Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Doug Norrie

DFS NBA Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Friday 1/7/22

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Point Guard

Jalen BrunsonJalen Brunson FD - $5300 DK - $7000
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 31.3 DK - 33.61

Brunson will likely be one of the most popular plays on the slate and could see ownership near 100% on FanDuel considering the price is not adjusted at all for the opportunity. That’s because Luka Doncic is going to sit this one out with an injury. We’ve seen Brunson’s production when he is the primary ball-handler and creator in the Dallas offense. And it’s pretty damn good. He has a 26% usage rate with Doncic off the court this season with the assists and rebounds getting ticks up as well. Plus, Kristaps Porzingis is sitting this one out as well, leaving full control of the offense to Brunson.

James HardenJames Harden FD - $10400 DK - $10600
Opponent - MIL
Proj Pts FD - 53.71 DK - 58.88

It’s been an up and down season for Harden thus far with the superstar guard looking out of shape coming into the year, but turning it on in recent weeks when the team was a bit shorthanded. Considering Kyrie Irving isn’t in the lineup for this one and the price has dropped some, I think we can roll with Harden even in a tough matchup against the Bucks who do provide some defensive resistance. But Harden is averaging nearly a triple-double over the last six or so games and should see a lot of minutes as long as this one stays close. I think the floor is well high enough for cash games.

FanDuel got there on the price but DraftKings didn’t for Anfernee Simons (FD 7500 DK 6200) who should, once again, take a ton of usage in the Portland offense with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum on the shelf.

Shooting Guard

Will BartonWill Barton FD - $6400 DK - $5800
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 34.83 DK - 38.02

Barton can be a bit hit or miss depending on how the Denver offense is flowing in certain games which can make him a riskier cash game play. But that’s somewhat built into his pricing at this point and he’s sitting in the lower middle tier because of it. In close games, he’s set to play minutes in the mid-to-high 30s and has taken 12 or more shots in each of the last five games. That has him averaging 16 points in that span with contributions in assists and on the boards as well. This is a pace-up matchup for the Nuggets against the Kings who don’t play that much defense to begin with. I think we can roll with Barton in cash at these prices, especially on DraftKings.

Tim Hardaway Jr.Tim Hardaway Jr. FD - $5800 DK - $5100
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 32.06 DK - 34.31

With both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis out tonight for the Mavericks, we should see more opportunity open up for Hardaway, especially on the offensive end. In 221 minutes this season with both of those dudes off the court, Hardaway has the highest usage rate on the team at 30%. It’s a welcome sign for the guy considering his fantasy production has dropped of late. It’s not a guarantee that he starts here, but high 20s/ low 30s minutes off the bench is definitely in play.

Small Forward

Norman PowellNorman Powell FD - $7000 DK - $7100
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 36.61 DK - 39.04

Nassir LittleNassir Little FD - $5500 DK - $4800
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 29.99 DK - 31.51

While Anfernee Simons has seen the major uptick in fantasy production over the short-term thanks to the Blazers’ injury issues, there is still plenty to go around in this lineup that has considerable problems. Portland is without Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and now Larry Nance in this matchup against the Cavaliers. The latter is stout defensively, but there appears to be plenty of minutes and opportunity to go around for this squad. Powell has taken 15 or more shots in three of the last four games, dropping 26 or more three times in that stretch. He’s very scoring dependent for his fantasy production which is something to keep in mind, but that’s baked into his $7K price point. 40 or so minutes is definitely in the cards if this one stays close.

Meanwhile, Little should be in the starting lineup here at the three and has been able to do just enough scoring and on the glass to warrant a play if the minutes can push to the upper-30s. He’s averaging seven rebounds per game over the last five despite getting completely buzzed off minutes in one of them. This is a higher floor play considering the state of the Blazers’ roster and the $5K-ish price point on both sites.

Strongly consider Dorian Finney-Smith (FD 5800 DK 5300) who should see a lot of minutes for a banged-up Mavericks team.

Power Forward/ Center

Nikola JokicNikola Jokic FD - $11400 DK - $12000
Opponent - SAC
Proj Pts FD - 62.74 DK - 67.1

I think we are going to find enough ways to save on this slate that paying up for Jokic won’t be all that heavy a lift. And when it comes to a safe play in cash games, Jokic is about as good as it gets. He’s averaging a whopping 24 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists per game and this time around will get to face up against Sacramento and their 24th ranked defense and 5th-fastest pace. It’s the perfect blend you want in a DFS opponent and I suspect Jokic will be a popular play on this slate. With plenty of of punt plays at other parts of the lineup and teams still not playing at full strength, fading Jokic in this matchup isn’t advisable.

LeBron JamesLeBron James FD - $11200 DK - $11600
Opponent - ATL
Proj Pts FD - 56.13 DK - 59.32

The price is now really up there on Lebron who is being asked to do a ton for the banged-up Lakers. They need him now more than ever considering they are going to be fighting for the playoffs more this season than anticipated. Over the last nine games, basically, since the Lakers lost Anthony Davis, Lebron has been playing at MVP levels once again. He’s putting up 34 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and more than three defensive stats per game in that stretch. Those numbers are as good as you will see from anyone and a testament to his inability to age. While expensive, I still think his pricing is something of a value, amazingly.

Maxi KleberMaxi Kleber FD - $5600 DK - $4000
Opponent - HOU
Proj Pts FD - 29.95 DK - 31.74

If looking for a cheaper option to round out some of these expensive plays then Kleber definitely fits the bill. While not a high-usage guy, he should once again be in the starting lineup for the Mavericks without Kristaps Porzingis. He also gets to face one of the best DFS matchups around in the Houston Rockets who play the third-fastest pace and are second-to-last on defense. Kleber needs to grab boards here and knock down some threes, but the pace-up matchup really helps in this respect. He’s coming entirely too cheap on DraftKings especially.







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