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NBA DFS Tuesday: Watch the Bulls Hit
Daily Fantasy Rundown
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Welcome to January 10th NBA DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Basketball Premium podcast for January 10th 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!

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JANUARY 10th NBA DFS
00:34 Point Guard
13:03
Shooting Guard
19:51
Small Forward
26:24
Power Forward
34:44
Center

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CUSTOMIZABLE PROJECTIONS WITH VALUE RATINGS CLICK HERE

  • 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 10th NBA DFS Cliff Notes

  • Front of B2B: Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers
  • Back of B2B: Chicago Bulls (5th in 7)

Point Guard

The point guard position starts with a beleaguered Bulls squad that is without their top two playmakers in Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler. The question remains whether Rajon Rondo will play and it’s something we’ll monitor throughout the news cycle but if Rondo remains out, Jerian Grant (CHI) and Michael Carter-Williams (CHI) are going to have to play heavy minutes. The Bulls technically have seven or eight viable players to cover the PG-SF positions but Denzel Valentine is coming off a very bad ankle injury, Isaiah Canaan hasn’t played more than 10 minutes since mid-December and Rajon Rondo/Paul Zipser haven’t been in the rotation either. Grant, Carter-Williams and McDermott are the only three backcourt or wing players that have even been in the rotation of late. We’ll keep an eye on starters but the current projection has Carter-Williams and Grant over 30 minutes with likely increased usage and assist rates as more of the offense runs through traditional point guards without Butler and Wade. They’re both underpriced for this type of role which makes them strong values and starting points for salary relief at the point guard position. There is a lot of projection risk in this situation and systemic risk without Butler/Wade. We have limited data to try and project rates and the efficiency could really crater without their stars, but the opportunity and price tag make them viable investments.

If looking for more stable situations, Damian Lillard (POR), John Wall (WAS), and Dennis Schroder (ATL) are all in favorable matchups with neutral price tags. Lillard gets the Lakers who rank 28th in defensive efficiency against point guards, sixth in pace, and 28th in overall defensive efficiency. The price tag on Lillard is a bit softer at $8,900 on FanDuel and $9,000 on DraftKings in the best game environment on the entire slate (223 total, Portland favored by 1.5). Lillard is a very solid point guard play if you’d prefer not to mess with the Bulls. John Wall gets a potentially broken Bulls defense that has been struggling with point guards of late. Schroder gets the Nets who lead the league in pace, rank in 27th in defensive efficiency against point guards, and 26th in overall defensive efficiency. All three of these point guard options have more defined roles and great matchups that makes it easy to avoid the Bulls situation if you’re uncomfortable with the unknown.

In tournaments, D’Angelo Russell’s (LAL) recent strong play meets a favorable matchup and game environment with Portland. The price tag is on the rise around the industry, which makes him a less compelling cash game target but we’ve seen the upside we questioned earlier in the year of late. Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) has his price tag below $10,000 again on DraftKings but a difficult matchup with the Spurs and likely Kawhi Leonard makes him a better GPP play than cash game target. George Hill (UTA) has smashed his baseline expectations in efficiency and usage all season and has arguably the softest matchup when facing Cleveland’s stiffer defense. Kyle Lowry (TOR) and Isaiah Thomas (BOS) square off against one another in a strong game environment (218 total, TOR favored by 4.5). The price tags are a little elevated relative to the alternatives at the position but they carry significant upsides.

Shooting Guard

James Harden (HOU) is the star on this slate that you’re considering building around. With all the value in the Bulls decrepit roster, Harden’s easily affordable on both sites. Charlotte has struggled defending wings all season (20th in defensive efficiency against SG, 16th against SF). Harden plays the point guard position but is usually defended by other wings and the Rockets without Batum lack appropriate options. The Rockets have a healthy 117 implied total and there is a small chance of extra minutes with Eric Gordon banged up and questionable. If you’re loading up on values on this large slate, Harden is the most reasonable spend on both sites to complement them.

