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.
1/9/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $125k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $12K to 1st!
1-9 Special: $19.19 entry, $555,555k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $119K to 1st!
Wed. Shot: $15 entry, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100K to 1st!
Wed. Slam: $33 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20K to 1st!
NBA DFS Best Picks & Plays for January 9, 2019
Best DFS Guards for January 9, 2019
James Harden vs. MIL ($12.2k DraftKings, $12.6k FanDuel)
At this point, Harden has proven matchup-proof. Even a tussle versus a tough defensive unit in the Bucks isn’t enough to discourage rostering him at his admittedly lofty prices. “The Beard” is shooting 45.6 percent at Toyota Center, which includes a 41.6 percent success rate from three-point range. He’s also averaging over 60 FPs on both sites on his home floor and crossed both 80 and 90 fantasy points once apiece on both sites within the last five games. Then, it’s also worth noting that despite their solid defensive metrics Milwaukee is vulnerable to Harden’s trademark long-distance shot. They’re allowing the fourth-highest three-point shooting percentage (38.5) on the road this season.
D’Angelo Russell vs. ATL ($7.6k DraftKings, $7.7k FanDuel)
Russell continues to regularly outpace his prices, his clunker against the Celtics on his third game in four nights Monday notwithstanding. Prior to that outlier, Russell had scored over 40 FPs thrice and over 50 once on both sites in four of the prior five games. A matchup versus the Hawks is just what Russell might need to bounce back from his Monday woes. To begin with, Russell lit them up for 56.5 DK and 55.7 FD in one prior meeting on Dec. 15. Russell shot a jaw-dropping 68.4 percent in that contest, including 55.6 percent from three-point range. Then, Atlanta is allowing the second-most DK (51.7) and most FD (50.9) points per game to PGs. They also give up bottom-five figures in points (25.0), rebounds (6.6), assists (8.9), made threes (3.0), and steals (2.2) per contest to PGs.
Alec Burks at NO ($5k DraftKings, $4.5k FanDuel)
The new Cavalier continues to log heavy minutes. Even though Burks’ shooting isn’t always on, he still shapes up as a bargain-priced, high-upside player. The veteran two-guard has shot an impressive 47.2 percent, including 47.1 percent from three-point range, over his last five games. He’s been over 20 fantasy points on both sites in nine of the last 10, a stretch that includes a pair of tallies over 30. The Pelicans did hold Burks to 2-for-9 shooting in the first game of this home-and-home series Saturday. Yet New Orleans still checks in allowing 41.5 DK and 40.9 FD points per game to SGs. They’re also yielding bottom-10 figures in assists (5.0) and steals (1.6) per contest to twos. Moreover, New Orleans is yielding the sixth-highest three-point percentage (40.4) over the last three. That’s certainly a relevant stat when considering Burks.
Other guards to consider: Ben Simmons, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Victor Oladipo, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, Zach LaVine, C.J. McCollum
Best DFS Forwards for January 9, 2019
Blake Griffin at LAL ($9k DraftKings, $9.2k FanDuel)
Griffin returns to a state he knows well to do battle with a Lakers frontcourt that will once again be without LeBron James (groin). That should up Griffin’s chances of extending a recent strong stretch of play that’s seen him eclipse 40 FPs on both sites in four straight, including a pair of tallies over 50. Los Angeles is also very vulnerable to scoring in the paint, as they check in allowing the sixth-most points in that area of the floor per contest (51.4). In turn, Griffin is logging nearly half his scoring (45.7 percent) in the lane. Plus, he’s actually been a more effective player away from his home floor. The former Clipper is shooting 48.6 percent, including 40.0 percent from three-point range, in away games. Those numbers are improvements on his respective 46.8 and 33.6 percent figures in Detroit.
