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.
1/12/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Pull Up Jumper: $10 entry, $200k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $50K to 1st!
Spin Move: $44 entry, $20.2k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $5K to 1st!
Human Highlight Shot: $9.99 entry, $150k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $25K to 1st!
Sat. Slam: $55 entry, $50k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $10K to 1st!
NBA DFS Best Picks & Plays for January 12, 2019
Best DFS Guards for January 12, 2019
Russell Westbrook vs. SA ($11.8k DraftKings, $12.4k FanDuel)
Westbrook is coming off a tally of over 80 fantasy points on both sites in a double-overtime marathon versus the Spurs on Thursday. He’s been under 50 fantasy points just once in the last 10 games overall. And he’s eclipsed 60 FPs on both sites on multiple occasions during that stretch. He now gets another crack at San Antonio in the second game of the home-and-home series and does so at Chesapeake Energy Arena, where’s he’s been a much more accurate shooter. Westbrook is draining 44.1 percent of his attempts on his home floor. That’s a notable improvement on his 40.7 percent road figure. Moreover, the Spurs have been much more vulnerable to scoring near the basket recently. The 56.7 points in the paint they’ve allowed over the last three is partly comprised of the 64 they allowed OKC on Thursday. Meanwhile, Westbrook is logging just over half his scoring (50.9 percent) in that area of the floor.
Jamal Murray at PHO ($7.4k DraftKings, $7.3k FanDuel)
Murray has averaged 56.4 DK and 53.2 FD points over two prior games against the Suns this season. He’s shooting an impressive 59.5 percent overall against Phoenix. That includes a 66.7 percent success rate (12-for-18) from three-point range. That track record puts him squarely in play Saturday versus a Suns squad that continues to have considerable issues defending PGs. Phoenix comes in allowing the sixth-most DK (49.2) and seventh-most FD (48.1) points per game to ones. They’re also yielding the fifth-most points (24.5) and third-most steals (2.2) per game to the position. Then, Murray has flashed some impressive upside recently, eclipsing the 40, 50 and 60 fantasy-point milestones in one game apiece on both sites over the last 10.
Kyle Korver vs. CHI ($4k DraftKings, $3.8k FanDuel)
Korver should be set for some extra run again Saturday. The Jazz backcourt is decimated by injuries at present. Ricky Rubio (hamstring), Dante Exum (ankle), Raul Neto (groin), and Grayson Allen (ankle) are all either confirmed (Rubio, Exum) or likely (Neto, Allen) out Saturday. Korver’s production naturally has some ebbs and flows given his bench role and scoring-dependent profile. However, he certainly carries tournament upside at a very affordable price, and the extra minutes should also up his chances of a strong return. Then, the Bulls come in allowing the second-most made threes (3.2) per game to SGs. Korver is one of the NBA’s most accomplished long-distance marksmen and was draining 41.7 percent his attempts from behind the arc entering Friday’s action.
Other guards to consider: Kyrie Irving, Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker, DeMar DeRozan, De’Aaron Fox, Jrue Holiday, Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, Buddy Hield, Kris Dunn, Derrick Rose, Jaylen Brown, Bryn Forbes
Best DFS Forwards for January 12, 2019
Anthony Davis at MIN ($11.7k DraftKings, $12.8k FanDuel)
Davis is the highest-priced forward on either site. But he’s undoubtedly worth the investment. To begin with, “The Brow” racked up 60.3 DK and 63.2 FD points in his one prior run-in with the Timberwolves back on Nov. 14. He also accumulated 78.25 DK and 81.1 FD points against the Cavaliers on Wednesday. He’ll come in well rested for Saturday’s matchup, leaving him poised for another potentially large return versus a T-Wolves squad that’s allowing 52.5 DK and 51.4 FD points per game to centers. They’re also yielding the sixth-highest shooting percentage (56.0) to fives. Additionally, Minnesota’s bottom-10 home shooting percentage (46.0) could give Davis a handful of extra rebounding opportunities on the defensive glass, enhancing his already strong case.
LaMarcus Aldridge at OKC ($8.1k DraftKings, $8.5k FanDuel)
Aldridge is coming off a career-high 56 points against the Thunder in Thursday’s double-overtime classic. That performance netted him an eye-popping 78.75 DK and 79.8 FD points. Then, Aldridge comes in shooting an impressive 49.7 percent on the road and having eclipsed 50 FPs on both sites in another two games in his the last 10. Those tallies represent solid upside for his prices. Then, the matchup Saturday speaks for itself after what Aldridge accomplished versus the Thunder two nights ago. OKC is also allowing the sixth-most DK (49.3) and ninth-most FD (47.4) points per game to PFs. They’re yielding the third-most points (23.5) per game to the position. It’s also worth noting Aldridge boasts a 27.5 percent usage rate that’s second only to DeMar DeRozan’s 29.0 percent on the Spurs.
Marvin Bagley III vs. CHA ($5k DraftKings, $5.3k FanDuel)
Bagley played 20 minutes in both of his games since returning from a knee injury. The No. 2 overall pick tallied 23.25 DK and 23.9 FD points in the more recent of the two, against the Pistons on Thursday. He should be up for at least a slight bump in minutes Saturday against a Hornets squad that will be on the second game of a back-to-back. Charlotte also went into Friday’s game against the Trail Blazers allowing the fourth-most DK (50.7) and FD (49.0) points per game to PFs. Just as important, the Hornets are allowing the most rebounds (12.5) and assists (4.6) per game to fours. In turn, Bagley is averaging a solid 9.7 rebounds per 36 minutes and could further benefit in the form of extra opportunities on the defensive glass from Charlotte’s bottom-10 shooting percentage on the road (44.0).
Other forwards to consider: Paul George, Julius Randle, T.J. Warren, Joe Ingles, Lauri Markkanen, Nikola Mirotic, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Derrick Favors, Dario Saric, Taj Gibson
Best DFS Centers for January 12, 2019
Karl-Anthony Towns vs. NO ($9.9k DraftKings, $10.5k FanDuel)
Towns is already averaging over 60 FPs on both sites in two prior games versus the Pelicans this season. He’s also averaging over 50 FPs per home game while shooting 50.9 percent, including 38.9 percent from three-point range. Then, the Pelicans come in allowing 55.6 DK and 55.0 FD points per contest to centers. Towns also just came off a seven-game stretch where he scored over 50 FPs on both sites in each contest. That stretch included four tallies over 60. KAT should also be able to capitalize on the Pels’ 50.2 points per game allowed on the road. He logs just under half his scoring (49.3 percent) in that area of the floor and boasts a team-high 26.9 percent usage rate.
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. CHA ($6.9k DraftKings, $7.6k FanDuel)
Cauley-Stein continues to consistently outpace his prices. Most recently, he’s surpassed 40 FPs in three of his past four games. WCS is averaging over 35 FPs per home game on both sites as well, and like Bagley, his rebounding production should benefit from the Hornets’ typically sub-par road shooting. The Hornets also come in allowing 56.8 DK and 56.7 FD points per game to centers, including the most blocks (3.1). They’ve also seen a spike in points in the paint allowed over the last three (53.3). Then, 80 percent of Cauley-Stein’s career-high 13.6 points per contest are coming in that area of the floor.
Khem Birch vs. BOS ($3k DraftKings, $3.5k FanDuel)
Birch is minimum priced on both sites. He should have an opportunity to outperform his salary Saturday. Mo Bamba is already confirmed as out against the Celtics due to his foot injury, which will once again open up minutes for Birch behind Nikola Vucevic. The young big amassed 18.0 DK and 20.8 FD points over 17 minutes against the Jazz on Wednesday, the first game Bamba missed. While the matchup against the Celtics isn’t great on paper, Birch should be able to mostly avoid Al Horford’s defense while coming off the bench. With a likely similar allotment of minutes to Wednesday’s, Birch makes for a sneaky value play tonight.
Other centers to consider: Nikola Jokic, Nikola Vucevic, Rudy Gobert, Wendell Carter, Jr., Willy Hernangomez