Happy New Year Everyone. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 1st. To start the new year, we get a decent five game slate for Tuesday night. 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.
C: Joel Embiid: (10,200)
Embiid is listed as questionable with a sore knee, but he went through shootaround and Vegas clearly thinks he’s playing, with this Clippers Sixers’ matchup presenting the highest O/U game total of Tuesday night (235 points), with a very small spread. (LAC -2.5) If Embiid was going to be inactive, this total would be much lower, and The Clippers would be much bigger favorites. Assuming he isn’t limited, Embiid should feast on this Clippers’ front-court. In his first meeting with them this season, Embiid went off for 68.8 DK points in only 33 minutes.
They have struggled with opposing centers all year long and right now, Embiid has the best possible matchup for a player in action on Tuesday night. (4.09 opponent +/-) When he has gone against an opponent +/- of 2.0 points or better this year, Embiid is scoring 57.6 DK PPG. Furthermore, when he is facing an opponent +/- of at least 2.0 points and the total of the game is over 220 points, The Process is supplying 59.6 DK PPG. I think we need to watch his status closely, because if Embiid is a full go, he could end up being the high scorer of the night.
PG: De’Aaron Fox: (8,200)
Fox has been outstanding as of late. He is averaging 47 DK PPG in his last six and has scored at least 40 DK points in eight of his last nine. To start off the new year, Fox will be at home (1.3 more DK PPG this season), in a positive spot vs The Blazers. (1.29 opponent +/-)
He has averaged 47.7 DK PPG in his last four in Sacramento and with this game having a small spread of only one point (in favor of POR), Fox should log 35-40 minutes, and record at least 40 DK points. He is a great combination of safety and upside, that I will be using in all formats.
SF/PF: Maurice Harkless: (3,700)
Harkless missed Sunday’s game vs The Sixers with a sore knee, but he is listed as probable for tonight’s tilt vs The Kings. Prior to his one game absence, Harkless was playing very well with the starting five, averaging 23.3 DK PPG in his previous four. He had played over 30 minutes in each of his last two, including a season high 37.2 minutes vs The Warriors on Saturday. This Blazers’ coaching staff clearly want Harkless to play more going forward and assuming he has no limitations tonight, Mo should crack 30 minutes in this tight game vs The Kings.
He is scoring a decent 0.78 DK PPM in his last four and Harkless, like all of The Blazers, will see a nice boost, playing way up in pace vs this Sacramento team, that is the second fastest unit in The NBA, compared to Portland, who ranks 17th in pace. (4.8 possession increase) His upside isn’t great, but Harkless should produce over 20 DK points in this spot.
SF/PF: Wilson Chandler: (3,800)
Chandler’s game log looks inconsistent, but The Sixers have been involved in many blowouts recently. If we look closely, we will see that Chandler plays high minutes, when the game is close. In the last seven Sixers’ games that have been decided by single digits, Chandler is logging 33.8 MPG.
With tonight’s contest vs The Clippers expected to be tight throughout (LAC -2.5), Chandler should see 30+ minutes, in this solid matchup. (1.19 opponent +/-) He is averaging 22.3 DK PPG in the last seven he has played over 25 minutes and Chandler is a fine punt, that gives you more exposure to the highest total of the night.
SF/PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo: (11,600)
The Greek Freak has struggled vs The Pistons this season (44.9 DK PPG in two meetings), but he is just playing at too high of a level right now to let any matchup be a concern. (68.6 DK PPG) I am not going to pay up for him in cash, but I think Giannis’ ceiling is worth attacking in GPPs.
PG: Damian Lillard: (8,700)
Lillard has been very up and down, but he is averaging 45.3 DK PPG when seeing a pace increase this season. (SAC is a 4.8 possession increase) To get into further detail, in the lone game he also saw a possession bump of over 4.0 possessions, Lillard erupted for 61.5 DK points vs The Lakers. He should approach 50 DK points and is one of the better high end values of this five game slate.
SF/PF: Kawhi Leonard: (8,900)
Kyle Lowry (back) will still be out and even though this matchup vs The Jazz is ugly (0.34 opponent +/-), the game is expected to be very close (TOR -2), and Leonard is on his home floor. (46.6 DK PPG) He is scoring 45.9 DK PPG in the eight without Lowry this season and Leonard should return five times value.
C: Rudy Gobert: (8,000)
The Raptors have been weak inside (1.74 opponent +/-) and Gobert has been excellent in his last three. (48.9 DK PPG)
C: Jusuf Nurkic: (7,500)
The price is getting a little too high, but Nurkic is still viable, given how strong this matchup is vs The Kings. (2.73 opponent +/-) When he has gone against an opponent +/- of 2.0 points or greater, Nurkic is averaging 36.5 DK PPG this season.
C: Willie Cauley-Stein: (7,200)
Center is flooded with options today and WCS is simply too cheap for how well he plays on his home court. (37 DK PPG this season)
PG/SG: Lou Williams: (6,500)
Williams has been huge off the bench (39.6 DK PPG in L4) and The Sixers are his former team. He is scoring 39 DK PPG in his last five against Philly.
SG/SF: Bogdan Bogdanovic: (5,700)
Bogdanovic is averaging 32.75 DK PPG in his last four and he has played at least 30 minutes in three of those games. He is slightly better at home (2.6 more DK PPG) and he should approach five times value in this close tilt.
SF/PF: Neman Bjelcia: (5,200)
I prefer Bogdanovic for a little more, but Bjelcia is a similar value. He is averaging 27.8 DK PPG in his last five and Marvin Bagley (knee) is still out, keeping Bjelcia in a solid role.
PF/C: Luke Kornet: (4,800)
Kornet has been a strong fantasy value as a starter (35.6 DK PPG) and would be viable again, if he stays in the starting five. The Nuggets are one of the better defensive units in the league (8th in efficiency), but they are at their weakest inside. (2.36 opponent +/-)
PG/SG: Malik Beasley: (4,100)
If Gary Harris (questionable, hip) is still out, Beasley will be a really nice value at only $4,100. The Knicks are the second worst defense this season and Beasley is scoring 28.1 DK PPG in his past five.
PG/SG: T.J. McConnell: (3,600)
McConnell has scored over 20 DK points in four straight games. The Clippers are rating as a solid matchup (1.42 opponent +/-), which should help him continue this streak.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com