DraftKings & FanDuel NBA DFS Lineups & Picks for January 14, 2018

Written By Nate Lawson on January 14, 2018

NBA DFS DraftKings.com & FanDuel.com Lineups & Picks for January 14, 2018

For the 1/14 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 and on Draftboard DFS.

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.


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Myles Turner (Elbow)
Jameer Nelson (Personal)*
TJ Warren (Back)*
Marquese Chriss (Hip)*

Jayson Tatum (Knee)
Domantas Sabonis (Shoulder)
Evan Turner (Illness)
Justise Winslow (Knee)

*Updated Sunday to reflect late breaking news

NBA DFS Slate Breakdown for January 14, 2018

Milwaukee Bucks (+2) at Miami Heat (Over/Under – 206)

The Miami Heat have struggled against the PF and C positions this season, but Hassan Whiteside ($7.3K DK, $7.9K FD) is more or less back to health. That provides the Heat with a huge bump in rim protection and rebounding. I don’t love him at these prices, but I think $7.3K is manageable enough for you to think about him at DraftKings. He has massive upside for tournament players.

James Johnson ($5.3K both sites) is an alternative route to getting exposure to the Heat frontcourt. The forward has been hit or miss as of late, resulting in a salary decline. But he’s coming off matchups against the Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz, to name a few, and the Bucks have been below average in stopping power forwards. Kelly Olynyk is also a suitable GPP option, though nothing stands out to make him anything more than a flyer.

Moving on to the backcourt, Wayne Ellington ($4.6K on both sites) has scored 63 real-life points in his past four games, proving he can take on some scoring in the absence of Dion Waiters. Meanwhile, Josh Richardson ($5.8K DK, $5.5K FD) has emerged as a DFS threat. However, his price tag has risen too high for anyone to be comfortable rostering him. And Justise Winslow ($3.9K DK, $3.8K FD) has no floor and isn’t a great scorer.

That leaves Tyler Johnson ($5.0K DK, $5.4K FD) and Goran Dragic ($6.9K DK, $7.0K FD). The former is a good scorer, but his field goal attempts over the past few games have fallen into the low-teens. Dragic, on the other hand, sees the greatest correlation with Hassan Whiteside. Since the big man is back, I prefer Dragic to Johnson.

On the other side, and even with Whiteside back, Bucks center John Henson ($4.6K DK, $5.1K FD) is in play in a slower paced game in which his length and size may be required often (he should see 25+ minutes). He’s also averaging more than 10 points and eight rebounds per game over his past four outings.

Apart from Henson, Khris Middleton ($6.4K DK, $6.9K FD) and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10.1K DK, $10.9K FD) are the top options in tournaments. Specifically, the former comes at insane savings. Still, the Greek Freak has arguably the highest ceiling on the slate, so if you’re multi-entering, you’ll want some level of exposure on this four-game day. Ignoring him is kind of like not rostering Julio Jones on a four-game playoff slate.

Honestly, outside of those three, the Bucks don’t really excite me. The Heat have been more proficient against guards than forwards and centers. This makes Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon unideal options, even on a shorter slate. And the Bucks are on the road projected to score just over 101 points. I’d much rather focus on the frontcourt and the team’s two best players, Giannis and Middleton, if I go Milwaukee, but their implied total doesn’t inspire much confidence.


New Orleans Pelicans (-1.5) at New York Knicks (Over/Under – 217)

The second highest over/under on the slate makes this NOLA-NYK matchup pretty thrilling. We’ll also have three outrageously freakish players on the court in Anthony Davis, Kristaps Porzingis, and DeMarcus Cousins. This should lead to a fun frontcourt battle. Let’s start with the Pelicans.

Cousins ($10.9K DK,  $11.0K FD) is only available at center on Fan Duel. I think you have to go there if you don’t want to roster Whiteside or Tyson Chandler. Enes Kanter isn’t a particularly good defender, though he is a polarizing player. He’s also the kind with whom Cousins doesn’t typically get along. The fastest path to a Cousins bust is an ejection. Maybe I’m paranoid, but Kanter has done a good job getting under opponents’ skin this season.

On the other side of the post, Davis will match up with Porzingis. The last time “Brow” faced the Knicks, he dropped 31 points. Porzingis is a great rim protector, but Davis is very much a bad matchup for him. To dig in a bit, Porzingis usually benefits from being able to outmaneuver less agile bigs. Davis, though, is a freak athlete who can play on the perimeter or in the post (offensively at least). I’m not sure either has a definitive advantage, but both have huge upside. I think the PFs are where you want to go in this one, as Boogie and Kanter could have quite the battle.

Outside the big four members of the frontcourt, Michael Beasley ($5.7K DK, $6.1K FD) will likely draw attention due to his insane renaissance season. The former No. 2 overall pick has scored 20 real-life points in three of his past four games. Plus, in two of those, he racked up double-doubles. This said, Tim Hardaway Jr. ($5.6K DK, $5.0K FD) is back, crowding the backcourt. That makes Beasley, Courtney Lee, and Hardaway Jr. all harder to roster, as there aren’t enough scoring opportunities for all of them.

Frank Ntilikina ($3.7K DK, $3.6K FD) and Jarrett Jack ($4.7K DK, $5.1K FD) at PG are two other plays to consider. The latter has been a dynamo the past three games. But with Hardaway back, I’m not sure I see that continuing. His rising price makes him hard to roster. Ntilikina, meanwhile, is still too raw.

