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.
1/23/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Wed. Shootaround: $12 entry, $450k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $100K to 1st!
Rotation Player: $66 entry, $100k guaranteed (DraftKings)- $10K to 1st!
Wed. Shot: $9.99 entry, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100K to 1st!
Wed. Slam: $55 entry, $80k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $15K to 1st!
NBA DFS Best Picks & Plays for January 23, 2019
Best DFS Guards for January 23, 2019
James Harden at NYK ($13.4k DraftKings, $13.5k FanDuel)
Harden has been so prolific of late, it’s almost considered a disappointment when he falls short of 60 fantasy points. That’s what came to pass in his most recent contest. “The Beard” tallied “only” 55.0 DK and 51.7 FD points against the Sixers. However, the slight downturn equated to a price drop of nearly $1K on FD. Considering Harden had eclipsed 70 FPs with regularity in several games prior, he remains viable at his current price Wednesday. The Knicks come in allowing the second-most rebounds (6.7) and sixth-most assists (8.7) to point guards as well, along with the 10th-highest shooting percentage (44.9) to the position. Moreover, the Knicks are allowing the third-highest three-point shooting percentage (36.6) of any team on its home floor. That’s an especially relevant stat when considering Harden.
Jrue Holiday vs. DET ($8.6k DraftKings, $9.5k FanDuel)
As has been the case during prior Anthony Davis absences, Holiday looks primed to see a sharp spike in usage with “The Brow” out the next 1-2 weeks with a finger sprain. That seemed to hold true Monday versus the Grizzlies. Holiday amassed 47.75 DK and 45.2 FD points over 39 minutes. He sports the second-highest usage rate on the Pelicans (27.4 percent) behind Julius Randle when Davis is off the floor. Plus, he already racked up well over 50 FPs on both sites in his one previous game against the Pistons this season. Detroit remains an inviting target for SGs as well: they’ve allowed 40.7 DK and 40.1 FD points per game to the position. They’re also yielding the 10th-highest shooting percentage (44.3) to twos, furthering Holiday’s case at prices that don’t quite reflect his enhanced role.
Marcus Smart vs. CLE ($4.6k DraftKings, $5.3k FanDuel)
When he’s not getting tossed from games, Smart has become a very dependable across-the-board contributor. The defensive-minded wing has eclipsed 20 FPs on both sites in seven of the last 10 games. That stretch includes a pair of tallies over 30 on DK and one on FD. Smart was excellent in his one prior meeting against Cleveland this season as well. He posted 35.3 DK and 38.1 FD points against the Cavs over 29 minutes. The Cavs continue to be vulnerable to SGs as well. They’ve allowed 41.8 DK and 41.5 FD points per game to the position. Cleveland is also yielding the sixth-most rebounds (6.6) and sixth-most steals (1.6) per contest to twos. In turn, Smart is averaging a career-high 1.8 thefts per game.
Other guards to consider: Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker, D’Angelo Russell, Victor Oladipo, DeMar DeRozan, Mike Conley, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Jamal Murray, Eric Gordon, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Trae Young, Kris Dunn, Lou Williams, D.J. Augustin
Best DFS Forwards for January 23, 2019
Blake Griffin at NO ($9.7k DraftKings, $9.8k FanDuel)
Griffin naturally becomes even more productive than usual whenever Andre Drummond is out. Therefore, it’s worth noting the latter remains very questionable for Wednesday’s game with his concussion. Griffin has scored over 45 FPs on both sites in the two games Drummond has missed thus far. He’s also eclipsed 60 FPs twice over his last 10 games. That upside could well be on display Wednesday, especially if Drummond misses. Griffin racked up 48.8 DK and 47.0 FD points across 37.5 minutes the one prior time these two teams met. The Pelicans are also allowing the fifth-most points (23.1) per game to power forwards and a robust 49.5 shooting percentage to the position. Then, New Orleans is surrendering the fifth-highest three-point shooting percentage (36.3) of any home team, and Griffin boasts the second-highest three-point percentage of his career (36.3) on a career-high 6.6 attempts per game from behind the arc.
