What’s going on everybody. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for January 5th For Saturday night, we get seven 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: (12,200)
Regardless of this matchup vs Portland being difficult (0.7 opponent +/-), Harden is still the top overall play and a near must have, yet again. Chris Paul (hamstring) and Eric Gordon (knee) will both be out again and in these past two without them, Harden has vaulted himself up to the top of the MVP rankings. (86.5 DK PPG) He has taken on a massive 44% usage rate and 60.9% assist percentage, which are obviously both team highs.
Harden has been simply been unstoppable and HC Mike D’Antoni has had no choice but to let him essentially play the whole game. (42.4 MPG) He has produced a tremendous 1.85 DK PPM and his minutes should stay very high in this tight matchup with The Blazers. (HOU -1) Even at new higher price of $12,200, Harden should still exceed five times value, and his ridiculously high ceiling makes him a very tough fade on Saturday.
PG/SG: T.J. McConnell: (3,600)
To get Harden in, we need some viable punts and McConnell looks like the best of the group at only $3,600. He has scored over 20 DK points in six straight games, but has yet to see his price move the last two weeks. McConnell is logging 26.14 MPG off the bench in these past six and scoring a solid 0.83 DK PPM.
His minutes could see a slight bump tonight, if either Jimmy Butler or Wilson Chandler are out due to illness. (both questionable) Either way, McConnell is a fine punt play, that should produce over 20 DK points vs The Mavs.
C: Willie Cauley-Stein: (6,000)
WCS is such an annoying player from a real basketball standpoint, but his price and matchup are just too favorable on Saturday night. After two games under 30 DK points, which we should have seen coming against two strong defenses (DEN and POR), DraftKings has dropped Cauley-Stein’s price down to $6,000. He was priced at $7,200 just two games ago. As for the matchup, WCS will be at home, where he has averaged a large 8.5 more DK PPG, going against The Warriors, who have been very weak up front, even with Draymond Green back. (3.14 opponent +/-)
In the 14 home games that WCS has faced a positive opponent +/- this season, he has averaged 34.9 DK PPG, which would be a great 5.8 times value return at his current salary. This game has the highest total of the night (238.5 points) and Cauley-Stein is one of the most reasonable ways to gain exposure.
PG/SG: Austin Rivers: (4,900)
On Thursday, Rivers was effective in The Rockets’ big win over The Warriors. (33 DK points) This was the second game in a row he started for Gordon and he has played a huge 41.95 MPG as a starter. As you can see from Harden’s playing time, D’Antoni isn’t shy about playing time, and with Gordon out again, Rivers should log 40+ vs The Blazers.
The matchup could be better (0.95 opponent +/-) and Rivers isn’t the best on a PPM basis (0.64), but this is just too many minutes for a player this cheap. With 40 minutes of work, which could modest, Rivers should surpass five times value.
C: Joel Embiid: (10,800)
Embiid has been outstanding. (65.9 DK PPG in L4) On Wednesday night, with Jimmy Butler (questionable, illness) and Wilson Chandler (questionable, illness) both out, Embiid went off for 77.5 DK points vs The Suns. Chandler isn’t a high usage player and if he is active or not doesn’t matter much to Embiid, but if Butler sits again (he missed Friday’s practice), Embiid will be second to Harden in projection for tonight. In the three games Butler has missed since joining The Sixers, Embiid is scoring 70.25 DK PPG, on a 38.1% usage rate. All in all, even if Butler is active, Embiid should still approach 60 DK points vs this Mavs’ defense. (1.95 opponent +/-)
PG/SG: Steph Curry: (9,700)
We have seen some huge performances from PGs when playing up in pace vs The Kings this season (3.3 possession increase), including a 60.8 DK point game from Curry himself. If this game stays close (GSW -7.5), Curry should get over 50 DK points, with 60+ upside.
C: Clint Capela: (7,800)
Outside of the dud vs The Pelicans (21.75 DK points), Capela has been great these past two weeks. (52 DK PPG) The Blazers are tough on centers (0.68 opponent +/-), but they need Capela’s size in this matchup.
PF/C: Draymond Green: (6,800)
Green should benefit from the pace increase vs The Kings. He is averaging 33.16 DK PPG when seeing a pace bump this season and scored 35.5 DK points vs The Kings last month.
PG: Elfird Payton: (5,700)
In his second game back, Payton didn’t have a minutes limit, and scored 37 DK points in 34 minutes vs The Nets. He is scoring 1.02 DK PPM this season and should log 30-35 minutes tonight, vs The Cavs, who are dead last in defensive efficiency. (1.62 opponent +/-)
PF/C: Jaren Jackson Jr.: (5,700)
If Marc Gasol (questionable, hamstring) is out, Jackson should slide over to center and play high minutes. He scores 1.02 DK PPM this season and is averaging 36.25 DK PPG in his last two.
SG/SF: Bogdan Bogdanovic: (5,700)
Bogdanovic has been solid (32.8 DK PPG in L4) and this game vs The Warriors should be very high scoring, hence it’s slate high total.
SF/PF: Neman Bjelica: (5,400)
Bjelica has seen his minutes rise in his last two (33.48 MPG), obviously leading to better production. (35.75 DK PPG) If the minutes continue, Bjelica should return five to six times value, assuming Marvin Bagley (questionable, knee) remains sidelined.
PG/SF: Kyle Anderson: (4,900)
Anderson has been great (33.65 DK PPG in L5) and this is a revenge game for him vs The Spurs. In his first meeting against them this season, Anderson scored 27.3 DK points across 38.3 minutes.
PG/SG: Derick White: (4,800)
White is playing with more confidence recently and is just too cheap for his recent production. (32.5 DK PPG in L4)
PG/SG: Alec Burks: (4,400)
Burks has been a solid scorer for The Cavs (22.2 DK PPG in L9) and he should benefit from playing way up in pace vs The Pelicans. (6.6 possession increase)
SG/SF: Furkan Korkmaz: (3,600)
Korkmaz got the start for Butler last game and should again, if Butler is out. (21 DK points vs The Suns) Overall, he is averaging 21.17 DK PPG and 31.2 MPG in the three Butler has missed since coming to Philly.
PF: Jonah Bolden: (3,100)
Bolden didn’t do much as the starter for Chandler (12 DK points in 16 minutes vs The Suns), but he would be in play again, if starting for Chandler.
*Please note some of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com