Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 1/8/20

The last couple of Wednesdays have been bizarre because of the holidays but we're back at it here with a normal slate. In fact, we have nine games ahead of us here, making for a dynamo DFS day. One thing to consider is that we have a lot of lopsided matchups on this slate. That's evident when you take a look at the spreads, with numerous elite teams facing off with some of the weaker clubs in the NBA. With that in mind, let's go ahead and get into it!

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Point Guard

Trae YoungTrae Young FD - $9000 DK - $9700
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 52.24 DK - 55.25

Many people will pivot to Harden and rightfully so, but Young is quietly one of the best plays on the board too. We're talking about a guy who's averaging 49.3 DK points per game, one of the league leaders in minutes played, usage rate and shots taken. That's a recipe for success in a matchup like this with the Rockets surrendering the third-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season. That was certainly the case in their last meeting, with Young dropping 52.3 DK points in just 31 minutes of play. 

Lonzo BallLonzo Ball FD - $6300 DK - $7400
Opponent - CHI
Proj Pts FD - 35.92 DK - 37.21

Ball was a huge disappointment early on but he's really hit his stride recently. Not only has he scored at least 38 DK points in four-straight games, Ball is also averaging 47 fantasy points per game in that span. That's a truly ridiculous total from a guy who's just $6,300 on FanDuel and it would be hard to imagine that not continuing with Jrue Holiday missing this game. We don't hate the matchup either, as this should be a competitive game between two sub-par teams in one of the most up-tempo matchups of the evening. 

We also like Kyle Lowry against a 27th-ranked Hornets defense with seemingly every other Toronto player injured. 

Shooting Guard

James HardenJames Harden FD - $11200 DK - $12800
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 63.24 DK - 66.02

Harden is the most expensive player on the slate and I'd argue that he should be even more on FanDuel. We're talking about a guy who leads the NBA with more than 60 fantasy points per game. While that puts him in play anytime he suits up, Harden happens to face a horrid Atlanta defense while playing without Russell Westbrook. With Westy off the floor, Harden is posting an absurd 47 percent usage rate while averaging 1.7 DK points per minute. Getting to face the Hawks is the icing on the cake, with Atlanta ranked 28th in defensive efficiency and 29th in points allowed. That was clear when Harden dropped 85 fantasy points in their one meeting earlier this season. 

Marcus SmartMarcus Smart FD - $5300 DK - $5600
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 30.22 DK - 30.37

Smart is one of the best plays of the day if Walker sits out but he's still a good option even if he does suit up. In the three games without Kemba, Smart is averaging 31.3 DK points per game. That's not even far off of his season-long averages, posting a 27-point average. That's plenty good from a player barely cracking $5,000 and we love that he provides value in other ways than just scoring. San Antonio is not as scary of a matchup as it used to be either, with the Spurs owning a 24th OPRK against opposing shooting guards this season. 

If you're feeling frisky, don't forget about Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers in the absence of Russell Westbrook.

Small Forward

Gordon HaywardGordon Hayward FD - $6500 DK - $7100
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 40.42 DK - 41.36

Boston is one of the sneakiest stacks on the board and Hayward would definitely be a major part of it. The simple fact is, Hayward has returned to his Utah form and is not being priced like it. So far this season, the Butler product is averaging 33.5 DraftKings points per game. When you take a solid season-long average and account for Kemba missing this one, he's starting to look like a high floor option. We're definitely not worried about a 25th-ranked Spurs defense either. 

T.J. WarrenT.J. Warren FD - $6100 DK - $6500
Opponent - MIA
Proj Pts FD - 31.28 DK - 31.3

Warren is coming off of one of the best games of the season, dropping 50.3 DK points on Monday. That extends a rather impressive streak from Warren, scoring at least 35 fantasy points in three-straight while averaging 36.1 DraftKings points per game across his last seven outings. That most recent stretch directly correlates with Malcolm Brogdon being sidelined and he should continue to lead the way in scoring with him off the floor. Not to mention, Warren faces a Miami team who allows the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards, their only major weakness. Brogdon will come back at some point, so monitor that news, but if he's out again Warren is a great play in all formats.

Brandon Ingram is a great option at small forward, taking on a ton of usage in the absence of Jrue Holiday.  

Power Forward

Aaron GordonAaron Gordon FD - $6200 DK - $6200
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 31.08 DK - 31.74

Many people weren't sure what to expect when Jonathan Isaac went down but it's clear that Gordon is definitely cognizant of his rebounding with him off the floor. In fact, AG has double-digit rebounds in five of his last seven games which is the thing that separates him from being an average player into a good one. That's led to him scoring at least 29 DK points in all but one of those games and it'd be hard to imagine him not doing that again here. The reason for that is because he faces a Wizards team who ranks dead-last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. 

Serge IbakaSerge Ibaka FD - $7400 DK - $7800
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 38.5 DK - 40.31

Rondae Hollis-JeffersonRondae Hollis-Jefferson FD - $4800 DK - $4900
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 28.52 DK - 28.06

Both of the Raptors current starting bigs saw cash game play last night, and for good reason. With Siakam, Vanvleet, and Gasol still sidelined there are just a lot of counting stats to pass around right now. Neither of them quite got there against Portland, but in an incredibly good match-up against the Hornets I like both of them for a bounce-back. Power forward is pretty brutal tonight, and I think either of them brings a solid floor against a Charlotte team that has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points per game against opposing centers and the third most against opposing power forwards.

Derrick Favors has been crushing it recently and should abuse a weak Chicago frontcourt. 


Clint CapelaClint Capela FD - $7600 DK - $7800
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 41.65 DK - 41.6

It's strange to see Capela sitting below $8,000. This is a guy who was $9,000 early on in the season and it's hard to understand why it's dropped so far. He's still averaging over 14 points and 14 rebounds a game on his way to a 40-point average for the year. What we love here is that he doesn't have to deal with Westbrook, who regularly takes 7-8 rebounds away. That means Capela has legitimate 20-20 upside here, facing a Hawks club who surrenders the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season. 

Brook LopezBrook Lopez FD - $5100 DK - $5300
Opponent - GS
Proj Pts FD - 26.99 DK - 24.93

It was hard to pick a second center but Lopez is a nice option in the low $5,000s. While he's had a down year by his standards, Lopez is the sort of guy who has 40-point potential on any given night. That's been clear recently, averaging 32.1 DraftKings points per game across his last 10 fixtures. That's a monster total from a player priced so cheaply and we love that he faces a 26th-ranked Warriors defense here. 

Nikola Vucevic is also a great option against the worst defense in the NBA. 






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