Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 1/25/17

Now’s your chance to get DFSR PRO, which will give you access to our NBA optimizer, our NFL Optimizer, and our new NFL player lab! Get started for free by clicking the button below.

First time with NBA? Be sure to read our free NBA Ebook on building lineups, general strategy and more. We've got you completely covered.

Point Guard

Damian LillardDamian Lillard FD - $8300 DK - $8600
Opponent - LAL
Proj Pts FD - 41.22 DK - 44.52

There are definitely a few ways to go here at point guard. If you want to pay way up, you have Russell Westbrook. Westbrook takes on the Pelicans tonight, and I like him in tournaments. In cash games, Damian Lillard is the most expensive I will be going. He gets a great match up with the Lakers here who give up the 4th most FP to point guards. Lillard has shown the upside recently, and I think he is safe for a cash game as well as a tournaments. With D'Angelo Russell out, you can expect Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson to cover Lillard for the most part. He is faster and stronger than both of those guys, and will have no problem enforcing his will. The price is a little high, but that should keep ownership down a little bit.

Goran DragicGoran Dragic FD - $7000 DK - $7300
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 39.72 DK - 42.29

This is the same drill we have been running for a while now. Who's playing the Nets? Ok, let's play that PG and C. The Nets are a horrid defense, and the pace they play at helps none. The Heat usually play at slow pace, so this uptick in possessions could cause some huge games. Dragic is one of my favorite Heat tonight, and should be a virtual lock for 40 in cash games. Spencer Dinwiddie and Sean Kilpatrick are both poor defenders, and Dragic will eat  up both. He is priced fairly, sitting just above $7k. The upside is there for much more than 40 from Dragic, and he has shown that a few times already this season. You can target the Dragon is cash games and tourneys.

Kemba WalkerKemba Walker FD - $7800 DK - $7900
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 38.91 DK - 41.49

There really are a lot of ways to go at point guard, and I think Kemba is a way to go that has crazy upside and a decent amount of safety. First of all, Walker and the Hornets are MUCH better at home, and I think they can actually keep this relatively competitive heading into the 4th quarter. Walker gets a match up with Curry that will give him plenty of opportunity, and if his shot is falling, he will have a big night. Outside of Curry, he could see looks from Klay Thompson, who is a better defender, but not shutdown by any means. This game has a 223 over/under with the Warriors -9, which puts  the Hornets team total around 105. If the hornets score 105 points, I assure you will want to have Walker in tour lineups. There is no chance they can stay with the Warriors unless Walker has a monster game. He is more of a tournament option, but I do see the merit in cash games.


Shooting Guard

Dion WaitersDion Waiters FD - $6000 DK - $6600
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 31.29 DK - 33.43

Wow, what a performance. Dion Waiters embodied Michael Jordan for a night, and absolutely dominated the Warriors. While i'm not too sure we can predict another huge game like that, we can look for a solid 30. The Nets are the optimal match up for Waiters, as they play fast and give up a lot of open outside shots. Waiters will see a plethora of defenders, but none of which scare me off in the slightest of ways. He is still in the $6k's around the industry, and only needs about 32 to hit value. It goes unsaid, but the upside is obviously there. Waiters and Dragic are both great plays in cash games, but I do like Waiters if you only want 1.

Louis WilliamsLouis Williams FD - $5700 DK - $5800
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 31.41 DK - 33.43

With D'Angelo Russell out for at least another couple games, we still have to look for someone to step on the Lakers. Lou Williams is the most likely candidate in my book, and only costs you $5.7k. C.J. McCollum is a decent defender, but the Blazers lack perimeter defense outside of him. Allen Crabbe and Damian Lillard will also see some time on Lillard, and they will almost certainly struggle to contain him. Williams may come off the bench, though his minutes and shots are very safe. You don't have to worry about Williams getting off enough shots. The usage is high enough here where I am willing to play Lou in cash games, as well as tournaments of course.

Norman PowellNorman Powell FD - $3500 DK - $3600
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 20.38 DK - 21.83

Demar Derozan will sit at least 1 more game, and Norman Powell will presumably get the start. He had a nice game last night, finishing with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. he also added a block and 2 steals, which put him 30 fantasy points. He destroyed  value against a tough defense last night, and I expect the same tonight. The minutes will be there, and he has shown his willingness to initiate offense and drive to the hole. That gives him some nice upside, and at such a low price, you have to give him a long hard look. The defense is certainly tough, but I do think he ends up seeing the worst defender on the court, whoever that ends up being. I expect them to put Allen on Lowry, and things could get weird from there. All in all, get some exposure to Powell.

