January 15 NBA DFS Picks: Order Out From The Pizza Guy Friday Night
TGIF. It’s Friday and most of us are looking at a long weekend with MLK Day approaching on Monday. That is exciting news. I’m really excited for the ability to sleep in until 8:00 two days in a row. You might ask, “why would a college kid only sleep in until 8:00? What responsibilities could he possibly have?” Well, I’m the father of a one year old puggle…so.
Anyway, there is a nine game slate tonight to preface a whole weekend of awesome sporting events.
PG: Isaiah Thomas
If you’ve rostered IT2 multiple times this season, you’ve probably grown frustrated with him on at least one occasion. He has strung together some games with terrible shooting performances and lackluster peripheral statistics causing at least one or two tantrums from myself. The fact remains, his numbers are solid and I especially salivate at his per 36 numbers. If you’re not counting the 21 games Thomas played at the end of last season with Boston, this year he’s carved out a career high in usage rate, and per 36 minutes, he’s averaging nearly 24 points to go with 7.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals a game. Brad Stevens has done some wacky (yet seemingly brilliant) things so far, but it appears clear that Thomas is safe for 33-36 minutes a game. Oh, I guess I should also mention, in his last three Thomas has been straight fire emoji, and his matchup tonight with the Phoenix Suns is not only a revenge game factor. The Suns are also second worst in the league in terms of FanDuel points per game against the point guard position (via RotoWire). It’s hard not to root for a little guy like Thomas – I’ll be doing so tonight.
SG: C.J. McCollum
One must not put that much stock in the average points against by position numbers, but if you’re taking a glance at them, you can’t help but notice the work SG’s have done against the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets don’t have much to work with, so this isn’t a huge shock, but I like CJ McCollum in the Blazers’ game with the Nets in Brooklyn tonight. McCollum has shined pretty brightly this season and while his usage has taken a hit with a Damian Lillard return, his production has not really wavered. What I like most about this game, is that it is a tight spread (Blazers are four point dogs) with a total just over 200 points – which means a lot of CJ will be needed tonight. In his last three games since the lineup card snafu, McCollum has been healthily contributing with both assists and rebounds to go along with points. The Blazers don’t enjoy immeasurable depth, so as long as Terry Stotts lists him as active, C.J. should be just fine.
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo
I understand that this play is specific to DraftKings (he is listed as a SG on FD), but I still wanted to throw it out. I’ve typed Giannis’ last name more times in the last week than I can ever remember thanks to his incredible performance Wednesday night, and given his matchup tonight, I saw no reason to leave him out today. Giannis, to me, is like a baby Draymond Green. He’s had an odd upbringing with Jason Kidd at the helm, but with consistent minutes, this guy has triple-double potential. I know, you’re yelling about not caring about potential but just wanting results. If you’re looking for results, check out his last two games and embrace the results. He’s got a career high in usage rate (albeit not as high as it will eventually get) and he pours in peripheral statistics if he’s not getting shots to fall. The Bucks tonight take on the Atlanta Hawks, who haven’t been the defensive stalwart they appeared to be with Demarre Carroll playing the three last season. The game has one of the highest totals of the night to go along with a 3.5 point spread. For the Bucks to keep this game close, Giannis is going to have to play a big role, and I fully expect he will.
PF: Paul Millsap
For some reason, this is the position that I struggled most with when writing this piece today. Anthony Davis is on the slate, but well, yeah, you know how that goes. Millsap falls into the IT2 column of players for me. He’s been frustrating at times, but he provides so much in the way of peripheral statistics that more often than not, he’s going to get you close to value by the end of the game. With that being said, his propensity for blocks, steals, assists and rebounds on top of his points inflates his ceiling, and a high ceiling is always welcomed in a game with a tight spread and a high total. Millsap is the go to guy in Atlanta, and he’s grabbed more usage this season alongside Al Horford, up to the second highest usage rate of his career. While he’s only averaging about 14 shots per 36 minutes, he is remarkably making about half of those, shooting 48% from the field per 36, to go along with a bevy of peripheral statistics. The Milwaukee Bucks are in the bottom five of the league against PF in terms of fantasy points (via Rotowire) and I don’t see them slowing down Millsap tonight.
C: Brook Lopez
Oddly enough, I’m actually a Portland Trail Blazers fan. It’s a long story, so don’t ask me about it, but I do happen to root for them, and therefore you’d think I’d root against Brook Lopez tonight. But..Brook Lopez is in for big things tonight. Lopez is an offensive minded player, unlike his brother, ex-Blazer, Robin and that is bad news for the Blazers. As is the theme of this piece, the Blazers rank in the bottom 10 of the league in terms of FD points against versus the center position and Lopez will have no problem taking advantage. The thing about Lopez, is he is seemingly very infrequently going to blow you away. He’s safe for his 20 points and probably eight or nine rebounds, but much more beyond that will take a bit of willpower. We’re in luck though, because as I mentioned earlier, this one has a decent total and a tight spread, meaning that Lopez should see plenty of minutes and plenty of shots. It’s a revenge game for Mason Plumlee, so Lopez won’t want to be overshadowed; he’ll get his.