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.
1/31/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Big Jam: $10 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $115k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $9.99 entry, $400k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Shot: $4.44 entry, $100k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for January 31, 2019
Best Guards for January 31, 2019
Steph Curry vs. PHI ($8.9k DraftKings, $9.2k FanDuel)
As the Warriors paste the competition during an 11-game winning streak, Steph Curry’s price tag continues to drop. Yet Golden State (-9.5) could be tested tonight against a Sixers team that is fourth in the NBA in PPG (115.7), giving this contest a monstrous 240.5-point total on sportsbooks. The Sixers yield 115.2 PPG on the road and cough up a league-high 9.97 APG to opposing PGs this season. Curry averaged 28.5 PPG on 47% shooting over two meetings with Philly last season and is posting an uncanny true shooting percentage (69.4%) with a 131 offensive rating over 12 January appearances. He was lights out in just 27 minutes of run while the Dubs rolled in Indiana Monday, so he’ll be very well rested for a bigger test as the champs return home. Curry’s projection of 48.1 DraftKings points on FantasyLabs is the third-highest on this slate.
Lou Williams vs. LAL ($7.2k DraftKings, $7.3k FanDuel)
While LeBron James (groin) will remain out tonight, Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo, and others are capable of keeping the Lakers competitive and forcing more out of the Clippers’ primary scorers. Lou Williams continues to carry the Clips offense with a 35.9% usage rate and 44.1% assist rate over his last five. He torched the Lakers for 36 points on 11 of 18 FG shooting last month and is now averaging 28.3 PPG over their last four meetings. That performance came with Danilo Gallinari (back) active. With Gallo off the court, Williams is averaging 0.09 more FPs and is posting a team-high 34.5% usage rate on the season.
Brandon Ingram @ LAC ($7.3k DraftKings, $7.1k FanDuel)
With LeBron James (groin) out, Brandon Ingram becomes a locked-in option with a high projected floor and ceiling. He’s coming off a career-high 36-point performance against the Sixers and posted a 25.8% usage rate and 25.9% assist rate in the loss. If Kyle Kuzma (hip) is also out tonight, Ingram should top that usage rate. He would be the Lakers’ best offensive option by far. Ingram sees a 4.8% increase in usage rate (to 29%) and averages 0.21 more FPs per minute (1.11) when James and Kuzma are off the floor this season. The Clippers rank 22nd in DvP against SFs over the last 14 days. They don’t have a defensive stopper who matches up well against Ingram at all, and the skinny scorer should be brimming with confidence.
Reggie Jackson vs. DAL ($4.7k DraftKings, $5.4k FanDuel)
Opportunity has not been an issue for Reggie Jackson, but his confidence apparently lacked early in the season. More recently, he’s produced 54 points on 20-for-40 FG shooting over his last three appearances and appears ready to attack the Mavs tonight in a favorable matchup. Dallas is 1-7 and allows 113.5 PPG and 26.9 APG when playing on 0 days’ rest this season and is coughing up the seventh-most FPPG (42.54) to PGs over the last 14 days. Jackson posted a solid line with 12 points and 9 assists when these teams clashed last Friday. He’s been more confident and aggressive at home with a 115 offensive rating while averaging 15.3 PPG in Detroit. Jackson’s per-dollar rating on DK is the third-highest amongst all guards tonight in models on FantasyLabs.
Note: Luka Doncic (ankle) is listed as doubtful for Dallas. Additionally, Dennis Smith Jr., Wes Matthews, and DeAndre Jordan have been shipped to the Knicks in a deal for Kristaps Porzingis.
That opens huge values on the Mavs side of the ball, starting with rookie PG Jalen Brunson. Harrison Barnes, projects to lead the Mavs in usage rate tonight, while Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell should also get all the run they can handle. Devin Harris is also a great GPP play to consider.
