Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Monday, 1/6/20
Welcome friends to Monday night in the NBA. We've got nine games on the docket for tonight and there is a ton of value up for grabs. Join Jerry as he takes you position by position through some of our NBA projection system's top plays to consider when building your fantasy lineups.
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Aaron Holiday FD - $5600 DK - $5800
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 31.2 DK - 32.13
Malcolm Brogdon remains out for the Pacers which means we can continue to count on a healthy helping of Aaron Holiday in the Indiana backcourt. Holiday has started two straight, and seven of the last eight for the Pacers and in that time he has averaged nearly a fantasy point per minute in just under 30 minutes average per game. The Hornets are a slightly above average matchup for opposing point guards, but this game is expected to remain competitive throughout, so I'm not overly concerned about a less than ideal matchup. As long as Holiday can keep himself out of foul trouble he should see more than enough time to get us where we want to be in cash games.
J.J. Barea FD - $4200 DK - $4500
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 26.87 DK - 28.79
One minute it looked like J.J. Barea, fresh off a torn Achilles, was going to be riding the pine for much of the season with just the occasional appearance off the bench, but with the recent loss of Tim Hardaway to a hamstring injury, Barea has started two straight contests for the Mavs and has looked quite good doing so. In 32 minutes against the Hornets on Saturday Barea came an assist shy of a double-double and had his second straight game scoring at least ten points. THJ is listed as questionable and could be close to a return so keep an eye on the situation, but if Barea remains in the starting five for Dallas, he is sitting at an optimal price even against a stingy Chicago defense.
Marcus Smart FD - $4900 DK - $5200
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 34.16 DK - 34.34
With Kemba Walker ruled out for a third straight game due to illness, Marcus Smart jumps up to the top of our projections. Not only is he all but guaranteed to see another 30+ minutes running with the Boston starters, but per NBAWowy.com his usage jumps 3% with Walker off the court. Smart's coming off a bit of a stinker in Chicago over the weekend, but before that, he was riding a streak of three straight contests paying off big time at these prices, including a 10X PPD (points per dollar) showing against the Hawks on Friday. Washington not only presents an ideal defensive matchup for opposing shooting guards, but they also run the third-fastest pace in the Association. I'm certain once Vegas releases an opening line on this one it will easily be one of the top projected point totals of the evening so don't be shy about pulling the trigger on Smart in your cash games.
Buddy Hield FD - $6700 DK - $7200
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 36.43 DK - 38.55
Buddy Hield has been playing on a different level lately, and the sites have surely taken notice. His price on both Fanduel and Draftkings is up $1000 since just before the start of the New Year, but the crazy thing is there's still room for growth before we have to show any concern about the price. In his last six games, Hield has played an average of 36 minutes while scoring 35.5 fantasy points per game. Most recently Heild notched a double-double against the Pelicans while running the boards for 39 minutes in a nail-biting loss. Tonight he gets the best matchup a shooting guard can ask for taking on the Warriors, who have surrendered a staggering 45 fantasy points on average to the position this season. This will be a pace up contest for the traditionally slow Kings squad, and Hield should be in line for yet another solid night of productivity.
Jordan McRae FD - $5600 DK - $5700
Opponent - BOS
Proj Pts FD - 37.47 DK - 38.18
The Wizards are terrible. I get it, but Bradley Beal is questionable tonight, having missed four of the last five games, and if he sits out once again we kind of have to consider Jordan McRae picking up another start. McRae struggled against Denver, but everybody struggles against Denver. Prior to that game McRae was eating minutes and spitting out production in each of his previous four games. As good as the Celtics are, they're a league average matchup for opposing two guards and that puts McRae in a much better position this evening so we should see him back on track as long as Beal remains sidelined.
Gordon Hayward FD - $6400 DK - $7100
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 39.78 DK - 40.69
Here we have another benefactor of the Walker effect. With Kemba out of commission, Gordon Hayward stands to see a bump in usage, as well as some additional run on the boards. It took Hayward some time to find himself after coming back from a foot injury on Christmas day but he seems to be back on track now. In his last three outings, Hayward has scored a minimum of 18 points while snagging an average of seven boards. While the DraftKings price is a little lofty, I don't think it qualifies for a pass on Gordon, especially given the circumstances this evening. The Fanduel price, on the other hand, is almost impossible to pass on at this point. Consider Hayward in cash everywhere, with potential upside in Fanduel tournaments.
Joe Ingles FD - $5400 DK - $5700
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 31.54 DK - 33.05
Joe Ingles' price across the industry is only about $1K more today than it was when he stepped into the starting five just over a month ago, which is quite mind-boggling when you look at the numbers. Over just his past six contests Ingles has averaged 31.3 Fanduel points, good for nearly 6X PPD on his price. As if that's not enough to sell you on Ingles, consider the matchup. Everything about it screams must-have. The Pelicans are an average matchup for opposing wings, run the fourth-fastest pace in the NBA, and this game has quite the appealing opening coming out of Vegas, with a 223 implied total and a mere 2.5 point spread. If Ingles were priced over $6K then a case could be made against the man, but here we are, and there's just no arguing against Ingles given the spot he's in.
