Welcome back guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for January 2nd, 2018. Tonight’s slate is a small slate with only five games to attack. 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.
If you want help with NBA research for FanDuel and DraftKings check out the best fantasy tools out there at FantasyLabs.com
C: Dwight Howard: (7,400) Before his down game vs The Clippers on Sunday night (21 DK points), Howard was on a rampage, averaging 50.2 DK points a game in his prior three starts. Tonight, he should bounce back going against The Kings who have been awful at defending centers this season, currently rating as 5.51 point opponent +/- for starting centers. Over his last four games he has been averaging 35.5 minutes compared to his 29.6 average for the season and with this game having a tight spread of only 3.5 points, Howard should log 35+ minutes coming off two days of rest.
He should top 40+ DK points in this game and Vegas agrees, with him currently being the best value on DraftKings tonight based on Vegas props. Via the new player props tool on Fantasy Labs, which I highly recommended to everyone who has an account, based on all the player props available for Howard, he has a implied DraftKings projection 41.95 points. This is always subject to change, but this clearly shows you how underpriced Howard is in this awesome matchup. He is one of the strongest overall values on the board and is a building block for me on Tuesday night.
PF/C: Frank Kaminsky: (4,300) As starting PF Marvin Williams minutes trend down (20 minute average over last two), Kaminksy’s role has grown off the bench, averaging 28 minutes in these past two games. With the expanded role, he has been a great spark off the bench, now scoring 30+ DK points in two straight games, producing a strong 1.17 DK points per minute. This is clearly part of the game plan with Williams really struggling with his shot (0-8 last two games) and if Kaminsky sees closes to 30 minutes again tonight, he should be able to produce five to six times value in this positive matchup vs The Kings, who are the third worst defense in the league over their last three games. (3.7 opponent +/-)
There is risk involved here with him being a bench player, but his price doesn’t reflect how well he has been playing, and at this price he only needs to get us 21.5 DK points, which is something he has accomplished in four of his last five games. Given the lack of appealing cheap options tonight, I think Frank The Tank is a viable value play, that could possibly go under-owned for this smaller slate. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
PG: Dennis Schroder: (7,300) As it has been for most of the season, Schroder is simply too cheap tonight. He costs $7,300 on DraftKings, which puts his point of five times value at 36.5 DK points. In his past four starts, he is averaging 40.4 DK points and 34 minutes, while leading The Hawks with a 27.8% usage rate and a 37.3% assist percentage. This evening, he is in the perfect spot to continue this run, taking on The Suns who have allowed the fourth most DK points to PGs this season. (5.14 opponent +/-)
They also are the third fastest team in The NBA vs The Hawks who are the 13th team in pace. This is a 3.1 possession increase for him and The Hawks and in the past nine games he has received a pace bump of at least 3.0 possessions, he is averaging 37.36 DK points, which is a 3.4 DK point +/-. This is right around the score I am expecting from him tonight and he is one of safest spends of this slate, that will give you some exposure to this Hawks Suns tilt that has the highest O/U of Tuesday night. (218.5 points)
SF/PF: Ersan Ilyasova: (5,100) Outside of a rough game vs The Raptors (18 DK points), Sova has been very productive for The Hawks, scoring over 30 DK points in four of his last five contests. His minutes have been higher playing 30.6 minutes per game during this span, while averaging a 20% usage rate, which is a slight jump from his average rate this year. The Hawks have won three of their last four with him playing more and tonight barring foul trouble, Ilyasova should play right around 30 minutes again, playing up in pace vs The Suns.
As I just said with Schroder this is one of better games of the night to target due to its high total and small spread, and in the seven games Ilyasova has played in this season that have a total of 215 points or more, he is beating expectations by 1.58 points. His floor can be scary, making him a better tournament target, but if he can get hot from downtown, Ilyasova can be a huge difference maker in GPPs, that seems like a logical risk in that format tonight with this matchup vs The Suns. (9-12% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Jeff Green/Jae Crowder (both viable either way, but would be better if Love is out. Both scored 25.25 DK points in the one game Love sat this season), George Hill (better if Fox is out again. Frank Mason (heel) has already been confirmed out and if both young guards sat, Hill would have to play 35+ minutes), Courtney Lee, John Collins (over 25 DK points in three straight and is only $4,900 playing up in pace vs The Suns), Tyson Chandler (front end of a back to back, so he should start tonight and sit tomorrow. If he starts this is a great spot vs The Hawks, who have given up the 7th most total rebounds per game, at an opponent +/- of 6.01 points), Marquese Chirss (price getting too high, but he is averaging 28 DK points in his last three and the matchup is very friendly vs The Hawks), Evan Turner (minutes are up, but we don’t know exactly how much he will play with Lillard back), Jarret Jack, Marco Bellinelli (20+ DK points in three straight), and Kawhi Leonard (if he is active).