Welcome to January 11th NBA DFS action here at DailyRoto. Below you’ll find our Daily Fantasy Basketball Premium podcast for January 11th 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 11th NBA DFS
00:35 Point Guard
09:07 Shooting Guard
17:27 Small Forward
26:10 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 11th NBA DFS Cliff Notes
- Front of B2B: New York Knicks
- Back of B2B: Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trail Blazers
The point guard position is loaded with all the heavy hitters on Wednesday’s six game slate. Russell Westbrook (OKC), Chris Paul (LAC), John Wall (WAS), Damian Lillard (POR), Kyrie Irving (CLE), and Isaiah Thomas (BOS) are all in action. The group is also filled with relatively favorable matchups Paul faces Orlando (18th in defensive efficiency against PG), Irving faces Portland (16th), Lillard faces Cleveland (21st), and Wall faces Boston (19th). The challenge on this slate is the lack of value which makes every dollar spent extra important. As a result, the uber expensive Russell Westbrook can be crossed off in a difficult matchup with the Grizzlies (fourth in defensive efficiency, third slowest pace in the league) and we can shift our attention down the pricing spectrum. Chris Paul (LAC) and John Wall (WAS) stand out as relatively underpriced on both sites. We’ve discussed Paul’s massive usage bump without Blake Griffin around and how his price baseline should bump closer to $10,000 on both sites but he’s still hovering around the low $9,000s while Wall’s price tag surprisingly came down after one down game amid a series of great performances. Both are strong plays in all formats, but you’ll likely need additional salary relief to fall your way to fit them into DraftKings lineups. On FanDuel, there is more room for a priority spend at point guard which makes Paul one of the better cash game targets. He’s on one of the six teams not involved in the front end or back end of a back-to-back and he comes with a soft price tag.
The lack of overt value on this slate has us looking to take advantage of mid-tier options. Mike Conley (MEM) strikes us as a building block target. Conley’s seen heavy minutes of late (35, 41, 36 in his last three games) and we finally get Memphis in a softer spot in their schedule (two days off, and next back-to-back isn’t for a week) in a matchup against Oklahoma City’s 20th ranked defense against point guards. Conley’s price tag is soft relative to this recent workload because he’s had his minutes managed all season long. This is an ideal opportunity to squeeze some extra value out of a mid-tier play in a matchup that should boost pace, minutes, and efficiency.
After Conley, the value at the position is pretty limited. Ricky Rubio (MIN) and Derrick Rose (NYK) have below average price tags and matchups that should inflate opportunity but carry the type of performance profile that is better in tournaments.
James Harden (HOU) projects alongside Westbrook as the top overall scorer on this slate but once again the hefty price tag (not for him but for the slate) makes it difficult to afford him in cash games unless more injury information unlocks additional values. The matchup on paper with Minnesota is oddly difficult to capture. They rank first in defensive efficiency against shooting guards but 26th against the point guard position. Harden’s a shooting guard playing point guard so the projection changes swiftly by moving the effective position. If we are able to spend up on a position we’d strongly prefer Harden over Westbrook given the relative depth of the two guard positions, but we’ll need more value to make it work.
The rest of the shooting guard position is really ugly. On DraftKings, the only other positive value is Zach LaVine (MIN) who is questionable with a hip contusion and frankly the $6,500 price tag isn’t enough salary relief to emphasize him as a core play. C.J. McCollum (POR) and Bradley Beal (WAS) have seen their price tags start to come back down but neither project as more than breakeven plays. If Avery Bradley sits, it’s possible Beal gets a more favorable matchup with Isaiah Thomas on him if the Celtics assign Marcus Smart to John Wall. Like LaVine, both represent more secondary cash targets as breakeven plays. The best source of salary relief at the position looks to be Evan Turner (POR) who has been playing 26-28 minutes for Portland and has seen his price tag dip down to just $3,900. There is nothing in the matchup for Turner that makes him a super compelling play but he represents one of the stronger sources of salary relief. Courtney Lee (NYK) also fits this mold.
On FanDuel, the need for two shooting guards makes LaVine a more viable target with a slightly softer price tag. We’ll need clarity on his health and availability first though. Otherwise, it’s trying to get away with the cheapest exposure possible at the position. J.J. Redick (LAC) looks like a strong target at just $4,500 against his former team. Jamal Crawford (LAC) and Courtney Lee (NYK) also fit the mold as viable sources of salary relief.
LeBron James (CLE) is the top projected scorer at the small forward position. James will be playing up in pace in a favorable matchup (Portland is ranked 21st in defensive efficiency vs. small forwards, 11th in pace), and the price tag on DK remains below $10k. He’s on the backend of a back to back, but he’s a viable cash game target on DK at his current price. He’s priced more appropriately on FD, which makes him a better option in tournaments.
