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. Value plays on the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice so always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
The Full Roster contests on FanDuel (FD) include a new scoring system in which the lowest score of the nine selected players is dropped, allowing users to take more risks with a punt play or two. Then, DraftKings (DK) has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
1/2/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Wed. Shootaround: $12 entry, $500k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $100K to 1st!
Rotation Player: $66 entry, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $10K to 1st!
Wed. Shot: $15 entry, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100K to 1st!
Wed. Slam: $88 entry, $200k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $50K to 1st!
NBA DFS Best Picks & Plays for January 2, 2019
Best DFS Guards for January 2, 2019
Ben Simmons at PHO ($8.9k DraftKings, $9.5k FanDuel)
Simmons already touched up the Suns for 47.8 DK and 44.7 FD points across just 32 minutes in their one prior encounter. The matchup against Phoenix remains as appealing as ever. The Suns check in allowing 49.5 DK and 48.6 FD points per game to PGs. They’re also yielding bottom-10 figures in points (24.2), assists (8.7) and steals (2.3) to ones, and the second-highest shooting percentage (48.2) to the position. Simmons is highly capable of exploiting those vulnerabilities, making him a nice pivot off the top two PG options, Russell Westbrook and Kemba Walker, if you’re looking to save and differentiate.
D’Angelo Russell vs. NO ($7k DraftKings, $7k FanDuel)
Russell is attractively priced for an enticing matchup against the Pelicans. New Orleans is allowing the third-most DK (51.1) and FD (50.5) points per game to point guards. Those numbers are partly the byproduct of New Orleans yielding the second-most points (25.2), third-most made threes (3.0), and most steals (2.5) per game to ones. In turn, Russell is averaging career bests in points (17.9) and made threes (2.4). Russell also comes in with a robust 30.0 percent usage rate and averages well over 30 FPs on both sites. The dynamic guard amassed 38.8 DK and 34.0 FD points across 28 minutes against the Pelicans in one prior meeting this season, enhancing his already strong case in what should be one of the fastest-paced matchups of the night.
Tomas Satoransky vs. ATL ($4.6k DraftKings, $6.2k FanDuel)
Satoransky is set for extended run now that John Wall (heel) is out for the season. However, his price, especially on DK, doesn’t yet reflect those conditions. Moreover, it also isn’t quite commensurate with the production Satoransky has been generating lately. The third-year guard has tallied over 20 and over 30 FP once apiece on both sites in his last two games. He’ll be set up for another strong return with a starter’s minutes Wednesday. The Hawks have allowed the second-most DK (51.6) and FD (50.8) points per game to ones. Those numbers are partly the result of Atlanta also yielding the third-most points (25.0), second-most assists (9.0), second-most made threes (3.1) and fourth-most steals (2.2) per game to PGs. That gives Satoransky no shortage of paths to fantasy success at prices that aren’t likely to last.
Other guards to consider: Russell Westbrook, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, Luka Doncic, Mike Conley, Josh Richardson, Zach LaVine, Tre Young, Josh Hart, Elfrid Payton
Best DFS Forwards for January 2, 2019
John Collins at WAS ($8.2k DraftKings, $8.4k FanDuel)
Collins has been offering production befitting a higher-priced player. The second-year big has posted at least 40 FPs on five occasions and has eclipsed 50 twice as well on DK over the last 10 games. He’ll face a Wizards team Wednesday that’s been vulnerable to power forwards all season. Washington is allowing the fifth-most DK (49.8) and sixth-most FD (47.5) points per game to fours. They’re also surrendering bottom-10 figures in points (22.9) and rebounds (12.3) per game to PFs, along with the highest shooting percentage (51.7) to the position. Then, the Wizards are also allowing the seventh-most points in the paint per game at home (50.2). Notably, Collins is logging 72.2 percent of his scoring (13.5 points per game) in that area of the floor.
