FanDuel NBA DFS Picks – January 16th

Things are about to get a little bit out of control on Wednesday night. The NBA pushes out a fun eight-game schedule and that should be good for daily fantasy basketball purposes.

As much fun as that seems to be at first glance, the excitement is met with a pause thanks to some pretty absurd player pricing over at FanDuel.

I know James Harden has been pretty amazing, but $14k flat for his services might be where I draw the line. In today’s NBA DFS scene, you often want to (ideally) project your players to get x6 their price tag. Based on this logic, Harden has to get over 80 fantasy points tonight just to meet value.

Anthony Davis isn’t far off at a staggering $13.7k.

Normally I’d balk at these prices and fade them both to the moon, but FanDuel has cleverly priced up just about everyone on this slate. For example, Damian Lillard would be a fun pivot as an elite option, but he’s still $10k.

That’s not cheap, especially when he’s priced like a guy that’s a near-lock for 50+ fantasy points. I’m not sure I buy that, either, since he’s literally topped 50 fantasy points one time in his last 15 games.

Needless to say, I’m surprised how much thought goes into whether you need to fade these guys tonight. Read on to check out some of my favorite NBA DFS picks and how I’m building my favorite GPP squad at FanDuel on Wednesday’s slate:

PG: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors ($10k)

The presence of so much star power could spread ownership out, or the crazy prices will push people onto Curry and other cheaper studs. That’s fine, but Curry is an elite closer in possibly the best DFS environment of the night.

Kyle Lowry is a value play and Kyrie Irving is a decent price, but they’re in bad spots. I am also interested in double-punting the point guard position so I can make room for Harden/Brow, but if I can cram Chef Curry in here, I’m going to do it.

PG: Jalen Brunson – Dallas Mavericks ($3.7k)

Dennis Smith Jr. could miss yet another game and he’s been in trade rumors, while J.J. Barea (Achilles) is out of the year. That handed Brunson 29 minutes last game and he could be looking at a huge role going forward.

This is still a very shaky play, but Brunson is too cheap and should get the start as long as DSJ is out. The Spurs aren’t a dream matchup, but I’m paying up for three studs tonight and will need some salary savers. Brunson is a necessary evil.

SG: James Harden – Houston Rockets ($14k)

I actually created a few NBA DFS lineups before settling on this one. The big takeaway was that there wasn’t much intermediate value to hang your hat on and the pivots off of the super pricey studs were still very expensive.

Donovan Mitchell is an elite pivot off of Harden, but he’s still $9k. It’s not like DeMar DeRozan and Luka Doncic are much cheaper, either.

The teams I built without Harden and/or Anthony Davis still required some value plays, so I figured why not aim high. Harden is on fire and at home against the Nets. Let’s keep it rolling and hope other people are scared off by his ridiculous price.

SG: Grayson Allen – Utah Jazz ($3.5k)

I don’t really want to roster Ted Cruz, but the Jazz are battered in terms of injuries and he’s back in the rotation. He could get 15+ minutes here and should operate as my likely lowest score that will be dropped.

I’m not expecting much here. Allen will almost surely be my worst play and I’m fine with that because he saves me cash and gets me the team I covet.

SF: Omri Casspi – Memphis Grizzlies ($3.7k)

Small forward is a scary spot to fade elite options, as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard are all monsters waiting to happen. KD is the only one is a great spot, though, so I actually don’t mind going away from these guys when I’m landing three others studs elsewhere.

Casspi is a fine punt play, as he is getting good run due to injuries in Memphis. He saw 24 minutes in his last game and produced a solid 22 fantasy points. If he can hover around that range again tonight, he’d classify as a big win.

SF: Darius Miller – New Orleans Pelicans ($3.8k)

I’m hoping for something similar out of Miller, who can get hot offensively at times and is in a great spot in a likely shootout with the Warriors. The Pels should get up for this game and Miller sees 20+ minutes most nights.

Miller wrecking isn’t the goal here. Harden and Brow alone will hopefully will combine for 150+ fantasy points, so the remainder of my team just needs to average over 21 points per player to get me over 300 on the night.

I can’t predict exactly how things will play out, but 300+ fantasy points would at least get me in the conversation of cashing and a better score could help me climb the ladder.

Miller isn’t safe, but he has a role and is in a good spot. He’s a solid dice role on this slate.

PF: Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans ($13.7k)

The Brow has a solid history against Golden State and they haven’t been very good against centers for much of the year. Davis gets to take the floor against them just before DeMarcus Cousins makes his return and you know he’ll be up for this one.

Davis is super pricey, but Blake Griffin is your next best bet at power forward. I’m just aiming high here and hoping investing most of my funds in three guys can pay off.

PF: Zach Collins – Portland Trail Blazers ($3.8k)

The Blazers host the Cavs tonight and will probably blow them out. I might be in trouble if they don’t, but Zach Collins stands to benefit immensely if I’m right. He also sees 15-20 minutes off the bench no matter what most nights, so I still think he’s a solid punt regardless.

Usually you’re not taking so many deep dives; I get that. This is a weird slate with terrible pricing, though. I think there’s a way to exploit that, but these crazy value plays just need to work out to make that happen.

C: Marcin Gortat – Los Angeles Clippers ($3.6k)

Center is loaded tonight in terms of pricing and actual ability, but few of the best options have amazing matchups. Jusuf Nurkic would be my top target if you want to pay up, while Rudy Gobert has the best overall matchup.

I’m punting again here, as there are three cheap centers to consider to piece this NBA DFS lineup together. Nene Hilario and Greg Monroe are also on my radar, but Gortat could be needed with Gobert down low against the Jazz.

Hilario is the better play if we know he’s locked into solid run, but right now I think Gortat might be the safer bet in terms of run.


This isn’t a cash game lineup by any means. This is a GPP-centric squad, through and through. It’s littered with risk and has major downside – especially if one of these elite options don’t pan out.

This is a night for multiple daily fantasy basketball lineups, though. Try rosters with Harden and Brow naked and try some without them at all. I think going balanced in theory could be something to consider, but these two are on crazy tears and even given these absurd prices, fading them could be a big mistake.

Hopefully the value plays I’m using can rise up and do enough to get me climbing a GPP. Use this team or just a few of my NBA DFS picks. Whatever you do, I wish you luck. Enjoy the games!