minimum on DraftKings and just $3,600 on FanDuel.
Mitchell Robinson is coming off a poor game in his last outing, but he’s still posted an average Plus/Minus of +8.14 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. He’s a nice option today vs. the Hawks, who have struggled on the boards in addition to struggling defensively.
Pictured above: Mavericks G Luka Doncic (77)
Photo credit: Glenn James-NBAE via Getty Images