John Collins at BKN ($7.2k DraftKings, $8.1k FanDuel)
Collins posted 42.5 DK and 41.6 FD points in his one prior meeting versus the Nets this season and continues to be one of the focal points of the Hawks’ offense. The second-year big has eclipsed 30 FPs in six of the last eight games on both sites, churning out six double-doubles during that span as well. The Nets make for likely facilitators of similar production, as Brooklyn has yielded 46.4 DK and 45.2 FD points per game to fours, along with 48.7 percent shooting. The Nets also continue to give up plenty of offense near the basket — the 51.3 points in the paint per game they allow is seventh highest — while Collins has logged 68.9 percent of his scoring (equivalent to 12.7 points per game) in that area.
Al-Farouq Aminu vs. CHI ($5.4k DraftKings, $5.7k FanDuel)
The Bulls have been vulnerable to power forwards throughout the season, while Aminu has consistently outperformed his prices on both sites. The veteran Blazer comes in averaging 24.3 DK and 23.9 FD points per contest, and he’s averaging just under 30 over his last six games. Aminu is a constant source of rebounds that can also pile up points quickly with some solid three-point shooting, leaving him poised for a potentially strong return Wednesday. Chicago is allowing 48.4 DK and 47.2 FD points to PFs, along with second-most assists (4.5) and blocks (1.7) to the position. Then, the Bulls’ pedestrian 44.0 percent shooting on the road — seventh lowest in the league — should give Aminu extra opportunities on the defensive glass.
Other forwards to consider: Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Julius Randle, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jimmy Butler, Domantas Sabonis, Lauri Markkanen, Derrick Favors, Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis
Best DFS Centers for January 9, 2019
Nikola Vucevic at UTA ($9.2k DraftKings, $9.6k FanDuel)
Vucevic has essentially transcended any matchup this season, and the Jazz have surprisingly not been as tough a draw against centers as in the past. Utah is allowing 56.2 DK and 56.1 FD points per game to fives. They’re also yielding the second-most assists (4.5), second-most three-pointers (1.1), and third-most steals (1.7) per game to the position. That leaves the versatile Vucevic with no shortage of paths to a strong return. The floor-spacing veteran is averaging career highs virtually across the board, including in all three of those categories. It’s also worth noting Vucevic has even been a slightly more productive fantasy player on the road. That’s partly the byproduct of his impressive 40.0 percent success rate from behind the arc in away contests. Finally, the fact he already eclipsed 50 FPs on both sites in his one prior game versus the Jazz this season furthers his case.
DeAndre Jordan vs. PHO ($6.9k DraftKings, $7.8k FanDuel)
Jordan is already averaging 34.1 DK and 32.2 FD points in two prior games versus the Suns this season. And Phoenix continues to be one of the best matchups for centers in the NBA. The Suns are allowing the second-most DK (62.5) and FD (62.4) points per game to fives. They’re also yielding bottom-five figures in the two areas Jordan can hurt them most: points (26.5, second most) and rebounds (17.7, fourth most). Jordan will be a threat for the double-double bonus on DK as a result. He’ll also be capable of exploiting Phoenix’s league-high 53.1 points in the paint per game allowed. The first-year Mav tallies just under 75.0 percent of his scoring in that area. Recent games are encouraging as well, as Jordan has eclipsed 40 FPs on both sites in two of the last three, and in three of the last six overall.
Jarrett Allen vs. ATL ($5.8k DraftKings, $5.8k FanDuel)
Allen is another Net who’ll be set up to exploit a vulnerable Hawks defense. Atlanta has allowed 58.8 DK and 59.6 FD points per game to fives. Among other categories, they’re yielding a bottom-five figure in blocks per game (2.9) to the position. That’s particularly relevant when considering Allen, who’s averaging 1.4 rejections per contest, including 1.8 over his last six. Allen only played 14.4 minutes in his one prior meeting with the Hawks this season. However, that was enough for him to compile 11 points, four rebounds, and a pair of blocks. If he can avoid the foul trouble that plagued him in that game, the potential for a strong return on a very reasonable price is high Wednesday.
Other centers to consider: Joel Embiid, Andre Drummond, Clint Capela, Rudy Gobert, Jusuf Nurkic, Deandre Ayton, Dewayne Dedmon, Tristan Thompson, Al Horford, Alex Len