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.
1/25/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Big Jam: $10 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $125k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $15 entry, $375k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Slam: $77 entry, $150k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for January 25, 2019
Best Guards for January 25, 2019
D’Angelo Russell vs. NY ($8.6k DraftKings, $8.8k FanDuel)
D’Angelo Russell’s having posted modest splits over three meetings with the Knicks this season might drive his ownership down. And that’s good news because he’s in position to post great per-dollar returns tonight. Those matchups against the Nets’ crosstown rivals mostly came before Russell found his rhythm as the unquestioned top option on his team. He’s been seeing elevated usage since Caris LeVert (foot) suffered a bad injury but has been far more efficient lately. Russell is averaging 24.1 PPG with a 61.0% true shooting percentage and posting an impressive 3.04 assist to turnover ratio over his last 11 appearances. He averages 1.35 FP per minute with a 31.7% usage rate when playing at home. The Knicks are coughing up the sixth-most FPPG (36.62) and most 3PTM (2.85) per game to SGs this season. Russell has an impressive ceiling of 66.6 FanDuel points with an enticing 8.83 plus/minus rating tonight per models on FantasyLabs.
Ricky Rubio vs. MIN ($5.7k DraftKings, $6.3k FanDuel)
Minnesota should be exhausted tonight, playing their third game in four nights in a tough road environment against a superior opponent. A blowout win would certainly curb production from Ricky Rubio, but his price tag is diminished to the point that he could provide 5x salary returns even if he only plays 25 minutes as on Wednesday. Rubio went for 17 points and 6 assists in that limited playing time against Denver’s sixth-ranked scoring defense and will now face a Wolves team that coughs up 26.7 APG and 115.2 PPG on the road. Minnesota also gives up 117 PPG when playing on zero days rest and yields the sixth-most FPPG (41.5) to opposing PGs this season.
Allonzo Trier vs. BKN ($4.7k DraftKings, $5.0k FanDuel)
While we’ve seen Allonzo Trier and other young Knicks rise rapidly before fading back into the background, his career-high 31-point performance against the Rockets Wednesday seemed a bit different. Trier frequently received advice during that matchup from Knicks assistant coach Jud Buechler, who famously spent decades in irrelevancy as Michael Jordan’s back-up. The point is the Knicks staff knows it could have something special in Trier, a first-round pick out of Arizona. He showed signs with 29 points and 11 assists over two appearances prior to Wednesday’s breakout and had four 20-point games under his belt to that point. He was a +19 over 24 minutes in his first matchup with Brooklyn and scored 15 points while getting to the line six times in a meeting with the Nets on Dec. 8.
Dwyane Wade @ CLE ($4.7k DraftKings, $5.0k FanDuel)
We’re entering the final stops of the Dwyane Wade retirement tour, including his last appearance in Cleveland tonight. While LeBron James is no longer with the Cavs, this is an arena with some significance for Wade, and the matchup is hard to top. Cleveland ranks dead last in defensive rating and yields the fourth-most APG (27.2) this season. Wade owns a 39.8% assist rate and 26.8% usage rate over his last five appearances, while his high turnover percentage does little to sap his value on DK in particular. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra continues to mix and match his rotations with Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, Derrick Jones Jr., and Rodney McGruder seeing wild fluctuations in playing time. But D-Wade has seen between 22 and 28 minutes in 17 consecutive appearances and Waiters is questionable to suit up tonight.
Other guards to consider: James Harden, Kemba Walker, Mike Conley, Lou Williams, Derrick Rose, Pat Beverley, Trey Burke, Dennis Smith Jr., Tyler Johnson
Best Forwards for January 25, 2019
Kawhi Leonard @ HOU ($9.5k DraftKings, $10.3k FanDuel)
One thing is certain: Kawhi Leonard will be very well rested for a much-awaited matchup with James Harden and the Rockets. The Raptors star has sat out four consecutive games since battling the Celtics in Boston last Wednesday. After eight days off, he’s likely relishing the challenge of going H2H with the white-hot Harden. Leonard’s defensive prowess, along with the potential return of Chris Paul (hamstring) makes it reasonable to finally fade Harden at his exorbitant price tag.