From the NOLA backcourt, no one truly stands out. But Jrue Holiday ($6.8K DK, $7.1K FD) has the best matchup based on opponent plus-minus vs. his position (SG). That isn’t necessarily reason enough to play him, but it’s worth noting, especially considering I do not believe you want to go to Rajon Rondo ($5.5K DK, $6.0K FD). The point guard veteran hasn’t had overwhelming success against the Knicks in his past few outings (25 FD points on average), and his price tag is right around the cost of rostering someone like Khris Middleton.

I intend to stay away from the backcourts in this game, instead focusing on how much action should take place in the paint. I expect all four bigs (Davis, Porzingis, Kanter, and Cousins) to exceed value in what should be a close contest.


Indiana Pacers (-4.5) at Phoenix Suns (Over/Under – 219)

Update as of Sunday evening: TJ Warren and Marquese Chriss have been ruled out. Dragan Bender and Josh Jackson stand to get boosts, while Devin Booker will handle the brunt of the scoring. Domantis Sabonis is a go for Indiana, as well. 

Myles Turner will miss his third consecutive game on Sunday, which clears up room in the frontcourt for any DFS players looking to go big with the Pacers. And you should — Greg Monroe and Alex Len both rank in the bottom third in DRPM at the center position (73 centers total), though Tyson Chandler does rank in the top 15. Domantas Sabonis ($6.7K DK, $6.8K FD) is uncertain for Sunday, but he’s the biggest beneficiary with Turner off the floor. If he’s in, you’ll likely want some tournament exposure to Sabonis, who has two 30+ fantasy point games in two of his last three outings.

The other Pacer likely to draw a ton of DFS attention is Victor Oladipo ($9.4K DK, $9.3K FD). The Suns’ backcourt is ill-equipped to handle Oladipo, as Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis are not good defensive players. And the fact that without Turner the Pacers are still favored to win on the road means Vegas likely expects the Indiana University product to have his way.

The final Pacer I’m interested in is Bojan Bogdanovic ($4.3K DK, $4.2K FD), who dropped 29 points and snagged nine rebounds the last time he played the Suns (March 2017). He should see around 30 minutes against T.J. Warren.

For the Suns, Devin Booker ($8.5K DK, $8.0K FD) is the best real-life basketball player on the team. But he’s very expensive, and I think you should go Oladipo in the SG spot anyway. T.J. Warren ($6.6K DK, $7.5K FD) seems like a much better play (at least on DraftKings) if you are looking to roster a Sun; his ceiling is the same as Booker’s.

Tyson Chandler ($4.4K DK, $4.8K FD) is another potential play from this game, though I also prefer him on DraftKings where a double-double bonus exists. Chandler has 10+ rebounds in each of his past six games, and the Pacers, short Turner, offer little in terms of stopping the veteran big man.

All in all, I really don’t love this game outside of a cheap wing option in Indiana (Bogdanovic), Warren and Chandler on DraftKings, and Oladipo on FanDuel. But this game has the highest over/under on the day, so you want some level of exposure.


Portland Trailblazers (+5.5) at Minnesota Timberwolves (Over/Under – 213)

Jusuf Nurkic ($6.5K DK, $6.7K FD) has the best matchup of any Blazer if you look solely at opponent plus-minus against the center position. And Minnesota has plenty of size. I think that puts him in play, especially on DraftKings where you can roster two centers.

Damian Lillard ($8.7K DK, $9.0K FD), however, has more upside and also gets a really nice matchup against Jeff Teague. I think he’s the guy you want on either site from this Blazers roster. You can also look at C.J. McCollum, but he just isn’t nearly as prolific a scorer as Lillard, and he doesn’t really fill up the stat sheet to make up for the disparity. Jimmy Butler is also a terrific defender, and I want nothing to do with that matchup.

Speaking of Jimmy Butler ($8.9K DK, $9.2K FD), the former Chicago Bull is having a terrific season in Minnesota, and the Blazers aren’t particularly good at stopping elite wings. Butler will likely lead the team in usage, and he can stuff the stat sheet. He also dropped 37 real-life points in a game against the Blazers last month.

But Butler was the only one to have a monster game last time out against Portland. The only other player who exceeded expectations was Jamal Crawford (remember what I said about Portland vs. wings?). Crawford ($3.5K DK, $3.6K FD) is an interesting option as a result.

I’m much more hesitant to go with Karl-Anthony Towns ($9.2K DK, $9.4K FD), who is slightly more expensive than Butler but doesn’t usually register the same usage. And Taj Gibson ($5.7K DK, $5.8K FD) lacks any real upside against Al-Farouq Aminu. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins ($6.2K DK, $6.2K FD) has seen his usage rise to 27.9 percent or better in three of the past four games, so there’s a possibility he carves out a big piece of this offense for himself, though a Butler big game seems more likely.

Like in the Indiana-Phoenix game, I’m sticking with wing players in Minnesota, and I’m only truly interested in Lillard in Portland. You can make an argument for a cheap option from the Blazers if Evan Turner sits.

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Nate Lawson

Nate began playing DFS back in 2013, focusing on low stakes MLB contests over at DraftKings. Now, the vast majority of his DFS time is spent identifying optimal picks and player exposure for NBA and NFL GPPs, though MMA and eSports are his DFS guilty pleasures. With a focus on constant iteration, Nate spends a lot of his non-DFS time reading books and essays by leaders in finance and entrepreneurship for application to his DFS strategies...with a bit of cryptocurrency trading on the side.

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