While James is a good value in a vacuum on DK, roster construction tonight will make it difficult to fit him in cash games due to the lack of cheap values. Thankfully, Carmelo Anthony (NYK)
rates as the best value at the position at a more investable price tag on both sites. Anthony’s matchup is slightly above average (Philadelphia is ranked 17th in defensive efficiency vs. small forwards), but most importantly he’ll be a part of a strong game environment (2.5 point spread), which means that his minutes should be back into the mid to high 30s (they haven’t been there lately due to blowouts).
The best complement in cash games is Andrew Wiggins (MIN), who remains priced below the average cost of a roster spot on FD. Wiggins doesn’t do much outside of scoring, but his playing time floor is very high (has seen at least 36 minutes in nine of his last 10 games). Robert Covington (PHI) and Jae Crowder (BOS) are additional wing players to consider in cash games on FD as neutral values. They routinely see more than 30 minutes of playing time (Covington’s minutes have been in the high 30s lately), which makes them viable in cash where their pricing is at least fair. On DK, Markieff Morris (WSH) is viable in cash though the price is likely at its peak for his volatile ways.
Otto Porter (WSH) and Aaron Gordon (ORL) are viable in tournaments, but we’d stay away from investing in cash games here at their current price points on both sites. The exception would be Gordon on FD, particularly if teammate Serge Ibaka is ruled out.
The conversation at the power forward position starts with Kevin Love (CLE). Love gives you access to the highest implied team total in this slate (Cleveland has a team total of 111.5 points), and he’s in the best possible matchup (Portland is ranked dead last in defensive efficiency vs. power forwards, allowing the second most rebounds to the position). It’s no surprise that the first time Love saw this matchup earlier in the season, he ended up posting one of his better games in a Cleveland uniform (40 points, eight rebounds en route to 62 DK points). Love is someone we want to build around in cash games tonight.
The volatile Markieff Morris (WSH) represents the strongest value at the position after Love. Morris ended up playing 22 minutes last night due to fouling out, but he saw plenty of run in his previous two games where he played 38 and 36 minutes. That’s likely a best case outcome for Morris’ playing time – 35 minutes (our projection for him) is a better median expectation. The matchup against Boston is strong (ranked 27th in defensive efficiency vs. power forwards), but if you’re taking a more price sensitive approach here due to his volatility, Morris is a better value on FD where the price is friendlier ($5.1k there vs. $5.6k on DK). If you don’t want to deal with Morris’ volatility, break even values like Al-Farouq Aminu (POR) and Gorgui Dieng (MIN) are viable alternatives in cash games on FD.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) and Joel Embiid (PHI) carry PF eligibility on DK. They’re strong values no matter what position you end up playing them, but it’ll be too difficult to fit them along with Love in cash games unless more values emerge throughout the day.
Kristaps Porzingis (NYK) is a viable target in tournaments, but he’s priced efficiently on both sites making it difficult to get excited about using him in cash games. We’d rather keep our exposure here in tournaments.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) represents the top projected scorer at the position on both sites as he takes on Houston (ranked 16th in defensive efficiency vs. centers, bottom 10 in rebounds allowed to the position). Towns is averaging 35 minutes per game this season, but he’s gone well over that average over his last four games (37, 41, 38, 37 minutes over his L4). Towns’ price tag is up to $9,500 on both sites, but if you can make it work he’s a great value in cash games.
If you’re unable to fit KAT, there are strong alternatives in play. Joel Embiid (PHI) has a perfect matchup against New York (ranked 29th in defensive efficiency vs. centers, bottom five in rebounds and blocks allowed to the position), and the price on FD hasn’t reached $8k (currently $7,500). Embiid is the best value at the position on that site, and he’s a strong value on DK where he’s more appropriately priced as well. Marc Gasol (MEM) is way too cheap on DK (meeting value over 60 percent of the time on DK where his price has dipped below $7k) while on FD he’s a bit overpriced. His matchup isn’t great (OKC is ranked 10th in defensive efficiency vs. centers, third in rebounding rate), but he can overcome the matchup with a cheaper tag than usual on DK in an island game (which is probably more important to his value anyways). Marcin Gortat (WSH) is a cheaper cash game alternative than the centers above on both sites. He’s a stable player (4x 87 percent of the time on DK) that sees a lot of minutes (averaging 38 minutes in his L10).
Break even values like DeAndre Jordan (LAC), Nikola Vucevic (ORL), Al Horford (BOS) (on DK) and Montrezl Harrell (HOU) (on FD) are viable in tournaments, but we wouldn’t use them over the values above in cash games since they’re priced more efficiently. Kevin Love (CLE) has C eligibility on DK and he’s the best value in the frontcourt. We’d rather use Love at PF, but he’s a great value no matter the position.