Julius Randle at BKN ($8k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
Randle will draw another start at power forward Wednesday in place of Nikola Mirotic (ankle). Additionally, Anthony Davis could be at less than 100 percent due to the illness that cost him Monday’s contest. Those factors boost the already formidable value of Randle at his price. The talented forward has eclipsed 45 FPs on both sites in two straight games. On Wednesday, he’ll draw the type of matchup that can coax that caliber of production out of him. The Nets come in allowing 45.3 DK and 44.1 FD points per game to PFs, and Randle has been seeing minutes in the upper 30s consistently over his last five contests. Randle could also exploit Brooklyn’s tendency to allow scoring near the basket at home (52.0 points, third most in NBA). He scores just over 66 percent of his points in the paint (the equivalent of 13.2 per game).
Marcus Morris vs. MIN ($6k DraftKings, $5.5k FanDuel)
Morris has scored over 25 FPs on both sites in four straight, and he’s eclipsed the 30-mark on both sites in five other contests over his last 10. The floor-spacing forward also totaled 24.8 DK and 23.6 FD points over 27 minutes against the T-Wolves in one prior meeting this season. Minnesota comes in allowing 48.6 DK and 46.6 FD points per game to PFs. Just as important, they’re yielding the eighth-most made threes (2.2) to the position. In turn, Morris is sinking a career-high 2.3 threes per game and draining them at a career-best 44.1 percent clip. His price stands out on both sites, but he offers an especially enticing combination of savings and upside on FD.
Other forwards to consider: Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Paul George, Larry Nance, Jr., Lauri Markkanen, Justise Winslow, T.J. Warren, Jayson Tatum, Trevor Ariza, Harrison Barnes
Best DFS Centers for January 2, 2019
Joel Embiid at PHO ($10.6k DraftKings, $11k FanDuel)
Embiid stands to profit handsomely from a matchup versus a Suns squad that’s allowed over 60 FPs per game on both sites to centers, along with bottom-five or bottom-10 figures in points (25.6), rebounds (17.4), and steals (2.2). When he last saw Phoenix on Nov. 19, Embiid racked up 62.3 DK and 60.9 FD points over 35 minutes. Embiid brings monumental upside, and the 32.3 percent usage rate he brought into Tuesday’s game against the Clippers is second only to James Harden (38.1) in the entire league. The Suns’ propensity for allowing scoring down low (52.9 points in the paint per game) will also serve Embiid very well. He’s logging almost half his scoring (47.6 percent, 12.6 points per game) in that part of the floor.
Steven Adams at LAL ($6.9k DraftKings, $7k FanDuel)
Adams continues to be a viable mid-tier option for saving a few thousand off the top tier at center. The big Kiwi is a virtual lock for at least 30 FPs on both sites, and he’s proven capable of considerably more in matchups similarly favorable to Wednesday’s. For example, Adams recently amassed 39.75 DK and 40.1 FD points against the Suns, and he posted 54.25 DK/52.1 FD points against the Kings within the last 10 games as well. Tonight’s opposing Lakers are allowing a robust 59.9 DK and 59.0 FD points per game to fives. They also yield the third-most points (25.6) and the sixth-most rebounds (17.6) per game to centers. Then, they’re tied with multiple teams for fourth-most points in the paint allowed per game at home (51.9), and Adams is scoring 82 percent of his career-high 15.6 points per contest in that area.
Guillermo Hernangomez vs. DAL ($3.8k DraftKings, $5.4k FanDuel)
Hernangomez takes over the starting center role with Cody Zeller (hand) now on the shelf for multiple weeks, something not quite yet reflected in his pricing. The young big scored 23.5 DK and 24.1 FD points against the Magic on Monday, the game in which Zeller suffered his injury. He’ll face a Mavs team tonight that’s been stingy versus centers but is still allowing 50.0 DK and 49.6 FD points per game to the position. Dallas has also been much more vulnerable to scoring near the basket recently (57.3 points in the paint allowed per game over the last three, compared to 48.1 for the season), giving Hernangomez (55.8 percent of points coming in the paint) another advantage in his quest for a strong return on his modest prices, especially on DK.
Other centers to consider: Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Vucevic (listed as questionable), Marc Gasol, Deandre Ayton, DeAndre Jordan, Al Horford, Thomas Bryant