Welcome back to all my NBA DFS degenerates out there! Wednesday, January 20, 2016, a massive 11-game daily fantasy basketball slate is upon us as multiple premier superstars take the court in primetime. In this edition of the NBA DFS Playbook, my overall advice would be to play the matchups and identify what value plays make your roster the most well rounded. Best of luck tonight guys, lets go out and win.
76ers @ Magic – 7pm (ORL -7)
Tonight in Central Florida, we get probably one of the most inexpensive NBA games you can see in person all season long. Lets be real, it is reasons like this why DFS should not be banned. I am sure avid daily fantasy players contribute to a large portion of league pass subscriptions, and are responsible for keeping the viewership up on lowly games like this one. Regardless, lets talk some fake hoops. Ish Smith has a ridiculous price of 7500 on Draftkings. Not to say he wont be able to meet value and produce, but just to put things in perspective you could use Kyrie for 7000 in a juicy matchup against Brooklyn. Pick your poison. Orlando is a fantasy goldmine right now believe it or not. Oladipo is out, opening up opportunity for Elfrid Payton and Fournier. News recently out of Orlando has Aaron Gordon missing some time, so we may see Tobias Harris get extended run in spots he may usually take a seat. The 76ers are terrible so everyone will eat.
Players to Target (PHI) – Smith, Okafor
Players to Target (ORL) – Payton, Fournier, Vucevic, Harris
Heat @ Wizards – 7pm (WSH -4.5)
Miami has not done a great job of putting the ball in the hoop recently. You can attribute this to injury or just plain fatigue, but despite the reason a measly 87.8 ppg over the last 6 games will not get the job done. I do think Whiteside is capable of having a solid game. The Wizards are not one of the better jumpshooting teams right now, and they tend to attack the basket a lot more. This will create a lot of blocks for Whiteside and a lot of opportunity for fantasy points. I have never been a fan of using D-Wade on the second night of back to back games, and Tyler Johnson was terrible in his last game as the starter. Beal is still working his way back to his old self, and his price tag is a tad too high at this moment.
Players to Target (MIA) – Wade, Johnson, Whiteside
Players to Target (WSH) – Wall, Beal, Gortat
Cavs @ Nets – 730pm (CLE -12.5)
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. More than a dramatic comedy with Mila Kunis. No. The angriest man in Brooklyn will be LeBron James. He literally gets no respect anymore. I have seen multiple articles questioning whether he is still a top TEN player in the NBA, if his reign as ‘King’ is over, and the funniest: should the Cavs move James before the deadline. Ridiculous, the Chosen One should be on triple-double watch tonight as he is on a silent mission. Actions speak louder than words. I would act on getting Lebron into majority of my cash game lineups tonight. Oh, and Jay-Z and Beyonce will likely be in attendance.
Players to Target (CLE) – James, Irving
Players to Target (BKN) – Sloan, Lopez, Young
Jazz @ Knicks – 730pm (NYK -2.5)
Across town, the Knicks will have their hands full with a stingy Utah Jazz team. With Gobert back in the lineup, the Jazz do a much better job of protection the rim. Rudy has had two nice games in a row now, and at just 6400 he is a great play. Hayward is coming off a wonderful game against Charlotte where he lit up the stat sheet. Ride the wave, stick to the guys playing great basketball. Not a fan of any Knicks tonight. Take your chances in GPP contests only with Knicks players.
Players to Target (UTAH) – Gobert, Hayward
Players to Target (NYK) – Anthony
Celtics @ Raptors – 730pm (TOR -3)
This makes for a great game to watch in real life. But I’m not quite sure if I want a lot of parts of this one in DFS. My only gripe would be the contracts of all the go-to players are very expensive. Both teams are relatively solid defensively, so this is a tricky one. I do however love Jonas V tonight. Boston does not do a great job of defending opposing Centers, and JoVal is just cheap enough to warrant a play in cash games. 20 and 10 from him tonight would not surprise me at all.
