Welcome to January 9th NBA DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Basketball Premium podcast for January 9th NBA DFS along with our LIVE Premium Chat and cliff notes. Make sure you’re using our customizable projections tool, you’re actively participating in the live chat, and you’re reviewing the cliff notes to supplement your research and roster construction process. Very best of luck in tonight’s action!
JANUARY 9th NBA DFS
0:42 Point Guard
8:11 Shooting Guard
14:44 Small Forward
20:49 Power Forward
- In cash games, we recommend focusing on value plays to build your rosters (far right hand column of Projections page linked above). Value plays are those we feel have the highest probability of out-earning their current price tag. By packing value plays into your roster, you’re creating a team with a higher floor.
- In tournaments, we recommend building a core of the best value plays and then complementing them with players who have a high ceiling. This combination is essentially turning up the variance on a strong foundation and we believe often is the best recipe for tournament success.
January 9th NBA DFS Cliff Notes
- Front of B2B: Chicago Bulls
- Back of B2B: None
Russell Westbrook (OKC) projects as the top overall scorer on this three game slate, but a full price tag ($13,000 on DraftKings and $12,400 on FanDuel) makes Westbrook a less compelling spend when Anthony Davis (NO) is approaching him in projection at a cheaper cost and at arguably a scarcer position. Westbrook’s matchup with the Bulls is difficult on paper as the Bulls rank seventh in defensive efficiency against point guards but the defense has fallen off dramatically since removing Rajon Rondo from the lineup (29th over last five games and 29th over last 10 games). Westbrook’s floor is always a bit stronger than Davis because he has the ball in his hands constantly and has little injury history relative to Davis. It’s viable to emphasize that floor, though we prefer the price discount on Davis as your anchor on this short slate.
With Westbrook less of an emphasis, we’re looking at Jrue Holiday (NO), Derrick Rose (NYK), and Deron Williams (DAL) as the viable mid-tier point guard targets. Williams has the best matchup against the Timberwolves who rank 27th in defensive efficiency against point guards while Rose gets New Orleans who ranks 26th and Jrue gets the Knicks who rank 19th. All three matchups are slightly above average and each of the price tags are either fair or slightly discounted. Williams comes with the most risk as a healthy J.J. Barea (DAL) brings a crowded backcourt, which has us leaning slightly towards Holiday and Rose as the point guard building blocks. On FanDuel, Michael Carter-Williams (CHI) is cheap enough to earn consideration as a pure source of salary relief.
The shooting guard position is absolutely brutal on this slate. There aren’t many plays that grade out as positive values and frankly you’re trying to get some semblance of salary relief out of this position with any combination of floor you can find. On FanDuel, you need two of these so buckle up. Victor Oladipo (OKC) is a little underpriced at $5,900 and brings a relatively solid floor in a neutral matchup. He’s deserving of one of your two slots over there. The other two options with a floor are Dwyane Wade (CHI) and Zach LaVine (MIN). Wade’s been struggling with efficiency over the last month and has battled knee soreness and migraines. He’s priced a bit better on DraftKings but he’s not a particularly exciting play. The values at the shooting guard come from the shaky New Orleans backcourt rotation. Buddy Hield (NO) has seen a slightly longer leash of late and capitalized with 30+ minutes in two of the last three. The price has risen accordingly and the nights he’s not hitting shots the minutes dip back down to the mid-20s bringing an appealing ceiling relative to price tag but a very shaky floor. E’Twaun Moore (NO) has no ceiling to him and the minutes fluctuate like Hield’s but he’s hovering around the minimum and on this slate that makes him viable. On DraftKings, Tyreke Evans (NO) is just $3,900 and has seen the playing time touch 20 minutes. Once again there is very little ceiling with the minutes capped but he’s a high usage player that should help push the floor into the high teens. Evans looks like the “safest” source of salary relief on DraftKings. Courtney Lee’s (NYK) price tag rose slightly which has him pushed down our value rankings but he’s also in this mix as he’s occasionally reached into the high 30s in minutes.
