Welcome back everyone. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings NBA sleeper picks for January 19th, 2017. Today we get a smaller slate with only five games to attack. Be sure to follow all the injury news up until the 7:00 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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PG: Raymond Felton: (4,800) After Chris Paul left Monday’s win over The Thunder with a thumb injury, Felton took over as the teams’s primary ball handler, scoring 15 points with six assists, three rebounds, a block, and a steal in 27 minutes. (30.75 DK points) Paul will undergo thumb surgery and is expected to miss the next 6-8 weeks. We have been in this situation before this season, juggling Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, and Felton as the best play with Paul out, but it has been Felton who has been the most consistent when the star PG is sidelined. In the seven full games Paul has missed this year, Felton is averaging 27.8 DK points in 34 minutes with a team high DK +/- of 10.8 points.
Coach Rivers always likes to start his son, Austin, whenever he gets the chance, but if he was smart, I think he would insert Felton in the starting lineup tonight. But even if he doesn’t start, Felton should see roughly 30 minutes off the bench. This is a nice matchup for the veteran against The Wolves who give up the 7th most DK points to opposing PGs. He is a much better play if he is starting, but is still a very viable play even he still comes off the bench. All three of the Clipper guards are viable plays tonight, but I think Felton is the best value of the three at his current price.
PF: James Johnson: (5,900) Johnson’s minutes have been more consistent over the last week playing at least 30 minutes in three straight games. In this span, he is averaging 34 DK points a game off the bench. His usage hasn’t changed, but he has been a much better playmaker dishing out eight assists a game with a team high 36.4 assist rate, which is massive jump from his 19.8% season average. He is clearly looking for his teammates more, which is maybe why he has seen more stable minutes as of late.
At a glance, this is an average matchup with The Mavs ranking 15th vs PFs, but they are a weaker defense inside with starting center Andrew Bogut out. (hamstring) This isn’t the best spot for him with The Mavs being one of the slowest teams in the league, but at $5,900 he needs 30 or more DK points to hit value, which is something he has accomplished in six out of his last eight games. I like his chances of returning value again tonight, and he is my favorite play at a very ugly PF position.
PF/C: Kenneth Faried: (5,200) Even though Faried has produced 33.25 DK points in back to back games as a starter, Fantasy Labs is projected him to be only owned 5-8%, which is a low ownership in a smaller five game slate. His price has jumped from $4,400 to $5,200, but he is still underpriced, if he plays 30+ minutes again with his season average of 1.09 DK points per minute. The main reason why he might be low owned tonight is that he is in a tough matchup vs The Spurs who allow the 4th least DK points to PFs. This matchup is scary by the numbers, but I think he can still return value, especially with his solid track record against the Spurs.
In the last five times that he has faced San Antonio, he is averaging a respectable 28.5 DK points per game. There is blow out concerns with The Spurs favored by 12 points, but I think this game will stay somewhat close throughout, and Faried’s minutes are rather safe with back up PF Darrell Arthur already confirmed out. (knee) There is also a chance he could be relied on more in this offense with SG Gary Harris and SF Wilson Chandler also ruled out. With an expected low ownership, Faried is one of the stronger GPP plays of the night, with his new starting role.
Also Consider: Guillermo Hernangomez (only if Noah and Porzingis are out again), Kyle O’Quinn (Only if Noah and Porzingis are out again. He was benched last night for his bad defense, but if he remains the starter I think he is worth a flier tonight, especially with most people scared to play him again), Mindaugas Kuzminskas (also if Noah and Porzi are out), Jamal Crawford/Austin Rivers, Tyson Chandler, Tyler Johnson, Will Barton (if Gallinari is out), Deron Williams, and Seth Curry.