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.
1/11/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Mini 8’s: $8 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $9.99 entry, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Slam: $88 entry, $200k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for January 11, 2019
Best Guards for January 11, 2019
Bradley Beal vs. MIL ($8.6k DraftKings, $9.5k FanDuel)
Since John Wall suffered a season-ending foot injury, Bradley Beal is averaging 31 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 5.1 APG over his last seven appearances. He’s posting a 31.8% usage rate during that span, which would rank third in the NBA if extrapolated over the entire season. Milwaukee is a great matchup for Beal tonight. The Bucks play at the fifth-fastest pace and allow the most 3PTA (35.9) and 3PTM (13) per game. The Bucks allow the seventh-highest shooting percentage (44.84%) to opposing SGs. Beal averaged 20.8 PPG while shooting 50% from the floor over four meetings with Milwaukee last season. Beal has a ceiling of 62.2 DraftKings points and a chance to provide 5.5x salary returns tonight per models on FantasyLabs.
Victor Oladipo @ NYK ($8.2k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
Let’s take a look at the SG position as a whole tonight: Along with Beal, Luka Doncic may be a popular play in this price range. Victor Oladipo could pay off as a contrarian GPP play. Both the Rockets (-15) and Warriors (-15.5) are expected to roll at home, so fading James Harden and Steph Curry for these more reasonably priced guards is a viable strategy. On a side note, C.J. McCollum ($6.3k, $6.8k) would become a virtual must-play at SG if Damian Lillard (elbow) is inactive tonight. Finally, Donovan Mitchell has tremendous upside with Ricky Rubio, Raul Neto, and Dante Exum all out for the Jazz.
But back to the Pacers, who enter a classic bounce back spot after Boston destroyed them Wednesday night. Oladipo will be well rested for a much easier matchup against the Knicks. They yield the sixth-most FPPG (36.62) and third-most PPG (22.91) to opposing SGs this season. In his second game back from a 12-game absence due to a knee injury, Dipo burned these Knicks for 26 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals in a home win. In a trip to Madison Square Garden last October, Dipo showed up wearing a Black Panther mask and proceeded to put on a show with 11 points in the final seven minutes. He’s far more confident after refashioning his body last offseason and should be ready to put on another show tonight at basketball’s Mecca.
Jeremy Lin @ PHI ($4.6k DraftKings, $5.1k FanDuel)
Jeremy Lin is always a bit risky because of his injury history, but if he sees a full slate of run tonight he’ll have a great chance to exceed value. Philly is giving up the second-most FPPG (43.69) to opposing PGs this season. Plus, the Sixers are yielding an eyebrow-raising 117.8 PPG over their last six games. Lin has produced 36 points and 12 assists over his last two outings with an average 21.8% usage over his last six games. Lin’s Hawks lead the league in pace and are looking for offensive options with Kent Bazemore (ankle) and Taurean Prince (ankle) unavailable.
Other guards to consider: James Harden, Luka Doncic, Donovan Mitchell, C.J. McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Kevin Huerter, Alec Burks, Gerald Green
Best Forwards for January 11, 2019
Kawhi Leonard vs. BKN ($9.7k DraftKings, $9.6k FanDuel)
Since he basically only puts up big numbers when the Raptors are challenged, it makes sense to target Kawhi on nights where a close game can be expected. The surging Nets are 13-5 over their last 18 games and are a decent bet on sportsbooks where they’re getting 10 points. In any case, Leonard is capable of flashing tremendous upside at home. That’s where he averages 28.3 PPG while shooting 51.5% from the floor this season. Brooklyn ranks 23rd in DvP against opposing SFs over the last 14 days. Leonard went for 32 points over 37 minutes in a 106-105 loss in Brooklyn in December.
Andrew Wiggins vs. DAL ($6.8k DraftKings, $7.4k FanDuel)
At least in the short term, the coaching change in Minnesota has inspired the younger Wolves to ramp up their performances. Andrew Wiggins went off for 40 points in a tough matchup against the Thunder Tuesday and should be productive tonight against a Mavericks team that allows the fifth-most PPG (20.65) to SFs this season. Wiggins scored 19 points on 5-of-9 FG shooting while getting to the FT line nine times in a meeting with Dallas earlier this season. With Jimmy Butler gone, Wiggins is taking on the role of secondary scorer, and his usage rate has skyrocketed to 30.4% over his last five appearances. An injury to Robert Covington (ankle) further solidifies his role while opening the door for Dario Saric ($4.5k, $3.9k) to log meaningful minutes and serve as a good value play under interim HC Ryan Saunders.
Michael Beasley @ UTA ($3.4k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)
Say what you will about his antics and inconsistency, but Michael Beasley has emerged as a viable punt play with LeBron James (groin) still out. The sizable lefty has always posed matchup problems and has been productive in limited playing time recently, netting 43 points over 48 minutes in the Lakers’ last three games. He’s posted a +23 rating over their last two and could earn more playing time against a Jazz team that’s surprisingly weak on the wing. Utah is giving up the most FPPG (43.12) to opposing SFs over the last 14 days. There’s also a good chance Utah (-8.5) runs away with this game at home, which would benefit Beasley. He’s posting a 32.6% usage rate over his last three appearances while primarily leading the second unit. He even managed to meet value over just nine minutes of run in Dallas on Monday.
Other forwards to consider: Ben Simmons, Domantas Sabonis, John Collins, Pascal Siakam, Thaddeus Young, DeMarre Carroll, Bobby Portis, Cedi Osman
Best Centers for January 11, 2019
Joel Embiid vs. ATL ($11.0k DraftKings, $11.1k FanDuel)
If you fade James Harden tonight, chances are it will free up enough salary flexibility to play the obvious top option at center. Joel Embiid is second only to Harden with a 32.6% usage rate this season and he’s re-established his unlimited upside recently despite the presence of known malcontent Jimmy Butler. Embiid was hardly needed in a blowout win over Atlanta in October, and Philadelphia (-12.5) could win easily again tonight. Yet the Sixers are struggling more at this point in the season and seem to have become even more dependent on Embiid. Atlanta yields the seventh-most FPPG (44.8) to opposing centers and the most PPG (117.2) overall while leading the league in pace. Feel free to stack Embiid or Ben Simmons with intriguing GPP options from the Hawks side, such as John Collins and DeAndre’ Bembry.
Enes Kanter vs. IND ($6.2k DraftKings, $6.5k FanDuel)
The Knicks are starting to shop Enes Kanter to contending teams. The Sacramento Kings, for one, are reportedly showing some interest. New York will look to showcase the big man in the meantime, which makes him a great mid-tier option on DK with an easy shot at a double-double tonight. Kanter went for 20 points and 15 boards in a trip to Indiana last month. Plus, the Pacers could be without Myles Turner (shoulder) in this rematch. Domantas Sabonis is a great offensive player, but he’ll be hard-pressed to bang with the stronger Kanter down low. The former Utah and OKC center is averaging 11.1 RPG at home this season and owns an impressive 21.6% total rebounding rate. Please note though, he’s officially questionable tonight with an illness. If he’s iffy or officially ruled out, Luke Kornet ($4.4k, $4.8k) would become a low-risk punt play.
Other centers to consider: Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela, DeAndre Jordan, Tristan Thompson, Ante Zizic