Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Monday 1/20/20
Monday in the NBA hits hard with 14 games spread throughout the day, and the sites are all over the place with how they break it down. While DraftKings packs nine games into their early slate, the FanDuel early consists of only three contests. This would make giving you early/main slate plays a real headache, so I'm just going to breakdown some of the top plays at each position for the entire day. Then if you need more feel free to pop on into our members chat for even more analysis right up until each slate locks. Not a member? Well then there is no time like the present to hit that red banner down there and get your free trial, but first, let's check out some picks!
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Lonzo Ball FD - $6700 DK - $7000
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 38.03 DK - 39.11
Lonzo Ball has been playing some of the best hoops of his young career this season. In just the past few weeks he's posted three triple-doubles which doubles his career total, and the Pelicans aren't shy about giving him complete run of the boards with him averaging 42 minutes per game over his last three. So it's a mystery why the sites aren't budging on his price. DraftKings has even decreased the cost by almost $1K just over the weekend. Since December 29, Ball is averaging 38.18 fantasy points per game, which should have him priced in the low to mid $7K range, making him an absolute bargain. Memphis come into the day with the 25th ranked defense from a fantasy perspective, allowing the fourth-most points and second-most rebounds to opposing point guards. Another triple-double could very well be in the cards for Ball tonight, and if so he should surely be a part of some winning cash game lineups.
Monte Morris FD - $4000 DK - $4700
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 29.39 DK - 29.16
Jamal Murray has missed two games already with an ankle sprain, and it feels safe to say he's going to remain sidelined yet again tonight as the Nuggets head into Minnesota on the tail end of the back-to-back set. This means we can expect to see Monte Morris in the starting rotation yet again. Morris drew his first start of the year on Thursday picking up 25 minutes against the Warriors and stretched his total to 28 against the Pacers on Sunday night. While he has yet to light the fantasy world on fire, as long as he stands to see increased usage and starters minutes, Morris is priced at a bargain, especially matched against the Timberwolves who come into the night with a bottom ten defense, allowing the third-most scoring per game to opposing point guards this season.
Markelle Fultz FD - $5400 DK - $6300
Opponent - CHA
Proj Pts FD - 30.55 DK - 30.32
There's not a lot to like in this mid-day contest between the Hornets and the Magic. After all, these are two of the most sluggishly paced teams in the NBA, and that reflects in the 207 projected total coming from Vegas. From a fantasy perspective that's a recipe for a hard fade. If I had to cherry-pick my one favorite play from the game, however, there's no doubt it's Markelle Fultz. Fultz has gone from looking like a complete bust, to a legitimate NBA point guard almost overnight. He's two games removed from a fantastic outing against the Lakers that saw him pay nearly 10X PPD (points per dollar) on these prices, and he's delivered at least 5X PPD in each of the two games since. Since the Magic lost D.J. Augustin last week to a knee injury the price on Fultz has yet to budge, but I'm thinking the longer Fultz carries the primary ball-handling duties for Orlando, we're sure to see it increase over time. As it stands right now, however, Fultz is priced to deliver, especially against a Hornets defense ranked 21st overall defensively.
Elfrid Payton (FD $5400 DK $5300) looked sharp against the Sixers on Saturday, going 10/7/7 in 31 minutes. Consider him today against the Cavaliers who hold the worst overall defense against opposing point guards.
Donovan Mitchell FD - $6500 DK - $7300
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 38.27 DK - 39.66
Donovan Mitchell posted a 22/4/2 line against the Kings on Saturday good for just over 4X PPD. This followed a Thursday night in New Orleans where Mitchell dropped a career-high 46 points on his way to over 9X PPD. The real Donovan Mitchell lies somewhere in between, and I'm confident we will see him tonight when the Jazz play host to the Pacers. Over his last ten games Mitchell is averaging 33 minutes per game, and 1.09 fantasy points per minute. In a game against a league-average defense, with just a 6 point spread, Mitchell should see plenty of playing time tonight and have little trouble paying value. Shooting guard is looking rough today, so nabbing Mitchell in the mid-tier is feeling like a safe way out.
Andrew Wiggins FD - $6100 DK - $6600
Opponent - DEN
Proj Pts FD - 35.69 DK - 36.35
Sticking with that mindset, let's keep it in the mid-tier for our secondary SG, and look at Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins had his best game in nearly a month against the Raptors on Saturday. In 36 minutes Wiggins posted his first triple-double of the season, and the 7.6X PPD was a welcome change from the 4.1X he was averaging in the five games prior. It stands to argue the trade of Jeff Teague to Atlanta has opened the door for us to see more from Wiggins in the Minnesota backcourt, and if that is the case then it shouldn't be very long before we see his price return to the $7K range we were seeing towards the end of last month. The matchup against the Nuggets is far from ideal, but given the opening line of 2.5 points with a 218 projected total, if we can count on Wiggins to continue picking up 32-36 minutes per game there's more than enough to like about this pick.
Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown are both currently questionable for the Celtics. If both are ruled out consider Marcus Smart (FD $5500 DK $5800) who sees a 3.5% jump in usage per NBAWowy. Having Smart as an option would certainly add more appeal to the position.
Brandon Ingram FD - $9000 DK - $8800
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 45.8 DK - 47.04
Brandon Ingram has scored over 20 points in five of his last six games, and the one game in which he failed to was also the one game in which he didn't pick up at least 38 minutes, a blowout loss to the Celtics. No concern of that here as the opening line for tonight's game against the Grizzlies sits at just 1.5 so anticipate a full complement of minutes for Ingram against a league average Memphis defense. Ingram holds one of the top projections, both for raw points and points per dollar in the top tier tonight, and should be considered across the industry.