Other guards to consider: D’Angelo Russell, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, Patrick Beverley, Shabazz Napier, Aaron Holiday
Best Forwards for January 31, 2019
Kawhi Leonard vs. MIL ($9.4k DraftKings, $10.1k FanDuel)
On an off night, Kawhi Leonard still posts a floor of around 50 DK points. That makes him a rock-solid option in any format. His price tag remains modest because he sits out so many games, but Leonard will likely be active at home tonight against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the first-place Bucks. Leonard has been up to the challenge with 50 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists, and 7 steals over two matchups with Giannis and company this season. Plus, he’s averaging 27.9 PPG while shooting 51.5% from the floor at home. Despite Milwaukee’s solid overall defensive rating, the Bucks cough up the seventh-most FPPG (37.97) and sixth-most 3PTM (2.17) to opposing SFs this season.
Jimmy Butler @ GSW ($7.4k DraftKings, $8.6k FanDuel)
Jimmy Butler exceeded value easily in a Tuesday night win despite posting a modest 18.1% usage rate. He’ll need to chip in much more tonight at Oracle Arena. The Warriors are very good at denying driving lanes and have a capable center now in DeMarcus Cousins. Thus, the dinged-up Joel Embiid may be forced to defer at times. Then, Ben Simmons won’t threaten the defending champs much offensively. If Philly is going to compete on the road, Butler will have to be a key catalyst. Golden State’s interior defense and high-scoring offense force opponents to attempt the fifth-most threes (33.5) per game. Butler is shooting 38.8% from 3-point range this season. He’s also averaging more PPG (20.1) with a higher usage rate (24%) on the road. He’s much more appealing at that price on DK.
Thaddeus Young @ ORL ($5.4k DraftKings, $5.9k FanDuel)
When Victor Oladipo (quad) suffered his season-ending injury, it was Thaddeus Young who carried the Pacers with 23 points and 15 rebounds to spark an emotional home win over the Raptors. Then, Young fouled out in a rough matchup at Memphis and was quiet in a blowout loss to the Warriors. Therefore, his price tag is quite reasonable in a better matchup with Tyreke Evans (back) also ruled out. Young averages 1.13 FPs per minute (0.23 increase) when those players are off the floor this season. Orlando can struggle to rebound the ball and ranks 26th in defensive rebounding percentage (77.6%) on the year. We also like Aaron Gordon ($6.8k, $7.4k) on the other side of the ball and would consider Domantas Sabonis ($6.0k, $6.8k) in GPPs as the Pacers look to adjust.
Other forwards to consider: Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, Aaron Gordon, Draymond Green, Rudy Gay, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Maxi Kleber, Wilson Chandler
Best Centers for January 31, 2019
Andre Drummond vs. DAL ($8.1k DraftKings, $9.2k FanDuel)
It’s time to pounce on Andre Drummond at a discounted price tag. He’s one of the best bets for a double-double (if not the best) on a nightly basis and can be projected for 40-plus DK points given the circumstances tonight. As mentioned above, Dallas has struggled on the second half of B2B sets, and the Mavs are allowing a very notable 46.3 RPG on the road regardless of the situation. With DeAndre Jordan (traded) unavailable, Drummond should dominate down low. Dallas is giving up the sixth-most FPPG (49.64) to opposing centers over the last 14 days. Drummond has returned from a concussion with renewed vigor, recording 43 points and 28 rebounds over his last two appearances. Drummond has massive upside with a ceiling of 65.2 DK points and the potential for 5.6x salary returns tonight per FantasyLabs.
DeMarcus Cousins vs. PHI ($6.7k DraftKings, $7.5k FanDuel)
Much like Kawhi Leonard, DeMarcus Cousins has a price tag that is virtually fixed because of perceived limitations. Yet Boogie has done nothing but produce since being added to the Warriors’ elite offense. He’s averaging 25.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.3 STL/BLK per 36 minutes with his new team. Philadelphia is the most generous team in the NBA to opposing centers, yielding a league-high 49.76 FPPG to the position this season. Cousins easily went for 23 points on 7 of 10 FG shooting in a matchup with Embiid last season and averaged 38 PPG against Philly two seasons ago when he was still a usage monster. While he’s not getting a ton of shots in this offense, Cousins is still averaging 1.38 FPs per minute.