NBA DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for January 2, 2018
For the 1/2 NBA DFS slate, we’ll take a look at the best picks for the guards, forwards, and centers we’re considering rostering in our Cash and GPP lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel. The info below can also be used when crafting your strategy on the Draft Fantasy App.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis, and value plays at the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice. Always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
1/2/18 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Excellent 8’s: $8 buy-in, $425k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Triple Threat: $33 buy-in, $150k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Sharpshooter: $3 buy-in, $130k guaranteed (DraftKings)
JUMBO Dunk: $150 buy-in, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Clutch Shot: $4.44 buy-in, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel)
Slam: $33 buy-in, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel)
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PLAYERS RULED OUT
Dewayne Dedmon (leg)
Mike Conley (Achilles)
Tim Hardaway Jr. (leg)
Danilo Gallinari (glute)
Rudy Gay (heel)
Frank Mason III (heel)
INJURY NEWS TO MONITOR
Damian Lillard (hamstring)
Isaiah Thomas (hip)
De’Aaron Fox (quad)
Kawhi Leonard (quad)
NBA DFS Slate Breakdown for January 2, 2018
Portland Blazers (TBD) at Cleveland Cavs (Over/Under – TBD)
This is the front end of a B2B set for the Cavs, who host Boston in a huge Eastern Conference showdown on Wednesday. Therefore, we might not see LeBron James ($11.7k, $11.5k) and Kevin Love ($8.7k, $8.2k) play huge minutes tonight. Both are still worth using in tournament formats but may be too risky for Cash games. Meanwhile, Dwyane Wade ($4.8k, $4.9k) could be a player to avoid altogether given his maintenance on B2B days.
Another key factor for the Cavs is the expected season debut of Isaiah Thomas ($5.9k, $5.5k), which will likely balance out their scoring. He shouldn’t play heavy minutes either, but he’s worth a look at such a modest price tag.
Damian Lillard ($8.5k, $8.9k) expects to return tonight after resting his hamstring on the front end of the Blazers’ B2B set. C.J. McCollum ($7.3k, $7.1k) becomes a contrarian play against a poor Cavs defense with Lillard active. For what it’s worth, Shabazz Napier becomes irrelevant at his current price tag. Lillard is worth deploying despite the injury concerns against a Cavs team that coughs up the second-most 3PTM (11.9) per game this season.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($4.5k, $5.3k) is a solid value to consider. He matches up well with a Cavs team that likes to play small ball. Evan Turner ($3.8k, $3.7k) is worth a punt play after a couple of productive outings recently.
San Antonio Spurs (-4) at New York Knicks (Over/Under – 199.5)
These teams met on Dec. 28 and provided a surprisingly high-scoring game in which the Spurs prevailed, 119-107.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($7.6k, $8.5k) led the way with 25 points, but everyone in the Spurs’ starting lineup scored in double figures. That balanced approach makes it tough to use any of them in tournaments. Pau Gasol ($6.9k, $6.2k) has flashed the most upside as a mid-tier center option. The veteran Spaniard plays a key role from the high post in the Spurs’ sophisticated offense and dished out seven assists against the Knicks last week.
Kawhi Leonard (quad) remains a question mark but should have enough rest to play tonight. Like Isaiah Thomas for the Cavs, he simply spreads out the scoring even more on a balanced team.
Kristaps Porzingis ($8.3k, $9.5k) remains the top option in a Knicks uniform despite the fact that last week’s game turned into the Michael Beasley ($4.6k, $5.3k) show. If Leonard is able to play, that would seriously hurt Beasley’s chances of going off again. You can bet the Spurs’ coaching staff will devise ways to slow him down, but Beasley is cheap enough to warrant GPP consideration.
Finally, Enes Kanter ($6.3k, $5.9k) has slowed considerably since his incredible performance on Christmas. He should be used only in tournaments.
Atlanta Hawks (+1.5) at Phoenix Suns (Over/Under – 218)
This might be the best game to target with a lofty expected point total between two teams that rank 28th and 29th in defensive rating. Phoenix plays at the third-fastest pace in the NBA and will look to dictate tempo at home. This bodes well for high-usage guards in Devin Booker ($9.1k, $8.0k) on the Suns’ side and Dennis Schroder ($7.3k, $7.7k) for the Hawks.
Booker is a scoring machine, averaging 30 PPG since returning from a groin injury last week. He’ll face a Hawks team that gives up the sixth-most FPPG (43.08) to opposing SGs this season.
Phoenix allows the fourth-most FPPG (48.6) to opposing PGs this season, and Schroder averaged more PPG (29.0) over two meetings against the Suns last year than any other team.
Athletic wings Kent Bazemore ($6.0k, $5.8k) and Taurean Prince ($5.5k, $6.0k) should thrive if this turns into a track meet. Plus, Ersan Ilyasova ($5.1k, $5.7k) remains a viable tournament option with Dewayne Dedmon (leg) out and John Collins (shoulder) apparently still limited.
The absence of Dedmon has left the Hawks vulnerable in the paint, where Alex Len ($4.7k, $5.0k) could post good rebounding numbers.
Charlotte Hornets (-3.5) at Sacramento Kings (Over/Under – 206)
Kemba Walker ($7.5k, $8.0k) was cooking with 30 points in the Hornets’ most recent win. Meanwhile, Dwight Howard ($7.4k, $8.9k) struggled to get anything going offensively, but we could see the two stars flip results in this matchup.
Sacramento’s allowing the most RPG (17.31) and second-most FPPG (56.15) to opposing centers this year. Howard is rocking his best defensive rebounding rate (31.8 percent) since he left Orlando in 2012.
Jeremy Lamb ($5.2k, $5.6k) has emerged as a solid Cash play with upside. He’s led the Hornets second unit and is likely to see more usage and playing time with Nic Batum (elbow) still struggling.
On the Kings’ side of the ball, Willie Cauley-Stein ($6.5k, $7.1k) has become a viable option. He plays with energy coming off the bench. Plus, George Hill ($4.6k, $4.7k) is back in the rotation with De’Aaron Fox (quad) doubtful and Frank Mason III (heel) ruled out. Consider Garrett Temple ($3.8k, $4.5k) a punt play with limited upside or Bogdan Bogdanovic ($4.5k, $4.8k) as a GPP play. This said, most Kings players lack upside due to their slow pace of play.
Memphis Grizzlies (+5) at Los Angeles Clippers (Over/Under – 204.5)
It’s quite clear the Grizzlies are running their offense through Tyreke Evans ($8.2k, $9.0k) with Mike Conley (Achilles) out indefinitely. Evans averaged 21.7 PPG and 5.9 APG with a 28.5 percent usage rate in December. Tonight, he draws a mouth-watering matchup tonight against a Clippers team that gives up the most FPPG (46.44) to opposing SGs this season. Reke went for 30 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds against the Clips on Dec. 23 and should burn their defensively weak backcourt once again.
Jarell Martin ($4.3k, $4.2k) is just about the only other Grizzlies player worth using as a value option tonight.
For their part, the Clippers have several worthy plays, including the recently activated Blake Griffin ($8.4k, $9.0k). He produced 49 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists while playing 65 minutes over two appearances since rejoining the team. Memphis is much more vulnerable to opposing PFs, especially in a matchup that will force Marc Gasol to match up with DeAndre Jordan.
Griffin’s return hurts Austin Rivers (Achilles) but may actually help Milos Teodosic ($5.7k, $5.5k) by providing a capable pick-and-roll partner. Lou Williams ($7.5k, $7.4k) is still seeing heavy usage as a sixth man but is probably worth fading until his price comes down.