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 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 has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
1/8/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Tuesday Night Special: $15 entry, $450k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $125k guaranteed (DraftKings)
The King Shot: $15 entry, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Slam: $88 entry, $200k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for January 8, 2019
Best Guards for January 8, 2019
Ben Simmons vs. WAS ($9.1k DraftKings, $9.5k FanDuel)
The Wizards rank 27th in defensive rating and cough up the second-most PPG (116.4) this season. They also yield the most RPG (48) and sixth-most APG (25.4). Meanwhile, the Sixers average the third-most APG (26.8) and sixth-most PPG (114.4) this season. Ben Simmons is posting a 37 percent assist rate and 14.7 percent rebounding rate and has flashed tremendous upside lately, including a triple-double against the Mavs on Saturday. That performance came with Jimmy Butler (illness) on the shelf. (Butler reportedly remains disgruntled about his role with his new team.) Washington has become less athletic in the backcourt with John Wall (Achilles) out for the season, and Simmons thrives against smaller defenders.
Jeff Teague @ OKC ($6.5k DraftKings, $7.2k FanDuel)
Jeff Teague has returned from a multi-week absence on a tear, producing 38 points and 21 assists while shooting 14-of-23 from the field over two appearances. The Wolves just fired HC Tom Thibodeau and will have something to prove tonight against an impressive Thunder team. Oklahoma City coughs up the 10th-most FPPG (40.13) to opposing PGs this season, and Minnesota will be without Derrick Rose (ankle) tonight. Teague sees a 1.2 percent rise in usage rate when Rose is off the floor and is averaging 13.1 assists per 100 possessions this season for the high-scoring Wolves. Robert Covington (ankle) is also out indefinitely, leaving Teague, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns to carry the load on their own.
Bogdan Bogdanovic @ PHO ($5.7k DraftKings, $6.5k FanDuel)
After easily exceeding value on DraftKings last night, Bogdan Bogdanovic remains underpriced in a much better matchup. Phoenix ranks 28th in defensive rating, allows second-highest FG percentage (.484), and the most FTA (27) per game this season. While the Kings played last night, Bogdanovic averages more PPG (13.7) and shoots at a higher percentage (47.9) over 20 career games played on zero days rest than in any other situation. The second-year man is earning 4.7 trips to the FT line per game and averaging 16.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 4.3 APG since the start of December. Phoenix will also likely be without starting SG Devin Booker (back).
Other guards to consider: Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo, De’Aaron Fox, Tim Hardaway Jr., Gary Harris, Fred VanVleet, T.J. McConnell, De’Anthony Melton, Malik Monk
Best Forwards for January 8, 2019
Paul George vs. MIN ($10.3k DraftKings, $10.0k FanDuel)
One thing the Wolves aren’t going to be with Thibodeau fired is better defensively. Even with a renowned defensive coach drawing up the game plans, Minnesota ranks dead last in opponent 3-point shooting (.373) and 3PTM (12.3) per game this season. Paul George went for 31 points and 12 rebounds in a meeting with the Wolves earlier this season and is in the midst of his best campaign since he broke his leg in 2014. Despite sharing the court with Russell Westbrook, George is posting the 16th-highest usage rate (29.6 percent) in the league. He’s also hoisted the third-most 3-point attempts (331) this year and has the third-highest per-dollar rating on FanDuel per models on FantasyLabs.
Pascal Siakam vs. ATL ($6.7k DraftKings, $7.3k FanDuel)
The Raptors (-14.5) are expected to roll at home tonight, but Pascal Siakam still has a solid floor and potentially better per-dollar upside than the hobbled Kyle Lowry (back) or often disinterested Kawhi Leonard. Siakam is averaging 19.8 PPG and 8.4 RPG and shooting 60 percent from the floor over his last five appearances. Even the best defenses have been unable to send help defense toward Leonard and deny Siakam on off-ball cuts. The Hawks are giving up the most PPG (117.6) while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA this season and are a ripe matchup for the likely Most Improved Player of the Year. Despite the lofty point spread on this game, Siakam has the highest per-dollar rating on DK tonight per FantasyLabs.
Josh Jackson vs. SAC ($4.9k DraftKings, $4.1k FanDuel)
The Kings allow the second-most PPG (117) and play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA this season and are on the second half of a B2B set on the road. Clearly, there is value to be found in the host Suns, especially if Devin Booker (back) can’t suit up. Josh Jackson flashed with 22 points on 9-of-13 FG shooting in a tough matchup against the Hornets Sunday and has been coming on strong with 48 total points over his last three appearances. He sees a 26.7 percent usage rate and averages 1.08 FPs per minute when Booker is off the floor this season. Jackson proved that he can fill up the stat sheet in meaningless games during a sustained run toward the end of last season. Points should be easy to come by in this contest.
Other forwards to consider: Domantas Sabonis, T.J. Warren, John Collins, Justise Winslow, Montrezl Harrell, Andrew Wiggins, Nemanja Bjelica, Bam Adebayo, Furkan Korkmaz
Best Centers for January 8, 2019
Hassan Whiteside vs. DEN ($6.6k DraftKings, $7.3k FanDuel)
Hassan Whiteside has been maddeningly inconsistent all season, but his home/road splits are starting to develop into a bankable trend. After posting 21 points and 18 rebounds in a home game against Washington Friday, Whiteside is now averaging 1.49 FPs per minute at home compared to 1.23 FPs per minute on the road. He’s shooting 54.1 percent from the floor with averages of 14.4 RPG and 2.9 BPG in Miami and Denver allows the third-most PPG (20.83) to opposing centers this season. Denver is in the midst of an exhausting five-game week and played at red-hot Houston last night. Whiteside is worth a gamble in GPP formats given his monstrous upside at a low price tag on DK.
Willy Hernangomez @ LAC ($4.4k DraftKings, $5.1k FanDuel)
With Cody Zeller (hand) out, Willy Hernangomez becomes a perfect value option at center to offer the flexibility you need at guard and forward tonight. The fifth-year pro is averaging a career-best 27.7 points per 100 possessions with a 119 offensive rating and should see steady usage while he’s on the court with Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) likely out. The Clippers yield the second-most PPG (21.26) to opposing centers and the seventh-most PPG (114.3) overall this season. Charlotte should be forced to play at a quicker pace than usual in this road game. That gives Hernangomez upside as a double-double threat and the potential for 5.3x salary returns per FantasyLabs.
Other centers to consider: Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Deandre Ayton, Enes Kanter, Marcin Gortat