The Primer NBA DFS Fantasy Cruncher

The Primer – NBA DFS Expert Analysis – February 9, 2019

Featuring in-depth analysis to help you crack the winning code for the NBA DFS slate on February 9, 2019.

Note: All stats in this article unless noted come from,,, and NBA Wowy.

Slate Breakdown

Number of Games

  • 8

Teams on B2B


Note: Make sure to check out the game filter menu in the upper left-hand corner of the Cruncher page for updated totals and spreads. 

Notable Point Totals (Any total under 215 or over 225)

  • CLE @ IND (210.5)
  • CHA @ ATL (229)
  • LAC @ BOS (228)
  • NOP @ MEM (211)
  • OKC @ HOU (236)

Notable Point Spreads (Any spread in double digits)

  • IND -13 vs CLE
  • TOR -12 @ NYK
  • BOS -12 vs LAC
  • MIL -11 vs ORL

Note: We are going to use FanDuel’s position eligibility in regards to players due to the multiple position eligibility on DraftKings.

Half of the games feature potential blowouts tonight, and 3 in particular carry elite totals (OKC/HOU at a ridiculous 236 points). Finding the right exposure to the right teams is critical here, and we have both attractive value and studs to help balance things out.

Point Guard

  1. Dennis Smith Jr
  2. Collin Sexton
  3. Kemba Walker
  4. Russell Westbrook
  5. Fred VanVleet

My preference to be honest, is to attack the middle tier. If Emmanuel Mudiay is out for the Knicks, look for Smith Jr to step back up for 35+ minutes and a 33%+ USG% (which he’s had in B2B starts). He seems to have a new and fresh outlook as a member of his new team, and there is all kinds of opportunity to show he can be the guy the Mavs thought they drafted. TOR is a tough draw, but the value (across the industry) and kind of minutes/usage he’s seeing is truly sensational. The 2 other values to consider are Sexton (despite a pace-down, low total projection against IND) who is getting all kinds of run as the starting PG (averaging 37 FPPG in his last 2) and VanVleet who is set for ~30 MPG now with Delon Wright off the roster. Even with Kawhi back (expected tonight), he will have plenty of value at his price.

Walker and the Hornets have a fantastic match-up against the sieve of a defense that is ATL. With his minutes, usage and production of late – he will be hard to ignore if spending up (and wanting to avoid the next tier up in Westbrook).

RWB is worthy of a mention today, in large part to the elite total in this game and his high floor in the match-up. He has at least 54 FP in each of his last 2 against the Rockets, even though both have ended up well under the total Vegas has set for them tonight. It’s realistic, however, that he reaches 60+ FP at a lower own%.

Shooting Guard

  1. Eric Gordon
  2. Zach LaVine
  3. James Harden
  4. Terrence Ross
  5. Delon Wright

Strategic access to the HOU/OKC tilt tonight is a top priority for me, and it appears Gordon is back to a solid health status for the Rockets. His price on FanDuel is a bargain at $4,700 (the same on DK, too) – and with the potential for 30 minutes and a high-20s usage rate – he’s hard to ignore.

LaVine and Harden are the two spend-up candidates to consider. Obviously Harden is in a league of his own from a salary perspective, but the 70+ FP potential in a game that he should dominate usage gives promise to reaching that ceiling. LaVine on the other hand is more of a 40+ FP target (which he’s done in B2B and 3 of 4) while seeing growing minutes and usage as he gets back to health himself. His salary is very under-developed on DK for just $6,600.

I have some concerns about the match-up for Ross, but man has he come on strong the last couple weeks for the Magic. His last 2 games in particular are what get me extra excited, given he has 30%+ usage off the bench in each and is averaging over 40 FPPG in that time. I do expect MIL to keep him a little more in check, but a 5 ROI is realistic.

Not sure how MEM will use Delon Wright in his first game with his new team, but the move will open up more opportunity the rest of the year to help keep Mike Conley’s minutes in check and even slide over to the 2 at times. With the injuries in the MEM backcourt (especially at the 2 and 3 these days), he could hit 25 minutes here and produce 20+ FP with ease.

Small Forward

  1. Paul George
  2. Jabari Parker
  3. Otto Porter
  4. Kawhi Leonard
  5. Norman Powell

I can see spending up for PG13 as a very wise route to go today, especially if you fade Westbrook and/or Harden. The OKC/HOU game will feature at least 2 50+ FP scorers (calling it now), and George has a great track record in this match-up with 52.8 and 59.2 FP the last 2 times these 2 teams have faced off (late 2018).