Players to Target (BOS) – Thomas, Johnson
Players to Target (TOR) – Lowry, Derozan, Valanciunas
Warriors @ Bulls – 8pm (GS -7)
You don’t need this article to tell you to play Curry or Draymond. You should know these things. And if you didn’t know, I really recommend playing in FREE contests at Draftkings before you throw any money down. I will tell you that Vegas projects this as one of the higher scoring games on tonights slate, so make use of that information as you will. Outside of Jimmy Butler, Chicago has limited options. Gibson will be a staple with Noah out for the year, and if he is able to find his spots and hit the midrange jumper he could have a solid night.
Players to Target (GSW) – Curry, Thompson, Green
Players to Target (CHI) – Butler, Gibson
Pistons @ Rockets – 8pm (HOU -3.5)
Caldwell-Pope. The last time I played him was opening night, and his price was 4900 on DK. Now 3 months later his price is 5800, and he makes for a hot play tonight. It could be because James Harden will be guarding him or it could be because the Rockets allowed 140 points on Monday. Either way, all the cool kids will be using him tonight so you should too. Andre Drummond is a rebounding machine, but you already knew that. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do offensively against Howard. Harden will get his 25-30 points, but he will have to facilitate for his team to beat Detroit. When Harden has a high assist total, he usually has a monster fantasy game.
Players to Target (DET) – Caldwell-Pope, Drummond, Jackson
Players to Target (HOU) – Harden, Howard
Hornets @ Thunder – 8pm (OKC -9.5)
Every article you read on the games tonight will tell you that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are both very good at basketball. You should play them and these are life facts. On the flip side, Kemba Walker is coming off the best professional game of his life and we should all take notice. He will be motivated in a matchup against one of the best point guards in the league, and he will take 25 shots no matter what. I want Kemba in my lineup!
Players to Target (CHA) – Walker
Players to Target (OKC) -Durant, Westbrook, Adams/Kanter
Timberwolves @ Mavericks -830pm (DAL -6)
News broke earlier that Dirk will be out tonight, opening a ton of minutes for Dwight Powell. His price is really low throughout the DFS industry, so take advantage as he should easily exceed value and provide more room for superstars. This could also open up a few more attempts for Chandler Parsons as well. I like what Minnesota has done recently, and that is getting the ball to Karl Towns. He has been a monster as of late and gets a nice matchup, especially if Zaza is injured and not playing.
Players to Target (MIN) – Towns, Wiggins, Rubio
Players to Target (DAL) – Barea, Powell, Parsons
Kings @ Lakers – 1030pm (SAC -7)
With two terrible teams playing in this one, there honestly isn’t very many bad things I can say about this game. From a fantasy perspective there is so much value and opportunity to go around it is amazing. Obviously a lot of players will be taking advantage of Rondo and Cousins tonight, and while I have absolutely no reason to dispute that – I tend to go against the grain with some picks. Nance will be out tonight and Julius Randle is not too expensive. And it is worth noting that D’Angelo Russell had a brilliant game the last time these two teams met up. The Kings are terrible defensively and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this end up being the highest scoring game of the night.
Players to Target (SAC) – Cousins, Gay, Rondo, Casspi
Players to Target (LAL) – Russell, Randle, Clarkson, Bryant
Hawks @ Blazers – 1030pm (ATL -1.5)
The 10:30pm time slot really features two awesome fantasy match ups. I could literally make a GPP lineup using both games and make a solid roster that could cash. Make sure you take advantage. Millsap as mentioned above is easily worth his price tag, as well as fellow teammate Jeff Teague. The Blazers are one of the worst NBA teams in defending opposing point guards, and while Teague hasn’t been spectacular this season, he has been able to heat up as of late. Bazemore and Schroder deserve some looks, but I wouldn’t be force them into my lineups if I didn’t have to. Dame Lilliard and CJ McBuckets will have a lot of work on their hands keeping up with Atlanta, so I do expect big games. They may not be highly owned, especially with all the point guard value tonight. Take advantage if you’re looking to make a splash.
Players to Target (ATL) – Millsap, Teague, Bazemore
Players to Target (POR) – McCollum, Lillard, Plumlee, Leonard
Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me on Twitter @BrandonHodge for any NBA DFS questions you may have!