NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Monday (1/24)
I know this is an NBA article, but how special was that Buffalo-Kansas City game yesterday? Moments like that help us to remember why we love sports because some of the most magical things can happen right before our eyes. There have been plenty of those moments in the NBA this year, and we’re hoping to see more here!
After 11 games on Sunday, we’re down to just four here! That’s usually disappointing, but we could be looking at some tight games. None of the spreads are above 7.5 points, and we have some of the strangest pricing I’ve ever seen as well. That’s going to lead to more players in the price discrepancy section than usual, and it’s clear that FanDuel is trying something different on this short slate.
Schedule and Odds
- NYK at CLE (CLE -7.5) O/U: 203.5
- IND at NOP (NOP -2.5) O/U: 214.5
- CHI at OKC (CHI -2.5) O/U: 214.5
- UTA at PHX (PHX -7.5) O/U: 223
- Kemba Walker (knee) Questionable
- Nerlens Noel (ankle) Questionable
- Cam Reddish (ankle) Questionable
- Derrick Rose (ankle) OUT
- Collin Sexton (knee) OUT
- Ricky Rubio (knee) OUT
- Lauri Markkanen (ankle) Questionable
- Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) OUT
- Caris LeVert (calf) Questionable
- Myles Turner (foot) OUT
- Domantas Sabonis (ankle) OUT
- Zion Williamson (foot) OUT
- Devonte’ Graham (ankle) Questionable
- Zach LaVine (knee) Questionable
- Alex Caruso (wrist) OUT
- Lonzo Ball (knee) OUT
- Donovan Mitchell (concussion) Questionable
- Deandre Ayton (ankle) Questionable
- Rudy Gobert (calf) Questionable
- Mitchell Robinson (ankle) Questionable
DeMar DeRozan (SF/PF – CHI): $9,100 DraftKings, $9,000 FanDuel
To say the Bulls are shorthanded would be a drastic understatement. They’re currently without Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso, leaving DeRozan with all the ball-handling duties he can handle. With all those guys off the floor, DD leads the club with a 36 percent usage rate while attempting 25 shots and playing 40 minutes a game. That’s on full display when you see that DeMar has at least 45 fantasy points in four of his last five games.
Jonas Valanciunas (C – NOP): $8,300 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
The Pelicans were already missing Zion, but with Ingram out as well, JV should run this offense at ease. That’s big news for a guy amid a career year, averaging over 40 DraftKings points per game. All of that makes him impossible to fade with how shorthanded this team is, especially with Indiana missing their top two big men as well.
Chris Duarte (PG/SG/SF – IND): $6,400 DraftKings, $6,700 FanDuel
The Pacers have given up on the season. That’s good news for a rookie like Duarte, though, establishing himself as one of the focal points of the offense. Indiana is without Sabonis, McConnell, Turner, Brogdon, and LeVert, leaving Duarte with a 35-minute ball-handling role. That has led to Chris collecting at least 26 DK points in four straight fixtures, generating a 38-point average in that span.
Cash Game Considerations
Nerlens Noel (C – NYK): $4,200 DraftKings, $4,300 FanDuel
It looks like Robinson will miss this game, which should force Noel into the starting center job. Starting is one thing, but we love that he’s going to swallow up all of the Robinson minutes as well. If you look at the 10 games that Noel has played at least 24 minutes this season, he’s averaging over 25 DraftKings points per game. They’ll need him for at least 24 minutes to oppose this huge Cleveland frontcourt too.
Josh Hart (SG/SF – NOP): $7,400 DraftKings, $6,500 FanDuel
Hart is a stat-stuffing machine! The versatile wing has at least 31 DK points in four of his last five games, which actually matches his average for the season. That alone makes him a good value in this price range, but he should be asked to do even more with Ingram and Graham out as well.
