We have ourselves another quality slate on Tuesday with six games for todayâs NBA DFS picks. There are some players already ruled out whoâll affect the slate like Blake Griffin and Fred VanVleet, plus we still need information on questionable guys like C.J. McCollum and our ongoing national nightmare Karl-Anthony Towns to determine how the full picture of the slate will look. Thereâs a whole lot to hit on so letâs dig into everything worth hitting on in the Jan. 7 NBA DFS Switch and Hedge.
Be sure to read EMacâs Cash Building Blocks for more NBA DFS picks and analysis.
Also, check out todayâs NBA Strategy Show with Dave Loughran and Josh Engleman.
Follow me and tweet me @chrisspags with any feedback or questions you have! Otherwise, letâs get to what I see so far for tonightâs slate.
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Minnesota has one of the best matchups of the day in their game with a slate-high 228.5 combined total at Memphis. But Karl-Anthony Townsâ questionable status makes this game less of a known quantity as I write this. If Towns is in, he would be an appealing play even though his price has somehow come up during his injury period. The defense would also be a bit weaker for Minnesota and would make Memphisâ side more appealing overall.
If Towns is out, Andrew Wiggins looks too cheap. Wiggins returned to the lineup last game with 30% usage and 19 shot attempts in 31 minutes against slow-paced Cleveland. This pace-up against Memphisâ 110 defensive rating is one where he has serious upside. Shabazz Napier and Robert Covington also remain in play if Towns is out. Their margins are much tighter with their prices up though, and with the usage that Wiggins takes off the table.
Dillon Brooks and Jae Crowder look like decent value on the wing even though I wouldnât expect anything close to Crowderâs 62-fantasy-point day over the weekend to occur again. Jonas Valanciunas also has upside but his price is high enough that heâs no sure thing. Iâd be more into him if we knew Towns were in.
Sacramento is on a back-to-back after a lackluster fantasy effort last night in a mostly easy win over Golden State. Iâm willing to go back to guys like Buddy Hield and DeâAaron Fox again. The status of Richaun Holmes also seems important after he left yesterdayâs game with a shoulder issue. Harry Giles saw a decent run of minutes when Holmes went out yesterday and he should see a boost in run if Holmes misses. Trevor Ariza and Nemanja Bjelica could see more court time as well without much size other than Giles to compete with Phoenixâs big Aron BaynesâDeandre Ayton front court.
Phoenixâs side also looks good even though this is a big pace-down on paper for them against Sacramentoâs 99.9 pace. Devin Booker feels a little too expensive but I could see getting there. On a value basis, Iâd be more comfortable with Aron Baynes, Ricky Rubio, Deandre AytonÂ and Kelly Oubre in that order. But Booker has started to dominate the ball more with over 31% usage in his last six games. Heâs been over 51 fantasy points in four of those games and over 44.5 fantasy points in all of them. Did his injured forearm give him powers like the film Rookie of the Year? Hard to say, but with his price up, his margins are tighter.
Blake Griffin is out and may opt for a season-ending surgery. We are all living in the era of Sekou Doumbouya now as a result. He had between 27 and 38 minutes in his three starts for Griffin and Markieff Morris is expected to remain out to siphon minutes away from him. Doumbouya looks like decent value but you should know the risks. Doumbouya has at least 10 shots in his three starts but a lowish 18% usage rate overall. Heâs shown a 40-fantasy-point ceiling and a 19.25-fantasy-point floor. Itâs a low-paced game against Clevelandâs weak 112.7 defensive rating so he can certainly get there but heâs no sure thing to excel.
Christian Wood also picked up the start last game and that may have been the result of the matchup against the Lakersâ big frontcourt. Weâll know whether or not he is starting before lock. Iâd be more inclined for him if he starts again, something that may be more likely if Cleveland has both Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love active again after Thompson missed last game with an illness. If they go small, Svi Mykhailiuk likely will start and not do much. But Mykhailiuk as starter would likely open more opportunity for Doumbouya than he sees alongside Wood.
