What’s up guys. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 3rd. Tonight, we get a small slate, with only three games to target. 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: (11,000)
Fading Harden is an extremely difficult thing to do tonight. He is averaging 68.6 DK PPG since Chris Paul (hamstring) went down and just scored 82 DK points on Monday, with Eric Gordon (knee) also out. But, DraftKings has decided to cut The Beard’s price $400 for Thursday night, even though both Paul and Gordon will remain sidelined. When CP3, Gordon, and Carmelo Anthony have all been off the floor this season, Harden has scored a tremendous 1.89 DK PPM.
He has seen a usage over 40% in five straight games and we should see his rate approach 50% again tonight, vs The Warriors, who are a huge pace increase of 4.1 possessions for The Rockets. When Harden has seen a pace bump of at least 3.0 possessions this season, he is scoring 61.3 DK PPG. Even with The Warriors favored by eight points on their home court, Harden still has a floor of around 50 DK points, and it’s almost a guarantee that he will end the night as the slates highest scoring player. Even at the highest price on the board, Harden is the top overall value of the night, and a must play.
PG/SG: Derick White: (4,700)
White scored 36.75 DK points in the win over The Celtics on Monday and he has now produced over 30 DK points in three straight games. Rudy Gay (wrist) missed Monday and is “unlikely” to suit up tonight, which is a nice boost for White. When Gay has been off the court, White has seen a 3.1% usage increase, and is scoring 0.86 DK PPM.
He has logged at least 28 minutes in four consecutive games and should continue to do so on Thursday. (SA -1.5) The Raptors rank as the 9th best defense this season, but they are dealing with many injuries, and have allowed over 100 points in four of their last five games. White should definitely exceed five times value tonight, particularly with The Spurs being at home. (2.7 more DK PPG) UPDATE: After being deemed “unlikely” to play, Gay is now probable for tonight. This is a slight hit to all of The Spurs I have listed, especially Bertans, but I still like White and Aldridge in all formats.
PF/C: LaMarcus Aldridge: (7,400)
Aldridge has had a down season overall (37.5 DK PPG), but he has looked like his old self recently. (47.2 DK PPG in L4) He is playing 36.6 MPG in his last three, which is a notable difference from the 27.8 MPG he was seeing in his previous ten. He scores 1.17 DK PPM with Gay off the floor (+0.2 DK PPM) and I am sure Aldridge is very hyped up to play against his former teammate, Kawhi Leonard, for the first time since his forced exit from San Antonio.
This is a huge home game for The Spurs and with Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobli all gone, Aldridge is one of the only remaining players from the main Spurs’ group that played with Leonard. His usage should be higher than usual, especially with Leonard locking up DeMar DeRozan on the wing. Aldrige is scoring 3.5 more DK PPG at home this season and The Raptors have been weak inside. (1.65 opponent +/-) I am expecting at least 40 DK points from Aldrige with a ceiling close to 60.
SF/PF: David Bertans: (3,800)
Bertans didn’t get the start in Gay’s place, but he was the one that saw the biggest jump in playing time. For the first time this season, Bertans logged over 30 minutes on Monday with Gay out, and scored 27.25 DK points in the win over The Celtics.
He is averaging a solid 0.87 DK PPM without Gay (0.1 DK PPM increase) and should play 25+ minutes again tonight vs The Raptors. The matchup is difficult (0.41 opponent +/-), but Bertans should eclipse 20 DK points with the extra minutes, making him the best value under $4,000. UPDATE: Gay being active lowers Bertans’ minutes, ultimately hurting his overall projection. He is still a decent punt, but is not someone I would target in cash games.
C: Nikola Jokic: (9,800)
I always prefer to target Jokic at home (-9 DK PPG on the road this season), but the matchup vs The Kings is just too good to ignore. (3.01 opponent +/-) Jokic is averaging 48.8 DK PPG when facing an opponent +/- of 2.0 or more and we just saw Jusuf Nurkic explode for 82.75 DK points in this same matchup on Tuesday.
SF/PF: Kawhi Leonard: (8,800)
Leonard may seem like a quiet guy, but there is no question he wants to play well in his first game against The Spurs. Plus, he is coming off a career high 45 points (53 DK points vs The Jazz) and Kyle Lowry (questionable, back) should be out again. In the nine games Leonard has been active for, without Lowry, he is averaging 47.5 DK PPG, which would be a 5.4 value return at his salary for tonight.
PG: De’Aaron Fox: (7,500)
Out of nowhere, Fox really struggled on Tuesday night. (21.5 DK points vs The Blazers) but I think this is something to ignore, with him scoring 47.04 DK PPG in his previous six.
C: Clint Capela: (6,900)
Just like with Harden, Capela has seen his price drop for tonight. (-$500) This is the cheapest he has been since mid-November and the matchup is strong. (2.4 opponent +/-) However, as much as I like Capela at this price, I think his ugly history vs The Warriors make him a fine fade in GPPs. (28.7 DK PPG in L7 vs GSW)
PF/C: Pascal Siakam: (6,200)
Siakam has tallied a double double in back to back games (43 DK PPG) and has been solid sans Lowry. (32.4 DK PPG)
PF/C: Draymond Green: (5,900)
Green just can’t seem to find a groove right now (32.75 DK PPG), but he has been great vs The Rockets in his career. (39.79 DK PPG in L27 vs The Rockets)
SF/PF: Neman Bjelica: (5,300)
Bjelcia posted a 14/16 double double vs The Blazers on Tuesday (40 DK points) and he should play right around 30 minutes, with Marvin Bagley (doubtful, knee) expected to be out again, and this game having a tight spread. (DEN -3.5) In the last five Bjelica has played 25 minutes or more, he is scoring 31.45 DK PPG
PG/SG: Malik Beasley: (4,900)
Even with Gary Harris (hip) back in the rotation, Beasley still saw a significant role, and scored 42.5 DK points vs The Knicks. He is averaging 32.6 DK PPG in his last four and The Nuggets have won three of those games. Harris will play more tonight (20 minutes on Tuesday), but I don’t see how they can sit Beasley right now, and he should stay in a 25-30 minute role off the bench, vs The Kings, who are the second fastest team in The NBA. (1.28 opponent +/-)
PG/SG: Austin Rivers: (4,600)
The end result wasn’t the best (18.75 DK points vs The Grizzlies), but Rivers started and played 40.4 minutes with Gordon out. He will start again and should log heavy minutes, making him worth a look. (0.64 DK PPM)
SF/PF: P.J. Tucker: (4,200)
Tucker is solely in play because of the very high minutes he will see. In these last six without Paul, Tucker has averaged 22.8 DK PPG in 36.3 MPG.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com