NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Wednesday (1/19)
Yesterday was a great day for yours truly, and I love the small slates! It makes it so much easier to break down, but that’s not going to be the case here. We have almost every team in action, so let’s go ahead and get started.
After watching just four teams yesterday, we’re looking at a full 13-game card here. That means all but four teams are in action, and it’s going to leave us with a monster player pool. Slates like this always tend to lead to higher scores, so be sure to shoot for the moon!
Schedule and Odds
- ORL at PHI (PHI -12) O/U: 212
- BKN at WAS (BKN -1) O/U: 229.5
- MIN at ATL (ATL -2.5) O/U: 233
- CHA at BOS (BOS -5) O/U: 221
- POR at MIA (MIA -8.5) O/U: 215
- CLE at CHI (CHI -1) O/U: 215.5
- MEM at MIL (MIL -6.5) O/U: 225
- TOR at DAL (DAL -4) O/U: 207
- OKC at SAS (SAS -6.5) O/U: 219
- HOU at UTA (UTA -11) O/U: 231
- LAC at DEN (DEN -7.5) O/U: 212
- DET at SAC (SAC -5.5) O/U: 220.5
- IND at LAL (LAL -4.5) O/U: 222
- Wendell Carter Jr (hamstring) Questionable
- Ben Simmons (personal) OUT
- Kevin Durant (knee) OUT
- Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) OUT
- Clint Capela (ankle) OUT
- LaMelo Ball (illness) Questionable
- Kelly Oubre Jr (COVID) Questionable
- Marcus Smart (COVID) Questionable
- Damian Lillard (abductor) OUT
- Norman Powell (COVID) Questionable
- Larry Nance Jr (knee) OUT
- Kyle Lowry (personal) OUT
- Collin Sexton (knee) OUT
- Ricky Rubio (knee) OUT
- Zach LaVine (knee) OUT
- Lonzo Ball (knee) OUT
- Alex Caruso (ankle) Questionable
- Dillon Brooks (ankle) OUT
- Desmond Bane (COVID) OUT
- Jrue Holiday (ankle) Questionable
- Brook Lopez (back) OUT
- Kawhi Leonard (knee) OUT
- Paul George (elbow) OUT
- Michael Porter Jr (back) OUT
- Jamal Murray (knee) OUT
- Jerami Grant (hand) OUT
- Kelly Olynyk (knee) Questionable
- Tyrese Haliburton (COVID) OUT
- Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) Questionable
- Myles Turner (foot) OUT
- Anthony Davis (knee) OUT
- Donovan Mitchell (OUT) Concussion
Nikola Jokic (C – DEN): $12,400 DraftKings, $11,500 FanDuel
Jokic is in this article every day, and rightfully so. This guy is the best option in fantasy, leading the NBA with 59 DraftKings points per game. His floor is equally as ridiculous, with The Joker scoring at least 41 fantasy points in all but one game this season. The Clippers also have one of the worst frontcourts in the NBA, which is on full display when you see that Jokic is averaging 62.1 DK points in their two matchups this season.
Trae Young (PG – ATL): $9,800 DraftKings, $9,600 FanDuel
Trae is on an unbelievable run right now. The Atlanta point guard has scored at least 38 DraftKings points in 21 of his last 22 games, averaging nearly 50 fantasy points per game in that span. That alone makes it hard to believe that he remains below $10K, especially since he faces a Minnesota team that ranks 19th in total defense.
Mike Conley (PG – UTA): $6,000 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
This is my favorite play of the day. Conley has already been having a solid season, but he should be running the show for the Jazz with Donovan Mitchell in Concussion Protocols. Conley has scored at least 27 DK points in every game that Mitchell has missed, and we truly believe he has a 50-point upside in this spot. The best part of this is the matchup, though, with Houston ranked first in pace and dead-last in defensive efficiency and points allowed.
Cash Game Considerations
Joel Embiid (C – PHI): $11,000 DraftKings, $10,500 FanDuel
Embiid is putting his hat in the ring for MVP honors with his recent play. The big man has scored at least 42 DraftKings points in 24 straight games, dropping at least 53 fantasy points in 11 of his last 14 games. That’s a truly absurd stretch, and it should continue here against a 25th-ranked Orlando defense.