Jimmy Butler (CHI) is the top projected scorer on this slate but he draws a difficult matchup with Andre Roberson (OKC) and the Thunder’s fifth ranked defense against small forwards. Butler’s seen improved usage, rebound, and assist rates since Rajon Rondo has moved out of the starting lineup and we’ve adjusted his baseline rates up as a result. The difficult matchup coupled with the rising price tag is keeping him a neutral value on FanDuel and a slightly positive value on DraftKings. He’s not a priority on this slate thanks to a little more salary relief in Carmelo Anthony (NYK), but Butler is an acceptable target in all formats. Anthony’s price tag on DraftKings dropped right back down to $7,200 after a disappointing effort on the second night of a back-to-back. The Knicks have had a difficult schedule of late (fourth game in six days) which is always a concern for the veteran but the matchup is slightly above average (New Orleans ranks 19th against SF) and the price tag is compelling. Anthony looks like one of the better targets on this short slate. On FanDuel, where two small forwards are required, Andrew Wiggins (MIN) remains slightly underpriced ($6,400) and represents your best pairing with Melo or Butler. Dallas is a difficult matchup because they slow down pace but they’re very average defensively (22nd overall, 14th against small forwards).
There are also two viable punt targets on FanDuel as Andre Roberson (OKC) and Doug McDermott (CHI) have been playing heavier minutes of late and come with near punt price tags. McDermott’s added a bit of rebounding to his traditional score-only profile while Roberson comes with no usage but likely heavy minutes again in a defensive assignment with Jimmy Butler. On DraftKings, Nikola Mirotic (CHI) and Tyreke Evans (NO) are cheap with SF eligibility but the value in Carmelo’s price tag makes him the clear cut target.
Anthony Davis (NO) kicks off things at the power forward position. His rebound rate has jumped with the move to the center position of late and the Knicks have struggled mightily against the center position this season (28th in defensive efficiency against centers). The discounted price tag relative to Russell Westbrook coupled with the relatively scarce options at power forward make Davis a really compelling target. The Pelicans have the second highest implied total (105.75) on the slate and the Knicks inflate scoring (most points per game allowed to centers) and blocks (fourth most blocks).
After Davis, the options are relatively thin. Gorgui Dieng (MIN) remains the most solid value play with a modest $5,500 price tag on FanDuel and $5,700 on DraftKings in a matchup against the league’s worst rebounding team (Dallas). The ceiling with Dieng isn’t particularly strong but the floor is solid thanks to heavy minutes. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) saw his minutes bump to 30 last time out and gets an island game which gives us another chance at heavier minutes. The price tag is still slightly discounted for Dirk’s recent playing time, making him a viable play but like Dieng he carries a low ceiling. Nikola Mirotic (CHI) has seen a bigger role of late as the Bulls have moved to more shooting based closing units. The price tag is slowly adjusting up with the role but the upside relative to price point is a little more intriguing than Dieng or Dirk. Mirotic has cleared 30 FanDuel points in 11 percent of games this season and 14 percent of the time on DraftKings. Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) likely has the highest per dollar ceiling on the slate and did play 34 minutes on the second end of a back-to-back but an in-between price tag makes him difficult as a spend IF paying up for Westbrook or Davis.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) tops our center projections in a matchup that is great for rebounding and efficiency but poor for steals and blocks as well as total possessions. Towns makes sense as a part of more balanced teams that fade Davis or Westbrook but gets priced out if locking in one of the higher projected studs.
As a result, Joakim Noah (NYK) becomes the center by default cash game target on this slate. He’s priced below $5,000 on both sites. The concern with Noah is the minutes as he’s played 20 and 21 the last two games and was limited to just 16 minutes in the first matchup with the Pelicans. New Orleans has struggled against centers this season (24th in defensive efficiency) as they’ve particularly been hammered on the boards (league worst 17.4 rebounds per game allowed to centers). This is where Noah derives most of his value which is why he’s popping in the rankings. If you’re uncomfortable with Noah (given the recent minutes variance) and can’t afford Towns, Andrew Bogut (DAL) and Donatas Motiejunas (NO) are viable sources of salary relief at a thin position. Bogut played 29 minutes last time out against a true center in Dwight Howard and now faces the Timberwolves big lineups. It’s difficult to project Bogut for more than 22 minutes but if he does get a similar bump to last game he’s a fine value. Motiejunas is a pure punt on DraftKings at $3,000 and played 20 minutes in his debut with hefty usage in the second unit, delivering over 25 DraftKings points in his debut.