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.
1/29/19 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 29, 2019
Best Guards for January 29, 2019
Jrue Holiday vs. HOU ($8.6k DraftKings, $9.5k FanDuel)
If you’re going to pay all the way up for James Harden in a game with the highest Over/Under (234.5) on tonight’s slate, Jrue Holiday is your best option as a correlation play. The Pelicans are down Anthony Davis (finger), Nikola Mirotic (calf), and could be without Julius Randle (ankle) as well tonight. Holiday leads New Orleans with a 30.5% usage rate and sees an absurd rise (0.42 FPs) to average 1.61 FPs per minute when those three players are off the floor this season. He’s posted a 28.8% usage rate and 25.6% assist rate over his last four appearances and is a legitimate triple-double threat the way Rockets games are going. Harden’s historic run is bringing the best out of opponents and his per-dollar rating (56.5) on FantasyLabs tonight is far lower than Holiday (84.7), who has a projection of 45.2 DK points.
Rajon Rondo vs. PHI ($6.7k DraftKings, $6.9k FanDuel)
Until LeBron James (groin) returns, Rajon Rondo will be a bankable mid-tier play thanks to sheer volume. He logged nearly 80 minutes in his first two games back from a hand injury, accumulating 23 points, 24 assists, and 10 rebounds in two good matchups. With a 38.2% assist rate in those contests, he’s likely to approach a double-double or triple-double against fast-paced Philadelphia. Only the Lakers allow more FPPG to opposing PGs this season than the Sixers (43.69), who also yield a league-high 9.97 APG to the position. Both Rondo and Ben Simmons ($9.0k, $9.4k) are in play as the primary orchestrators in a potential track meet.
Shabazz Napier vs. CHI ($4.9k DraftKings, $5.1k FanDuel)
Shabazz Napier is also a clear-cut value on DraftKings tonight. That’s because his price tag was set before he led his team with five assists and added 20 points on 16 FG attempts off the bench last night in Boston. Now, he’ll face a Bulls team that yields the fifth-most 3PTA (32.9) and makes (11.8) per game this season and ranks 23rd overall in defensive rating. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson doesn’t hesitate to go to his bench in close games or blowouts and Napier is reaping the benefits of an increased role with Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) on the shelf.
Other guards to consider: James Harden, Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn, Brandon Ingram, Tomas Satoransky, Eric Gordon, Rodney Hood, Wayne Selden Jr.
Best Forwards for January 29, 2019
Blake Griffin vs. MIL ($9.3k DraftKings, $10.0k FanDuel)
On Sunday, it was Paul George dueling Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Tonight, Blake Griffin will look to carry his Pistons against the highest-scoring team (117.3 PPG) in the East. Milwaukee ranks fifth in pace and first in defensive rating. Still, they’re vulnerable on the interior. The Bucks allow the eighth-most FPPG (45.29) to opposing PFs over the last 14 days and cough up 109.9 PPG on the road. With Andre Drummond injured or disinterested at times, Blake has taken control with a 33.8% usage rate and averages of 31 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 5.5 APG over 13 January games. He averaged 26.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 6.3 APG over his previous three meetings with Milwaukee this season and offers a ton of upside at his price tag on DraftKings.
Kenneth Faried vs. NO ($6.3k DraftKings, $7.4k FanDuel)
The most consistent beneficiary of extra defenders rotating towards James Harden is superb free agent acquisition Kenneth Faried. Rockets GM Daryl Morey knew exactly what he was getting with Faried: high energy on both ends of the floor. With Clint Capela (thumb) out over a month, Faried’s slotted right in as the pick-and-dive partner with Harden and is averaging 14.3 PPG and 9.5 RPG over his last four appearances with his new team. This is a player who has averaged 16.5 points and 11.9 rebounds per 36 minutes with an 18.3% total rebounding rate throughout his career. Now, he’s finally being featured as an ideal big man in today’s “space and pace” NBA. The timing is great for another big game as Faried could face the Pels with both Anthony Davis and Julius Randle inactive, which is why he owns a huge 9.76 plus/minus rating with the potential for 6.3x salary returns on DK per FantasyLabs.
Rudy Gay vs. PHO ($5.9k DraftKings, $6.0k FanDuel)
Even with DeMar DeRozan (knee) out, the Spurs shouldn’t have much trouble dismantling the Suns’ 28th-rated defense at home tonight. LaMarcus Aldridge is the obvious candidate to handle a huge workload, but he could disappoint if Phoenix isn’t competitive through three quarters. Using cheaper forwards in Davis Bertans ($4.1k, $4.1k) and Rudy Gay is one approach to guard against a potential blowout while still getting a piece of the Spurs team that is 19-7 and averages 113.3 PPG at home this season. Like Aldridge, Gay averages more FPs per minute (0.20) and posts a higher usage rate (4.5% increase) when DeRozan is off the floor this season. He’s averaging 1.13 FPs per minute over his last four appearances and played well on the second half of a B2B set Sunday despite being listed as questionable with a slight wrist injury.
Other forwards to consider: Paul George, LaMarcus Aldridge, Aaron Gordon, Jimmy Butler, Josh Jackson, Jeff Green, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Davis Bertans
Best Centers for January 29, 2019
Joel Embiid @ LAL ($10.2k DraftKings, $11.6k FanDuel)
A well-rested Joel Embiid is even more of a problem for the Lakers’ struggling defense. LA allows the second-most FPPG (49.57), APG (3.02), and most RPG (16.12) to centers this season. Embiid posts a 34.7% usage rate and averages 26 PPG, 11.7 RPG, and 3.7 BPG when playing on three-plus days of rest this season. He’s actually been off since Wednesday, giving him nearly a week to prepare for an exploitable matchup against the ancient Tyson Chandler and undisciplined JaVale McGee. Embiid is affordable on DK and offers a serious increase in upside at his position if you choose to build a more balanced lineup with a stud center and fade Harden. We should see more of Ivica Zubac ($5.6k, $5.8k) tonight as the Lakers’ best option to contain Embiid. Zubac is worth a look as a value considering Philly ranks dead last in DvP against centers.
Jahlil Okafor vs. HOU ($6.1k DraftKings, $7.2k FanDuel)
Should Julius Randle (ankle) sit tonight, Jahlil Okafor would be a locked-in option in most formats. The Pelicans simply have no other options down low. Okafor is likely looking at heavy run and usage even if Randle is active. He’s been great since getting an opportunity to start for the Pelicans and is averaging 1.29 FPs per minute with three double-doubles over his last four. Houston ranks 24th in DvP against opposing centers over the last 14 days and struggles to defend the paint overall. Moreover, the Rockets allow the fourth-highest FG percentage (54.1%) inside the arc this season. They’re also coughing up 117.5 PPG this month. Okafor ranks sixth in per-dollar rating on DK tonight per FantasyLabs and Randle is second.