The best value at the position is Jeremy Lamb (CHA) who continues to benefit from a larger role with Nicolas Batum out. Lamb maintained his hefty usage (26 percent) and rebounding rate (14.8) despite the move into the starting lineup and played 28 minutes in a blowout loss. The one concern with Lamb is the potential foul risk associated with wings who may guard James Harden but we expect Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will start with that assignment. Houston ranks 22nd in defensive efficiency against shooting guards and plays at the league’s fourth fastest pace. It’s a prime matchup for Lamb and somehow his price tag on FanDuel is just $4,000. Even at $5,100 on DraftKings, Lamb projects as a solid value. On FanDuel, a Lamb-Harden combination makes a lot of sense as a foundation as many of the other SG values are priced appropriately. On DraftKings, softer price tags on DeMar DeRozan (TOR) and Bradley Beal (WAS) make them viable alternatives.

In tournaments, the Hawks wing players are worth taking a shot on with cheap price tags against Brooklyn who inflates opportunities across the board for wing players. Thabo Sefolosha (ATL), Kent Bazemore (ATL), and Tim Hardaway Jr. (ATL) all seem to split minutes but at these price tags there is upside if one catches a hot shooting game or racks up steals. Similarly, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DET) gets a favorable matchup with the Kings (27th in defensive efficiency against the shooting guard position) and Rodney Hood (UTA) is underpriced if he ever regresses back to baselines. Hood also gets the Cavaliers who have slipped to 30th in defensive efficiency against shooting guards after moving DeAndre Liggins into the lineup to cover PGs and shifted Kyrie Irving to SG on defense. Marco Belinelli (CHA) and Evan Turner (POR) are also secondary tournament targets with cheap tags in fast paced environments.

Small Forward

Kevin Durant (GSW) and LeBron James (CLE) represent the top projected scorers at the position, while Kawhi Leonard (SA) is the next in line projected scorer. The small forward position carries plenty of opportunity cost in this slate, which is a big reason why spending up for these high priced targets in cash games isn’t recommended on DK. On the looser pricing site (FD), jamming one of these forwards is very much in play in cash games. Durant and Leonard are the better values here in more favorable matchups – James has to deal with Utah (ranked first in defensive efficiency vs. small forwards, dead last in pace).

Doug McDermott (CHI) represents one of the better value plays on both sites as we’re expecting a hefty uptick in usage rate as the primary scorer on a broken offense and should play heavy minutes with the lack of wing depth. It’s a showcase opportunity for McDermott and even accounting for decreased efficiency, he projects as a solid play at a typically thin position. There is a good chance you’re getting close to 20 field goal attempts from a player just above the minimum. Maurice Harkless (POR) is the other cheap alternative on both sites with a favorable matchup against the Lakers who rank 26th in defensive efficiency against the small forward position. Harkless has a more stable role than McDermott and a similar price tag but likely a lesser floor on the playing time and field goal attempts. Thabo Sefolosha (ATL) carries SF eligibility on both sites and gets the Brooklyn boost to his projection that even in 27 minutes as a projection looks viable at these cheap price tags. DeMarre Carroll (TOR) has been playing heavy minutes and is priced just above the minimum but has seen a big loss in usage rate this season and with all the SF depth still looks like a better tournament target in hopes you find a hot shooting night from three or a potential bump in usage.

Jeremy Lamb (CHA) and Nikola Mirotic (CHI) carry SF eligibility on DK, and they represent the best values at the position. We’d rather use Lamb at SG and Mirotic at PF, but if you’d rather use other options at those positions they’re very much in play in cash games at SF.

Power Forward

DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) is the top projected scorer at the position on DK, but he’s in a tough matchup against Detroit (ranked sixth in defensive efficiency vs. centers) and there’s plenty of opportunity cost at the position. We’d rather have our exposure to Boogie come in tournaments, but as a positive value he’s a viable cash game investment.

