NBA FanDuel and DraftKings DFS Picks – 1/6/17

The first Friday of the new year has eight games scheduled with some of our favorite targets included. There are a few games that definitely have some sneaky good tournament appeal. I’ll give you my favorite picks, and I’ll try to mention guys that can be used in both formats.

Pricing is FD/DK

POINT GUARD:

John Wall (9700/10100) – It doesn’t take too long to find out player of the night, as John Wall grabs those honors in a beautiful matchup against Ricky Rubio and the Timberwolves tonight. This game should be both close and high scoring, so I would expect Wall to play heavy minutes, and this shapes up to be one of those games where he can be a triple double threat, making him worth the extra money on DraftKings. He’s certainly expensive, but I expect him to go off tonight.

Isaiah Thomas (9200/8300) – Coming right up behind him is Thomas against the Sixers. We’ve known for years that the Sixers are bad at defense, and that’s how things have been this year. Isaiah is an awesome slasher to get to the rim, and he can also stroke the three pointer, and is always a threat to double-double with assists. I like him just a little bit less than Wall, but he’s still certainly someone I want in a lot of my lineups.

Austin Rivers (4600/5300) – Who knows what you are actually going to get out of Rivers. Chris Paul is on the wrong side of doubtful for this game, so we should see more Rivers. I think his ownership will be up after his monster game the other night. He’s done it in the past, and I think that if Paul is out, Rivers is someone I want some ownership of against the Kings. The price is too good here.

SHOOTING GUARD:

Giannis Antetekuonmpo (10700/10700) – Naturally, Harden is going to see around 40% ownership on this slate in tournaments, and potentially more, but I’d rather go with Giannis to save some money. We just saw him have a really nice game against the Knicks the other night, including sinking the game winner. I’m expecting bigger things tonight with him on his own court. I think this one will be just as competitive, and he should have tons of chances to pay off his price.

Klay Thompson (6300/6400) – Something tells me that this Warriors/Grizzlies game could end up being sneaky with fantasy value. Not that many people like to play the Grizzlies as it is, and it’s likely they’ll stay off them against the Warriors. The Grizzlies also have a stout defensive identity, which could pull some of the Warriors ownership down. One route I like to go is Klay Thompson, as I think if players are going to make a run at the Grizzlies, it will be with Durant, Green or Curry. We’ve seen some of the biggest fantasy performances ever out of Klay, and while I don’t see him having a 50 point fantasy night or anything, I think he could hit the mid 30’s if this is as close as I think it’ll be.

Jamal Crawford (4800/4900) – J.J. Redick is in play here, but he seems to be the least likely of the shooting guards to come through with a big game. I think Crawford is the guy they want with the ball in his hands when this game is coming down to crunch time. He’s got mid-30’s upside, and maybe more, depending on how his shot is falling through the game.

SMALL FORWARD:

Carmelo Anthony (7900/7900) – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using LeBron or Durant tonight, but I just like Carmelo’s upside a lot again here. His price still isn’t close to his upside, and even though he isn’t the type of player he used to be in terms of upside, he’s still a viable option to be used tonight. I think he should come close to the 40 point mark again, and clearly has much more upside than that.

Jae Crowder (5300/5200) – Crowder seems underpriced for a matchup like this against a Sixers team that likes to move, and puts up plenty of ill advised shots, which should increase his rebound upside. They are terrible defensively in every facet of the game, so his three point shooting and mid range game see an upgrade too. I like him a lot, and wouldn’t be shocked to see him cross the 30 point mark tonight.

Matt Barnes (3800/4400) – Matt Barnes can never be trusted in cash games, which is something I mentioned the other night when he absolutely burned out. He is a good tournament option, however, as he is getting minutes, and can come through with threes, rebounds and steals. The matchup isn’t great against Luc Ricard Mbah a Moute, but his price is so low that if he is able to scrape together 20 points, he’s had a good night.

POWER FORWARD:

Julius Randle (7100/7200) – Miami doesn’t really have anyone who is going to be able to hang in there with Randle, so as far as I’m concerned, the only other player I am considering a must play tonight other than Wall is Randle. The price is very fair for him, and this is the type of game where he could creep toward that triple double he was able to put together earlier in the week.

James Johnson (5500/5700) – OK, try to keep up with me. In his first game back, his price went up to $6k, and after exceeding value at that price, his cost when down. With Justise Winslow now done for the year, there is definitely more opportunity and time for him to play, and at this price, it’s kind of tough to make a case against using him against the Lakers tonight.

Amir Johnson (4000/3800) – Admittedly, I didn’t have the intention of throwing out three different members of the Celtics, but that’s how it worked out. I didn’t mention him below, but Al Horford is also in play here. Johnson is very risky, but he’ll put together some very good games here and there, and I think this sets up well for him tonight against the Sixers.

CENTER:

DeMarcus Cousins (11000/10900) – This is definitely one of those games I really want to target, because without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers are not a good basketball team at all. This should give DeMarcus Cousins all the opportunity in the world to put up some really big numbers against them. He needs 55 points to hit 5x value, and his upside is quite a bit more than that. He’s another great play.

DeAndre Jordon (7500/7100) – I mentioned using DeAndre Jordan against the Grizzlies the other night, and he was 3.4% owned and put up around a 45 point game. There is no reason he couldn’t do the same thing tonight in a much better matchup. Especially on a site like FanDuel where the cap is less restrictive, I could see more people jumping on Cousins, making Jordan a nice, cheaper tournament pivot.

Greg Monroe (5500/5800) – Lasltly, I’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss how well Greg Monroe has been playing. He’s seem more and more opportunity in this Bucks offense, and has strung together a nice series of games at this point. I think the price is extremely nice, and while I’m not touching him in my cash games, he makes an awesome tournament play.