What’s going on guys. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA picks for January 5th, 2018. After last night’s two game slate, we get back to a full slate with ten games to target tonight. 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.
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PG/SG: Tyreke Evans: (8,000) It’s hard to overlook how good Evans truly has been. In his last nine games, Reke is averaging 43 DK points in 33.9 minutes a game, while posting a team high 29.7% usage rate and team high 33.3% assist percentage. Not only has he been consistently making value, but he has shown us how high his ceiling can be during this stretch, with a 51.25 and a 64.75 DK point game. Now, on top of PG Mike Conley (Achilles) and SF Chandler Parsons (knee) being out, The Grizzlies are expected to be out with PG Andrew Harrison who is listed as doubtful for tonight with a shoulder injury. His rates are already high and don’t really change much with Harrison also out of the mix, but assuming they put a low usage player like James Ennis or Kobi Simmons in the starting five for Harrison, Evans should naturally see his usage and assist percentage grow even more.
Furthermore, he will be facing off against The Wizards who are currently a decent matchup for him, at a 1.99 opponent +/-. Also, this a big pace increase for Evans, five possessions to be exact, and in the 16 games he has seen a pace jump of at least 5.0 possessions, he is beating expectations by 2.75 DK points. His price has come down a little to $8,000 and at this price he needs to score 40 or more DK points to reach value, which is something he should accomplish tonight.
SF/PF: Ersan Ilyasova: (5,300) Quietly, Ilyasova has been a very consistent weapon for The Hawks. In his last six games he is averaging 31 DK points and 31.1 minutes a game, which are sizeable increases from his 22.7 DK PPG and 25.2 minutes average for the season. He has been excellent in his last two starts, scoring 33.1 DK points per game, with an increased usage of 24%. His playing time has remained steady for almost a month now and with him rarely ever facing foul trouble (2.9 fouls per 36), Sova should see right around 30 minutes of action again tonight vs The Blazers.
The Blazer defense has been a strong unit overall this year, but recently they have slipped, rating as the 7th worst defense over their last three games, while also allowing 57.3 total rebounds, which is the second highest mark in the league during this span. (1.93 opponent +/-) Also, they been allowing 12.7 three pointers made in these past three games, compared to their season average of 9.1, which is great news for Ilyasova, who is gunning an average of five threes a game in his last four. He is still too cheap for his current role at $5,300 and he is a fine value play that carries solid upside depending on his shooting and if he can pick up a double double.
PG: Lonzo Ball: (6,700) Hopefully we have confirmation about Ball before lock because if he suits up, he looks like a strong mid tier target for this slate that lacks high end studs to pay up for. He has missed the last six games with a shoulder sprain, but logged a full practice yesterday and was close to playing on Wednesday night. All signs are pointing to the rookie making his return to this great game setting vs The Hornets. Even though there are ten games tonight, none of the totals are over 220 points, with this Lakers-Hornets match up possessing the second highest O/U game total of Friday at 218 points. This contest also is expected to stay tight with is small spread of only 2.5 points.
The competitive game script should keep Ball’s playing time around 35 minutes, assuming he isn’t limited, and he would have a strong chance of producing five to six times value in this strong matchup vs The Hornets. (3.77 opponent +/-) Before hurting his shoulder, Ball was playing great, averaging 41 DK points in his prior six games. If he is confirmed in before lock, I think he is a great target that would go under owned in all formats. If we don’t have word about Ball, I still think he is worth a dart on a GPP team or two at this reasonable price. UPDATE: Ball is now listed as probable and is a fine target for both cash games and GPPs.
PG/SG: Avery Bradley: (5,300) In his return from missing seven games with a groin injury, Bradley wasn’t limited in anyway, logging 38 minutes in the loss to The Heat on Wednesday night. In these minutes he scored 15 points, four assists, four rebounds, and steal. (29 DK points) With PG Reggie Jackson (ankle) and SF Stanley Johnson (hip) still out of the lineup tonight, Bradley should log 35+ minutes again in this very strong matchup vs The Sixers.
The have allowed the 8th most DK points to SGs this season, currently sitting an opponent +/- of 4.29 points. They also tend to turn the ball over at a high rate, allowing a league high 9.2 steals a game, which is terrific news for the defensive specialist in Bradley. He should top five times value in this game with 30-35 DK point upside if he can rack up multiple steals. He is a strong point per dollar play that can be used in all formats tonight.
Also Consider: Tyus Jones (minutes should be high with this game having a spread of only three points), Wilson Chandler (bounced back with 36.75 DK points in 34.3 minutes last game), Derick Favors (31.4 DK points over last four), Goran Dragic (usage has been up and he is averaging 50 DK points in his last two starts. He will regress soon, but the price is still friendly vs this soft Knicks defense), Kris Dunn (only hit one shot last game and this is a nice bounce back spot vs The Mavs who are a 4.08 opponent +/- for PGs), Ish Smith, Boban Marjanovic (only if Drummond is out again. 32.75 DK points in only 22 minutes in the start last game), James Ennis/Kobi Simmons/Mario Chalmers (whoever starts for Harrison would be a viable punt), Trey Lyles (just keeps on producing, now scoring 30+ DK points in three straight games), Marquese Chriss, Frank Kaminsky (great target for GPPs, he saw 30+ minutes in two straight games before their blowout win over The Kings on Tuesday. The minutes should get back close to 30 and he’s playing The Lakers, who are 5.88 opponent +/-), and Dennis Smith Jr.