Happy Friday everyone. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 4th Tonight, we get a full slate, with 10 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: Karl-Anthony Towns: (9,900)
KAT is a superb play again on Friday night. Jeff Teague (below) will return from the ankle injury and start, but The Wolves will still be without the services of Derick Rose (ankle) and Robert Covington. (knee) When these two, plus Jimmy Butler (traded), have been off the floor this season, Towns has seen a +5.8% usage differential, and is scoring 1.51 DK PPM.
Additionally, Towns will be back in Minnesota, where he has scored 4.68 more DK PPG the past two years. The Magic are a decent spot for centers (1.37 opponent +/-) and Towns should easily crack 50 DK points considering the role he should have, with upside similar to what we have seen from him over the last week. (66.8 DK PPG in L5)
PG/SG: Terry Rozier: (6,100)
Rozier’s price went up a large $700 since Wednesday (39.25 DK points vs The Wolves), but he remains underpriced for his role, with Kyrie Irving (eye) still out. In the three games Irving has missed this season, Rozier is averaging 34.7 DK PPG, and in the 23 total Uncle Drew has sat since joining Boston, Rozier is scoring 32.3 DK PPG. He played 32.3 minutes in Wednesday’s win over The Wolves, but this number would have been even higher, if Boston didn’t run away with this game in the 4th quarter. (115-102)
Tonight, with this home matchup vs The Mavs presenting a better game environment (BOS -5), Rozier should log 35+ minutes. Dallas is the 12th best defense this season, but Rozier is generating an effective 0.91 DK PPM when Irving is off the court and could receive another big boost, if Marcus Morris (questionable, neck) was also inactive. (3.5% usage increase and 0.99 DK PPM) Even if Morris ends up playing, Rozier is still a very strong mid-tier target, that has a nice floor/ceiling.
PG/SG: Lou Williams: (6,600)
I want a piece of this Clippers Suns game (233.5 point slate high total) and I think Williams, at only $6,600, is the best value from both sides. Since returning from the a hamstring injury that cost him four games, Lou Will has been outstanding in his last seven. (36.2 DK PPG) He has posted a team high 33.1% usage rate and is supplying 1.4 DK PPM in his last five. With rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander struggling in the starting five, HC Doc Rivers has given Williams 29.3 MPG off the bench in their last three, including two games over 30 minutes.
This is a really positive sign for Williams’ fantasy stock, considering he was only logging 21.7 MPG in his previous 12. There is no reason why he shouldn’t continue to play right around 30 minutes again tonight and this matchup with The Suns is a prime spot for Williams. (28th in defensive efficiency) He has scored over 40 DK points in four of his last seven and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we saw another big night from the reigning six man of the year.
PG: Kris Dunn: (6,100)
Dunn should see a much bigger role with Justin Holiday traded to The Grizzlies. In return, they got Wayne Selden Jr, who isn’t expected to be available tonight, and The Bulls just also waived Cameron Payne. Furthermore, Bobby Portis (ankle) and Denzel Valentine (ankle) are both still on the shelf. The Bulls should only play 4/5 wing players on Friday night and when Portis, Valentine, Payne, Jabari Parker (has been out of the rotation since 12/13) and Holiday are all off the floor, Dunn receives a team high 8.2% usage increase, and is averaging a strong 1.42 DK PPM.
He has played over 30 minutes in five of his last seven and with The Bulls only six point underdogs to The Pacers, Dunn should log 30-35 minutes, and surpass his value threshold, despite this being an ugly matchup. (Indy is 2nd in defensive efficiency)
SF/PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo: (11,600)
There is a big blowout risk here (MIL -13), but The Bucks have the highest implied team total of the night (121.75 DK points), going against The Hawks, who are the fastest team in the league. (2.4 possession increase) In the two other games Giannis saw pace jump of 2.0 possessions or more this season, he scored a massive 70.25 DK PPG, and in the five games The Bucks were projected to score 120+ points, The Greek Freak averaged 59.6 DK PPG. He may be tough to get in your cash lineup, but his ceiling is worth targeting in tournaments.
PG: Russell Westbrook: (11,300)
Westbrook has posted a triple double in each of his last two (66.13 DK PPG) and this tilt vs The Blazers should be very competitive. (POR -1) I don’t like the matchup (0.88 opponent +/-), but Westbrook is a lock for over 55 DK points in this game setting.
