NBA DFS Daily Dive: Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks for DraftKings (Thursday, Jan 9)

NBA DFS Daily Dive - Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks for DraftKings, FanDuel (Thursday, January 9)

As a nation, we are often torn into two separate factions when it comes to any and everything. While political parties and the Game of Thrones series finale only scathe the tip of the iceberg, there is one theme that seems to be segregating the Daily Fantasy Sports community (and I’m not talking about that one):


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Many love every given opportunity to talk about them, while others loathe the very suggestion of them. And today’s four-game Main slate is dominated by that very theme.

As James Harden and Russell Westbrook return to the place they once called home in Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Oklahoma CIty Thunder “welcome” the Houston Rockets. And the REVENGE doesn’t stop there!

Despite the fact he only played there for three years of his thirteen-year career, Al Horford takes on the Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for a battle of top-shelf Eastern Conference supremacy. Wait, but there’s more!

Brandon Knight and the Cleveland Cavaliers venture to Little Caesars Arena to battle the Detroit Pistons…

(You can see how this whole narrative thing tends to get on people’s nerves…)

On a short slate, let’s temper our expectations of said narratives and just realize that field ownership should be mildly invested in this theme, to say the very least.



Russell Westbrook, HOU ($8,400)

In some of the friendliest pricing we’ve seen applied to him since late November on DraftKings, Russell Westbrook comes into the second leg of this back-to-back refreshed with taking a day of rest (I wonder why) before heading into this matchup of newfound rivalry.

He’s averaging 50 DraftKings Fantasy Points per game over his last eight games, and priced down this far in such a long-awaited return is border-lining on criminal. His usage is through the roof regardless of running with either the first or second unit, averaging 34% over that same eight-game span.

James Harden just played in the first game of the Rockets’ two-game road trip and put up 81 DraftKings Fantasy Points over the course of 40 minutes registered. While I wouldn’t suggest that he’ll be seeing any sort of rest time during Thursday night’s matchup, it may play to Westbrook’s benefit in the Usage department to some degree when they share the court.

It doesn’t get much better than this, with all things considered, and I will be getting heavily to this opportunity of rostering Russell Westbrook throughout my various entries. Cash Game “lock” and Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) essential.


Chris Paul, OKC ($7,400)

Having himself a very successful early stint with the Thunder, Chris Paul enters this four-game slate priced just right and with an endearing matchup for opposing Point Guards.

Houston is in the bottom ten teams in Fantasy Points Allowed to the position, surrendering 57.53 DKFP to Point Guards this season and, as much as it pains me to say it, the revenge narrative in a home-court setting may be worth a bit of added bonus to the package.

Paul’s Usage Rate isn’t anything of a record-setting proportion, but is still averaging 23.3% in the category over his past ten games and 33.5 minutes per game in that period.
With ownership likely to be scattered across several of the studded guards of this slate, Chris Paul should be palatably rostered in both Cash Game and GPP considerations.

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Other Guards

Kemba Walker, BOS ($6,500)

C.J. McCollum, POR ($6,800)

Damian Lillard, POR ($8,900)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC ($7,100)

Andrew Wiggins, MIN ($7,000)

Dennis Schroder, OKC ($6,100)

Derrick Rose, DET ($6,500)

Jarrett Culver, MIN ($5,100)

Colin Sexton, CLE ($5,900)



Carmelo Anthony, POR ($6,600)

He’s flourished in his renaissance role since being re-discovered by the Portland Trailblazers, and Carmelo Anthony is another player priced just right with what’s arguably the highest paced game on the slate.

Anthony has been averaging nearly 35 minutes per game over his last eight games along with 25.5 DKFP in that time frame. While his fantasy point average doesn’t reflect emphatically of his successes, he has a 50+ fantasy point ceiling and a 23.4% Usage Rate on the season, making him much more of a tournament play than that of a Cash Game natural.

Facing a Minnesota Timberwolves team that gives up the most DraftKings Fantasy Points per game (48.73 DKFP/G), Carmelo Anthony makes for a piece that fits across a variety of roster construction approaches.


Robert Covington, MIN ($5,700)

If you’re looking for consistent production at a very reasonable price, Robert Covington is in a universally appealing spot on a short slate and makes for some very maneuverable roster construction.

Covington comes into Thursday’s matchup averaging 34.96 DKFP per game over his last seven games, along with 34.14 minutes per game in that time period. He draws an extremely favorable matchup with the Portland Trailblazers, the team surrendering the most fantasy points to the Power Forward position this season (52.16 DKFP/G).

Really only seeing the bulk of his minutes played with the first unit, there’s nobody from the bench threatening his time in the rotation with Karl-Anthony Towns sidelined. Robert Covington makes for a fantastic Cash Game and GPP tournament play, especially on this four-game outing.


Other Forwards

Ben Simmons, PHI ($9,000)

Kevin Love, CLE ($7,700)

Jayson Tatum, BOS ($6,700)

Gordon Hayward, BOS ($6,600)

Al Horford, PHI ($6,000)

Sekou Doumbouya, DET ($5,800)

P.J. Tucker, HOU ($4,100)

Daniel Theis, BOS ($4,000)



Andre Drummond, DET ($10,200)

With Blake Griffin no longer in the active roster after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, Andre Drummond is soaking up the spotlight and giving trade suitors all the reason to up the offer rate.

After just dropping 61.5 DraftKings Fantasy Points on the Cleveland Cavaliers, he’s headed back to Detroit in hopes to do it all over again in front of his home crowd (potentially one of his last times should the trade talk continue to progress).

With an average usage rate of 24.5% on the season, in tandem with playing nearly 34 minutes per game, his fantasy production is setup for success as he draws an excellent matchup for opposing Centers with the Cavs (if his last outing against them wasn’t testimony enough).

His lofty price tag on DraftKings will likely scare off some of the field into more frugal directions at the position, especially when trying to spend-up for James Harden, and this makes Andre Drummond an even better tournament option (although already a fine Cash Game play).


Other Centers

Hassan Whiteside, POR ($9,300)

Steven Adams, OKC ($6,900)

Clint Capela, HOU ($7,500)

Gorgui Dieng, MIN ($6,300)

Enes Kanter, BOS ($5,400)

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