NBA FanDuel & DraftKings DFS Picks – 1/20/17

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:

Damian Lillard (8400/8500) – This slate is absolutely loaded tonight at just about every position so decision making will be difficult and important. Lillard gets the benefit of a matchup with the 76ers who actually look much better as a team. The Blazers, however, have looked too bad too many times, so I feel totally comfortable in suggesting Lillard tonight. The upside is huge here, and is price is at a point where he is usable in all formats.

Jeff Teague (8000/7900) – No matter what year it is, playing point guards against the Lakers is still a thing. Teague has been awesome this year, to say the least, after coming over to Indiana from Atlanta. I know the price is high, and it is tough to spend, but he has 50 point upside in this contest, because he just takes over games. D’Angelo Russell is pretty bad defensively, and a lot of the Lakers play loose and fast with the ball, which could allow Teague to end up with some more steals.

T.J. McConnell (5500/5200) – McConnell always feels like a risk to me, but I do think there is reason to play him tonight. The price is good, and Lillard is way more interested in playing offense than defense, which has led the team to getting blown out in far too many games this year. He’s a good bet to break the 25 point mark tonight, and could eclipse the 30 point mark if everything falls into place.

SHOOTING GUARD:

James Harden (12200/12200) – There would have been a point where we would have looked at this matchup and just said that the Rockets aren’t good enough to hang with the Warriors, and moved on. This Rockets team is built pretty tough, and I think they should be able to hang with the Warriors. Harden is a good bet to eclipse the 50 point mark, and we could see anywhere from 50 – 80 depending how the game flows. He’s one of my favorite plays tonight.

Lou Williams (4900/4600) – It’s been an up and down year for Sweet Lou, but he seems to have turned the magic on again. His price is great for someone who could end up with a 40 point night, and this is the type of game that things like that can happen in. I don’t know if I can bring myself to do it in cash games, but I will have a ton of exposure to him in tournaments with the hopes he continues his strong play.

Langston Galloway (3700/3000) – Perhaps the punt of all punts tonight could be Langston Galloway. He’s guaranteed absolutely not definitive court time, but has outplayed just about everyone else on the bench. Brooklyn is bad, and we’ve seen some bench players from opposing teams have some pretty big games against them. For a guy who is at minimum price or just above, the idea of him getting 25 minutes against a weak defensive team is enough for me to at least consider him.

SMALL FORWARD:

Kevin Durant (10500/10500) – If we think this Golden State/Houston game can stay close and be high scoring, then I think we have to get Durant in there. It is going to be tough to get both he and Harden in there, but really, I think there is enough value on the board to get the job done. He has just as high upside as Harden at less of a cost, but I just don’t think I can makes a case for spending on him over Harden with nine games tonight. Still, he’s one of my favorites.

Brandon Ingram (4200/4200) – It looks as if Luol Deng is headed for his second straight missed game, which should give Ingram a ton of run tonight. He’s got his good points and his bad points, but one thing he has to his advantage is his price. He should see enough run against the Pacers that he could sneak another 30 point outing out there, and if he does, he will have returned very good value.

Caris LeVert (4100/3300) – I debated between going with LeVert or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson here, as I think both of them have great upside at their prices. Ultimately, it came down to LeVert in tournaments because I think he’s likely to see less ownership. On a point per dollar basis, I think there is a good chance they could both end up close to one another, but it LeVert manages to do a little better, his owners will have the advantage.

POWER FORWARD:

Anthony Davis (11900/11400) – It’s hard to not see the matchup here against Brooklyn and get excited, because he could realistically tear them apart. The problem is for me that I just can’t trust him. He gets injured mid-game way too much, and it isn’t like he’s a $4k player here – you are spending a ton of your budget on him. Still, he’s got monster upside in a game like this and I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point that out.

Julius Randle (6500/7000) – Randle is on this list not because of his recent play, but because of his recent price drop that makes him very attractive for tournaments. He was on his way to a nice outing before Luke Walton sat all the starters after about three minutes went by in the third quarter. I think the matchup is a good enough to use him in both formats, and he’ll be one of my highest owned plays.

Dario Saric (4200/4300) – Saric is one of my players for the second half of the season, but I also like him right now. I think he’s a good bet for 20 fantasy points a night with the upside of hitting the 30’s. He’s a borderline cash game play because he is seeing the court enough to hit his necessary floor, but I think until he sees a few more minutes, I would go with him as a tournament only option.

CENTER:

Joel Embiid (8400/8400) – Right now, Joel Embiid is basically just a plug and play. He’s had very few bad outings, and I cannot see Portland giving him a tough time. I know the temptation will be to spend down at the position with other top dollar players on the board, but I think it just makes more sense to spend where you know you are going to get a pretty solid guarantee of return on points.

Brook Lopez (7400/6800) – One of the biggest weaknesses of the Pelicans is that they have no one to play the center position well. Brook Lopez is playing center all weird right now, as they wanted to add a three point shot to his game, but he still plays enough inside that he should be able to slice through their swiss cheese defense. He’s got monster potential, but I still don’t trust him enough for my cash games.

Mason Plumlee (6300/5200) – The Sixers have been really awful at the center position this year, which shouldn’t be surprising at all. Plumlee has been good for the most part, though the last week hasn’t exactly been a masterful one for him. The price is really good here, especially on DraftKings, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him pop up as a top owned center because of the price.

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