Small Forward

Jimmy ButlerJimmy Butler FD - $9500 DK - $9100
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 43.69 DK - 45.89

There are some ways to pay way up tonight, but not many guys in this range. Butler gives you the upside of the super expensive guys at a much lower price. Thabo Sefolosha is definitely a skilled defender, but doesn't hold a light to Jimmy Butler and his tools. Butler has the ability to take over this game, and I expect him to do so against an Eastern Conference contender. Butler has been a bit up and down lately, but the flashes of upside have definitely remained. With all of that being said, this is the 3rd game in 3 days for the Bulls and Butler could definitely be tired. Make sure you keep an eye on twitter as the day winds on. If Butler is confirmed in, I will have a lot of exposure. He is young, and I doubt it could affect his play. I am more concerned with limitations due to coaching restrictions.

Jae CrowderJae Crowder FD - $5600 DK - $5600
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 27.7 DK - 29.49

Jae Crowder and the Celtics took on the Wiz last night, and lost a very exciting game. Crowder was his usual self, finishing with 28 fantasy points on 17 points, 3 dimes and 6 boards. Crowder is a very versatile forward, which gives him much more safety against a team like the Rockets. Trevor Ariza is a decent man to man defender, but this Rockets team switches so often that you will rarely see the same defenders finish on who they started the play covering. Crowder is the ultimate safe way to go at small forward, and I don't see any way he doesn't get to at least 25. The game should be pretty fast, and the peripherals will be up for grabs. You can have as much exposure as you want in both cash games and tourneys.

Robert CovingtonRobert Covington FD - $5400 DK - $5600
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 26.09 DK - 29.09

If you want a safe bet, look at Crowder. Covington is a tad bit inconsistent, but still is relatively safe. However, he also has the 50 point upside where he hits 5 3's and reels in 5 steals. This game against the Bucks should be competitive, and also pretty high scoring. With Embiid out another game, the usage will be up and the minutes are safe. He will probably see a combo of Tony Snell and Jabari Parker, who will both struggle. The Bucks could also run small, and Covington could end up seeing some power forward. Either way, I think he hits value with the upside for much more. That puts him squarely in play in all formats, but I will have most exposure in tournaments.

football 728x90

Power Forward

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $10900 DK - $10400
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 53.29 DK - 55.54

AD practice fully yesterday, and fully expects to return here against the Thunder. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I get so excited about rostering Anthony Davis. His upside is just insane,and watching him is insanely fun. I love him here against the Thunder, and think he could have a huge game. I think Steven Adams will have something to say about that, but he wont be loud enough. He also isn't fast enough, and Davis will be able to run past him before he can pivot his foot. Adams may be a great defender, but that is against guys who stay down low... not 7 footers who can make 3's and dunk for half-court. In tournaments, I love pairing AD with Westbrook and going stars and scrubs. Both of those guys should go under owned and have more upside than anyone outside of Harden on this slate. As for AD alone, you can play  him in any format.

James JohnsonJames Johnson FD - $5800 DK - $5900
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 33.13 DK - 34.93

We are going to be targeting a lot of Miami Heat tonight. Johnson is already the 3rd guy we will look at, and he isn't the last. James Johnson is the do-it-all guy for the Heat, which stands out against the Nets. They give up a boatload of peripherals, which suits his game extremely well. Johnson is a guy who derives his upside on rebounds and assists, which should be everywhere tonight. He will also play some backup point guard, where he was very good against the Warriors. I see the Nets deploying Bogdanovic or RHJ on Johnson, and he will be able to beat both. The Nets put up a lot of shots, and most never quite make it through the rim. Johnson is a safe bet for cash games and I will have 100% exposure there. In tournaments, he is an elite play as well.

Nerlens NoelNerlens Noel FD - $4100 DK - $4300
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 27.95 DK - 29.18

Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor both sat yesterday, and Noel took advantage with 45 fantasy points. If you are new to DFS, Nerlens Noel is a guy who use to play big minutes on a regular basis and was a solid points per minutes guy. He is now insanely cheap, and getting big minutes. Okafor is expected to miss again, aid if he does, you have to play Noel. He is a stone cold lock for value at this price, and legitimately has the chance to hit 50 here. He will see a lot of defense from Greg Monroe, who is probably the worst defender in basketball. That is probably a bit much, but he is terrible. Just watch this game. Noel can be played in all formats, and is a must play if Okafor is ruled out.


