What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for January 16th, 2018. Tonight, we get another small slate of only four games. Be sure to follow all of the injury news tonight, all the way up until the 7:00PM 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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PF/C: Anthony Davis: (10,200) Davis is coming off one of the biggest individual fantasy performances of the season, dropping 83.75 DK points on The Knicks Sunday. He played 50 minutes in this OT win and this was the second straight outing he has topped 50 DK points. Tonight, he takes on a very good Celtics’ defense, but with the lack of studs to pay up for, Davis is still the top overall play even in this tougher matchup. (1.43 opponent +/-) Demarcus Cousins should will be matched up with Celtics starting center Aaron Baynes, who has been one of best interior defenders in The NBA this season, which inclines me to take to the $300 discount with Davis instead of attacking Cousins.
Celtics’ starting PF Al Horford is also a good defender, but for AD, this a better matchup for him over Cousins, especially when you consider that Davis is averaging nearly 10.0 more DK points than Cousins vs The Celtics over the past three seasons. This game has a solid O/U game total of 215 points and is expected to be a close one, with Boston only favored by five points. There is always risk in playing Davis because he is such a fragile player who can exit a game at any time, but with only four games to target, AD is the my favorite high end option of the night that should produce over 50 DK points, in spite of this not being a perfect situation.
PG/SG: Yogi Ferrell: (4,500) After helping The Mavs snap a three game losing streak, with 31.5 DK points off the bench in the win over The Magic last Tuesday, Ferrell was promoted to the starting five and has been excellent over the last two games, averaging 33.5 DK points per contest. Not only has he been more productive, scoring 0.81 DK PPM compared to his season average of 0.68 DK PPM, Ferrell has been logging very heavy minutes, averaging 40 MPG during in these last two starts. His matchup is ugly tonight, vs The Nuggets who have allowed the 2nd least DK points to SGs this season (0.57 opponent +/-), but the high playing time out trumps any matchup when you factor in how cheap Ferrell is.
Also, this is a huge pace increase for him and The Mavs, at 6.4 possessions to be specific. This is a really nice boost for Ferrell and in the 12 other games this season that he has seen a possession bump of at least 6.0, he is exceeding his DraftKings projection by 4.65 points. I am expecting 25+ DK points out of him tonight and Ferrell is the strongest value of this four game slate that must be utilized in all formats. UPDATE: Back up J.J. Barea has been ruled out for tonight with a groin injury. This further stabilizes Ferrell’s minutes, but also is a nice boost for Dennis Smith Jr. Both are strong plays in all formats.
PG/SG: Jamal Murray: (5,700) Just like most of The Nuggets’ players, Murray was awful and very effected by the 30 point blowout loss to The Spurs on Saturday night, only scoring 6.25 DK points. Tonight, he should get back on track taking on a Mavs defense that has been bad at defending PGs as of late, rating as a 5.77 point opponent +/-. His minutes were effected by the blowout on Saturday, only playing 24 minutes, but before this, Murray had taken complete control as The Nuggets starting PG, averaging 35.3 MPG in his prior ten starts.
He was playing well with the expanded role, averaging 30.1 DK PPG during this long stretch. There isn’t any blowout concerns tonight, with this game only having a spread of six points, and Murray should get right back to his 35+ minute role on Tuesday night. This game is also a home game, which is good news for Murray, with him scoring 3.3 more DK points a game at home vs when he is on the road. He should bounce back in this strong matchup and approach 30 DK points this evening, making him one of the better mid-tier targets of this slate.
PG: Jeff Teague: (6,400) He didn’t have to do much in his first game back from a knee injury, with The Wolves beating OKC by 16 points last Wednesday (22.5 DK points), but he has looked like his old self and shown no signs of injury in these last two games, averaging 37.4 DK points and 31 minutes, helping The Wolves pick up two wins. He has flirted with a double double in each of these games and tonight he should continue this strong play in a gorgeous matchup vs a soft Magic defense.
This season, this Magic team has allowed the 2nd most DK points to PGs and is a current opponent +/- of 7.25 points, which is the best matchup for a starting player tonight by nearly 2.0 whole points. He has already dominated Magic starting PG Elfrid Payton and this defense once this season, torching them for 49.8 DK points in 37.2 minutes earlier this year. This being a road game helps with this tilt staying competitive (-8.5 MIN) and Teague should be able to meet five times value with nice upside in this spot. His price is going to be close to $7,000 soon and this is the perfect time to take advantage of Teague’s reasonable salary.
Also Consider: Rajon Rondo (even though Rondo didn’t play as much as I expected with back up PG Jameer Nelson out last game, Nelson will be out again tonight, and in the five full games he has sat this season, Rondo is averaging 35 DK points in 35 minutes of action. It’s hard to say he will see over 30 minutes after the last game, but if he does, this is an awesome price tag for Rondo going against his former team. Yes, a narrative let us down last night with Chris Paul not meeting value, but Rondo always plays well under the spot light. No matter if it’s because the game is on national TV, vs the best in The NBA, or against one of his old teams, he usually always get up for the moment and puts up big numbers. It has been years since he was a member of The Celtics, but I am sure he is excited about this game in The Garden, and he is averaging 36 DK points in his last nine meetings vs Boston. Don’t forget, before he got hurt last spring, when he was on The Bulls, Rondo was the key to Chicago winning games one and two on Boston’s home floor last year in the first round of the playoffs. I’m sure others have this same idea, but his low expected ownership of 5-8% is just too enticing to overlook. Trust me, if you are making multiple GPP lineups tonight, you need to have a share of Rondo), Dennis Smith Jr. (like Yogi, his minutes have been up and he is averaging 34 DK points in his last three games), Elfird Payton, Jrue Holiday (42.3 DK points in his last four), E’Twaun Moore (45 minutes last game without Nelson), Tyson Chandler (solid usage bump without Warren and Chriss), Josh Jackson (better if T.J. Warren is out. 33 DK points and a 29.9% usage starting for Warren last game), Dragan Bender (sucked last game, but will start for Chriss again), Marcus Morris (coming off five days of rest, he went off for 35.5 DK points vs The Sixers in London on Thursday. He will have five days of rest under his belt again for tonight’s game and there is no game tomorrow), and Trey Lyles (like Murray, his score was very effected by the blowout to The Spurs. He should rebound against this weak interior Mavs’ defense that has given up the 8th most DK points to PFs).