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 10-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
The top of the PG position is thinner than usual on today’s slate. Most of the highest-rated options are technically SGs with PG eligibility on DraftKings, so it might make sense to look at one of those players instead.
If you want to pay up at the position on FanDuel, Kyle Lowry might be your best option. He has an appealing matchup against the Kings, who have played the second-fastest pace this season. The Raptors’ implied team total of 120.25 is the second-highest mark on the slate, and Lowry is tied for the lead at the position with 12 Pro Trends.
Lowry would also get a boost if Kawhi Leonard were to miss Wednesday’s contest. He’s currently listed as questionable, and Lowry has seen a team-high usage bump of +4.5% with Leonard off the floor. The result is an average of 1.45 FanDuel points per minute, which would make him a nice option at $8,800.
The Timberwolves-Lakers matchup is expected to be one of the best of the day from a scoring perspective. It leads the slate with a total of 238.5 points, and both teams rank in the top-four in terms of implied team total.
Jeff Teague remains out with a bruised left knee, so Derrick Rose should continue to start at the PG position. He’s been phenomenal this season, posting a positive Plus/Minus in eight straight games (excluding one that he left due to injury). He’s averaged 1.06 fantasy points per minute and is currently projected for 35 minutes in our NBA Models, which makes him one of the best values of the day at $5,500 on FanDuel.
Emmanuel Mudiay was barely involved in the Knicks’ rotation to start the season but played a season-high 34.5 minutes in their last game. He played roughly 23 minutes in the game before that, so he could find himself on the court more as the season progresses. He’s averaged 0.87 FanDuel points per minute and is in an elite spot against the Hawks as evidenced by an Opponent Plus/Minus of +7.62 on FanDuel. He could be worth the risk at $3,800.
De’Aaron Fox is putting together an excellent sophomore campaign, posting an average Plus/Minus of +8.20 on DraftKings. He’s been priced up by $1,000 since the start of the season, but his $6,300 price tag still comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He has a difficult matchup against the Raptors but is too cheap to ignore given his previous production.
The Jimmy Butler saga is ongoing in Minnesota, but he’s expected to play against the Lakers. He looks like an excellent target at $8,200 on DraftKings and has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.35 with a comparable salary as a member of the Timberwolves (per the Trends tool). The Lakers have been poor defensively, ranking just 23rd in defensive efficiency, and Butler owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.15. He seems like a staple for cash games and has upside for guaranteed prize pools as well.
The Spurs will be without Rudy Gay against the Heat, which should be a positive for DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan has seen a team-high usage bump of 3.8% with Gay off the floor, resulting in an average of 1.38 FanDuel points per minute. He’s priced at a slight discount on FanDuel, where his $9,200 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 75%.
Jonathan Isaac still isn’t able to practice, so Terrence Ross should remained entrenched in the Magic’s rotation for the foreseeable future. He’s played at least 30 minutes in back-to-back games and has averaged 0.89 FanDuel points per minute. His price tag doesn’t really reflect his increased role, which makes him a solid option for those paying down at the position.
Russell Westbrook is out of the lineup for the Thunder on Wednesday, which means it’s time to fire up Dennis Schroder. He’s seen a usage increase of +4.1% with Westbrook off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.18 FanDuel points per minute. Schroder averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.70 in two games without Westbrook to start the season, and his $6,400 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%.
It’s impossible to ignore what Zach LaVine has done, especially coming off 60.0 DraftKings points in his last outing. He has an excellent matchup against the Pelicans, who currently rank fifth in pace and 27th in defensive efficiency. The biggest concern is the 10.5-point spread (see live odds here), but LaVine is worth some tournament consideration given his projected ownership of 5-8%.
Paul George should also see a big boost in value with Westbrook out of the lineup. George has led the team with a usage rate of 33.3% with Westbrook off the floor this season, and that number has increased to 34.5% in full games with Westbrook out of the lineup. George scored at least 40.0 DraftKings points in his first two games without Westbrook this season, despite shooting a paltry 32.0% from the field and 30.4% from 3-point range. If he shoots the ball better in Wednesday’s contest, George has massive upside.
He’s also in an elite spot against the Cavaliers, who have been a disaster defensively. They rank dead last in defensive efficiency, and the Thunder are implied for 112.25 points. George is hard not to like at $9,100 on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 98%.
The Spurs have a pair of interesting value plays at the position on FanDuel: Davis Bertans and Dante Cunningham. Each should see increased playing time with Gay out of the lineup. Bertans is projected for 25.5 minutes and Cunningham for 29.0, and both are priced at $3,700 or less. They have excellent individual matchups as well, with an Opponent Plus/Minus of at least +4.06.
Of the two, Bertans is probably the preferred option. He’s shown the ability to shoot the ball at the NBA level and has made 44.4% of his shots from the field and from 3-point range this season. He’s also the higher usage player, which gives him slightly more upside.
Cedi Osman played 42.5 minutes in the Cavs’ most recent game, and it’s impossible to ignore that kind of playing time at $5,200 on DraftKings. He’s cooled down after a hot start but has still averaged a respectable 0.76 DraftKings points per minute.
Goran Dragic is currently questionable. Justise Winslow would likely draw the start at PG if Dragic is unable to suit up. Winslow crushed in his last game with Dragic out of the lineup, scoring 46.0 FanDuel points, and has averaged 1.01 FanDuel points per minute this season.
Will the real Anthony Davis please stand up?
Davis looked poised to rewrite the fantasy record books to start the season, scoring at least 65.3 FanDuel points in each of his first three games, but has failed to crack even 50 FanDuel points in each of his past three contests. That’s not going to cut it considering his price tag of nearly $12,000.
That said, there are reasons to believe in him against the Bulls. For starters, the Bulls stink defensively, ranking just 24th in defensive efficiency, and the Pelicans’ implied team total of 119.5 is the third-highest mark on the slate. Davis has also remained the focal point of the Pelicans offense but has made only 36.7% of his field goal attempts over the past three games. He shot more than 53% from the field last season, so he seems due for some positive regression. His salary currently sits at a season-low $11,800 on FanDuel, which makes this an excellent buy-low opportunity.
LaMarcus Aldridge also deserves some attention at the top of the pricing spectrum. He’s seen a slight boost in production with Gay off the court this season and owns an excellent Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.19 against the Heat. He’s fairly priced across the industry and seems like one of the safest options of the day for cash games.
Anytime you can do something that hasn’t been done since Wilt Chamberlain, you’re doing something right. Serge Ibaka made 18 consecutive field goal attempts recently, which highlights just how effective he’s been for the Raptors.
He’s also been extremely useful from a fantasy perspective, posting an average Plus/Minus of +7.97 on DraftKings through his first 11 games. He’s averaged 1.23 DraftKings points per minute and is in a nice spot against the Kings as evidenced by an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.09 on DraftKings. Unfortunately, his minutes aren’t the most consistent — he played only 14 against the Jazz on Sunday — but he’s currently projected for 27.5 in our NBA Models. He’s worth the risk on DraftKings, where his $5,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%.
Jabari Parker continues to play big minutes for the Bulls, seeing at least 35.5 in three of his past four games. He hasn’t exactly crushed over that span, but that kind of playing time is encouraging for his fantasy output: He’s averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute.
Brandon Ingram has seen a price decrease of $900 since the start of the season on FanDuel, which could make him an appealing buy-low candidate. The Lakers own the top implied team total of the day, and Ingram played a season-high 34 minutes in their last game.
Most people will likely look past Karl-Anthony Towns with Butler back in the lineup, but Towns is still in an excellent spot. The Lakers have been crushed by opposing centers all season, giving Towns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +5.00 on DraftKings. He leads all centers with 14 Pro Trends, and his $8,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 97%.
Jonas Valanciunas is one of the most efficient players in the league from a fantasy perspective, averaging 1.45 DraftKings points per minute. He doesn’t typically play more than 25 minutes, but he doesn’t need to at $5,000 on DraftKings. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in eight of his last nine games, and his current salary is the lowest it’s been all season.
Andre Drummond is a throwback to a different era at the center position. While he has tried expanding his game to the 3-point line, he remains at his best when he’s dominating his opponents in the paint. He’s already recorded four games with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, while the rest of the league has one combined (Enes Kanter). Drummond is in a nice spot against the Magic, who rank in the bottom 10 in terms of rebound rate.
Steven Adams has seen a price decrease of nearly $1,000 over the past week on DraftKings, which makes him a nice value on Wednesday’s slate. He’s priced at $6,400, giving him a Bargain Rating of 98%, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +2.88 with a comparable salary this season.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA news feed.
Pictured above: Anthony Davis
Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports