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.
1/19/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Big Jam: $10 entry, $333k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $100K to 1st!
Spin Move: $44 entry, $60k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $10K to 1st!
Wizard Shot: $9.99 entry, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $50K to 1st!
Sat. Slam: $66 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $20K to 1st!
NBA DFS Best Picks & Plays for January 19, 2019
Best DFS Guards for January 19, 2019
James Harden vs. LAL ($13.4k DraftKings, $14.3k FanDuel)
Harden’s price continues to inch upward, but not without justification. The Beard’s latest jaw-dropping performance — 58 points against the Nets in Wednesday’s OT loss — netted 85.5 DK and 81 FD points. Harden hasn’t dropped below 70 FPs on DK in five straight and in four straight on FD. Those are the types of numbers that justify his current price tags. A matchup versus the Lakers tonight could easily bring more of the same. Harden is already averaging over 70 FPs on both sites in two prior games against Los Angeles, shooting 53.3 percent in those games, including 40.9 percent from distance. The Lakers are allowing 44.9 DK and 43.9 FD points per game to PGs, and although they’ve been tough in terms of shooting percentage allowed to ones (league-low 39.8), Harden clearly transcends any matchup.
Kyle Lowry vs. MEM ($7.4k DraftKings, $8k FanDuel)
Lowry is fairly priced for a player averaging 38.0 DK and 36.8 FD points per contest. Lowry also tallied 36.5 DK and 32.4 FD points over 37 minutes in his one prior meeting versus the Grizzlies. Memphis has been a bit less stingy against PGs of late as well, as they were allowing 44.4 DK and 43.4 FD points per game to ones coming into a Friday night matchup against the Celtics. Then, they allowed Kyrie Irving to trample them for a 38-point, 11-assist double-double in that contest, a caliber of production that indirectly helps build up Lowry’s case.
Tyler Johnson at CHI ($3.9k DraftKings, $3.9k FanDuel)
Johnson drew the start Friday against the Pistons with Josh Richardson sitting due to an illness. He subsequently responded with 30.25 DK and 29.5 FD points. He could well be in for another run with the first unit Saturday. That would put him in a solid matchup versus a Bulls squad allowing 40.9 DK and 39.4 FD points per game to SGs, along with the second-most made threes (3.3) to the position. Chicago is also allowing the fifth-highest shooting percentage (45.0) to twos. Meanwhile, Johnson is shooting an impressive 46.6 percent on the road, including a red-hot 44.3 percent from three-point range. With a sub-$4K price, production approximating that of Friday’s would represent an excellent return on investment.
Other guards to consider: Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, De’Aaron Fox, Victor Oladipo, Jamal Murray, Justise Winslow, Lonzo Ball, Mike Conley, Buddy Hield, Zach LaVine, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Darren Collison, Evan Fournier
Best DFS Forwards for January 19, 2019
Blake Griffin vs. SAC ($9k DraftKings, $9.7k FanDuel)
Griffin racked up 61.75 DK and 56.7 FD points against the Heat on Friday. The fact that Andre Drummond exited the game after just seven minutes due to a nose injury certainly had a lot to do with his increased usage. However, Griffin also exploded for 70 DK and 69.1 FD points against his old Clippers squad two games ago, and he’s exceeded 40 FPs on both sites in four other games over the last 10. He’ll be in a particularly advantageous position Saturday versus the Kings, irrespective of Drummond’s status. The Kings come in allowing the third-most DK (51.0) and FD (49.7) points per game to power forwards, along with the sixth-most points (23.1), third-most rebounds (12.0), and fourth-most blocks (1.6). Then, considering Griffin owns a 36.5 percent usage rate with Drummond off the floor, his outlook brightens exponentially if his teammate were to miss.
Jayson Tatum at ATL ($6.3k DraftKings, $6.6k FanDuel)
Tatum has averaged over 27 FPs on both sites in two prior games against the Hawks. Plus, he was averaging over 33 FPs over the six games prior to Friday’s contest against the Grizzlies. While he did have a down night in a tough matchup against Memphis, Tatum will be teed up for much better production Saturday. Atlanta has yielded the second-most DK (43.7) and FD (44.1) points per game to small forwards. They’re also allowing bottom-10 figures in points (21.8) and assists (4.2) per game to threes, along with the most steals (2.6). Then, Atlanta is allowing the seventh-highest three-point shooting percentage (36.4) while Tatum comes in shooting an impressive 40.4 percent from distance over 23 road games and 56.0 percent overall against the Hawks in the aforementioned pair of contests.
Chandler Hutchison vs. MIA ($3.7k DraftKings, $3.8k FanDuel)
Hutchison represents solid sub-$4K value Saturday, as he’s been coming on in recent games. The rookie is shooting 48.2 percent over 18 games at United Center. And he’s scored over 20 FPs on both sites in three straight contests. The Heat shape up as good targets for Hutchison to continue his productive stretch. Miami ranks in the bottom half of the NBA in DK (42.1) and FD (41.7) points per game allowed to SFs. They’re also yielding the third-most rebounds (8.8) per contest to the position, and the Heat’s pedestrian 43.8 percent shooting on the road — fourth-lowest away figure in the league — should give Hutchison some extra defensive rebounding opportunities.
Other forwards to consider: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, John Collins, Kyle Kuzma, Domantas Sabonis, Khris Middleton, Brandon Ingram, Lauri Markkanen, Gordon Hayward, Jaren Jackson, Jr., Marvin Bagley III, Marcus Morris, Jabari Parker
Best DFS Centers for January 19, 2019
Nikola Jokic vs. CLE ($10.1k DraftKings, $10.7k FanDuel)
Jokic continues to trample mostly anyone put in front of him. The latest example came against the Bulls on Thursday. The big man racked up 49.0 DK and 48.1 FD points versus Chicago, and he also boasts a six-game stretch with more than 50 FPs over his last 10 contests. That provides a glimpse of his massive upside, one that he’ll look to flash again versus a Cavs squad that’s allowing 51.0 DK and 50.9 FD points per game to fives. Cleveland is also allowing the third-highest shooting percentage (57.0) to centers, along with the fourth-highest three-point percentage (36.8) overall. In turn, Jokic is shooting 50.2 percent and averaging 3.5 three-point attempts per contest. That’s the second-highest figure of his career.
Willie Cauley-Stein at DET ($6.8k DraftKings, $7.7k FanDuel)
WCS may not have to deal with Andre Drummond (nose) on Saturday, but he’s a solid play at his prices. That’s true regardless of the big man’s status. Cauley-Stein already racked up over 40 FPs on both sites over just 25.0 minutes in his one prior encounter versus the Pistons. And he’s notably shooting better on the road (54.8) than at home (51.0 percent). Detroit is also allowing 54.1 DK and 53.7 FD points per game to fives, along with the seventh-most points (24.5) and fourth-most blocks (2.6) per contest to the position. The Pistons also allow the seventh-most points in the paint per game (51.3), and Cauley-Stein logs 80 percent of his scoring in that area. Finally, the Pistons are shooting just 44.1 percent at home. That’s the second-lowest figure for any team on its home floor and will set WCS up for some extra rebounding opportunities on the defensive glass.
D.J. Wilson at ORL ($3.5k DraftKings, $3.8k FanDuel)
(UPDATE: With Robin Lopez trending toward starting Saturday for the Bulls, he is also very appealing at prices of $3.4k on DK and $3.5k on FD)
Wilson has quietly outpaced his current prices on multiple occasions recently. The big man has eclipsed 20 FPs in three straight and in four of his last six overall. The second-year pro’s minutes are steadily in the upper teens to low 20s on most nights. Tonight, he’ll tangle with a Magic squad that’s allowing well over 50 FPs per game on both sites to centers. Given that he’s proven capable of providing a solid 6x-7x return on his current prices in several games lately and even offers some floor-spacing capability (47.2 percent from three-point range on average of 2.3 attempts per game), he’s in play against Orlando. The Magic are allowing the second-highest success rate from behind the arc (37.8 percent) of any team on its home court.
Other centers to consider: Andre Drummond, Nikola Vucevic, Myles Turner, Marc Gasol, Hassan Whiteside, Deandre Jordan, Al Horford, Ante Zizic