Happy Friday everybody. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 18th. For Friday night, we get an exciting seven game slate. 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.
PF/C: Anthony Davis: (11,700)
James Harden is taking all of the spotlight right now in The NBA, but Davis has also been incredible, scoring 69.36 DK PPG in his last seven starts. Tonight, he will be on the road, which is usually a concern for AD (-4.1 DK PPG this season), but he has been much on this current road trip, averaging 69.17 DK PPG in his last three. (@ MIN, LAC, GSW)
His opponent, The Blazers, are an average defense (15th in defensive efficiency and 1.03 opponent +/-), and this game has the second highest O/U game total of Friday’s seven (233.5 points), plus, a tight spread. (POR -3) In the five previous Pelican’s game that have had a total of 230+ and a spread under five, Davis has supplied 63.45 DK PPG. He should score over 65 DK point tonight and this is a very reasonable price for The Brow.
C: Ante Zizic: (3,700)
As I talked about on The Fantrax Basketball podcast, Zizic is the best value of the night, with Tristan Thompson (foot), Larry Nance Jr. (knee), and Kevin Love (toe) all out for The Cavs. Zizic will start at the five and the only other remaining center on this roster is veteran Channing Frye, who is very unlikely to play over 20 minutes. (9.3 MPG and only one game over 20 minutes this season) This leaves Zizic in a 25-30 minute role vs The Jazz. It was mostly in garbage time, but on Wednesday night, Zizc logged a season 27 minutes vs The Blazers, and scored 31 DK points.
When those three big men, plus J.R. Smith (away from the team), David Nwaba (questionable, ankle, has missed L11), Kyle Korver (traded), George Hill (traded), and Sam Dekker (traded) have all been off the court this year, Zizic has produced a very solid 1.04 DK PPM. Overall, for his career, the big man from Croatian is averaging 26.4 DK PPG in the five contests has seen over 20 minutes. Going against The Jazz is never ideal (4th in defensive efficiency), especially Rudy Gobert, but this matchup is actually rating well for centers right now. (1.94 opponent +/-) Finally, with The Cavs so shorthanded up front, Zizic’s minutes are rather safe, no matter the outcome of this game. (UTAH -15.5) He should score a minimum of 20 DK points, with 30+ upside, and is Zizic is a must have value play for Friday night.
PG/SG: Lou Williams: (6,700)
You are going to need some exposure to this Clippers Warriors’ matchup (242 O/U game total, highest of the night, by 8.5 points) and Williams, at only $6,700, is one of the better values to attack. He has been great in the new year (34.66 DK PPG in L8) and has torched The Warriors in his last four meetings with the defending champs. (47.18 DK PPG)
Williams flourishes when the game is fast paced and high scoring (GSW 10th and LAC is 9th in pace), and when the total has been at least 230 points this season, Lou Will has scored 33.54 DK PPG, which is exactly what we need from him for five times value this evening.
PF/C: Montrezl Harrell: (7,200)
Williams’ buddy in this Clippers second unit, Harrell, is also a very strong target in this high total. He has scored 41.5 DK PPG in his last three and prior to Wednesday night’s blowout loss to The Jazz (109-129), Harrell had logged 34 minutes in back to back games. So, if this tilt vs The Warriors can stay somewhat competitive, like it’s spread suggests (GSW -7), Harrell should play 30+ minutes off the bench.
The Warriors are a strong spot for Harrell right now (2.73 opponent +/-) and with Kevon Looney moving back to the bench, in the wake of Demarcus Cousins’ return, this matchup should become even more friendly. Harrell scores 5.4 more DK PPG in The Staples Center this season and in the 16 home games that have had a O/U game total of 220 points or more, the six man of the year candidate has averaged 36.69 DK PPG. Harrell thrives off his high energy and The Clippers should be very hyped up for this big national TV matchup with The Dubs.
PG/SG: Stephen Curry: (10,000)
Curry has drained an insane 28 three pointers in his last three games, at a healthy 57% clip. (59.3 DK PPG and he didn’t even play in the 4th vs The Nuggets) His usage has gone up 3.5% in these wins, to a team high 34.2%. In Curry’s only game vs The Clippers this season, he went off for 57.5 DK points, and in the 10 Warriors’ road games, that have come with a spread under 10 points, the Chef has been outstanding. (56.3 DK PPG) Pairing Curry and AD together is an awesome strategy for this slate.
C: Nikola Vucevic: (9,400)
Vuc has scored 46 DK PPG in his last two and is averaging 48.4 DK PPG in his last five that have been decided by ten points or less. Tonight’s matchup vs The Nets should be very close (ORL -1.5) and Brooklyn has been abysmal vs centers all season long. (4.16 opponent +/-) Via opponent +/-, this is the best possible matchup for a player on Friday night and in the six games this season that Vuc has played against an opponent +/- of 4.0 points or greater, he has generated 51.08 DK PPG.
