Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for January 15th, 2018. Tonight’s slate is a small slate with only four games to attack. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 8:00PM EST lock, to see if any new injury news comes up. As always if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. @Hunta512.
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PG/SG: Chris Paul: (10,300) With all The Cavs and Warriors studs priced correctly and Russell Westbrook in a tough matchup (0.14 opponent +/-) while also having blowout concerns, CP3 is heading back to LA to take on his former team with James Harden (hamstring) still out seems like the best high end option of this slate. It is your choice to believe in narratives or not when playing DFS, but in my opinion, there is no doubt in my mind that Paul has been looking forward to heading back to The Staples Center to take on his former team.
His DK score got hurt due to a blowout win over The Suns on Friday night (49 DK points in 27 minutes), but in his five prior games with Harden out he was averaging 55.3 DK PPG. He has seen a high 34.5% usage rate in his last three starts and if this game can stay close, like it is expected to (-4.5 HOU), Paul should score 50+ DK points with massive upside when you consider the revenge factor here against his former squad. The price tag is still high, but I will be taking my chances on Paul tonight and he is the main stud I want to get in my lineups.
PG: De’Aaron Fox: (4,900) Even with guard George Hill (personal) back, Fox has still started these last two games alongside Hill for The Kings. Just like with Hill out, Fox has been solid in these two games, averaging 30 DK PPG, while also seeing his higher minutes continue, at 32 minutes a night. It seems evident that this Kings’ coaching staff has finally realized that Fox, the player they drafted as the 5th overall pick on in this past draft, needs to play more to help him develop. Just to put this in perspective, the 32.5 minutes Fox has been averaging over his last six games is a large increase from the 25.4 minutes he was averaging in his first 30 games of the season.
There’s no reason why he wouldn’t start again and play 30+ minutes tonight vs The Thunder. This isn’t the best matchup for PGs (1.24 opponent +/-), but in these last six games he is producing 0.86 DK PPM and with a projection of 30 minutes, which could be modest, Fox should be able to get us at least five times value. The 11.5 point spread in favor of OKC isn’t ideal, but Fox is a rookie and even if this game got slightly out of reach, I think Fox would still be out there for most of garbage time. Even though he has still been productive with Hill back in the lineup, DraftKings has cut Fox’s price a large $900 since his 37.25 DK point game vs The Clippers on Satruday night. This price drop literally makes no sense and Fox is a great value play that I feel confident with in all formats for the Monday night slate.
C: Steven Adams: (6,200) Adams was a beast on Saturday night, posting a double double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, while also chipping in with four blocks, three steals, and an assist in the win over The Hornets. (43.25 DK points) We can’t expect this many defensive stats again, but tonight he is in a nice spot to out produce his current price tag vs The Kings. So far this season, this Kings team has allowed the 4th most DK points to centers and is currently rating as a very strong matchup, at a current opponent +/- of 6.11 points. He has already faced this same Kings squad once this season, dropping 32 DK points in 29 minutes back in November.
He is scoring 0.93 DK PPM this season and is currently one of the best overall values of this slate based on Vegas props, with an implied DK point projection of 32.6 points, which would be a 5.3 value return at his current price. As I said earlier, this is an awesome matchup for him with The Kings sitting at an opponent +/- of 6.11 points, and in the five other games this season he has faced an opponent +/- of six or more points, he is averaging 32 DK PPG. Unlike Fox, the blowout concerns are more concerning for Adams and the other Thunder starters, but in this matchup and at this reasonable price, Adams is a necessary risk for this small of a slate.
SG/SF: Joe Ingles: (4,700) Am I thrilled about recommending Ingles? No, but given how small this slate is and the bigger role he should handle with F Thabo Sefolosha (knee) out, Ingles is in play tonight at only $4,700. In the three full games that both center Rudy Gobert (knee) and Sefolosha have missed this year, Ingles averaged a solid 24 DK PPG. Thabo has been an off and on starter for The Jazz over the last few weeks and with him out, Ingles should play more minutes at PF and have to log 35+ minutes in this game vs The Pacers that has a spread of only 4.5 points.
He is averaging 0.8 DK PPM this season and in 35 minutes, Ingles should be able to put up 25+ DK points even though this isn’t the best matchup. (1.49 opponent +/-) His ceiling isn’t very high, but with not many cheap plays to choose from for this slate, Ingles is a viable option that has a good shot of getting us value. PF Jonas Jerebko is the likely starter for Sefolosha and he is a solid GPP target at his cheap $3,500 salary. I don’t know if I have the courage to throw him out there in cash games, but if he can see 25+ minutes, he has a decent chance of scoring 20+ DK points.
Also Consider: Jonas Jerebko (above), Joe Johnson (21.25 DK points in the two games without Sefolosha and Gobert), Montrezl Harrell/Willie Reed (if Deandre Jordan is out. I would prefer the starter. Reed started last game and went off for 42.8 DK points), Klay Thompson (everyone is healthy for The Warriors, but this an excellent spot vs The Cavs who are a high 5.63 opponent +/- for starting SGs), Skal Labissiere, Draymond Green (53 DK points in his first game vs The Cavs this season. As expected, this is an gorgeous matchup vs The Cavs who are a high opponent +/- of 6.94 points, which is the best matchup for any starting big man playing tonight), Derick Favors, Domantas Sabonis (will start for Turner again), Eric Gordon, Raymond Felton, Tyrone Wallace (30+ minutes in three straight games), and Gerald Green (GPP play only).