DFS Basketball: January 3rd Slate

Welcome back! It’s time for another DFS Basketball preview, brought to you by Turning Two Sports, where we DO care about your fantasy team!

In order to set a perfect lineup on DraftKings, we want to look for players who will provide 5x their salary in returning point output. So if Steph Curry comes in at $9,000 and James Harden comes in at $9,600, Curry needs 45 points to return value while Harden needs 48. To think about it on the fly, just do this:

(Salary * .001 * 5) <= DFS Points

Now with that said, here is the overall record for the season. I’m considering a miss as anything less than 4x value (Blue snowflake on DraftKings). A hit is anything at or above 5x value (Red flame on DraftKings). Displayed below is the format “Hits – Misses”

Season Record: 147-86 (63.1% hit rate)

Top Game Stack: Houston Rockets (-7.5) @ Orlando Magic: Over/Under 219.5

Point Guard

Chris Paul $9,600 – James Harden is set to miss up to 6 weeks if you didn’t know! That’s a long time for one of the most prolific DFS talents in the entire NBA. This means there is some huge usage to be spread around, and you’ll plenty of Rockets in today’s post. CP3 will undoubtedly be the go-to weapon for Houston in this dire time, and I expect him to perform admirable. He did have two clunkers sandwiched between 50+ DK point efforts, but against a terrible Magic backcourt I expect him to be a lot closer to 50 points than to 20. You can’t totally buy into his recent game log, because that came with a healthy Harden. This is Paul’s time to shine. Target: 48

Jamal Murray $6,700 – I simply cannot resist getting some Murray exposure tonight despite the fact that Denver is favored by 11 and there is some blowout risk here. Phoenix is still bottom 5 in the league in terms of DK points allowed to opposing point guards, which puts Murray is a perfect, high ceiling spot for tonight. He’s coming off 5x value or better in six of his last seven, with the one missed being a blowout loss to Portland. He’s as safe as they come. Target: 33.5

Darren Collison $6,300 – Oladipo will once again be ruled out, and I’m banking on the rest of the DFS community to shy away from Indiana after that disastrous showing against Minnesota on New Year’s Eve. It just was not a good matchup for Indiana, but this matchup will suit them better. Collison will see plenty of Eric Bledsoe, which shouldn’t scare anybody. As long as they stay in the game, I expect him to get his 30-35 minutes and get over 30 DK points, with the upside for 40. Target: 31.5

 

Shooting Guard

DeMar DeRozan $8,300 – DeMar is in an absolutely fantastic spot tonight. He’s in a very fast paced battle with Chicago, who continues to play way too fast, and without any defensive mindedness whatsoever against shooting guards. As if that wasn’t enough, DeMar is priced in the low 8k range, which is incredible value given his ceiling tonight. I considered 100% exposure, but with so many great guard plays tonight I thought better. He’s going to destroy Justin Holiday all night long, and coming off a 75 DK point night he might be highly owned. I don’t want to take the risk of fading him. Target: 41.5

Eric Gordon $6,800 – Much like CP3, Eric Gordon becomes a must have in games where his matchup is solid. Without Harden around, there are going to be a ton of shots up for grabs. While CP3 will take some, he’s not known as a high volume shooter. For that reason, I think Gordon and Ariza see a significant usage boost in the absence of Harden. CP3 will get them the ball, and Gordon will drain it. Stack Paul/Gordon together to get a very high ceiling, exciting start to your lineups. Target: 34

Lance Stephenson $6,500 – Much like Collison, the industry will shy away from Stephenson tonight after the mess on NYE. I’m one to pivot, so I’ll gladly lock in Stephenson and hope for a bounce back. Other than the last game, he’s been extremely solid filling in for Oladipo. He’s had outputs of 46 and 33 DK points, and that’s what I expect out of him tonight after some soft defensive guards of Milwaukee. Expect Thad Young to take Giannis, so Lance will hopefully steer clear. Target: 32.5

 

Small Forward

Andrew Wiggins $6,100 – Still too cheap. Wiggins really showed up against the Lakers Monday as he cashed in on 8x value. With Teague out again, Wiggins will see increased run along with Butler, but comes at a 2k discount. The decision at that point was easy for me, as Brooklyn will again ignore any defensive strategy and allow guys like Wiggins, Towns, and Butler to rain all night long. Target: 30.5

Trevor Ariza $5,900 – While a lot of people will pay up for Paul and Gordon, you can save some funds and pivot down to Ariza. Ariza has been very good as of late, and his opportunity grows even larger without Harden around. Whether Harden is around or not, Ariza is always around 40 minutes. The guy just doesn’t rest. With Harden around, he’s normally a 20-25 DK point guy. Without Harden, 30 should be his floor. The price is too low. Target: 29.5

