Happy Friday everyone. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 25th. For Friday night, we get a full slate, with ten games on tap. 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: Nikola Jokic: (10,600)
Jokic was spectacular on Wednesday, posting a ridiculous 28/21/6 double double vs The Jazz. (69.75 DK points) Playing against Rudy Gobert (ranks 1st among all centers in real defensive +/-) and The Utah defense is no cakewalk (4th in efficiency), so the sky is the limit for The Joker tonight vs The Suns. (28th in efficiency) They could be without their top two centers (Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes have missed the L3 and are both questionable), but either way, they have been horrible inside all season, allowing the 4th most RPG, and 3rd most points in the paint. (3.23 opponent +/-) In three meetings this year, Jokic has absolutely dominated this Phoenix club. (59.4 DK PPG) Additionally, this game will be at home in Denver, where Jokic is averaging 7.0 more DK PPG in The 2018-19 season. The spread is worrisome (DEN -16.5), but Jokic is averaging 53.6 DK PPG in his last seven that were decided by double digits, and he has supplied 57.17 DK PPG when favored by 10 or more points at home this season. (six games) James Harden obviously is the top overall play with Chris Paul (hamstring) remaining out, but The Joker should also make some serious noise on Friday night. UPDATE: Jokic will serve a one game suspension tonight for leaving the bench during an altercation on Wednesday. I am now more inclined to pay all the way up for Harden. Also, this is the first that Jokic has missed this season, but Paul Milsap, who is fairly cheap ($5,100), should play a much bigger role in this prime spot vs The Suns. He sees a team high 7.6% usage increase when Jokic is off the court, helping him to a team best 1.45 DK PPM, and he should have to play 30+. He is a core play for me in all formats. Mason Plumlee (below) also sees a huge boost, as the projected starter for The Joker.
PG/SG: Shabazz Napier: (3,600)
Napier is going see extended run with Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) out the next few weeks. In the new year, Dinwiddie has logged 27.1 MPG and seen a 25.4% usage rate, creating a rather large void for this Nets’ second unit. He has yet to miss a game this season, but you have to expect Napier to instantly jump into a 25+ minute role in Dinwiddie’s absence.
He scores 1.0 DK PPM and in the last six games Napier has logged 20+ minutes, he is averaging 24.8 DK PPG. Plus, he will be taking on The Knicks, who are the second worst ranked defense in The NBA. With this new role, plus a very strong matchup, Napier has the potential to produce seven to eight times value.
PG/SG: D’Angelo Russell: (8,600)
Russell is already playing some outstanding basketball (59.55 DK PPG in L6), but Dinwiddie’s injury gives his minutes some extra security. Russell has played over 30 minutes in four of his last five games and its almost guaranteed he will continue to do so tonight, with Dinwiddie out of the rotation, especially if Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (questionable, shoulder) is also out. In 2019, Russell has led The Nets with a 30.5% usage rate and 1.35 DK PPM, while helping them to an impressive 9-2 record.
When Allen Crabbe (out, knee), Caris LeVert (out, leg), and Dinwiddie have all been off the floor, Russell has seen his assist rate increase 3.5%. Lastly, he is scoring 5.5 more DK PPG at home this season. Russell could post another double double in this game (25/7/10 and 54.25 DK points vs The Magic on Wednesday) and I am expecting at least 45 DK points from D Loading.
PG/SG: Jerryd Bayless: (3,600)
Last night, with Jeff Teague (questionable, foot) out, and Derick Rose (questionable, ankle) missing the entire second half, Bayless scored 33.5 DK points across 29.5 minutes in the win over The Lakers. In the game prior, with no Teague, but a healthy Rose, Bayless produced 35.5 DK points in 28.2 minutes off the bench. Teague stated Tuesday that he currently can’t run and we all know Rose has a huge history of being fragile. On top of Tyus Jones (questionable, ankle, closer to doubtful after missing the last four games), I think both Rose and Teague will be unavailable tonight, leaving Bayless as The Wolves’ starting PG for this matchup vs The Jazz.
Utah is a strong defensive group, but we are talking about a player who is only $3,600, in a starting PG role, of possibly 30+ minutes. Bayless has scored 1.19 DK PPM in these last two games and he should exceed five times value, regardless of the outcome of this game. (UTAH -10.5)
PG/SG: James Harden: (13,800)
Coming off an incredible 97.25 DK point performance vs The Knicks, Harden’s price has hit the highest mark I have ever seen on DraftKings. He is scoring 78.4 DK PPG in his last eight and will need 69 DK points to meet value tonight. Harden will be at home, which is a big advantage for him (6.1 more DK PPG this season), but he will be playing The Raptors (6th in defensive efficiency), who will be getting back a well-rested Kawhi Leonard. (hasn’t played in nine days for rest purposes) The Klaw, is one of, if not the best wing defender in The NBA, and he has always given Harden fits in the past. (-6.14 DK +/- in L22 games) All in all, the decision of playing Harden in cash is going to come down to your confidence in him vs this type of defense. Right now, I am leaning towards reserving Harden and his slate best ceiling for GPPs, but that could change as the day goes on, and more injury news breaks.
C: Nikola Vucevic: (9,700)
Vuc has been outstanding (51.5 DK PPG in L5) and his opponent, The Wizards, are the 4th worst defense, that has given up the 2nd most RPG. (2.44 opponent +/-) He is averaging 44.1 DK PPG against them this season and is scoring 47.9 DK PPG when the opponent +/- is 2.0 points or greater. His price is getting up there, but I think Vuc is still a fine spend.