Leonard is far more affordable than Harden and has the potential to provide 6x salary returns at his price on DK. He averaged 28.5 PPG with 11 steals and four blocks over four meetings with Harden and the Rockets during his last full season in 2016-17. More recently, the Rockets (+2.5) rank 24th in DvP against SF over the last 14 days and are yielding 116.3 PPG over their last 13 games, excluding a matchup with low-scoring Memphis.
Will Barton vs. PHO ($6.1k DraftKings, $5.1k FanDuel)
The Suns are playing their third game in four nights and should once again be without Deandre Ayton (ankle), T.J. Warren (ankle), and Richaun Holmes (foot). They’re sitting ducks on the road in Denver, althought the Nuggets will have to adjust their offense with Nikola Jokic suspended. Will Barton is a master in garbage time with his aggressive offensive game and array of Euro steps. He’s been ramping up his playing time since missing over two months with a groin injury. And Barton logged season highs with 22 points over 30 minutes in a close game at Utah Wednesday. Now he’ll face a Suns team that ranks 28th in defensive rating and offers a red carpet to the rim. They yield the second-most 2PTM (31.4) and most FTA (27.4) per game this season.
Justin Holiday vs. SAC ($4.1k DraftKings, $4.9k FanDuel)
Memphis has been missing a wing shooter like Justin Holiday for years. That’s why he’s getting such heavy playing time with his new team. While he took a back seat in a loss to Charlotte Wednesday night, Holiday still met value while logging 40 minutes. He’s averaging 9.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 3.3 SPG while playing 36.2 MPG over his last four appearances. The Grizzlies have little choice in their rotations with Kyle Anderson (ankle) and Dillon Brooks (toe) both on the shelf. Sacramento is a juicy matchup for a shooter, as the Kings yield the most PPG (24.02) and second-most 3PTM (2.53) to opposing SG this season. Holiday is a career 34.8% 3-point shooter. He drained 7 of 14 attempts from long range while averaging 16 PPG over two meetings with the Kings last season. Holiday has the potential for 5.8x salary returns tonight according to FantasyLabs models.
Other forwards to consider: Blake Griffin, Pascal Siakam, Trevor Ariza, Justise Winslow, Kelly Oubre Jr., Paul Millsap, Kenneth Faried, Marvin Bagley, Kevin Knox, Mason Plumlee
Best Centers for January 25, 2019
Rudy Gobert vs. MIN ($8.5k DraftKings, $9.4k FanDuel)
With Minnesota tired out and Karl-Anthony Towns carrying the bulk of the load, Rudy Gobert is at a distinct advantage in his individual matchup tonight. Gobert and the Jazz haven’t played on the road since last Wednesday and will be very well rested. Gobert averages 15 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 1.93 BPG when playing normal rest this season and went for 22 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks in a meeting with Minnesota earlier this season. Additionally, the Wolves allow the third-most BPG (2.82) and eighth-highest FG percentage (53.82) to opposing centers this season. Gobert has the fourth-highest per-dollar rating on DK tonight with the potential for 5.4x salary returns per FantasyLabs.
Note: Rudy Gobert is now questionable tonight with a hamstring issue. With Nikola Jokic suspended, huge value has opened up in Mason Plumlee ($3.9k, $4.3k). Enes Kanter ($4.7k, $6.2k) is also a high-risk, high-reward option on DK since he should see more run after being a DNP-CD against the small-ball Rockets Wednesday.
DeAndre Jordan vs. DET ($7.1k DraftKings, $7.7k FanDuel)
With Andre Drummond (concussion) out, Pistons backup center Zaza Pachulia could do little to contain Jahlil Okafor Wednesday. Drummond might be able to return tonight, but he’s been a defensive liability all season, and the primary reason Detroit coughs up the third-most FPPG (46.31) to opposing centers this season. DeAndre Jordan remains underpriced on DK despite providing 6x salary returns in a huge performance against the Clippers Tuesday. He’s averaging 11 PPG and 14.7 RPG since the start of December and averages a full PPG more (11.6) while shooting 65% from the floor at home. Detroit also happens to give up the sixth-most BPG (5.6) and ranks 26th in opponent 2PT shooting (54.2%) this season.
Other centers to consider: Nikola Vucevic, Marc Gasol, Ante Zizic, Enes Kanter, Bismack Biyombo