Andre Drummond and Derrick Rose look as good as always. Roseâs minutes have trended more reliably upwards to 27-29 lately. Drummond also is in a good situation that should keep him close to the rim. I like these guys and view them as far more secure than the other options. Bruce Brown looks good as well to a slightly lesser extent.
Dante Exum benefited from Kevin Porterâs absence last game and I wouldnât totally sleep on him as NBA DFS value. He had 30% usage in 24 minutes against Minnesota last game and while heâs going to bump his head against Loveâs return, Iâm intrigued by what he can do against a weak Detroit second unit. Otherwise, Iâd be most comfortable with Love and Collin Sexton overall. Detroitâs defense isnât good with a 109.6 defensive rating. The game should be slow with both teams under a 102 pace but thereâs room for a few plays to excel.
Fred VanVleet joins Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell and Marc Gasol amongst Torontoâs walking wounded for a game against Portland at home. Itâs hard to not want Kyle Lowry tonight as a result. He averages 1.4 fantasy points per minute with those guys out and will see a lot of time on the court with the ball in his hands. He played 43 minutes last game and that was with VanVleet.
Itâs also possible Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will pick up more minutes after he came in following VanVleetâs injury last game. The Raptors closed that game with Hollis-Jefferson, Lowry, OG Anunoby, Serge IbakaÂ and Patrick McCaw and it seems like those guys should have secure minutes with the depleted lineup. Terence Davis may end up as the de facto backup point guard and that gives him a chance at production as well. Portlandâs 109.1 defensive rating doesnât stop much.
C.J. McCollum is currently questionable with an illness. If heâs out, Damian Lillard becomes more appealing despite the tough matchup. He had 62.25 fantasy points against Miami last game without McCollum. There are less competent defenders in Torontoâs lineup with their absences so I have no issue with him. Hassan Whiteside also isnât an insane play even though Toronto has been solid against centers on the year. He averages 51 fantasy points in his last five games. These guys look safe to me but I donât hate stabs at Carmelo Anthony or Anfernee Simons if McCollum misses.
Steven Adams looks like a chalky play with 49.25 and 41 fantasy points in his last two games. He has another good matchup with Brooklyn tonight. Adams has over 15 rebounds in these games and he should get a comparable shot against a Brooklyn team that gives up 47.3 boards per game. Itâll help him if Nerlens Noel remains out with Adams up to 35 minutes in yesterdayâs game with no Noel. If Noel is out again, Iâll be with the fieldâs high expected 25-35% ownership. If Noel is in, Iâll likely come under.
Chris Paul also looks fairly solid in this game with a reasonable price. Heâs been hard to rely on but he looks solid today. He and Danilo Gallinari feel like less of a priority play than Adams but both look like solid values in this paced-up matchup.
Spencer Dinwiddieâs falling NBA DFS price also looks fairly appealing on the other side. Heâs been pretty cold lately, including 27.25 fantasy points versus Orlando yesterday. But he still maintains a 32% usage rate on the year with a 35% assist rate as well. Caris LeVert will take some possessions away but also allow the defense from keying in on Dinwiddie. LeVertâs minutes limit keeps him from being playable at his price. Garrett Temple also jumps out as decent value with his price down. He, Joe HarrisÂ and Taurean Prince are all playable on the wing but with questionable upside.
The Lakers are favored by 13 against the Knicks and itâs hard to not like Anthony Davis and LeBron James if you thought the Knicks could hang in the game. I still donât mind these guys if you can afford them but the spread is a bit scary. I might try to run these guys back with Marcus Morris as one player who can keep it competitive at a reasonable price. Julius Randle is also a consideration whoâs shown big upside and has the ability to muscle through their tough defense. Maybe Reggie Bullock with his rising minutes can also shoot them into the game as near-minimum priced value? Itâs a late night hammer option to think about.