After a really successful December on DraftKings and some “meh” results on FanDuel and Yahoo, I’ve totally flipped the script in January. I’m on a five-day losing streak on DK (longer thanI can remember having), but I just can’t stop winning on FD and Yahoo. It’s funny how DFS works like that, and it’s also important to take into account the drastic difference among the sites. We at FTA are committed to helping you understand this stuff, so join up for a free trial today if you already haven’t. I’ll see you in chat later, and I’m on twitter @jac3600.
FANDUEL TOP POINT GUARD
Kemba Walker, CHA ($8900)
There are three games that tower over the others as far as implied totals go, but the CHA/LAC game is the only one of the three that doesn’t come with extreme blowout risk. Kemba has seen a definite dip in his rates, but he still ranks ninth in the NBA with 31.1% usage. He’s historically been better at home, but the Clippers rank ninth in pace, 24th in overall team defense, and 23rd against opposing PGs. On a night where not too many studs are viable, you can really pound the mid-tier in cash and GPPs.
Other options – Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Ben Simmons, DeAaron Fox
Mid-tier options – Jeff Teague
FANDUEL TOP SHOOTING GUARD
Bradley Beal, WAS ($9800)
Shooting guard is tricky on FD tonight, as the top options are pretty fairly priced (if not overpriced). Beal somehow falls into that category, but his drastic increase in rates with Wall out has led to Beal having one of the highest floors in DFS. If Otto Porter were still out, I’d use Beal in cash, but as of right now he’s a GPP pivot off some other top options. Philly is seventh against SGs and plays big, which hurts Beal in penetration.
Other options – Victor Oladipo
Mid-tier options – Jimmy Butler, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Andrew Wiggins, Lou Williams
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID GUARDS
Russell Westbrook ($11,200) is a lot more viable in cash on DK than he is on FD as his price is still in the “too cheap” range there. DK offers double- and triple-double bonuses which suits Westy perfectly, and Minnesota ranks 20th in overall team defense despite being ninth against PGs. Beal ($8900) is also way more palatable on DK at almost $1000 less, and the same goes for Oladipo ($8400). A standout guard play in the mid-tier on DK is DeAaron Fox ($7200) who is too cheap there despite being appropriately priced on FD. Fox only played 23 minutes last game as the Kings blew out the Magic, and tonight he gets a date with Phoenix who ranks 24th in overall defensive efficiency and 26th against PGs. There are no totals on this game (Devin Booker’s status matters), but count on the Kings joining the fray at the high end of implied totals.
Derrick Rose is out one more game, which keeps Andrew Wiggins’ ($6500/$6000) floor high for tonight. He’s been regularly seeing 35+ minutes and should continue with the same in a competitive game against OKC. The only issue here is the Thunder are an incredibly stout team defensively. Devin Booker’s potential absence (left game Sunday, hasn’t practiced yet) could really open up a lot of value on the Suns. Booker would leave behind 35.6 MPG and a 32.2% usage rate (third in the NBA), and the remaining Suns have a tremendous matchup against the Kings who rank second in pace and 27th in overall team defense. Jamal Crawford ($3700/$3800) and DeAnthony Melton ($4500/$4100) would be the most logical values at the guard position. Also in the same game, Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6600/$5900) should be megachalk again (he came through big time last night) if Iman Shumpert misses again.
Other options – Emmamuel Mudiay, Trey Burke, Gary Harris, Cory Joseph, Patrick Beverley, Jeremy Lamb, Devonte Graham, Alec Burks
FANDUEL TOP SMALL FORWARD
Paul George, OKC ($10,000)
I think George can really prey on the Timberwolves tonight. They’re in disarray after firing their coach and will be guarding George with a combination of Andrew Wiggins and Josh Okogie instead of defensive wizard Robert Covington. Minnesota currently ranks 29th in defensive efficiency against SFs and PG’s rates remain sky high despite playing alongside the usage king (Westbrook). He’s worth playing in all formats this evening.
Other options – Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard
Mid-tier options – Danilo Gallinari
FANDUEL TOP POWER FORWARD
Draymond Green, GS ($7100)
I haven’t given any love to the Warriors yet, but we really can’t discount them completely. They do, after all, have the highest implied total on the slate at a whopping 124 points, but tread carefully with how you approach this. Golden State is favored by 18.5 points over the dumpster fire of a Knicks team who have been on a long West Coast road trip, and this game should be over by halftime. It’s for that reason I’m wary of spending up for Curry and Durant, but Dray’s price is right in the wheelhouse to access Golden State’s total without sacrificing a lot of money. The Knicks have fallen to dead last against opposing frontcourts, and also rank 24th in rebounding rate.