Marcus Morris FD - $5200 DK - $5600
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 34.38 DK - 35.5
Marcus Morris missed five games earlier this month with a neck injury that came just as he was hitting his stride. In the three games leading up to the injury, Morris was averaging 1.2 fantasy points per minute and paying over 6.7X PPD at these prices. In two games back Morris hasn't quite matched that production but has performed well enough to warrant consideration in this price range. Against the Sixers on Saturday, Morris scored 20 points with six boards and three assists paying nearly 6X PPD in 36 minutes. Morris has been a constant source of production for the Knicks this season, and it's not hard to see why our NBA projection system is high on him, especially tonight against the 27th ranked Cleveland defense.
Will Barton FD - $6600 DK - $7800
Opponent - MIN
Proj Pts FD - 34.18 DK - 34.69
Will Barton has picked up at least 35 minutes in three of the Nuggets last five games, including a 43 minute, 7.7X PPD game in Golden State on Thursday. His production came back down to earth last night against the Pacers, where he logged a 16/7/5 line in 35 minutes, and we're looking for something similar from Barton tonight in a pace up contest against the Wolves. Minnesota runs a 105.2 pace factor, while also allowing the seventh-most fantasy scoring to opposing threes. I'm not a fan of the DK pricing here, but on Fanduel, Barton is a fantastic play for cash game consideration and should have little trouble hitting 5X PPD.
Gordon Hayward (FD $5700 DK $5600) was outstanding in a season-high 41 minutes against the Suns on Saturday. Similar to Marcus Smart, if Kemba and Jaylen remain out, consider Hayward another excellent option at a stacked position.
Pascal Siakam (FD $7400 DK $7500), still working his way back from an eleven game absence due to a groin injury, has the best matchup of the night against the Hawks, who allow 7% more fantasy scoring to opposing small forwards than any other team.
Jarrett Allen FD - $5400 DK - $5900
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 34.25 DK - 34.65
Jarrett Allen's scoring has been rather inconsistent lately, but he doesn't let that hold him back from terrific fantasy production on a nightly basis. Allen stuffs the stat sheet and dominates in the glass. When the shots are dropping, Allen tends to be a lock for a double-double, a feat he's managed three times in his last five games. Philly has been a rather stingy defense against the position this season, though their numbers have fallen off some with the loss of Joel Embiid, and Allen held his own against them just five nights ago, pairing 17 points with 10 rebounds. In a game that is essentially a pick'em, I'm not too worried about Allen here. He should be just fine for cash game consideration.
Lauri Markkanen FD - $5100 DK - $6000
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 31.27 DK - 32.29
Lauri Markkanen has been one of the most consistent plays in the NBA this season. He has scored in double digits in all but one of his last 25 games, and in January he's averaging 1.15 fantasy points per minute. I would like to see more peripherals out of him. In his last three games, he's managed an average of just five rebounds and one assist, but there's no better day than today for that to turn around against the Bucks who allow the third most of each per game to opposing power forwards and the eighth-most fantasy scoring overall to the position. While Otto Porter, Daniel Gafford, and Wendell Carter Jr. all remain sidelined Markkanen's minutes should remain steady as he remains one of Chicago's primary threats upfront.
Derrick Favors FD - $5900 DK - $6600
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 33.66 DK - 34.19
Derrick Favors returned from a two-game absence due to a hamstring issue and delivered a pair of outstanding fantasy games averaging 32 minutes, 21.5 points, 11 boards, three assists, and 1.5 blocks and steals while paying 8.9X and 7.2X PPD respectively. If Favors could just stay healthy he'd be an absolute beast. Unfortunately, he is once again questionable, this time with a lower back issue. While the injuries surely play a factor in keeping Favors price from getting too high, we have to proceed with caution here. The 5:00 games start off the Fanduel main slate so we should know something about Favors status before lock, on Draftkings, however, this game falls in the early slate and that will make things a little tricky. Fortunately, we have late swap in that case. Keep an eye on the injury report, and if Favors is in play consider him everywhere.
Jonas Valanciunas FD - $6500 DK - $7100
Opponent - NO
Proj Pts FD - 36.75 DK - 38.96
The recent game logs for Jonas Valanciunas have been all over the place lately. In his last seven games, JV has paid as little as 2.8X and as much as 9.4X PPD. The minutes, however, have held steady in the 26-32 range, and Valanciunas has demonstrated the ability to dominate both ends of the court. While it generally tends to be one or the other, when he does both, look out! In spite of the inconsistencies, we like Jonas here in a prime matchup against the Pelicans, ranked 19th overall defending the position. These are two of the NBA's top five teams in terms of pace factor, and though there is no opening projection for the total, I fully expect this to be one of the higher scoring affairs of the evening. There should be a ton of fantasy production up for grabs in this game, and for the price, I like the potential for JV to dominate and will consider him in all formats.
Deandre Ayton FD - $8000 DK - $8300
Opponent - SA
Proj Pts FD - 44.91 DK - 45.79
Deandre Ayton has started two straight games for Phoenix, after a brief stint running with the second unit. One thing that seems fairly certain is that no matter his role Ayton continues to produce at a top-level and the sites have yet to catch up with the pricing which remains about $1K too low for what we've been seeing from the big man. Ayton has double-doubled in three straight games scoring at least 20 points including a season-high 26 points in each of his last two. San Antonio is average defending against opposing fives and certainly shouldn't dissuade us from running with Ayton here in a game with no blowout concern and a 103.7 combined pace factor.