SF/PF: Paul George: (9,700)
PG13 has been so good (57.4 DK PPG in L7), that he is still very viable, even if Portland doesn’t rate well for SFs. (0.97 opponent +/-)
C: Nikola Vucevic: (9,300)
Vuc scored 52.5 DK points in only 26 minutes Wednesday vs The Bulls and The Wolves have been a positive matchup for centers, allowing the 6th most RPG. (1.48 opponent +/-)
C: Marc Gasol: (8,100)
Gasol has been volatile, but this matchup vs The Nets is the best for a player on Friday night. (4.81 opponent +/-) In their first meeting of the season, Gasol scored 51.3 DK points, and he is one of the better GPP targets, due to a low expected ownership. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
C: Deandre Ayton: (7,800)
Like Gasol, Ayton can be unpredictable at times, but the matchup is elite for the rookie. (LAC is a 4.18 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: Kyle Kuzma: (7,300)
If Kuzma (questionable, back) can play and isn’t limited, he should get over 40 DK points vs this second to last ranked Knicks’ defense. LeBron James (groin) is out again and if we don’t include the last game, when Kuzma only played one half, he is averaging 42.3 DK PPG without James.
PG/SG: Bradon Ingram: (6,800)
Ingram would soak up a ton of usage if Kuzma is unable to play. When Rajon Rondo (hand), James, and Kuzma have all been off the floor, Ingram’s usage has sky rocketed (+7.9%) and he is scoring 1.07 DK PPM.
PF: Lauri Markkanen: (6,500)
Markkanen has seen the largest production increase in this current Bulls’ situation. (1.4 DK PPM) If they can keep it close and he plays 30+, Markkanen will be looking at 40+ DK point night.
SF/PF: T.J. Warren: (6,200)
Warren struggled with foul trouble in their last game (10 DK points vs The Sixers), but prior to this, he was scoring 30.1 DK PPG in his previous five. Assuming he can stay in the game for a full workload, Warren should get us value, in this slate high total.
PG: Jeff Teague: (6,100)
If Teague is confirmed to have no minutes limit, he should smash this price tag. When Butler, Rose, and Covington have all been missing, Teague has taken on 32% usage rate (13.6% increase), and is producing a great 1.27 DK PPM. Give him a tentative 30 minute projection and Teague should absolutely get over 30 DK points.
PF/C: Thomas Bryant: (6,000)
It’s crazy that his price has even got this high, but that’s how productive Bryant has been, with Markieff Morris (out, back), and Dwight Howard (out, back, glute) both out. (39.9 DK PPG in L3) Tonight, he is in a tough spot vs The Heat (0.59 opponent +/-), but it is one that should require him to play over 30 minutes for the third straight game.
SF/PF: Gordon Hayward: (5,400)
Hayward was outstanding on Wednesday (44.75 DK points vs The Wolves) and if Morris was to sit, Hayward would have to play over 30 minutes again, possibly as a starter. When both Morris and Irving have been off the floor, Hayward has received a 3.5% usage bump.
PF/C: Luke Kornet: (5,400)
If Mitchell Robinson (ankle) is out again, Kornet should stay in this role (34.4 DK PPG and 29.43 MPG in L3 as a starter), and the matchup is awesome, vs The Lakers. (2.43 opponent +/-)
C: JaVale McGee: (5,200)
McGee has scored over 30 DK points in both of these first two games back from pneumonia and The Knicks are horrid inside. (2.78 opponent +/-) Plus, if Kuzma is out, McGee’s usage should rise. (+3.8% sans Kuzma, James, and Rondo)
PG/SG: Marcus Smart: (4,300)
Would see high playing time and better usage if Morris was out. Smart has seen a team best 5.1% usage increase when Irving and Morris have been off the floor. (0.87 DK PPM)
SG/SF: Josh Okogie: (3,900)
Okogie started for Covington and should again. He got into foul trouble vs The Celtics (13.25 DK points in 24.2 minutes), but he should end up playing over 30 tonight. Don’t expect anything special, but Okogie could get you 20 DK points. He is scoring 19.5 DK PPG in the last four he went past 25 minutes.
SF/PF: Chandler Hutchison: (3,000)
Hutchinson will start with Holiday out of town. He has done very little this year (only three games over 20 DK points and 0.64 DK PPM sans Holiday), but there is a chance this Bulls’ coaching staff lets him play a ton going forward.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com