NBA FanDuel & DraftKings DFS Picks – 1/18/17

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

POINT GUARD:

Kemba Walker (7900/7700) – OK, so first things first: thank goodness that we actually get a big slate of NBA action tonight! I feel like we’ve had these fractured slates for weeks, so it’s good to finally have a nice big slate to play. I really like the spot for Kemba Walker tonight, as the Hornets will be hosting the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. It’s a well known fact that Kemba plays better basketball at home. Damian Lillard is a dynamic scorer, but can sometimes be a little bit lax on the defensive end. We aren’t getting like a steep discount on Walker, but we are getting enough of one that I feel fine rolling him out in any format.

Mike Conley (7800/7500) – One of the main reasons I like Mike Conley tonight is that it seems like no one ever wants to play him. Making this even better, his price is now pretty high, which should turn people off of him even more. I think that makes him the perfect option for tournaments tonight. The matchup is irrelevant, but for what it is worth, Washington has been pretty bad at playing defense this year. Conley could take Wall to school tonight.

Elfrid Payton (6200/6200) – I do like Sergio Rodriguez tonight if T.J. McConnell is out, but I also really like Payton tonight in what should be a fun contest against the Pelicans. Payton is starting to show some toughness, and is establishing some confidence in his game that he is starting to not be afraid to take his own shots when the game is going down to the wire. He still feels a few hundred dollars underpriced, and will be a fixture in a lot of my lineups tonight.

SHOOTING GUARD:

Nicolas Batum (7400/7400) – I don’t hate the idea of stacking Batum with Walker tonight, as they are both high upside players that can put up big games at the same time. Batum has looked pretty good since returning from his injury a few nights ago. Portland can do a lot of things well, but I don’t think containing Batum or Walker is going to be one of them. He’s an easy play in cash games if you aren’t spending up at the position, or unless you want to go with value which is a popular strategy.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (4800/5000) – I do think part of Hardaway’s allure to me tonight is that I believe Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could miss the game. He’s a pretty good defender, and Hardaway isn’t quite yet the player who I really can see being able to out duel him. If KCP remains out, I think this is a natural spot for Hardaway to shine. He’s been really good in the expanded role he’s seeing and his price remains very attractive.

Jodie Meeks (3800/4500) – Meeks has been a pretty reliable option as of late, but much of his value is going to come down to Evan Fournier being out again. If he is, then Meeks is going to be a staple in my cash games, as I believe there is a pretty good chance he will exceed 20 points against the Pelicans. It doesn’t sound like Fournier’s injury is one that will only last a few days, so Meeks should have another look at extended run.

SMALL FORWARD:

Kevin Durant (10400/9900) – I think there are a lot of interesting options at the position today, but the most interesting to me is Durant. I think you’re foolish if you think Durant won’t be up each time this team meets this year. Right now, he’s looking like he made the absolute right decision, no matter how anyone feels. I hated it, but it’s his best shot at a ring. I’m calling a 60 burger for Durant tonight in what should be a rough game for the Thunder to get past.

Rudy Gay (7300/7000) – I’ve mentioned it the last two times I’ve written him up but Rudy Gay is my least favorite guy to use in lineups but he has two strong games in a row now. I think he can very well keep it going against Indiana tonight in what should be a close contest. I do love playing guys who are closing the night so I can see my lineups surge up the leaderboard, plus I think he should continue to see a ton of usage.

DeMarre Carroll (4200/5300) – Carroll thankfully sees a little bit of a price drop, after a pretty poor game against the Nets last night. His stat line doesn’t look that bad, but he made some pretty stupid decisions on the defensive side of the ball that kept him limited in the fourth quarter, once he made some quick steals. He should regroup tonight and I think he’ll be worth using in all formats tonight.

POWER FORWARD:

Draymond Green (8100/7900) – Who is going to guard Draymond Green? Honestly, that is a legitimate question. I cannot imagine anyone standing in his way tonight, and I think there is a very good chance he does much of what he did against the Cavs on Monday. I think he can be used in any format, as I think his floor is probably in the mid-30’s, but with his upside in the mid-50’s, that is a risk I am willing to take tonight.

Thaddeus Young (5400/5600) – Young is pretty dramatically up and down right now, but I think this could be a nice matchup for him against the Kings tonight. The price is fair, and he should see his normal amount of minutes, as this game should end up staying pretty close. There isn’t a lot at the position, at least right now, that is appealing to me, so Young might be a route I force myself into even in cash games.

Terrence Jones (5300/6700) – All eyes are on New Orleans tonight as we do the typical “will he/won’t he” dance with Anthony Davis’ availability. DraftKings already has Jones priced as if Davis is not going to play, and something tells me they are right. Jones is a lock when Davis isn’t available, so we’ll save the preamble about why you should play him.

CENTER:

DeMarcus Cousins (10700/10600) – DeMarcus Cousins should continue his strong streak of play here tonight as the Kings take on the Pacers. I think it should be a high scoring game, and I fully expect for Cousins to be able to hover around that 50-60 fantasy point mark tonight. His upside is sky high every time he takes the court, and I think if you can fit him in, it makes a ton of sense.

Zaza Pachulia (4100/3600) – I know, this is by no means the sexiest pick by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it is still a good one. If you look at his box scores, you’ll see that he is floating around that 20 point mark on a nightly basis. The Thunder could opt to go small, but I don’t think that is going to encourage Steve Kerr to alter his strategy. Pachulia should be able to keep things around the 20 point mark tonight and makes a great cash game play.

Boban Marjanovic (3900/3000) – I promise – I am not in love with this guy. I am just looking to hit him when it makes sense. Both Drummond and Baynes are questionable tonight, which means if they don’t play Boban will get at least 20 minutes. In that amount of time, I think he could get to 25-30 points. He’s better served for tournaments than cash games, but I think it makes sense tonight.

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