What’s up everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA sleeper picks for January 12th, 2017. Tonight we get a solid slate with five games to attack. Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:30 PM EST lock tonight, 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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SF: Denzel Valentine: (3,300) Tuesday night with SF Jimmy Butler (illness), SF Nikola Mirotic (illness), and SG Dwayne Wade (rest) all out, Valentine scored a career high 19 points (5/11 from three) to go along with two rebounds, two assists, and two steals in a season high 30 minutes off the bench. (30.5 DK points) The rookie out of Michigan State played with confidence in the best game of his young career, posting a solid 23% usage rate.
Wade will return tonight, but Butler and Mirotic are both expected to remain out. His usage will most likely take a hit with Wade back, but Valentine should still see 25-30 minutes off the bench vs The Knicks. He may even draw the start at SF with starter Doug McDermott struggling over the last two games, shooting an extremely low 23% from the field. This is a great situation for the rookie to remain hot vs this Knicks defense that has been terrible defending SFs, allowing the 4th most DK points to the position. Regardless, if he starts or not he is one of the strongest value plays of Thursday night at $3,300. Update: Out of no where Valentine has been ruled out with an illness. Make sure he is out your lineups. MCW, Jerian Grant, Rondo, and Doug McDermott should benefit with MCW being my favorite play.
SG/SF: Stanley Johnson: (3,000) Johnson has picked up some extra minutes with Jon Leuer out the last two games, (bone bruise) averaging 15 DK points in 24 minutes off the bench. Leuer is expected to miss the next four games which should keep Johnson in the rotation for the next week. He should see roughly 25 minutes tonight with potentially even more, with The Pistons as 13 point road underdogs playing against The Warriors.
He hasn’t been a great fantasy player this season only averaging 0.6 DK points per minute, but is a talented player who can produce if he sees the usage. This is a nice matchup for him with The Warriors giving up the 5th most DK points to SFs this year. He should be able to produce 15+ DK points which doesn’t seem like much, but is good return value at his $3,000 price tag. He is a solid punt play tonight if you need the salary cap relief that has decent upside if this game really gets out of hand.
PF/C: Dirk Nowitzki: (5,800) Nowitzki showed flashes of the old Dirk this past Monday, scoring a season 26 points vs The Wolves. (40.75 DK points) He was gunning right out of the gate in this game with a high 31.5% usage rate which is a sizeable increase from his season average of 27.6%. He seems to be back to full strength after missing games with an Achilles injury, playing over 30 minutes in his last two games.
Tonight with three days off and no game tomorrow he should definitely play 30+ minutes again tonight vs The Suns who allow the 9th most DK points to opposing PFs this season. (1.06 DK +/-) He has already exposed this matchup just last week scoring 29.3 DK points in only 27 minutes of action. His price has gone up to a fair $5,800, but still presents value if the hot shooting continues. I think he is only in play in GPPs at this elevated salary but is a player I like targeting in that format vs this Suns defense.
Also Consider: Tyson Chandler (better if Bogut is out), Rajon Rondo, Tony Parker, Michael Carter-Williams, Terrence Jones (elite value with AD out), Taj Gibson/Bobby Portis, Robin Lopez, Deron Williams, Tyreke Evans, Kyle O’Quinn (great value with Porzingis out) Joahkim Noah (also boost with Porzi out), Justin Hamilton, Spencer Dinwiddle, Luol Deng, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Powell (nice value if Bogut is out).