Parker is a free square argument for FanDuel at his $3,900 price tag – getting to go up against his old team after just one game with his new squad thanks to the deadline deal. He played 23 minutes off the bench yesterday with a well-rounded 7-11-9-3-1 line. I don’t think you can expect the same here, but 23-25 minutes and 25-30 FP is within scope at a rock bottom salary.

Porter is a DK value that I feel needs some attention in a revenge game narrative, given his $5,600 salary and possibility for 35 minutes. He played 34 in his CHI debut, and although the usage will remain in the mid-teens most nights (especially taking a back seat to Markkanen and LaVine), he does enough defensively to reach the 30+ FP plateau at a great price.

Kawhi and Powell are two opposite narrative plays. If you think the Raps are able to blow out the Knicks, Powell is a great value (and pivot off Parker as a contrarian option). Kawhi is an intriguing high-end play if you can’t afford George and want a well-rested Leonard who has a great match-up and will surely be excited to build some chemistry with Marc Gasol. He’s a 45+ FP candidate in a great spot, and won’t get as much attention as George or even Giannis on the slate.

Power Forward

  1. Lauri Markkanen
  2. Larry Nance
  3. Marvin Williams
  4. Bobby Portis
  5. P.J. Tucker
  6. Daniel Theis (value punt)

The PF landscape is deep today, with plenty of options at all different price points in great spots.

Markkanen takes top spot for me despite being among the highest priced on the slate. It’s really tough to ignore metrics like 30+ FP in 3 straight and 5 of 6; mid-30s minutes most nights and a season-long USG% of 25% (approaching 30% quite often, too). He has one of the highest consistency ratings on the slate and position over the last couple weeks, and makes for an excellent high floor play.

Nance, although in a poor total and pace spot, gets a significant boost for me thanks to a sub-$6K salary on DK and path to minutes with Tristan Thompson out again (Cedi Osman getting ruled out would help even more). He started yesterday and in 33 minutes finished with a ridiculous 10-19-6-3 line (21.3 usage%) and 49.8 FP. When the minutes are there, he produces.

Portis is another DK value that I love at his price, checking in $1,100 cheaper there ($5,400) vs the FD salary ($6,500). He crushed value last night against the Cavs in his WAS debut (27 minutes off the bench), and should be unleashed against his old team. Look for him to keep his elite streak going and don’t sleep on the potential for a cheap mid-30s usage rate guy (32.3%, 35%, 43.9% in his last 3).

Williams is a good DK value on the slate against his old team, and for $5,500 on FD I don’t mind him there either if you want someone in his price range. However, he’s typically not a high ceiling guy (so is more of a cash play today). Tucker is a strong value option for inexpensive OKC/HOU exposure. He doesn’t get much usage-wise, but has played 70 minutes the last 2 times these 2 teams faced off.

The position is SO much deeper than just these 6 names. Others you can make great arguments for are Aaron Gordon (MIL will struggle with him), Thaddeus Young, John Collins, Pascal Siakam, Kenneth Faried & Jerami Grant. Spreading out exposure to the position is pretty wise today, especially for m/e GPP strategies.


  1. Myles Turner
  2. Steven Adams
  3. Ivica Zubac
  4. Jonas Valanciunas
  5. Mitchell Robinson

Watching the news wire today is critical here, as I’m not clear how either MEM or LAC plan to deploy their deadline acquisitions in their debuts.

Jonas is shaping up to be one of the better FD values on the slate if MEM is going to let him play 25+ minutes. He is averaging 1.34 FPPM this year and for $4,900 against the Pelicans, should do some damage.

Zubac is a guy I love at the sub-$4K salary (both sites). Assuming he’s going to suit up (expected), there is tremendous ROI potential for him to be an elite value across the industry. He’s a candidate for 20+ MPG and 25%+ USG% the rest of the way for the rebuilding Clippers.

I love the way Turner is playing right now for IND, and this is a dream match-up for him. Adams is a fantastic correlation play or even solo play for OKC against a Clint Capela-less HOU front court. Mitchell Robinson is a value pivot who has yet to see the minutes play out into the mid-20s on a regular basis, but DeAndre Jordan is not the long-term answer and will slowly give way to the youngster. Marc Gasol probably won’t play more than 25-28 minutes here (where Jordan will likely match-up against him), so Robinson could be a spark with the second unit for 20 minutes and 25-30 FPPG if all goes well (not to mention garbage time potential).


Players to monitor

Players already ruled out

About Jared Kwart

Jared is an expert fantasy sports player for both DFS and season-long formats. Specializing in DFS Baseball, Football & Basketball, with tens of thousands of dollars in career DFS earnings. Active player on FanDuel, DraftKings & FantasyDraft. Annual NFBC high stakes league participant.

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