Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 21st. For The Martin Luther King night slate, we get four games to attack. 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: (13,200)
I’m sorry to keep writing about him, but as I have said before, until Harden costs nearly 30% of the cap, he needs to be in your lineups. Both Chris Paul (hamstring) and Clint Capela (thumb) are still sidelined, and in these last three without them, Harden has produced an immense 80.4 DK PPG.
When these two, Carmelo Anthony, and Danuel House (back in The G League) have all been off the floor, Harden has supplied a tremendous 2.01 DK PPM. Tonight, he is on the road, which is a downgrade (-7.7 DK PPG), but he is playing up in pace vs The Sixers (4.7 possession increase), and this game has the highest O/U game total of the night (233.5 points), while also presenting the smallest spread. (PHI -4) This game should be very competitive and Harden should top 70 DK points, with some extra upside, if Jimmy Butler (wrist), The Sixers’ best wing defender, was out.
PG/SG: Lance Stephenson: (4,000)
With Lonzo Ball (ankle), Rajon Rondo (hand), and LeBron James (groin) all out, The Lakers will need Stephenson to be one of their main ball handlers. After Ball got hurt on Saturday (22 minutes), Stephenson logged 25 minutes off the bench, and contributed 26 DK points in the OT loss to The Rockets. Both this DK score and his minutes played, were the highest marks Stephenson has seen in six games. He will most likely still come off the bench, but Stephenson will play 25-30 minutes tonight vs The Warriors.
When all three of Ball, James, and Rondo have been off the court this season, Stephenson has averaged 0.98 DK PPM. His assist rate rises 7.2% and he should easily surpass five times value, no matter the game script. (GSW -12) They will need Stephenson if the game stays close and he is also a player that would likely still play if the game got out of hand. At only $4,000, you should be locking in Stephenson, aka “Born Ready”, in all of your lineups.
SG/SF: Gerald Green: (4,400)
In these last three games without Capela, Paul, and House, Green has logged 31.24 regulation MPG off the bench. He is averaging 28.16 DK PPG during this span and he should continue to see right around 30 minutes until Paul returns. Green isn’t shy and in these last three, he has gunned up 12.3 3PPG.
This is excellent volume for a player of Green’s price and he should also benefit from playing at a faster pace vs The Sixers. Coming off a 25.75 DK point game vs The Lakers, Green’s price actually dropped $200 for tonight. He should achieve five times again and is one of the better low end targets of this slate high total.
C: Ivica Zubac: (4,500)
Who knows if HC Luke Walton will ever pull the trigger and start Zubac over Tyson Chandler, but either way, Big Z has earned himself a sizable role in this Laker’s rotation. In these last two, he is averaging 35.6 DK PPG and 24.68 MPG off the bench. He was The Lakers’ primary center on Saturday night, playing most of the 4th quarter and overtime, until ultimately fouling out.
When Rondo, James, and Ball are missing, Zubac scores an effective 1.15 DK PPM, and with at least 20 minutes of work, he should produce five to six times value in this prime spot vs The Warriors. (2.28 opponent +/-) Plus, as one of their youngest players, and the likelihood he remains a reserve, Zubac could gain a few extra minutes if this game became a blowout. Nonetheless, Zubac is a nice cheap play at $4,500, that has a very strong ceiling for his price.
C: Joel Embiid: (10,100)
Embiid (back) is questionable, but he should play. Assuming I am correct about his status, The Process is a great option vs this Rockets’ defense that is still without Capela. (2.67 opponent +/-) No matter who they start at center, they will be no match for Embiid. He is scoring 54.8 DK PPG in his last three and would be a must play if Butler is out. (65.13 DK PPG in the four without Butler)
PG/SG: Steph Curry: (9,400)
Curry has been awesome (52.6 DK PPG in his L11) and he is scoring 44.67 DK PPG in his last three vs The Lakers in The Staples Center. If this game can stay close, Curry has a ceiling above 60 DK points.
PG/SF: Ben Simmons: (8,600)
Simmons is scoring 49.43 DK PPG in the ten home games that have had an O/U game total of 230 points or more this season. Plus, his usage has increased a team high 3.6% in the games Butler has missed since joining The Sixers.
C: Rudy Gobert: (8,500)
Gobert has been a monster (52.7 DK PPG in L5), with seven straight double doubles. The matchup doesn’t rate well (POR is a 0.87 opponent +/-), but Gobert is simply underpriced for how well he is currently playing.
PG: Damian Lillard: (8,300)
Lillard has improved recently (45.2 DK PPG in L5) and this matchup vs The Jazz is above average for PGs. (1.28 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: Kyle Kuzma: (7,500)
Kuzma is red hot right now (53.25 DK PPG and in 32 real points in his L2) and he generates 1.26 DK PPM when Rondo, Ball, and James are off the court. (+0.3 DK PPM) In three career games, Kuz is scoring 40.67 DK PPG vs The Warriors, and he sees a slight advantage at home this season. (1.67 more DK PPG)
PF/C: Draymond Green: (6,500)
Green should definitely return value at this current price (a $400 price drop and 40.5 DK PPG in his L3), particularly vs The Lakers. (1.44 opponent +/-)
SG/SF: Eric Gordon: (5,900)
Gordon’s price is appropriate, but he saw no limitations in their last game (43.75 DK points in 32.09 minutes vs The Lakers), and is scoring 0.93 DK PPM in this current Rockets’ situation. There are better values, but Gordon is very appealing in GPPs.
SF/PF: P.J. Tucker: (5,300)
If he starts at center or not, Tucker will play heavy minutes, making him viable. In these last three, he is averaging 33.75 DK PPG in 38 MPG.
SG/SF: Andre Iguodala: (3,900)
Iggy has scored 25.38 DK PPG in his past five and has topped 20 DK points in seven of his last nine. In his first tilt vs The Lakers this season, Iguodala scored 36.75 DK points in 26.5 minutes.
SF/PF: Wilson Chandler: (3,700)
Chandler has logged at least 30 minutes in three of his last four (20.3 DK PPG) and he would see a boost in his rates/minutes if Butler was unable to play.
PF: Kenneth Faried: (3,000)
Faried’s status is very important to watch for tonight. He is supposed to sign with Houston by today and if he is available for this evening, HC Mike D’Antoni should immediately insert him into this rotation that seriously lacks size without Capela. Nene and Marquese Chriss both have been useless and Faried should play 20+ minutes tonight if active. That would be plenty of time for The Manimal to smash value at this bare minimum price. He scores 1.09 DK PPM and in the two games Faried has seen 20+ minutes, he has produced a double double in each, and 35.75 DK PPG. If he is with the team, Faried will be a core value play for this four game slate.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com