PG/SG: Donovan Mitchell: (8,900)
As The Jazz’s starting PG, Mitchell has been balling. (49.75 DK PPG L5) Ricky Rubio (hamstring), Raul Neto (groin), and Dante Exum (ankle) will all remain sidelined, and tonight, Mitchell takes on The Cavs, who are the worst rated defense in the league. The only problem is The Jazz are the largest favorites of this slate. (UTAH -15.5) HC Quinn Snyder usually isn’t that quick to pull his starters, so, if The Cavs can manage to have a respectable outing, Mitchell should play 30+, and exceed five times value.
C: Rudy Gobert: (8,800)
Gobert has now posted back to back games with 20+ rebounds and he could easily have another, with The Cavs extremely shorthanded down low. He has been a monster with The Jazz beat up (51.55 DK PPG L5) and Gobert should feast on this Cavs’ defense.
PG: Damian Lillard: (8,600)
Lillard has been playing better (45.4 DK PPG in L4) and this is a $400 price drop since his last game. The Pelicans are a strong matchup for PGs (2.64 opponent +/-) and this is a big pace increase for Portland. (3.6 possession increase) Lillard is averaging 44.67 DK PPG when playing up in pace this season and he scored 45.8 DK points in his first meeting with New Orleans this year.
SF/PF: Danilo Gallinari: (6,700)
Before struggling vs The Jazz (16.5 DK points), Galo was averaging 36.17 DK PPG in his previous nine. This is a $400 price cut and The Warriors are allowing the 4th most three point attempts this season.
SG: Klay Thompson: (6,600)
Thompson has been very productive in this current Warriors’ seven game winning streak (40.46 DK PPG L7) and The Clippers are 22nd in defensive efficiency. They do have some strong defensive guards, but Thompson is averaging 32.4 DK PPG against them, in two games this season.
PF/C: Nikola Mirotic: (5,900)
Mirotic finally showed some life since returning from the ankle injury, scoring 46.75 DK points vs The Warriors on Wednesday. (28.59 minutes) His floor is shakier now, as a bench player, but in The Pelican’s first matchup with The Blazers this year, Mirotic went off for 46.3 DK points, and he should be very low owned. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
SG/SF: Joe Ingles: (5,800)
Ingles has taken on a bigger role with this Jazz backcourt depleted (29.4 DK PPG in L5) and he is producing 5.1 more DK PPG when at home in Utah. The blowout concerns are obviously real, but earlier this season, Ingles scored 32.3 DK points vs The Cavs, in only 27.3 minutes of action.
SG/SF: Evan Fournier: (5,500)
Fournier has been playing a ton (37.7 MPG L4) and has turned out three strong performances in a row. (29.5 DK PPG in L3) His minutes should stay at a high level, with Orlando barley favored (-1.5), and I could see another 30+ DK point showing from Fournier.
SG/SF: Kyle Korver: (4,300)
Korver has chipped in with The Jazz down three guards (23.3 DK PPG L5) and this is a big revenge game for him vs The Cavs. Supposedly, when Korver signed with The Cavs in 2017, he had an agreement with the front office that if LeBron James didn’t resign in Cleveland this past summer, they would trade him to a playoff team. Nearly five months later, The Cavs finally sent Korver to Utah in exchange for Alec Burks. I am sure Korver wanted this deal to happen much sooner than over two months in to the regular season and he should be gunning against them tonight. Just this past Saturday, Korver played against another one of his former teams, The Bulls, and he scored 26.25 DK points in 26 minutes off the bench. The Cavs have given up the 5th highest three point percentage this season and I could see Korver drilling 5+ threes in this game.
SF: Royce O’Neale: (4,300)
O’Neale will start again at SG and in these last four, he is scoring 24.68 DK PPG and logging 35 MPG. Based on the matchup, O’Neale should get over five times value.
SF/PF: David Bertans: (4,100)
Bertans has scored over 20 DK points in four straight games and he still played 25 minutes off the bench with Rudy Gay back on Wednesday. Plus, The Wolves have allowed the 4th most made 3PPG. (1.64 opponent +/-)
PF/C: Kevon Looney: (4,000)
Looney should still see 25+ minutes with Cousins starting and this matchup is awesome vs The Pelicans. (4.04 opponent +/-) In his last two games, Looney has averaged 1.24 DK PPM.
SG/SF: Andre Iguodala: (3,900)
Iggy has scored 22.75 DK PPG in his last six and is averaging 22.6 DK PPG in the five Warriors’ games that have come with an O/U game total of 240 points or more this season. He should get you over 20 DK points and is a fine punt thats gives you another piece of this slate high total.
PG/SG: Shelvin Mack: (3,800)
With The Grizzlies down Kyle Anderson (ankle), Mack has been solid off the bench (22.25 DK PPG), and he should be able to return value vs The Celtics.
SF/PF: Omri Cassipi: (3,700)
Cassipi has also seen an expanded role with Anderson out. (24.6 DK PPG in L2) He scores 0.89 DK PPM and Cassipi would play in garbage time if The Celtics do blowout Memphis. (BOS -10.5) On Wednesday night, The Grizzlies got embarrassed by The Bucks, and Cassipi played 36 minutes off the bench, which resulted in 27.5 DK points. He is an aggressive player no matter if the game is competitive or not and I am fine with Cassipi in all formats at this low of a price.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com