Paul Millsap (ATL) has the best possible matchup from an efficiency standpoint for a frontcourt player, as he takes on the Brooklyn Nets (ranked dead last in defensive efficiency vs. opposing frontcourts). There’s also more upside in the matchup since Brooklyn is terrible in multiple areas outside of defense (ranked 26th in rebounding rate, allowing the most blocks to opposing frontcourts). As a result, Millsap stands out as the best value on both sites at the position and he’s a stable value you can rely on in cash games.

If going value hunting for a complement to Millsap, Nikola Mirotic (CHI) stands out. Mirotic (and the rest of the Bulls in general) is another player that’s receiving an uptick in usage rate with Wade and Butler sidelined, but his matchup is actually favorable (Washington is ranked 25th in defensive efficiency vs. power forwards – we didn’t dock his as much in our MAN EA column as big men make more of their value via rebounding along with scoring and rebounding isn’t deflated by bad offense). If you’d rather go double cheap at the position, Al-Farouq Aminu (POR) is another viable cheap play on FD where his price remains stagnant ($4.6k).

Julius Randle (LAL) is a great alternative/complement to Millsap in all formats. We’ve given Randle a bump in assist rate since he’s become a bigger playmaker (assist rate is up to 27.2 over his L10) in the offense, and like Millsap his matchup is excellent (Portland is ranked dead last in defensive efficiency vs. power forwards, allowing the third most assists and second most rebounds to the position).

In tournaments, Kevin Love (CLE) (viable in cash on DK since his price is accounting for a more challenging matchup against Utah), Taj Gibson (CHI) and Derrick Favors (UTA) (FD only) are viable. Gibson is the potential big gainer from this group as he’ll likely pick up some extra usage in his current context.

Center

DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) represents the top projected scorer at the center position in a subpar matchup (Detroit is ranked sixth in defensive efficiency vs. centers, seventh in rebounding rate). Cousins is viable in cash games on DK where the price is down a bit ($10.1k), but we’d only use him in tournaments on FD where the price is appropriate. Hassan Whiteside (MIA) is the next in line projected scorer at the position in a fine matchup (Golden State is ranked 18th in defensive efficiency). Whiteside’s price tag has dropped on both sides after his return from an eye issue, but the blowout risk (on the road at Golden State – 16 point underdogs) makes his minutes projection more fragile than usual. We’d rather have exposure here in tournaments.

Mason Plumlee (POR) is the reason you’re not spending up at the center position in cash games. Plumlee has a mid-tier price tag on both sites, and he has a matchup against the Lakers (ranked 26th in defensive efficiency vs. centers, middle of the pack in rebounding rate and 29th in assists allowed to the position). In the best game environment in this slate (1.5 point spread, 222 game total in POR-LAL tonight), having exposure here via Plumlee is our preferred route in cash games on both sites.

On DK, Al Horford (BOS), Julius Randle (LAL), Kevin Love (CLE) and Marcin Gortat (WSH) are viable alternatives to Plumlee in cash games. You can also use these centers as complements to Plumlee on DK where you can play multiple centers thanks to the utility position. Randle’s matchup stands out the most from this group (Portland is ranked 29th in defensive efficiency vs. opposing frontcourts), while Gortat is the price play ($5.9k on DK – meeting value 56 percent of the time – 4x 86 percent). Cody Zeller (CHA) would emerge as the best cheap play at the position on both sites if he’s able to play tonight (currently questionable). With plenty of salary relief options in this slate at other positions, Zeller isn’t as necessary though he’s viable in cash.

In tournaments, Rudy Gobert (UTA) (DK only), Pau Gasol (SA) (DK only) and Dwight Howard (ATL) are viable. Howard and Gobert are meeting value over 50 percent of the time on DK and Gasol brings some upside at his current price (6x 37 percent of the time). From a matchup perspective, we’re most excited about Howard (Brooklyn is ranked dead last in defensive efficiency vs. centers, they’re a weak rebounding team and they’re allowing the most blocks to the centers).

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