Reaching the final stage of the five-week competition known as the FanDuel Partners Basketball Championship (FPBC), RotoWire has nudged its way into second in the standings with the help of our daily fantasy (DFS) tools. In Wednesday's 10-game slate, we trusted in former teammates Andre Drummond and Brandon Knight to augment Chris Paul in his long-running rivalry with Stephen Curry. However, Paul fell short of his standard with just 31.2 FanDuel points (FDP), while Drummond (51.3) and Knight (50.1) both eked past the 50-FDP threshold. With the help of four other 30-plus FDP showings, namely Kevin Love's 44, RotoWire posted its top score of the contest (325.3) and fifth 300-FDP performance in the last six.
To wrap of the FPBC, we'll again touch on the Top 5 FanDuel plays of the day.
Elfrid Payton, PG, ORL at MIA ($5,400) – Only three games removed from missing five outings due to an elbow injury, Payton initially eased into action but exploded Wednesday in Detroit, posting a triple-double on his way to 48 FDP. While his production on the glass can expect to scale back against another team with a rebound rate among the NBA's Top 6, he should benefit from a backcourt sans Victor Oladipo, who will don street clothes Friday as a result of a wrist concern. With Oladipo out of the picture, Payton should take on most of the ball-handling duties, while also filling a portion of the offensive void. The Heat's pace factor may force a bogged-down affair, but Payton posted 29.9 FDP in 33 minutes during their other matchup this season on Dec. 26, which if repeated would reap greater than 5.5 times his current sticker price.
James Harden, SG, HOU vs TOR ($10,800) – Harden represents far and away the top-scoring two-guard on the schedule Friday, as he's churned out at least 35 percent more FDP than the available options at the position over the past five games, according to RotoWire's NBA Daily Fantasy Value Report. The preceding likely induced RotoWire's Daily Lineup Optimizer to generate his name, though the value associated with his projection could spur owners to search elsewhere.
Fear not, though, as this Houston-Toronto clash is accompanied by the median over/under (212) of the evening, which may be understated following a 113-107 victory by the visiting Rockets on March 6. In the course of that contest, Harden constructed 68 FDP on the backs of 40 points (11-20 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 15-19 FT), 14 assists, five rebounds, and one steal in 43 minutes. On the heels of three point-assist double-doubles in the last four tilts, he'll attempt to break through again.
Nicolas Batum, SF, CHA at DET ($7,700) – Elite small forwards like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony each have the night off, so the hunt is on for palatable options. During an exploration of the aforementioned Value Report, a check of recent workloads reveals that Batum has notched the most FDP per minute (0.96) of those SF to rack up at least 35 minutes in the last five games.
In two games versus the Pistons in 2015-16, Batum's lines have yielded more than 1.00 FDP per minute – 1.05, to be exact. If duplicated Friday, a significant sum should accrue, as he's received 34-plus minutes in 12 straight games, and 15 of 18 since the break.
Paul Millsap, PF, ATL vs MIL ($7,700) – Given the price tag, Millsap has fallen short of 5X his value in seven of the last 10 outings. Overall, his output is nothing to sniff at – 15.9 points (on 50 percent shooting), 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game – but his allotment of minutes (32 per game) and subpar stroke from three-point range (26 percent) during that span have impacted his offerings. Looking to turn the page, Millsap will welcome the sieve that is the Bucks into Philips Arena. Over the course of the past 10 games, Milwaukee's frontcourt has conceded the sixth-most FDP (45.8 per game) to power forwards and fifth-most FDP (50.8 per game) to centers, per RotoWire's NBA Defense vs. Position Stats tool. Millsap himself didn't contribute to those marks, but two previous showdowns with the Bucks produced a whopping 54 and 52.2 FDP, which would equate to 48.4 FDP per 36 minutes and 6.3X his prevailing salary.
Tim Duncan, C, SA vs MEM ($4,900) – After the Spurs ruled out Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, Danny Green, and Patty Mills for Friday's contest, the rotation was whittled down enough to consider the likes of Tony Parker and Duncan, who are typically too inconsistent to rely upon for DFS purposes. On Monday of this week, Duncan informed the basketball world that his all-around chops remain intact, as evidenced by 42 FDP in 31 minutes at Charlotte. The showing mimics a pair of fruitful endeavors against the Grizzlies already in this campaign, including 37 and 32.5 FDP in 67 combined minutes. Assuming he can exploit a frontcourt without the services of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, Duncan should have no problem aiding Friday's pursuits.