Kyle Anderson $5,300 – There’s a lot of value to be had in San Antonio tonight. Kawhi and Gay are out, as is Danny Green. Between Murray, Forbes, and Mills there are just too many guards who can cannibalize one another, so I’ll stay away. Anderson will see a ton of minutes tonight though. He’s generally coming off the bench in relief of either Gay or Kawhi, but won’t have to do that tonight. I expect 30+ minutes and plenty of shot opportunities. He’s a must in cash games, and a must in tourneys. Target: 26.5

Gerald Green $4,100 – I bet you weren’t expecting to see Green here. He’s a full blown scorer if there ever was one, which means Houston suits him well. He’s only played three games with Houston so far, but has seen his minutes increase to 27 as recently as Sunday. To me, Green is like a miniature version of Harden, which means Green should see a ton of run off the bench with Harden out for the foreseeable future. I think Green may be a key factor in the winning GPP lineups tonight as everyone looks to load up on Gordon. Target: 20.5

 

Power Forward

Derrick Favors $6,000 – Favors is always in play when Gobert is sidelined. DraftKings hasn’t increased his price enough to scare me away from him, as he usually always sits right around 30 DK points when Gobert is out. Tonight, the Jazz will need his size on the floor when dealing with Cousins and Davis. The good thing is that Cousins and Davis are no defensive juggernauts, so I don’t think they will bother Favors too much tonight. Target: 30

Bismack Biyombo $5,600 – With Vucevic out, Bismack has one again found relevance in the DFS landscape and has delivered. His game is crashing the class, and in a fast paced matchup with Houston I think there will be plenty of glass to crash. Capela being active does make me nervous, but I don’t want Biyombo to score. All I ask is for 10+ rebounds, and that should get us close to value alone. He’s obliterated value in each of his last three. Target: 28

Jarrett Allen $3,500 – I find Allen to be a fantastic punt play. His performances have been stellar, it’s just a matter of allotting the minutes to him. He’s actually hit value in each of his last five, and has been over 20 DK points in three of them. If you look at his game log there is a strong correlation between him getting 20 DK points and him getting 20 minutes. They tend to happen together. KAT is not known for his strong defense so I love the matchup between these two tonight. Target: 17.5

 

Center

Karl-Anthony Towns $9,400 – My favorite big money play tonight is KAT for obvious reasons. It’s no secret that if you read these blogs you know that picking on Brooklyn centers is a profitable DFS trend. Tonight, Brooklyn isn’t dealing with any old center. They are dealing with one of the premiere players at the position in the entire NBA, and he’s not even 10k! KAT is always a lock for 40+ DK points, but tonight we need and expect more than that. He had 59 just two short games ago against Indiana, who are also terrible against centers. I think KAT flirts with 60 again tonight. Target: 47

John Henson $4,800 – Henson is a guy you don’t read much about, but he’s actually a very cost efficient and reliable DFS player in his own right. He’s the clear top center on the roster ever since the Greg Monroe trade, and hits value on most nights due to his supreme shot blocking ability. He’s been over 20 DK points in each of his last five, and six out of seven. He’s also been locked into 25+ minutes on most nights, making him a spectacular play against the terrible defensive frontcourt of the Pacers. Don’t sleep on Henson tonight. Target: 24

Jordan Bell $4,600 – Bell becomes a better play if Draymond Green sits tonight, which is a toss-up at this point. I’ll play Bell regardless, as even with Green in the lineup he’s been a 1 point per minute player. He hasn’t been under 20 DK points since 12/20 (7 games ago). He’ll never see 30 minutes, but he doesn’t need to. He’s one hell of a gifted player and someone you’ll want in your DFS lineups all throughout the year, especially when the Warriors are shorthanded. Target: 23

 

Lineup 1:

PG – Chris Paul $9,600

SG – Eric Gordon $6,800

SF – Kyle Anderson $5,300

PF – Derrick Favors $6,000

C – John Henson $4,800

G – Darren Collison $6,300

F – Jordan Bell $4,600

U – Lance Stephenson $6,500

 

Lineup 2:

PG – Jamal Murray $6,700

SG – DeMar DeRozan $8,300

SF – Trevor Ariza $5,900

PF – Jarrett Allen $3,500

C – Karl-Anthony Towns $9,400

G – Andrew Wiggins $6,100

F – Gerald Green $4,100

U – Bismack Biyombo $5,600

Best of luck everyone. Thanks for reading and appreciate the support. Go make some money!

 

About Matt Hicks

Matt’s writing at Top2 is focused on dynasty fantasy football. He loves blending his experience writing research in the field of education with fantasy football stats. Matt currently lives in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @Top2Matt

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