Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy NBA Basketball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 1/5/19

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Point Guard

Damian LillardDamian Lillard FD - $9000 DK - $8600
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 44.63 DK - 46.41

Welcome to Saturday basketball! With the NFL playoffs under way, most eyes will be on that. However, there will be plenty of opportunity to take advantage of on this NBA slate. We have seven games on the slate and there is plenty of news to decipher. We'll kick things off in Portland, where the Blazers will host the red hot Houston Rockets. With an OT victory against the Warriors two nights ago, they have now won 11 of their last 12 games. They will have another tough obstacle in front of them tonight with Lillard and McCollum looking to end the streak. With Chris Paul out and Eric Gordon joining him, the Rockets don't have much in terms of defense at point guard. It'll be Austin Rivers and James Harden for the most part, with P.J. Tucker likely switching if he gets hot. In that case, Lillard would already be having a big game and Tucker can't stop a hot Lillard. There is some concern about him playing on the second half of a back to back, here, but his price is fair on both sites and he's my favorite way to pay up at point guard.

Elfrid PaytonElfrid Payton FD - $6200 DK - $5700
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 35.96 DK - 36.45

Elfrid Payton finally got over 30 minutes for the first time last game and it should be on the up and up from here on out. He went for 25 and 7, and it was very encouraging to see how involved in the offense he was given the cast around him. His price is far too low on both sites and I love him in all formats. The match-up against Cleveland is a solid one, with them ranking 25th against opposing point guards. Collin Sexton is a poor defender and he doesn't have any help defense behind him. The game is expected to be close and Payton will touch the ball on every possession down the stretch. Holiday will take some plays at point guard, but Payton is still involved on the wing. His price is way too low and I don't see the downside in playing him anywhere.

De'Aaron FoxDe'Aaron Fox FD - $8500 DK - $7300
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 34.56 DK - 34.5

For once in what seems like a while, point guard actually isn't a very deep position. There are definitely a lot of options, but nobody cheap stands out and there isn't a value play jumping out of the water. We'll now take a look at De'Aaron Fox, who's a bit more expensive than Payton, but should put up 40+ fantasy points against the Warriors. He's cheap on DraftKings and is a guy I'll have in every lineup over there. He got a few minutes off last game and should be right back to his usual 32+. The Warriors are average against point guards and Curry obviously isn't anyone to worry about. He might still be a little bit overpriced on FanDuel relative to his average production, but he was very solid in his last meeting with the Warriors, putting up 25 points and 9 assists, and he's cheap enough on DraftKings where that production would have been enough to pay value.

Keep an eye on the Devonte' Graham situation. If Lamb sits and he draws another start he makes for an excellent way to pay down at a rather thin position.

Shooting Guard

Furkan KorkmazFurkan Korkmaz FD - $3700 DK - $3600
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 27.69 DK - 27.61

If Butler is out again, Furkan Korkmaz will pick up close to 30 minutes and be close to a must play in cash games on both sites. The Dallas Mavericks are a slightly better than average match-up for opposing shooting guards. Korkmaz isn't afraid to get involved when on the floor and doesn't limit himself to being just a point scorer. He picks up a ton of peripherals and the Mavericks don't have many athletes and rebounders. Shooting guard is a strong position on this slate, but Korkmaz at minimum price is too good to pass up if he's going to see the minutes.

James HardenJames Harden FD - $13000 DK - $12200
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 68.6 DK - 72.66
Austin RiversAustin Rivers FD - $4300 DK - $4900
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 25.59 DK - 26.06

With Eric Gordon and Chris Paul both out, there are a ton of minutes up for grabs. They should both pick up 35+ minutes and I think it's hard to stay away from either of them. I said the same thing with Korkmaz, but that's where the tough decision making comes in. Personally, I think Harden is extremely expensive and I like some of the other stars on this slate. That's not to say he couldn't go for 70+ here. I just think going with a stack of some cheaper studs is a better way to go ownership-wise. Rivers, though, is currently showing up in many of our top optimal lineups.

Klay ThompsonKlay Thompson FD - $7600 DK - $6600
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 32.13 DK - 32.99

We all know Klay Thompson loves to play against the Sacramento Kings. It's the team he scored a million against in one quarter and also put up 50 in one game. They're an even better match-up this year, where they're playing extremely fast and have ranked in the bottom 10 against perimeter shooting. Thompson is slightly priced up, but rightfully so. He's not only shooting well from behind the line, but also contributing with a ton of peripherals. You can rely on him for his usual 35 fantasy points and he has the upside for 60 if he has one of his hot nights from behind the line. Shooting guard is a very interesting position and one you will have to get right on this slate.


