FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks – Friday, 1/3/20

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Friday, 1/3/20

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Point Guard

Lonzo BallLonzo Ball FD - $5300 DK - $6000
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 34.78 DK - 35.93
The slate starts off with a bank, with Lonzo Ball heading into LA for his revenge game! In all seriousness, we're catching Ball at exactly the right time for DFS purposes. He's coming off a barn-burning performance against the Rockets, where he shot 7-12 from 3 and netted 57 fantasy points in 40 regulation minutes. He doesn't need anywhere near that level of playing time to be a $5,300 player, and this is just a phenomenal opportunity for cash games and big tournaments alike, even in a tough match-up as a big dog against his former team.

Kemba WalkerKemba Walker FD - $7900 DK - $8300
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 43.59 DK - 45.29
We'll discuss Walker for a couple of reasons here. First, if he winds up feeling better and getting a clean bill of health for this game, he is in a terrific spot against the returning Trae Young. Atlanta's electric point guard is a terrible defender on his best days, and on the heels of an ankle injury we can get even more excited. There's still a chance that Walker sits, however, and that would open up a ton of opportunity for the rest of the Celtics, with Marcus Smart leading the charge there. The details of Kemba's illness aren't quite known yet, but once we get more clarity I would be fine either playing him or playing his replacements.

Also considered: Some excellent expensive plays, like Damian Lillard against the Wizards, Westbrook against Philly, and Ben Simmons against Houston.

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Shooting Guard

James HardenJames Harden FD - $11100 DK - $10900
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 57.81 DK - 60.56
It's one of the worst possible DFS match-ups with Philly ranking in the top 10 in defensive efficiency and the bottom 10 in terms of pace, but Harden's price is also cheaper heading into this one than it would be normally. The biggest threat to a singular talent like Harden is not usually the opposing defense, but the potential that his team blows the other one out. With the Rockets sitting at narrow 4.5 point favorites here, we can probably pencil Harden in for 38-39 minutes and 55+ fantasy points.

Josh RichardsonJosh Richardson FD - $6000 DK - $5900
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 32.97 DK - 33.16
Richardson's prices are cresting near season highs, but for good reason. His time of possession has been ticking up recently, and it's resulted in more shots and assists. He's in line for a 36 minute rotation in a normal game, and given that his main role on the team is shutting down opposing scorers I don't see how he gets off the court any time Harden is on it. The Rockets are another interesting piece to note here - while they are dynamite offensively, they have paired the league's 2nd fastest pace with a defensive efficiency that ranks in the bottom half of the league. Harden and co. have also allowed the 2nd most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards this season. I love Richardson in any format.

Also considered: A few value guys like Duncan Robinson and Kevin Huerter.

Small Forward

Tobias HarrisTobias Harris FD - $6400 DK - $6600
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 40.33 DK - 41.19
I'm getting pretty excited about these Philly plays today. Harris is just a rock solid value on these prices if you assume he'll play his full minutes, and as we mentioned above, that should certainly be the case tonight. He's averaged 34.6 FanDuel points a game this season, and getting him in a pace-up match-up with the Rockets is looking pretty appealing. PJ Tucker will likely draw one of the primary scoring options here, leaving Harris to fill in in a larger role than usual.

Gordon HaywardGordon Hayward FD - $6900 DK - $7000
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 38.55 DK - 39.35

The confluence of factors leading to this Hayward recommendation are just downright juicy. As discussed above, Kemba might sit here and open up some usage and time of possession. Hayward is also priced like the guy who was either injured or playing limited minutes, and he's played 34 and 35 minutes in his last two games. And then there's the otherworldly match-up. The Hawks have allowed the very most fantasy points per per game to opposing small forwards this season, and Boston is a team that's smart enough to play into their opponent's weaknesses. All in all Heyward is just a great play in any format, and his stock only goes up if Kemba is limited.

Also considered: the newly revitalized Carmelo Anthony!

Power Forward

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $10400 DK - $10300
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 58.13 DK - 57.87
Power forward is pretty deep tonight, but with some likely value on the board I am happy to start with Anthony Davis as my chief big money play. Normally I'd scoff at the revenge game narrative, but I think there is legitimate bad blood between Davis, the Lakers, and the Pelicans, and we have a precedent for what Davis has done against them earlier this season. In that game Davis pieced together a 41 and 9 line with 4 defensive stats to go with it. Davis is still cheap, and looks like a cash game lock.

Derrick FavorsDerrick Favors FD - $6200 DK - $6200
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 35.56 DK - 36.55
You know what? I'm not totally opposed to running favors the other way against Davis here. The surprisingly pesky Pels have been on a little bit of a role recently, and a lot of that has been due to the play of Derrick Favors. He has been playing 30-34 minute rotations recently, and during their four game winning streak he's hit 34 fantasy points in each contest. The Lakers are 10.5 point favorites, but you can believe the Pels will do everything in their power to keep this one close, and this game has a huge 230.5 point total. While there's risk here, I still think Favors is cash game viable.

Also considered: Lots of guys! Jayson Tatum, Julius Randle, Al Horford - there are a lot of great options here.

Center

Joel EmbiidJoel Embiid FD - $9200 DK - $9400
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 51.88 DK - 54.33

The logical conclusion to our Philly stack today. Center is somewhat thin, and as of now currently lacking great punt plays. That means we're more likely than usual to pay up at center. Embiid is absurdly cheap relative to his real talent right now after a bizarre cluster of 6 games where he lost minutes to either a blowout or foul trouble in each of them. I'm not worried about the blowout here, though foul trouble is a concern given the existence of Harden, Westbrook, and the Rockets' pick and roll game. Still, Embiid is 11% too cheap in a game where the Sixers should keep it close, and I'm happy to pay up and take value at the same time.

Nikola VucevicNikola Vucevic FD - $8400 DK - $8000
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 45.66 DK - 47.26

Vuc has shed his early season woes, and has averaged 45.3 FanDuel points in his last 6 games. That leaves him as a general value right now, but there is additional context to consider as well. The absence of Isaac and likely Gordon means there will be shots to go around, for starters, and I love the match-up here as well. The Heat are a brutal match-up generally, but their one Achilles heel is at the center position, where the combination of Meyers Leonard and friends yield the most fantasy points per game of any position on the Heat. I think the Magic attack this weakness through Vuc, and he pays his value trivially.

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FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks – Friday, 1/3/20