Jimmy Butler (SF – MIA): $9,100 DraftKings, $9,100 FanDuel
With Kyle Lowry out for Miami, Jimmy Buckets has been doing most of their ball-handling. That’s big news for a guy amid a career year, scoring at least 33 DK points in all but three games this season. A triple-double in the most recent outing shows just how much he’s doing right now, and we believe he can get another one here against a 29th-ranked Portland defense.
Rudy Gobert (C – UTA): $8,500 DraftKings, $8,800 FanDuel
This is my favorite cash game play of the day! Rudy is one of the most reliable options in fantasy, and we believe he’s in line for 20 rebounds in this spot. We say that because he leads the NBA with nearly 15 boards per game but should get a boost against the fastest-pace team in the league. We love that with Rudy scoring at least 29 DK points in 37 of 39 games this season, scoring 40-plus in 12 of his last 13 games. I’m going to go on a limb here and say that Rudy gets his second 20-20 game of the season!
Dennis Schroder (PG – BOS): $6,400 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
The last four games show you why Schroder is a GPP option. The German guard scored at least 33 DK points in three of them but horrified DFS managers with 5.5 DK points in the other one. We’ll take the larger sample size because Schroder is averaging 30 fantasy points per game for the season and is doing more in the absence of Marcus Smart. The matchup against Charlotte makes him even more enticing, though, with the Hornets ranked second in pace, 29th in points allowed, and 26th in defensive efficiency.
Jordan Clarkson (PG/SG – UTA): $5,500 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
This dude is a chucker, and you better believe he’s going to be firing up shots without Mitchell. In the three games without DM, Clarkson has scored at least 35 DK points in all of them. That’s no surprise when you see that he’s taking 20 shots a game while leading the team in usage. That total should be easy to reach against the worst defense in the NBA.
Al Horford (C – BOS): $5,300 DraftKings, $5,100 FanDuel
This one is risky because of how bad Horford has been recently, but he’s got serious GPP upside in a matchup like this. We already talked about how bad Charlotte has been defensively, surrendering the third-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards. Big Al was a beast earlier in the season, too, averaging over 35 DK points per game before his four-week slide. He’s actually got at least 29 DK points in each of his last two outings, and that’s really all we need from such a cheap player.
Onyeka Okongwu (C – ATL): $4,600 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
Big O has been inconsistent, but it looks like he will be the starting center in the absence of Clint Capela. He’s played at least 24 minutes in four of five games since taking over this role, playing at least 35 minutes in two of those. All of that is awesome since OO has at least 19 DK points in all of those, coming off a 34-point gem in his most recent outing. We also don’t mind that Minnesota maintains a 24th OPRK against opposing centers, with Karl-Anthony Towns being one of the worst defensive centers in the NBA.
Chris Duarte (PG/SG – IND): $4,600 DraftKings, $5,000 FanDuel
There’s talk in Indiana about how they want to build around Duarte, and it looks like it’s starting now. The Pacers are missing Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. McConnell, and Myles Turner, leaving CD with a monster role. In fact, Duarte played 34 minutes in the most recent game and dropped a season-high 48 fantasy points. That shows the sort of ability this kid has, and he should only get better in his rookie season! The matchup with LA is the icing on the cake, with the Lakers ranked third in pace and 27th in points allowed.
Richaun Holmes (C – SAC): $4,400 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
Wow! This price is amazing! Holmes has been terrible since his return from injury, but limited minutes and foul trouble have crippled his value. In any case, this was an $8K player last season and a $7K player at the beginning of this season. We’re still talking about a guy who’s averaging 27 DraftKings points per game, generating a 37-point average before this nightmare stretch. It’s just a matter of time before he returns to that player, and a matchup with a 23rd-ranked Pistons defense might be the way to get him back on track.
- Richaun Holmes (C – SAC): $4,400 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
- Russell Westbrook (PG – LAL): $9,300 DraftKings, $7,500 FanDuel
- Cade Cunningham (PG – DET): $7,300 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
- Patrick Beverley (PG/SG – MIN): $5,200 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel
- Kristaps Porzingis (PF – DAL): $7,800 DraftKings, $8,900 FanDuel
- Jusuf Nurkic (C – POR): $8,700 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel
- Chris Boucher (PF/C – TOR): $6,100 DraftKings, $7,000 FanDuel