Small Forward

Kevin DurantKevin Durant FD - $10000 DK - $9400
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 53.73 DK - 55.05

Here is another one of your studs that you can pay up for. I love Durant tonight against a fast-paced Kings squad. They not only play fast, but rank 20th against opposing small forwards and don't have anyone that can contend with Durant's size and ability to stretch the floor. He hasn't been exceptional over the last few games, but he was sitting around 50 fantasy points before this recent stretch. This match-up should kick him back into high gear after a disappointing loss to the Rockets where he put up a measly 39 fantasy points. I love targeting this game in general and plan to have a lot more ownership than the field. Durant is easily my favorite small forward to pay up for and I'll have him in as many lineups as I can fit him in.

E'Twaun MooreE'Twaun Moore FD - $4400 DK - $4300
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 25.33 DK - 25.98

The price on Moore is yet to rise and he just keeps producing. He’s always had a stellar outside shot and it really just comes down to him getting minutes and opportunity. He’s now been over 30 minutes in 3 straight contests and has posted 32, 20, and 24 fantasy points in those games. He now sees a match-up with a Cavs team that gives up a ton of open shots on the perimeter. Moore will have every chance to once again pay off his salary and I find it hard to believe that he will be the guy that dooms your lineup. The Cavs will pay no attention to him and he already has proven that he can get hot and eclipse 40 fantasy points. He’s affordable and safe across the board, making him one of the top SF on the slate. He’s an option in both cash games and tournaments if you’re not paying up in both spots.


Power Forward

Draymond GreenDraymond Green FD - $7000 DK - $6800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 36.77 DK - 36.4
Draymond has slowly gotten his game rolling and he put up 42 fantasy points against the Rockets. He’s starting to get more involved and this match-up against Portland should be perfect for him to pick up peripherals. It’s where his upside comes from, with the safety coming in form of 25 fantasy points. If the game stays close, Green will play 30+ minutes and score 40+ fantasy points. His price is slowly rising, but you’re still getting value out of 35 or 40 here in cash games. The Kong’s are a tremendous match-up and give him so much more upside.

Pascal SiakamPascal Siakam FD - $7000 DK - $6200
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 33.33 DK - 33.33

Pascal Siakam has been a bit of a craze this season. He hasn’t been insane, but he’s turned the corner from a role player to a solidified starter on an ECF caliber team. He does everything while on the floor and doesn’t have too much of a hole anywhere in his game. The Bucks are a porous defense in general and rank in the bottom 10 against opposing big men. Siakam is going to play another 32-36 minutes and is safe for 30 fantasy points with the realistic upside of 50. This is an underrated game that should stay close and could have some massive point scorers come from it. I’ll be splitting between Draymond and Siakam.

Anthony DavisAnthony Davis FD - $13100 DK - $11600
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 58.22 DK - 57.89
I know his price is crazy and he’s not easy to spend on, but that’s exactly why he’s such a good play. He’s in a phenomenal spot against a weak Cavaliers front court and will be less than 20% owned. Most people who are spending this much on one option will lean James Harden. I just think the difference in ownership will be much different than the difference in their production. The Cavs are terrible against big men and have nobody to even contend with the length of Anthony Davis. He should put up another 60 fantasy points and could easily get up to 70 or 80. His price is extremely high, but it’ll be worth it if there’s a trap. For me, Anthony Davis is my favorite stud of the night with all things considered.



Andre DrummondAndre Drummond FD - $9000 DK - $7900
Opponent - UTA
Proj Pts FD - 50.9 DK - 50.25

Center is a weird spot tonight. There are a ton of options on the board and I think everyone comes in at a similar percentage owned. We'll go with Andre Drummond, who's way too cheap on DraftKings and fairly priced on FD. He's facing off with the Utah Jazz, who rank 20th against opposing centers - a stat that might surprise you given Gobert's defensive reputation. Drummond is a monster and one of the only guys you can rely on to body up with Rudy Gobert. He's a guaranteed double-double on any given night and will always give you the upside for 60 fantasy points. If you're going to pay up, there's really no wrong way to go, but Drummond is the favorite of the optimizer. Let's look at an option if you want to pay down.

Brook LopezBrook Lopez FD - $6000 DK - $5400
Opponent - TOR
Proj Pts FD - 27.16 DK - 27.06

Brook Lopez has been on fire and while his shooting may not be sustainable, it actually might be. The Bucks are using him exactly as he needs to be used and they've given him the freedom to shoot as much as he wants. He has no issue shooting 20 times in a game and he's hit seven three-pointers in two straight games. He didn't have an amazing night last night, but still shot it well from the perimeter. Lopez is going to be pretty popular if you're looking to pay down and I can't find a reason to go elsewhere. The Raptors are an average match-up for Centers and should struggle with the outside shot of BroLo. Good luck tonight and feel free to comment down below with any questions or comments!



image sources

  • Warriors Lakers Basketball: (AP Photo/John Locher)

1 Visitor Comment

  1. Great article! For another take on tonights main slate, go check out this site! dannnyveinospage.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/nba-fanduel-picks-draftkings-picks-january-5th-dfs/

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