T.J. Warren FD - $5700 DK - $6000
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 32.72 DK - 32.83
Once again we find ourselves looking at a player who is just completely underpriced, especially on Fanduel. T.J. Warren has been shooting lights out lately, scoring 16 points or better in seven of his last eight contests, a stretch during which he averaged 29.8 Fantasy points, against some of the leagues better defenses. While Charlotte is tough defensively in the backcourt, they're not quite so tough up front making a strong case for Warren as a cash game play.
There's more than enough value out there to considerGiannis Antetokounmpo (FD $11400 DK $10900) unless his recent back issues lead to him sitting this one out, though as of this writing he's listed as probable.
Richaun Holmes FD - $6700 DK - $6600
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 35.48 DK - 33.73
Richaun Holmes is proving to be a solid threat against any team that goes up against the Kings on any given night. Holmes has scored in double digits through ten straight contests with five double-doubles in that stretch. He's seen at least 30 minutes in each of his last seven, maxing out at 44, and during that stretch, he's averaged 1.07 fantasy points per minute. Based on those numbers he should be priced over $7K across the board. Since he's not it's kind of hard to fade him, especially in a pace up contest against a Warriors team with the seventh-worst overall defensive matchup from a fantasy perspective. It's not hard to see why our NBA projection system is high on Holmes tonight. He's an excellent play at the four in all formats.
PJ Washington FD - $5500 DK - $5600
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 31.98 DK - 32.25
It's still quite early, but if P.J. Washington continues at his current pace it's hard to imagine his name not being thrown out there in Rookie of the Year conversations. I don't think he'll necessarily get it, but the argument could be there. Sure, he missed a little playing time due to injury, but once reactivated, Washington didn't miss a beat. In five games back Washington is averaging 35 minutes, 15.6 points, 5.2 boards, and 2.4 assists per game. Indiana can prove to be a tough matchup for opposing power forwards, but Washington has shown himself up to the challenge against some of the league's tougher defenses with no struggles at all. The theme of the day thus far has been mid-tier value plays, and Washington fits the bill quite nicely.
Lauri Markkanen is considered doubtful for the Bulls with an ankle sprain suffered on Saturday. If he is unable to go then strongly consider Thaddeus Young (FD $4200 DK $3700) who should pick up a ton more minutes in Markannen's absence.
Joel Embiid FD - $9600 DK - $9400
Opponent - OKC
Proj Pts FD - 52.96 DK - 54.94
Our one big money play we're going to spotlight is Sixers big man Joel Embiid. Jojo is far and away our system's favorite way to blow a ton of salary tonight, and best of all, he's under $10K across the board. Embiid double-doubled for the fourth straight time in Philly's loss to the Rockets on Friday night, after sitting out three nights earlier with knee soreness. The Sixers return to south Philly tonight, where they have played much more inspired ball to face the Thunder who have been average defending against opposing big men this season. The big selling point here is the price. Joel's always a threat for 50+ fantasy points on any given night, and when I can get him at home for less than $10K I'll jump at that chance every time.
Bismack Biyombo FD - $4700 DK - $4300
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 26.76 DK - 26.37
If Embiid's recent troubles shooting the rock have you concerned, even at that price, then there are some bargain plays we can consider at the position. Hornets big man Bismack Biyombo is coming off a season-high 36 minutes against the Mavericks that saw him notch a double-double and his fourth double-digit scoring effort in his last six games. While Biyombo is far from a sure thing several factors are breaking in his favor tonight in a sweet matchup against the Pacers. Indiana is terrible defending against the five this season, allowing the most points, and fourth-most rebounds to the position. There's surely some risk attached to Biyombo, but the matchup also offers the potential for great reward.
Wendell Carter Jr. FD - $5800 DK - $6000
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 32.42 DK - 33.75
If Biyombo is a streaky player in an ideal matchup here we have the opposite. Outside of some foul trouble in Orlando last month, Wendell Carter Jr. has been crushing at these prices lately. Over his last four games, Carter has averaged 33.7 fantasy points per game good for nearly 6X PPD. Carter has seen 70 minutes of run over his last two games and has double-doubled in three straight. While Carter has been excellent down the stretch, the matchup against the Mavericks leaves something to be desired. Based on recent performance, I'm not too concerned. If I had to choose, I'd likely use Biyombo in tournaments, and go with Carter in cash.
Nikola Vucevic (FD $8500 DK $8300) gets an excellent matchup against the Nets who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.