SF/PF: Kawhi Leonard: (9,500)
As I just said, Leonard hasn’t played in nine days. He should be fresh and ready to matchup with The Beard on his home floor. This game has an O/U game total 227.5 points and when the total has been 225+ points this season, Leonard is averaging 48.18 DK PPG. I don’t think many people will be on Leonard and he is an elite GPP play in this game environment. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
PG/SG: Donovan Mitchell: (8,700)
Even with Ricky Rubio back, Mitchell has still been a beast. (57.38 DK PPG) His usage has actually been higher (39.4%) and The Wolves are very beat up in their backcourt right now. If this game stays close, Mitchell could have another big night, and should be low owned again. (3.4% on Wednesday)
C: Jarret Allen: (5,800)
Allen is very inconsistent, but this a great opportunity vs The Knicks. They have allowed the 3rd most RPG and 2nd most points in the paint this season. (2.72 opponent +/-) In three games vs New York this year, Allen is scoring 31.4 DK PPG.
SG/SF: Kelly Oubre: (5,600)
Last night, with T.J. Warren (out, ankle), Holmes, and Ayton all out, Oubre went off for 45.5 DK points 34.38 minutes off the bench vs The Blazers. He leads The Suns with 1.25 DK PPM when Warren, Holmes, Ayton, Tyson Chandler (with The Lakers), Trevor Ariza (traded to WAS), and Isaiah Canaan (waived) are all off the court, and if The Suns are in the same position as last night, Oubre will be a strong value once again.
PF/C: Kenneth Faried: (5,300)
As I thought, Faried got his first start for The Rockets on Wednesday, and he was big in their win over The Knicks. (33.5 DK points in 26 minutes) The matchup isn’t as appetizing tonight, but it is still positive (TOR is a 1.49 opponent +/-), and he will be at home for the first time since joining Houston. Faried scores 1.14 DK PPM and should log right around 30 minutes in this high scoring game. Even with his price going up $900, to a season’s peak, I think Faried is still a worthwhile target in all formats, with him scoring 31.25 DK PPG when he has played over 20 minutes this season.
PG/SG: Patrick Beverly: (4,800)
Beverly has been playing huge minutes (36.84 MPG and 35 DK PPG in L3) with Danilo Gallinari (out, back) missing, and The Bulls are putrid at defending guards. (1.08 opponent +/-) His floor isn’t the greatest, but if the minutes continue, Beverly has a solid chance of providing five to six times value.
SF/PF: DeMarre Carroll: (4,700)
Carroll should see 30+ minutes with Dinwiddie out. The Knicks are a fine matchup (1.27 opponent +/-) and Carroll is averaging 31.69 DK PPG in the last four he has surpassed 30 minutes.
C: Enes Kanter: (4,700)
Trust me, I hate listing him (DNP CD on Wednesday, after being told he would start), but after complaining to the media, and The Knicks wanting to trade him, Kanter should be showcased in some of these games before the trade deadline. You never know with HC David Fizdale, so there is obviously plenty of risk here, but this is the cheapest Kanter has been all season, and he is playing The Nets, who are an elite matchup for centers. (3.82 opponent +/-) In three games vs BKN this season, Kanter is averaging an excellent 44.6 DK PPG. I don’t know if I can stomach rostering him in cash, but for GPPs, there is obviously great upside here, if Kanter sees decent playing time.
PG/SG: Allonzo Trier: (4,700)
Trier is another Knick worth considering for large tournaments. His minutes have increased in each of his last three games (23, 30, and then 33), leading to a 51 DK point explosion vs The Rockets. He is averaging 36.6 DK PPG in his last three and if the minutes stay high, Trier could be a game changer in GPPs.
PF/C: Dragan Bender: (4,600)
If Holmes and Ayton are out again, Bender will start at center. In these last three, he has been a nice value (29.25 DK PPG) and The Nuggets are an above average spot for centers. (1.91 opponent +/-)
PG/SG: Tyler Johnson: (4,200)
Johnson is scoring 23.8 DK PPG in his last four and he played 35.3 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to The Clippers. Johnson should play 30+ minutes again vs The Cavs (dead last in defensive efficiency), especially if Dion Waiters (GTD, migraine) is forced to sit.
SG/SF: Justin Holiday: (4,100)
Holiday is logging heavy minutes right now (35.66 MPG and 22.56 DK PPG), making him a viable target at this price. Plus, The Kings are a massive pace increase for The Grizzlies. (7.9 possession increase)
SG: Avery Bradley: (3,900)
Similar to Beverly, Bradley has been playing high minutes sans Gallinari (37.98 MPG) and he has been productive with the extra playing time. (25 DK PPG) His soft salary doesn’t reflect this and Bradley should keep it up vs The Bulls.
PF/C: Mason Plumlee: (3,900)
This is the first time Plumlee has been under $4,000 since mid-December. Prior to getting ejected vs The Jazz on Wednesday (4.75 DK points in 3.3 minutes), Plumlee was averaging 24.96 DK PPG in his previous six. The Suns are an awesome spot for bigs (2.5 opponent +/-) and Plumlee would benefit from a blowout. (20 DK PPG in the six The Nuggets have been favored by double digits this season) UPDATE: Plumlee should start for Jokic tonight. He scores 1.1 DK PPM with Jokic off the floor and the matchup doesn’t get much better than vs The Suns, especially if they remain shorthanded up front. Along with Milsap, I think Plumee is a must have for this ten game slate.
PG: Elie Okobo: (3,000)
With The Suns down three of their main front-court players and De’ Anthony Melton (out, ankle), Okobo played 27.46 minutes off the bench last night vs The Blazers. (25.75 DK points) It is no guarantee, but if Ayton and Holmes remain out, Okobo could top 20 DK points.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com