Happy Friday everybody. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 11th. For Friday night, we get a full slate, with nine games on tap. As always, if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. Also, I recommend following me, because if anything changes with these plays below or if any injury news effects the slate, I try to address the situations I find important before tip off. @Hunta512.
PG/SG: James Harden: (12,500)
There are blowout concerns with The Rockets tonight vs The Cavs (HOU -13.5), but Harden should still have a big night vs this putrid Cavs’ defense. (dead last in defensive efficiency this season) Gordon (knee) and Chris Paul (hamstring) will be both remain sidelined and in these last five without them, Harden has averaged an insane 73.25 DK PPG. His usage has been at a 44.6% clip and he is scoring 1.82 DK PPM during this stretch.
The spread may seem scary, but HC Mike D’Antoni has played Harden 39.6 MPG in the three that they have won by double digits, since Gordon got hurt. So, barring a 30-40 point win, which is unlikely, Harden should log 35+ on his home floor, where he is scoring 5.1 more DK PPG. DraftKings is slowly increasing his price, but Harden should honestly be priced over $13,000 right now. He is without question the top overall play and is still a fine spend on Friday night.
PG/SG: Donovan Mitchell: (7.900)
In the first game without Ricky Rubio (hamstring) and Dante Exum (ankle), who will both be out for at least a week, “Spida” Mitchell took over this offense, and scored 51.5 DK points Wednesday vs The Magic. His usage was at a team high 32% and his assist percentage went all the way up to another team high, 35%, in this win. This is a massive 17.3% increase from his average assist rate for the season and with Raul Neto (groin), who was the player that started at PG for Rubio vs The Magic (31 minutes), also now out, Mitchell is going to take on a enormous role tonight vs The Lakers.
With this situation, I think the one thing people may forget, is that Alec Burks is also not with The Jazz anymore. He was traded to The Cavs a few months ago and if he was still with Utah, he would be the main beneficiary in this scenario. In return for Burks, The Jazz got Kyle Korver, who isn’t a playmaker or a strong ball handler, that is capable of filling in a PG role. This leaves Mitchell in huge workload and when Rubio, Exum, Burks, and Grayson Allen (ankle) have all been off the court this season, Spida is posting a 34.6% usage rate, and is supplying 1.14 DK PPM. As the icing on the cake, The Jazz will be at home, facing The Lakers, who are the 4th fastest team in The NBA. (4.1 possession increase for The Jazz) At a reasonable cost of only $7,900, Mitchell feels like a must have.
SF: Royce O’Neale: (3,300)
With Neto now also hurt, The Jazz should shift Mitchell to the one, while starting O’Neale at the two. He is the player that has usually started when Mitchell has missed games and with The Jazz this shorthanded, O’Neale should have to log roughly 30 minutes vs The Lakers. It is a limited sample (42 minutes), but when O’Neale has been on the floor, without Rubio, Burks, Neto, and Exum, he is providing a solid 0.82 DK PPM.
Furthermore, in the nine games O’Neale has cracked 20 minutes this year, he is averaging 16.2 DK PPG, which may not seem like much, but this right at what we would from him for five times value, and The Jazz obviously weren’t down this many players in those previous games. His ceiling isn’t great, but O’Neale should get over 20 DK points.
PF/C: Domantas Sabonis: (7,500)
Myles Turner (shoulder) will miss his fourth straight game tonight, keeping Sabonis as The Pacers’ starting center. He has averaged 37.75 DK PPG in these last three, which includes a blowout vs The Celtics, that only required 27 minutes from Sabonis. He logged 32.5 in the previous two and should play close to 35 minutes tonight vs The Knicks. (IND -8.5)
The Pacers have lost two of these three without Turner and The Knicks should put up a decent fight at home. New York is a terrible defense (29th in efficiency) and they are allowing the 4th most RPG. (2.51 opponent +/-) Sabonis’ Vegas props, via Sportsbook.com, have him with over 20 points and ten rebounds in this spot. He is a very strong target, that could get overlooked in this full slate. (2-4% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
C: Joel Embiid: (11,000)
Embiid has been great (1.75 DK PPM since the new year) and the matchup doesn’t get much better than vs The Hawks. (1st in pace and a 2.71 opponent +/-) The only thing that’s holding him back is The Sixers are favored 12.5 points on their home floor.
PG/SF: Ben Simmons: (8,900)
Similar to Embiid, I worry about the blowout here, but playing up in pace vs The Hawks is perfect for Simmons. In The Sixers’ first meeting with Atlanta this season, Simmons recrorded 52 DK points in only 26.5 minutes of work.
