NBA FanDuel & DraftKings DFS Picks – 1/9/17

Welcome to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s NBA Breakdown. These picks are what I consider to be the best play of the day, relative to their price. One of the most important things we must consider in daily fantasy is how many points a player gets per dollar. It helps us identify value plays to pair with studs that we know will produce in order to maximize our potential points in lineups. I also try to identify plays that can be used in either cash games or tournaments. Typically, when I build my cash games, I am looking for players that have the best floor combined with good upside. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Pricing is FD/DK


Stephen Curry (8800/8700) – So Steph doesn’t get 50 fantasy points, and his price drops. Cool, I’ll take it. The team is back on it’s home court, and I cannot fathom any reason that Steph won’t keep his hot shooting going. I think Miami is pesky enough to keep things close with them, so I would expect a situation where Curry is able to see a full allotment of minutes, and I do think he’ll come close to hitting that 50 fantasy point mark tonight.

Kemba Walker (8300/8000) – Typically the one thing we look for with Kemba is that he is on his home court, which is not the case tonight. I’m willing to look past that, because with Nicolas Batum out, he’s definitely going to have to do some heavy lifting. It’s tough to say exactly how things will pan out, because the Hornets didn’t hang in too long with the Spurs the first game Batum was out. Even though Patrick Beverly is a good defender, I’m not too concerned, and I think we could see a big game out of Walker tonight.

Marcus Smart (5200/5800) – Smart will be filling in most likely for Avery Bradley, who is already ruled out. I would definitely like the price to be a little bit cheaper, but his production of late has caused his price to rise. Toronto is a neutral matchup for him, but I think they’ll keep him on the floor a lot, to act as Bradley’s replacement, as well as handle some of the distribution while Thomas is on the sideline. I think he’ll approach 30 points again tonight.


James Harden (11700/12100) – Overall, Harden is probably the top overall play of the day. Charlotte has been pretty loose on defense this year, and I cannot even imagine right now who they will try to put on him. Kemba can’t defend him, Lamb is there to shoot threes, and I don’t think that that MKG will be able to keep up with him, so with all that being said, I think he’s got a pretty clear path to another 60-70 point performance and he will definitely be in most of my lineups.

C.J. McCollum (8800/8100) – McCollum might be the hottest player in basketball right now, but the big issue here is that his price has caught up with him. He know needs a baseline of like 44 points just to hit value. While he could certainly do that, having Damian Lillard back will certainly eat into some of his production. With his price where it is at, there is no way I can suggest using him in cash games, but I think there is a big reason to use him in tournaments.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5700/5600) – KCP has been a little more frustrating this year than I would like to admit, but we should still be looking in that direction tonight as the Pistons head to Sacramento to play the Kings. I absolutely love that this is one of the later games, as I always love to see my lineups shoot up the board late. He will most likely be heavily owned, but whatever. I think he makes a great pairing with Harden, and I’m hoping to see him cross the 30-point mark tonight.


Gordon Hayward (7200/7000) – Hayward’s play as of late has been pretty poor, there is no question about it, but I think this is still a spot I want to use him here. I’m hoping that the vast majority of players will be off of him, which will put him in a great position in tournaments. The Cavs will continue their road trip, where they played way down to the Suns, and now get a matchup against a slow, plodding, defensively sound team. I think he can come close to the 40-point mark, but I’d reserve him for tournaments.

Otto Porter (6000/6200) – Porter has been playing pretty good as of late, and he gets a matchup against a Chicago team, with a sick Jimmy Butler, and a likely resting Dwyane Wade. This should open up a significant amount of opportunity for him to put together a solid game. I think Butler will have to focus on the offensive side of things and very well may not be paying too much attention to the defensive side of things.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (4800/5000) – I think that Lamb and Bellineli could end up being popular plays, but I think, especially in cash games, that it makes sense to run with MKG. I literally hate playing him, because he almost always burns me, but you’d have to figure he should benefit nicely from Batum being out. He was able to exceed 5x value against the Spurs, so he very well could end up coming close to the same marker in this contest.


Paul Millsap (8100/7800) – It’s probably worth mentioning that many, if not most, of the Hawks make good plays tonight against the Nets. I can’t see how anyone is going to slow him down, and things could get even uglier with Trevor Booker currently questionable. The obvious concern here is that this game turns into a blowout, which is entirely possible, but I will side with the Nets keeping things close enough long enough that Millsap and company do work.

Julius Randle (7200/7400) – Julius Randle at this point might be the chalkiest play in all of the NBA, and things won’t change tonight as he takes on a Blazers team that consistently struggles with the power forward position. I would assume his floor to be right at the 30 point mark, and he has over 50 point upside every night that he steps on the court. He’s our top play of the day when considering price.

Tobias Harris (6100/6300) – Harris is pretty close to Randle in terms of guys you can chuck into your cash game lineups and just move on. I think he should be able to play around whoever they put on him, Cousins included. The price is totally fair and if things go in the right direction, there is even some upside left in the price, should he near the 40 point mark. Every once in awhile, chalk does hit.


DeMarcus Cousins (10700/105000) – I remember this like very specifically from last year. I remember thinking “Cousins has been pretty bad at defending this year. I’ll play Drummond.” Man, he punked Drummond so hard it wasn’t even funny. On his home court, after a frustrating game against the Warriors, I am looking for Cousins to get back on track in a big way. On top of that, we get a bit of a discount after his poor performance the other night.

Dwight Howard (7600/7500) – We already mentioned Millsap, but if I had to choose between the two, I would likely go with Howard because there is literally no one who is going to be able to grab boards outside of him. This could be one of those 20/20 games we always hope for out of Dwight. Brook and the Nets are the worst in the league against the center position, and if you want to save some money from Cousins at the position, Howard is where I would go.

Mason Plumlee (6700/6100) – Centers against the Lakers are a thing, and Plumlee has been pretty good this year, building off of a very strong second half of the season last year. I don’t see much of a reason why he won’t be able to come close to the 35 point mark in this one, and makes an excellent play at the position.

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