Lauri Markkanen vs. ATL ($6.6k DraftKings, $6.9k FanDuel)
Markkanen tends to underwhelm a bit at times with his production, but his firm mid-tier price seems to account for that. Plus, he’ll find himself in a strong matchup Tuesday. The Hawks have allowed the most DK (51.7) and FD (50.4) points per game to power forwards. Atlanta is also allowing the sixth-most points (23.0), fifth-most assists (4.0), second-most threes (2.5), and most steals (2.1) per game to the position. Meanwhile, Markkanen is shooting an impressive 47.0 percent at United Center, including 41.0 percent from three-point range. Those figures are particularly relevant when factoring in Atlanta is allowing the fifth-highest road three-point percentage (37.9).
Jae Crowder vs. DEN ($4.9k DraftKings, $5.4k FanDuel)
Crowder continues to sport an appealing price on both sites despite the fact he’s proven capable of outpacing his current cost on multiple occasions recently. The veteran forward has eclipsed 30 DK points in two of the last three games, and he’s gone over the 20-mark in five other games over the last 10. Wednesday, he’ll face a Nuggets squad against whom he already compiled 37.3 DK and 37.5 FD points in one prior game this season. Denver comes in allowing 47.6 DK and 45.9 FD points per game to power forwards as well, while Crowder is regularly logging minutes in the mid-20s at minimum. This gives him ample opportunity to offer a strong return.
Other forwards to consider: Julius Randle, LaMarcus Aldridge, John Collins, Tobias Harris, Nikola Mirotic, Aaron Gordon, Montrezl Harrell, Domantas Sabonis, Justise Winslow, Bobby Portis, Thaddeus Young, Jaren Jackson, Jr., Derrick Jones, Jr., P.J. Tucker, JaMychal Green
Best DFS Centers for January 23, 2019
Nikola Vucevic at BKN ($9.3k DraftKings, $9.9k FanDuel)
Vucevic already lit up the Nets for over 50 FPs on both sites in their one prior encounter. The matchup against Brooklyn remains as appealing as ever. The Nets are allowing the third-most DK (61.6) and FD (60.8) points per game to centers, along with the third-most points (25.8), third-most rebounds (17.6), and sixth-most assists (4.0). Then, Brooklyn is also yielding the fifth-most points in the paint per game (51.4), where Vucevic is averaging 11.3 points per game (55 percent of his scoring). The floor-spacing big man is also shooting better on the road, draining 52.5 percent of his attempts when traveling, including 42.3 percent from distance. Finally, it’s worth noting he comes into Wednesday riding a five-game streak of more than 40 FPs on both sites.
Hassan Whiteside vs. LAC ($6k DraftKings, $6.8k FanDuel)
Whiteside’s production has been hard to trust recently, as he’s increasingly ceded time to Bam Adebayo. He’s taken single-digit shot attempts in three straight games. However, Whitside’s reduced price factors that in, and the big man has still made good on his cost in six consecutive contests despite playing no more than 26 minutes in any. Tonight’s Clippers make for an inviting target for Whiteside, especially on his home court. The Heat center is averaging nearly 40 FPs per home contest on both sites, and Los Angeles is allowing the most DK (62.8) and FD (62.5) points per game to fives. They’re also yielding the most points (26.9) and second-most assists (4.4) per contest to centers. What’s more, Los Angeles is allowing the fourth-most points in the paint per road game (52.4), and Whiteside counters by logging 80.9 percent of his scoring there.
Kenneth Faried at NY ($4.4k DraftKings, $5k FanDuel)
Faried hit the ground running in his new Houston digs. He scored 20 DK and 18.2 FD points in 23 minutes against the Sixers, serving as a viable center option for coach Mike D’Antoni in the ongoing absence of Clint Capela (thumb). The energetic big man brings fresher legs to the position than veteran Nene, which could certainly continue affording Faried minutes in the 20s on a regular basis. The Knicks could well facilitate a strong return on his modest prices Wednesday. New York is allowing 57.9 DK and 57.4 FD points per game to centers, along with the fourth-most points (25.3) per game and the eighth-highest shooting percentage (54.5). Finally, New York is allowing the second-most points in the paint per game (53.0), and Faried logs 73 percent of his scoring in that area.
Other centers to consider: Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Andre Drummond, Rudy Gobert, Marc Gasol, Myles Turner, Ante Zizic, Dewayne Dedmon, Jared Allen, Enes Kanter, Jahlil Okafor