SG: Bradley Beal: (8,600)
The news of Giannis Antetokounmpo (hip and quad) being doubtful has made this Wizards vs Bucks matchup a much better game to target. (Bucks opened as seven point favorites, but are now only favored by 2.5, and this game has the second highest O/U game total of the night, at 226 points) Beal has averaged 41.1 DK PPG in his last five and he should approach 45 DK points vs this Bucks’ defense, that will be weaker, without The Greek Freak.
SG/SF: Luka Doncic: (8,400)
Dennis Smith Jr. (back) will be out and on Wednesday, Doncic started at PG, with DSJ sitting vs The Suns. (51 DK points) He is averaging 40.7 DK PPG in the 13 DSJ has missed this season and The Wolves are an above average matchup. (1.85 opponent +/-)
C: Rudy Gobert: (8,000)
The Jazz are very thin and The Lakers are always a team to attack inside. (2.59 opponent +/-)
C: Clint Capela: (7,600)
Capela is averaging 50 DK PPG in his last four and this league worst Cavs’ defense has no chance of stopping him from notching a double double.
SG/SF: Khris Middleton: (6,900)
Middleton has led the way for The Bucks when Giannis has been off the court this season. (33.4% usage rate, which is a team high 9.1% increase) He scores 1.29 DK PPM sans Antetokounmpo and The Wizards are a prime matchup to attack. (27th in defensive efficiency and 6th in pace) He is one of the top values with just Giannis missing, but if Eric Bledsoe (questionable, hamstring) was also out, Middleton would need to be in all of your lineups. (+13.5% usage and scoring 1.4 DK PPM without Giannis/Bledsoe)
PG/SG: Eric Bledsoe: (6,100)
Speaking of Bledsoe, if he can suit up, he will be a nice target at $6,100. He is scoring 1.38 DK PPM without The Greek Freak (+4.6% usage) and Washington is a perfect spot for guards. (3.3 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: Otto Porter Jr.: (5,800)
Without a minutes restriction, Porter scored 36 DK points in 33.16 minutes vs The Sixers on Wednesday. He is scoring an effective 1.23 DK PPM since returning five games ago and as I said above, The Bucks should be a weaker defense, without Giannis.
SG/SF: Joe Ingles: (5,700)
After Mitchell, Ingles is the next best ball handler left on this Jazz roster. He scored 33 DK points vs The Suns on Wednesday and should produce over 30 DK points vs this fast Lakers’ team.
PG/SG: Malcom Brogdon: (5,700)
Brogdon has been playing really well in his last three (34.25 DK PPG) and all of his rates jump when Giannis is off the floor. (+3.4% usage and +8.8% assist percentage) He scores 1.06 DK PPM in this situation and would be close to a must play, if Bledsoe also wasn’t active.
PF/C: Derick Favors: (5,200)
Favors should play a little more with The Jazz depleted and The Lakers are obviously a plus matchup. (1.99 opponent +/-)
C: Brook Lopez: (4,900)
Lopez would have to take on a bigger offensive load if Bledsoe was out tonight and The Wizards are terrible vs centers, with Dwight Howard (back) and Markieff Morris (neck) both still out. (2.94 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: Jae Crowder: (4,400)
Crowder should play over 30 minutes off the bench tonight for The Jazz and as I keep saying, The Lakers are a huge pace bump for Utah. (1.45 opponent +/-)
SG/SF: Gerald Green: (4,300)
25.3 DK PPG since Gordon went down and Green is a nice player to target, if you believe The Rockets will kill The Cavs, as he would play in garbage time.
SG/SF: Furkan Korkmaz: (3,900)
Korkmaz is scoring 27.6 DK PPG in these last two as the starter for J.J. Redick (back) and would be viable vs The Hawks (1.63 opponent +/-), if Redick continues to sit.
PF/C: Kyle O’Quinn: (3,700)
KOQ is scoring 19.2 DK PPG in these past three without Turner and this is a revenge game for him, vs The Knicks. (2.68 opponent +/-)
PF/C: Maxi Kleber: (3,600)
Kleber started at PF with Smith Jr. out on Wednesday and was awesome vs The Suns, scoring a season high 32.25 DK points. (34 minutes) DSJ will be out again, but do note, Dirk Nowitzki was rested vs The Suns, so Kleber may not play 30+ minutes again tonight.
SG/SF: Kyle Korver: (3,500)
Korver played 23.4 minutes and scored 23.75 DK points vs The Magic and should see a little more playing time tonight, with Neto out.
PF/C: Ersan Ilyasova: (3,400)
Sova is the player that will start for Giannis and he is averaging 29.6 DK PPG in the two The MVP candidate has missed this season. He would be a strong value no matter the matchup, but going against The Wizards (1.66 opponent +/-), makes Ilyasova a core play at this low of a cost, regardless if Bledsoe plays or not.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com