Other options – John Collins
Mid-tier options – Tobias Harris, Montrezl Harrell, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, Damontas Sabonis
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID FORWARDS
This is the first time all season I think Paul George ($10,300) has been more expensive on DK than on FD, but he’s still more than viable as a cash spend there, especially with the bonuses. John Collins is a non-play on FD at an $8400 price tag, but $6900 on DK is silly for his recent rates for Atlanta, even with extreme blowout risk (ATL is +14 in this one). I’d most likely still reserve Collins for GPPs, but you can make the argument for cash since he’s underpriced. Kawhi Leonard ($9600) and Kevin Durant ($10,100) also appear to be slightly better values on DK than on FD, but there’s too much blowout risk to try them out in cash there too.
Phoenix is your one-stop shopping for value F’s on this slate (as long as Booker is out). TJ Warren ($6200/$7100) is fairly priced on DK but is the top value by far at the position on FD. With Booker out before, Warren averaged almost 39 MPG while seeing his usage rate jump over 25%, and the Kings rank dead last in the NBA in wing defense. He’s a lock on FD. Kelly Oubre ($3800/$3900) is also perfectly fine as a punt on both sites, as he would likely see his minutes pushed into at least the upper 20s with upside for me. Mikal Bridges ($4200/$4200) is only averaging 0.69 FPPM this year, but he averaged 37.5 MPG when Booker sat the first time. Josh Jackson ($4100/$4900) is a meh price tag on DK, but looks like a lock as well on FD at only $4100. He had a 21% UR and 16% AR without the Booker the first go-around. Around the rest of league, Otto Porter ($4900/$5600) is bonkers cheap on FD and saw his minutes pushed to 23 last game (and he put up 42.7 FD points!). He’s actually historically the biggest beneficiary of Wall’s absence, as his usage rate rises 8.1% above the norm without Wall. If we can see something like 28 minutes out of Porter, he’s an insane value.
Other options – Jeff Green, Trevor Ariza, Jerami Grant, Kevon Looney, Larry Nance, Thaddeus Young, Paul Millsap, Josh Okogie, DeAndre Bembry
FANDUEL TOP CENTER
Joel Embiid, PHI ($11,500)
Center is going to be where my biggest decision occurs on FanDuel tonight (on DK you can play two centers so it’s easier). There is no doubt in my mind that Embiid is the best overall play tonight, but Ayton looms large as the best VALUE if Booker actually sits. Embiid is averaging 52.3 FD PPG and gets to face Washington who ranks 25th against centers and dead last in rebounding rate. The thought of Thomas Bryant or Ian Mahinmi slowing Embiid down is laughable. If you pay up for a stud tonight, it’s him.
Other options – Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Jokic
Mid-tier options – DeAndre Ayton (best value), Willie Cauley-Stein, Hassan Whiteside, Steven Adams
DRAFTKINGS TOP/MID C’s
You don’t have to make a decision on DK, and I would suggest locking in Embiid at $11,000 over there which is simply too cheap for him. The double-double is almost a given, and there are plenty of values to complement him. DeAndre Ayton ($8100) is the second-ranked center on the slate, but DK did a pretty good job with his price. His rebounding rate is up to almost 22% on the season now, and his usage rate spiked over 25% the last time Booker sat. The Kings rank 27th against centers and 26th in rebounding rate. I want them both on DK if I can. Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,500) is the GPP pivot. He’s in a terrible matchup, but he’s been beyond outstanding lately.
Bismack Biyombo ($4000/$4500) and Will Hernangomez ($5100/$4400) have been splitting the minutes for Charlotte in Cody Zeller’s absence which makes it tough to guess. If you want to punt with one, do it being site-specific based on pricing (Bismack on FD, Willy on DK). Willie Cauley-Stein is a DK-specific play at $6300 even with Marvin Bagley back. The Suns have allowed by far the most FPPG to opposing centers and WCS only had to play 17 minutes last game (still double-doubled).
Other options – Enes Kanter, Kevon Looney, Marcin Gortat, Greg MonroeFantasy Basketball