NBA FanDuel & DraftKings DFS Picks – 1/28/17

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


Isaiah Thomas (10000/9400) – It seems to me that we are going to see more players go over $10k this year than any year prior. Thomas is the newest member of the $10k club, and with good reason. He’s shown MVP type dominance, and the pace he scores in the fourth quarter is just silly. The matchup here against Milwaukee is irrelevant, as no one is going to stop him from doing what he wants to do. He’s a threat to put up 50 points any time he steps foot on the court, and he’s going to need to do just that tonight in order to make it worth your while.

Ricky Rubio (6700/7000) – Rubio has 50 point upside as well, but the chances are far less than that of Thomas. He is still in a great matchup here against the Nets, and he’s been playing very well as of late too. His price needs him to get around 35 points to really pay off for you, and I think that’s something he should be able to do against the Nets highly inexperienced backcourt. The upside is probably in the mid-40’s, making him a viable play in both cash games and tournaments tonight.

Jameer Nelson (4700/5300) – Nelson can be an up and down player, but with Emmanuel Mudiay out, and now Nikola Jokic out as well, you have to think that Nelson should see a pretty good bump in usage. His upside is in the 40-point range, except you are getting him at a bargain bin price. I’d imagine he’ll be a very popular play against the Suns and their up tempo offense, and this game should be very close, so Nelson should be needed to do a lot. He’s an easy play today.


Nicolas Batum (7500/7300) – The trend of taking the shooting guard against Sacramento continues. Today, we get a really, really good one too at a discount price. Batum is a triple double threat, and has the ability the block and steal, so I think he’s someone that we need to get into all of our lineups tonight. He should be a good bet to finish the night around 40 points, with upside above that, making him a lock in both formats.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5700/5500) – It’s no secret if you’ve been reading my breakdowns all year that KCP is one of my favorite players. This is toward the higher end of what I like to pay for him, but I still don’t mind it. I think he’s a bit of a better cash game play than a tournament play, but he still has some upside for the latter at this price. Neither Detroit or Miami play at a fast pace, so that’s really the only draw back here. I think 25-30 points is well within his range for the night.

Jamal Crawford (4900/4500) – Crawford was something like 5/39 over his poor shooting streak, but man can things turn around fast. It does both me a bit that it’s been quite some time since he’s had to play, but the price against the upside is just too much going in his favor. I think the Clippers are going to need his shooting if they want to stick in the game with Golden State, and my gut reaction is that Crawford is going to be the guy taking them to the promised land.


Andrew Wiggins (7300/7200) – I love the price on Wiggins tonight in this matchup against Brooklyn. In all likelihood, three players from this team are going to go over 5x value, but the hard part is going to be figuring out which three. I think it’s a good bet that Wiggins will be one of them, and at this price, I’ll have a lot of ownership on him. The Nets only do one thing well, and that is move the ball up and down the court quickly, which gives Wiggins a slightly higher floor given the increase in pace in play.

Wilson Chandler (5700/5800) – With Jokic out, there is going to be a lot of scoring, distributing and rebounding to do, and I think Chandler stands a good shot at doing a lot of that. I like Danilo Gallinari as well, but I’m fine with taking the cost savings and moving onto Chandler for the day. This should be the fastest paced game of the day, and it will not shock me to see Chandler in the mid-30’s when everything is said and done tonight.

Caris LeVert (4400/4000) – Kenny Atkinson continues to manage the Nets as if they are perennial NBA Finals contenders and gives his guys routine days off, as was the case with LeVert and Brook Lopez last night. It’s pretty clear that LeVert will play tonight, and I think he’s a nice option in both formats as he sees his role start to expand on this team. He’s done well with what he’s been given thus far, and I could see him cross the 25 point mark tonight if everything falls right.


Draymond Green (7800/7700) – It isn’t too often that power forward is the position that I don’t love, but tonight it certainly is. I think Green is a great option to start with in what should be a fun game between the Warriors and the Lakers. If Blake was not playing, this would be a pretty strong avoid situation, but with him back I think the Clippers should be able to keep things somewhat close. I think we could see a 40 point game out of him tonight.

Jon Leuer (4600/4500) – Tobias Harris will continue to be a smart cash game play, as he’s typically hitting at least 4.5x value around 80% of the time, which is great. Leuer, though, is also safe for cash games, but definitely carries a little more upside due to his price in tournaments. I will make pretty ample use of him tonight, as there are a lot of high priced guys that I wouldn’t mind getting into my lineups.

Derrick Favors (4400/5000) – Favors can be a bit of a risky option, as he really just hasn’t been good at all this year, but the price is really low, especially on FanDuel, and he’s got some pretty decent upside. Memphis hasn’t been very good at defending the position this year, and he just doesn’t need to do all that much in order to cross the 20 point line. I like him mostly in cash games tonight, but I just don’t see enough upside for tournaments.


Karl-Anthony Towns (10700/10600) – Tonight is going to be a very difficult decision at the center position, and I wish that I had the FanDuel salary cap with the DraftKings positional flexibility. I love a lot of plays at the position, with the top 3 listed and the next guy on the list being Brook Lopez. Towns will get to face off with Lopez, who got the night off on Friday, and should be in a good position to crack that 50 point mark again. He could certainly end up over 60 points in a game like this, so he should be on your radar.

DeMarcus Cousins (10900/11000) – The next player at the position that I really like is DeMarcus Cousins. He’s in an excellent position as the Kings take on Charlotte and most likely Roy Hibbert on Saturday night. Boogie is already tearing things up on Friday night while I am writing this, and he has an even bigger opportunity afforded to him tomorrow against the Hornets. Like I said, these are going to be some very difficult decisions tonight, as both of these guys have huge ceilings and pretty sake floors as well.

Willie Reed (4300/4800) – The last player at the position we’ll take a look at tonight will be Willie Reed. He’s got a ton of upside at this price if Hassan Whiteside is forced to miss another game. He’s got 10x upside even at this price, and even though Detroit is a tough team, I think he’s got a floor of around 20 tonight. He’ll let you load up at the positions you’ll need to tonight and makes an excellent play.

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