Goga Bitadze (C – IND): $6,200 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel
We already mentioned how Indiana is missing half of their roster, making Bitadze a beautiful fantasy option. The big man has played at least 25 minutes in three of his last four games, scoring at least 31 DK points in all of those. He’s quite simply a double-double machine in a 30-minute role, and it’s hard for Indiana to get him off the floor with so many key pieces missing. We love that he faces a 24th-ranked Pelicans defense too!
Jordan Clarkson (PG/SG – UTA): $6,700 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
With Mitchell expected to miss another game, Clarkson should be in for another big night. The Sixth Man of the Year candidate leads the team with a 32 percent usage rate when Mitchell is off the floor, averaging over 35 fantasy points per game in those outings. That’s a ridiculous total from a sub-$7K player, and we truly believe he’s going to fire up 15-20 shots in this expanded role!
Darius Bazley (PF – OKC): $4,400 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
The Thunder might have the worst frontcourt in the NBA, but Bazley is their best option. The 21-year-old is averaging 22 DK points per game across 23 minutes a night over his last eight outings. You really can’t ask for much more from a $4,500 player, and his role should continue to rise with OKC falling down the standings. We also don’t mind that Chicago surrenders the most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season.
Keifer Sykes (PG/SG – IND): $3,400 DraftKings, $3,900 FanDuel
With LeVert, Brogdon, and McConnell all out for the Pacers, Sykes is one of the only guards left. That’s led to Sykes playing at least 23 minutes in seven of the last 11 games, playing at least 31 minutes in five of those. That’s an unbelievable role from such a cheap player, with Sykes scoring 25-30 fantasy points per game in those outings. That should be easy to duplicate against a 24th-ranked New Orleans defense.
Herbert Jones (PF/C – NOP): $4,700 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
DraftKings has kept Jones’s price low for quite some time, and it’s hard to understand why. The rookie has scored at least 23 fantasy points in 10 of his last 12 games, generating a 30-point average in that span. He was doing that production when this roster was healthy, and it’s scary to think what he could do with Ingram and Graham both out.
Tyler Cook (PF/C – CHI): $3,000 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
Cook hasn’t proven much at this level, but he’s asked to play big minutes for this shorthanded Chicago team. He’s played at least 26 minutes in back-to-back games, which is truly impossible to find from a minimum-priced player. All he needs is 15-20 fantasy points to reach value at this price, and if he plays 25-30 minutes, that should be an easy task with the Thunder surrendering the third-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (PG/SG – NOP): $3,800 DraftKings, $3,800 FanDuel
This kid has been really disappointing, but he’s got all the talent in the world. NAW showed us that he could be an $8K player in the Summer League and preseason, stuffing the stat sheet at ease. He’s shown flashes of that in the regular season, but we love this opportunity with so many Pelicans out of the lineup. That means he’s a near guarantee for 25-30 minutes and a ton of ball-handling, making him an excellent value play as a sub-$4K player.
- Rudy Gobert (C – UTA): $9,200 DraftKings, $10,400 FanDuel
- Jordan Clarkson (PG/SG – UTA): $6,700 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
- Herbert Jones (PF/C – NOP): $4,700 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel
- Julius Randle (PF/C – NOP): $9,700 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel
- Evan Mobley (PF/C – CLE): $7,900 DraftKings, $6,900 FanDuel
- Alec Burks(SG/SF – NYK): $7,100 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
- Kemba Walker (PG – NYK): $6,600 DraftKings, $5,200 FanDuel
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG – OKC): $9,000 DraftKings, $10,200 FanDuel
- Josh Giddey (PG/SG – OKC): $7,300 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
- Coby White (PG/SG – CHI): $7,000 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
- Jeremy Lamb (SG/SF – IND): $4,000 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
- Chris Paul (PG – PHX): $8,600 DraftKings, $10,300 FanDuel
- Mike Conley (PG – UTA): $7,200 DraftKings, $5,800 FanDuel
Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Value Plays – which allows you to identify players who are projected to outperform their salaries – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.