DeMarcus CousinsDeMarcus Cousins FD - $10500 DK - $10800
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 52.27 DK - 55.52

All of these expensive guys should be relatively low owned, as there are a lot of ways to go in that range. Cousins is one of my favorites, as he will be taking on a very good team on the road, That may seem like a bad situation, but Boogie is no usual player. He tends to excel ins pots like these, and I think he shows out. He has something to prove right now, and he really ants to get out of Sacramento. Games like this give him a chance to show what he has, and Cousins is one of the only players I would consider something like this for. He derives a lot of his game on emotions, and getting a gauge on those could give you a slight edge. He also has a good match up, as Tristan Thompson will have  a ton of trouble staying with him on the perimeter. Channing Frye and Kevin Love will also have to guard him at times, and that could get pretty fun. I think this game stays close, and maybe LeBron persuades Boogie to take a pay cut and switch jerseys at halftime. Hey one can dream.

Steven AdamsSteven Adams FD - $5500 DK - $5000
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 24.67 DK - 25.9

If you want to pay down in cash games, you have to give a look to Steven Adams. He looks to be fully healthy, and will absolutely be needed tonight. He is the only one with a remote chance of stopping AD, as Kanter and Sabonis will get embarrassed every single play. The Pelicans haven't been good against centers, giving up the 6th most  rebounds and 8th most real life points. Adams is priced way down, and he should see 35 minutes here. I don't see any chance he isn't in at least 50% of my cash games, and that is saying a lot. I think Anthony Davis will get most of the available boards and points, but enough should be left for Adams.

Hassan WhitesideHassan Whiteside FD - $9200 DK - $7900
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 40.08 DK - 41.68

You might not want to play all 4 of these Heat guys in the same lineup, but I don't mind 2 or 3. Whiteside is more of a tournament option, and isn't the guy I will be looking to in cash. He has immense upside here against the Nets, who don't have anyone that can rebound or stop Whiteside down low. Brook Lopez has the size, but the skill and effort is just simply not there. The price has also risen on FD,  so my exposure on DK will definitely be higher. I still prefer both of the guys listed above, though I will definitely get exposure to Whiteside in a decent amount of tournaments. When you combine the increased pace, match up and over/under, you have to adore Whiteside and his upside.

Clint CapelaClint Capela FD - $4800 DK - $4200
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 24.69 DK - 25.72

This is just one of those slates that offers a lot at center, which is very rare. Capela is a guy that just stuck out out me when looking at this slate, as I think the upside is tremendous. Capela has been playing between 6-21 minutes recently, and has been doing a lot in those minutes. Against the Warriors, he put up 40 fantasy points in only 2 minutes. This is another type of match up where that's possible, as the Celtics are absolutely horrible on the interior. Harden absolutely loves to run the pick'n'roll with Capela, so he will be pushing for as many minutes as possible. The minutes should pour in when he is on the court tonight. I will only look to him in tournaments, but can see the merit in cash games if you need a safe 18 points.



And Daily Fantasy NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings every day!

image sources

8 Visitor Comments

  1. Very fun and informative read today Austyn. Nice job. Thanks! A little more succinct and animated than other days. Enjoyed it. Just think what Capela could do if he plays 4 minutes! Ha!

  2. Sooooo many top priced options today and so little value options with the exception of Matt Barnes. Which top tier guy has the best match up tonight?


  3. Sorry just realized you wrote it. Westbrook and The Brow. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t jinx me in cash tonight.

  4. Yesterday I did well putting in chandler and Powell in but tonight won’t be so good . I feel like if u out one high priced players just distributing other positions will lack . Over the days I have won big money not putting in anyone above 10500 unless he has a very good matchup .

  5. Nice info. Cashed last night on multiple entries on DK. Would have had huge night if Gobert cooperates!!

  6. Where’s Jerome? Thanks for the tip on Tucker last night. Any value plays for tonight you wouldn’t mind sharing?

  7. Caris levert if u want a value play and seth curry both cheap

Post a Reply




Our free NBA and MLB eBooks, and picks to your inbox every day!

Your eBooks are on their way!