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 five-game slate starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Russell Westbrook is priced at $10,300 on DraftKings for a tough matchup with the defensive-minded Pacers. However, according to our NBA Trends tool, Westbrook is averaging a +5.04 Plus/Minus and 83% Consistency Rating when priced below $10,500 this season. Westbrook’s Projected Plus/Minus bests that of both Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry tonight.
The NBA has had a Shaq void for a while now, but Shaq Harrison has been doing his part lately in DFS, at least. The second-year guard out of Tulsa has exceeded salary-based expectations in six straight, and our NBA Player Models project him to do so again by a cool 9.96 points against Portland — assuming the Bulls keep on bulls–ting and at least one of Zach LaVine [thigh], Kris Dunn [back], or Otto Porter [shoulder] continue to be held out.
Rajon Rondo continues to log heavy minutes for the eliminated Lakers, presumably in order for him to showcase his talents for whichever team is interested in signing him to a one-year deal next. The 13-year vet owns the top Projected Plus/Minus at the position and could put up a monster stat line in Utah if LeBron James (
pointless to keep playing load management, questionable) takes a personal day on the second leg of a back-to-back.
Shooters shoot, and Devin Booker is a one-man artillery force.
Booker dropped 59 points last time out and is averaging 30.4 points on 21.3 field-goal attempts per game since the All-Star break. Over his past 10 games, his Plus/Minus stands at +11.46 with a Consistency Rating of 80%, and he’s the top-rated shooting guard for tonight on DraftKings in the Phan Model as he goes up against Washington. Booker is expected to be owned in 21-25% of lineups, which is roughly 75-79% too few.
In what seems to be the theme of NBA DFS lately, we have another cheap Bulls player at the top of our value rankings. Wayne Selden posted 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting to go along with three steals, two rebounds and two assists in 40 minutes last night in Toronto, and the third-year journeyman out of Kansas should be in line for minutes in at least the upper 30s tonight against Portland. Barring the unexpected return of Porter, Selden projects as the top value of the night across all positions.
Kantavious Caldwell-Pope has dropped in at least 24 points three times over his past eight games, failing to hit value just once over that span. Like Rondo, KCP is playing for a new contract, and being that 82% of KCP’s buckets have been assisted this season, per Cleaning the Glass, KCP and Rondo could end up building on their 0.10 correlation in Salt Lake.
Paul George and Kevin Durant both have negative Projected Plus/Minuses, but Durant has been abysmal from a value perspective as of late, posting a -6.85 Plus/Minus and 30% Consistency Rating over his past 10 games. George hasn’t been great from a Plus/Minus perspective over his last 10 (+0.61), either, but has been more consistent (70%).
Still, KD’s lower ownership projection gives him a superior Leverage Score (a proprietary metric that measures ceiling vs. ownership) for tonight’s matchup in Memphis than PG13 has for a home tilt against his former team.
Lance Stephenson posted a full stat line (7 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal) in a little more than 25 minutes last night against Washington and projects as the top value at small forward tonight with LeBron likely to sit. Yet another Laker playing for his next contract, Born Ready has put up DraftKings Plus/Minuses of +4.98 and +10.62 since returning from a toe injury two games ago.
With the Wizards now officially eliminated from playoff contention, they’ll likely want to get a long look at Troy Brown, their 19-year-old No. 15 overall pick out of Oregon.
Brown has exceeded salary-based expectations in seven of his last eight games and has started the past three, logging 28.5 minutes a night. And though his shot hasn’t been falling (39.8% field goal percentage on the season), the 6-foot-7, 215-pound wing should get opportunities in transition in a game with an over/under of 231 — 11.5 points higher than any other contest on the slate (view live odds).
The Bull(sh–s) are on the second night of a back-to-back and could potentially be without three-fifths of their usual starting lineup, so Lauri Markkanen (illness, questionable) would easily be the highest-rated stud in the Phan Model at power forward if he’s not in street clothes against Portland.
If Markkanen sits out, those honors would go to Draymond Green.
At a modest projected ownership of 5-8%, Domantas Sabonis pops with a 94% Leverage Score on DraftKings, and he also owns a top-three player rating among power forwards on FanDuel for tonight’s road date with OKC. The third-year Pacers big is averaging a +4.63 Plus/Minus and 67% Consistency Rating on DraftKings in March — including a 26-point, 7-rebound, 4-assist, 1-block outburst in the first matchup against his former team on March 14 that netted out to a DraftKings Plus/Minus of +17.99.
Kyle Kuzma doesn’t have the same level of incentive to pad his stats as some of his older, unrestricted free-agent teammates. But back in the home state of his alma mater, his stat line still stands to benefit if LeBron sits. The second-year forward out of Utah is averaging 0.7 more dimes per 36 minutes with both LeBron and Brandon Ingram (arm, out) off the floor, which has translated into a per-36 Plus/Minus increase of +4.7 on DraftKings.
Jonas Valanciunas and Rudy Gobert are neck-and-neck in terms of raw projection, giving the cheaper Valanciunas the edge in value for his matchup with DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors. Jo-Val would get a further boost if the forever questionable Mike Conley (“general soreness,” or something) sits this one out, as the seventh-year 7-footer has averaged 51.75 DraftKings points and a +19.3 Plus/Minus with Memphis in the two games that both Conley and Avery Bradley (shin, out) missed, per our NBA On/Off tool.
Jusuf Nurkic gave us the monster performance we were hoping for on Monday before his season came to an unfortunate end due to a fractured left tibia and fibula, which thrusts Enes Kanter into the starting role at the 5 for Portland.
Our NBA Player Models have Kanter projected for 28.5 minutes and a position-high +15.21 DraftKings Plus/Minus against Chicago, second on the entire slate behind only Selden. And despite Robin Lopez‘s strong defensive reputation, Kanter’s +2.75 Opponent Plus/Minus is also third-highest on the slate. Over the last 10 games of the season, road favorites facing teams with a winning percentage under .400 (aka teams that are tanking) have covered at a 58% clip since 2004 when the line moves at least one point in their favor, per Bet Labs, which should ensure plenty of scoring and rebounding opportunities for Kanter.
Our NBA Player Models don’t have tonight’s usage projection for Deandre Ayton (21.32%) anywhere near that of Booker (32.70%), but Phoenix’s lottery pick joins Kanter as the only two players with a player rating of at least 90 in the Phan Model. At just $800 more expensive than his counterpart Thomas Bryant on DraftKings, Ayton has a 98% Bargain Rating on the site, though Bryant profiles as the superior play on FanDuel, where he’s $1,600 cheaper than Ayton.
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.
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