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.
Kevin Durant will miss today’s contest vs. the Houston Rockets due to an ankle injury, which increases the appeal of Steph Curry. He’s seen a team-high usage bump of +6.5% with Durant off the court since DeMarcus Cousins joined the rotation on Jan. 18, so he should be able to exceed his average of 1.27 DraftKings points per minute over the past month in tonight’s contest.
Curry scored 51.5 DraftKings points in his only game with Durant out of the lineup this season, and he averaged 51.84 DraftKings points in eight games with Durant out of the lineup last year. He’s a steal at $9,200 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 88%.
The Magic point guard situation could provide a nice source of value on today’s slate. Isaiah Briscoe underwent knee surgery recently, which could potentially sideline him for the rest of the regular season.
D.J. Augustin will likely see a few additional minutes as the starting point guard in his absence. He played just under 31.5 minutes in his last game, which was his largest workload in more than a month. He’s averaged 0.90 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he can do some damage with a few additional minutes of playing time. He’s underpriced on FanDuel, where his $4,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%.
Jerian Grant also deserves some attention at the absolute minimum on FanDuel. He’s averaged 0.95 FanDuel points per minute over the past month and should see approximately 20 minutes as the backup point guard.
Both players are in excellent spots vs. the Wizards, who rank just 27th in defensive efficiency this season.
The presence of Curry on tonight’s slate could result in reduced ownership for Russell Westbrook. He’s been a bit of a disappointment recently, posting a negative Plus/Minus in five of his past eight games on DraftKings, but he still offers the highest ceiling at the position. The Thunder are also implied for 120.0 points vs. the Brooklyn Nets, which is the top mark on the slate.
The Rockets have been rolling recently, thanks in part to the contributions from Chris Paul. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.21 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and his $6,900 salary on DraftKings results in a Bargain Rating of 98%.
James Harden has not displayed the ceiling we’ve become accustomed to recently. His fantasy production has declined to just 1.50 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s scored fewer than 59 DraftKings points in seven of his past nine games.
That said, there are reasons for optimism with him today vs. the Warriors. For starters, Harden continues to post an absurd usage rate. He’s averaged a usage rate of 42.3% over his past 10 games, and he’s been above 40% in eight of them. He’s been below average from the field and 3-point range over that time frame, so he could be due for some positive regression with his shooting numbers moving forward.
Harden has also historically done some of his best work vs. the Warriors, posting an average Plus/Minus of +5.83 on DraftKings during their past six regular season meetings (per the Trends tool). The Rockets’ implied team total of 116.5 ranks second on the slate, so Harden has plenty of upside in this matchup.
Evan Fournier is coming off one of his worst games of the season in his last outing. He scored just 7.1 FanDuel points in 13.7 minutes before getting ejected for a double technical foul. His salary has decreased to just $5,400 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 85%, which makes this an excellent opportunity to buy low on him.
D’Angelo Russell has been dreadful recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of -4.38 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. That said, his salary has decreased by a significant amount across the industry, and he’s still averaging an elite 1.28 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s currently projected for 31.5 minutes in our NBA Models, making him a strong target at his reduced salary.
The Grizzlies have one of the best matchups of the day vs. the Atlanta Hawks, which makes Justin Holiday an interesting target at just $3,600 on FanDuel. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.48 and doesn’t need to do much to pay off his minimal price tag.
Paul George stands out in his own tier at the small forward position on today’s slate. He has seen his production decrease recently, posting a negative Plus/Minus in four of his past six games on DraftKings, but has salary has decreased by more than -$1,000 over that time frame.
He’s currently priced at just $9,600 on DraftKings, and George has averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.73 with a comparable salary this season. George commands one of the largest workloads on a night-to-night basis — his current minute projection of 38.4 ranks second on the slate – making him one of the safer targets for cash games.
C.J. Miles has been a decent source of value for the Grizzlies recently. He’s played at least 24.5 minutes in four of his past five games and has posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of them. He remains affordable at just $3,200 on DraftKings and is a strong target in an elite matchup vs. the Hawks.
The Nets have an abundance of wing players, so picking the correct one is difficult on a night-to-night basis. That said, Joe Harris looks like a strong choice on FanDuel, where his $4,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%. He had played at least 32 minutes in two straight games prior to Monday’s blowout win vs. the Pistons.
Caris LeVert is the preferred Nets’ target on DraftKings. He probably wont see as many minutes as Harris, but he’s capable of racking up fantasy points in bunches given his average of 1.00 DraftKings points per minute this season.
Blake Griffin has been priced down to just $8,100 on FanDuel for tonight’s matchup vs. the Heat, which is his lowest salary of the entire season. The price drop has been warranted – he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of -5.55 over his past 10 games – but it’s not like Griffin has been playing that poorly.
He’s still averaged 1.10 FanDuel points per minute over the past month but has seen less than 30 minutes in four of his past six games because of blowouts. Buying talented players like Griffin at their low points is definitely a +EV strategy for NBA DFS, making him one of the most appealing targets on today’s slate.
Jonathan Isaac has seen a nice spike in playing time recently. He’s logged at least 30.5 minutes in each of his past three games, including greater than 33 minutes in his most recent contest. He’s also in an elite spot today vs. the Wizards, who have been awful defensively and on the glass this season. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.48 on DraftKings, where his $5,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 93%.
Draymond Green has not exactly been a fantasy superstar this season, leaving fantasy owners feeling a lot like Steve Kerr:
It sure looks A LOT like Steve Kerr is saying "I'm so f***ing tired of Draymond here pic.twitter.com/iEyYNAcaxC
— SI Extra Mustard (@SI_ExtraMustard) March 11, 2019
That said, he should see a slight bump in production today with Durant out of the lineup. He’s also historically fared well against the Rockets, averaging a Plus/Minus of +3.44 on DraftKings over the past three regular seasons.
Josh Jackson isn’t playing very much at the moment and is currently projected for just 22.5 minutes in our NBA Models. However, he’s priced at just $3,700 on DraftKings and has averaged 0.92 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need to play much more than that to be a value at his current salary.
Nikola Vucevic has been a nice value recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +2.83 over his past 10 games on DraftKings, yet his salary has still decreased by -$800 over that time frame. He’s priced at a very reasonable $9,200 today in an elite matchup vs. the Washington Wizards. They’ve been victimized by opposing centers all season, giving Vucevic an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.67. His 13 Pro Trends are tied for the top mark at the position.
Joakim Noah has had a career resurgence with the Grizzlies this season. He’s been a fantasy monster over the past month, averaging a stout 1.39 FanDuel points per minute. He has one of the best matchups of the day vs. the Atlanta Hawks, and his $4,800 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 82%.
DeAndre Ayton has displayed some of the skills that made him the top pick in the draft recently. He’s scored at least 32.5 DraftKings points in four of his past five games, yet his salary has decreased to just $6,300 for tonight’s matchup vs. the Jazz. The Jazz are not nearly as intimidating on defense as they were last season, and Ayton owns a respectable Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.97 on DraftKings. He’s an elite value at his current price tag.
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: Warriors PG Steph Curry
Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports