DFS Basketball: January 5th Slate

Ken Mahoney, Contributor from Turning 2 Sports (@Turning2Sports)


Welcome back! It’s time for another DFS Basketball preview, brought to you by Turning Two Sports, where we DO care about your fantasy team!

In order to set a perfect lineup on DraftKings, we want to look for players who will provide 5x their salary in returning point output. So if Steph Curry comes in at $9,000 and James Harden comes in at $9,600, Curry needs 45 points to return value while Harden needs 48. To think about it on the fly, just do this:

(Salary * .001 * 5) <= DFS Points

Now with that said, here is the overall record for the season. I’m considering a miss as anything less than 4x value (Blue snowflake on DraftKings). A hit is anything at or above 5x value (Red flame on DraftKings). Displayed below is the format “Hits – Misses”

Season Record: 149-91 (62.1% hit rate):

Top Game Stack: Charlotte Hornets (-2) @ Los Angeles Lakers: Over/Under 218


Point Guard

Donovan Mitchell $7,500 – Let’s start things off with Utah’s shiny new rookie. Donovan Mitchell has quickly asserted himself as the playmaker on offense for the new look Jazz squad. Mitchell is even better when Gobert is off the floor, as the entire team plays at an incredibly faster pace without Gobert. That leads to more shot volume, and more possessions for the clear cut Rookie of the Year so far. With minutes locked in the mid-to-high 30s, Mitchell is as safe as they come. Target: 37.5

Kyle Lowry $7,300 – I can’t remember the last time Lowry was this cheap, which is a theme for today’s write up. Across the board we are finding and locking in players who possess immense upside, but for whatever reason the industry has priced them conservatively. That is the case for Lowry, who will see a whole lot of Eric Bledsoe tonight. That shouldn’t be meant to scare you by any means. Lowry has been coming around lately, having surpassed 40 DK points in four of his last five. He went off for 47.5 DK points in 41 minutes against the Bucks on Monday, and expect a similar stat line tonight as the red hot DeRozan continues to command all the attention. Target: 36.5

Goran Dragic $6,600 – Dragic has been hurt, but is starting to ramp up the action in recent days. He’s coming off back to back games where he saw 37 and 38 minutes and absolutely crushed value with point totals of 48 and 51.3. I really like him against a depthless Knicks frontcourt, and I like him even more given the fact that Waiters will again miss the game tonight, meaning more usage for Dragic. Target: 33

Mario Chalmers $3,600 – Chalmers is a perfect punt play this evening given the news that Andrew Harrison is doubtful to play tonight. When Harrison left the game early Tuesday, Chalmers played almost the entire time afterwards. I love Chalmers if Harrison sits, as I think he’ll get back to 25 minutes and hit 20 DK points. Target: 18


Shooting Guard

Tyreke Evans $8,000 – Evans continues to play out of his mind this season, and it has been aided by the lack of Mike Conley. Memphis is beat up, and is never at full strength. This usually leads to Tyreke running the point, and always having the ball in his hands. 95% of the time, Tyreke is a lock for 40 DK points, which should be his floor tonight in an inevitably fast paced duel with Wall and the Wizards. With all the injuries to Conley, Parsons, Harrison, and the struggles from Gasol, Evans will be a lock in my lineups. Target: 40

Dennis Smith Jr $6,300 – I love DSJ tonight. For one, I think the field stays off him in a relatively quiet game of two putrid teams. Two, the Bulls are dead last in the league in DK points allowed to opposing point guards. DSJ may be the key to tournaments tonight, and he needs to be in at least one of your lineups. Target: 31.5

Avery Bradley $5,300 – The 76ers/Pistons game is a sneaky stack for sure. The 76ers, as we all know, are dreadful against opposing off-guards. That is going to really play into the game of AB, who returned to action on Wednesday and didn’t miss a beat, playing 38 minutes and netting 29 DK points. Stanley Johnson is doubtful, and Reggie Jackson is out, so that’s all the more reason to pay up for the Pistons playmakers. Bradley is just too cheap for what he offers tonight. Target: 26.5

Tyler Johnson $5,200 – Much like Dragic, Johnson is benefiting even more from the absence of Waiters. When Waiters and Dragic are active, you generally get about 20 minutes of Tyler Johnson. But when one of them misses, Johnson assumes the starting role and sees a huge usage bump. Generally, you’ll be looking at 30-35 minutes. That should again be the case tonight. Johnson is sneakier than Dragic for sure, given his 10 DK point performance on Wednesday. He was sick, and there’s no reason to believe the sickness has lingered. I think 25 is the floor. Target: 26


Small Forward

Kawhi Leonard $7,600 – This is the night we’ve been waiting for. I seriously recommend against the fade of Kawhi tonight. We all know he’s not a 7.6k player, he’s a 9k+ player when at full strength. He’s getting there. He plays 31 minutes and netted 49 DK points on Tuesday before being rested in the next game on Wednesday. Tonight he’s back, well rested, and playing the putrid defensive squad of the Suns. Leonard is the chalk play of the night, and I think he can approach the DK point output of Giannis. Target: 38

Andrew Wiggins $5,900 – Wiggins is another guy who continues to be underpriced. He has struggled, but seems to be turning the corner. I attribute some of that to the lack of Jeff Teague, who is just another mouth to feed. Between KAT, Butler, Wiggins, and Teague, they all cannibalize one another. Wiggins is a usual 7k+ player and I expect he gets back there before the season ends. The matchup with Boston isn’t a great one, but I love the cost efficiency here. Target: 29.5

Courtney Lee $5,000 – I must admit, I don’t watch too many Knicks games, but Courtney Lee has been playing some of the best basketball of his entire career in the absence of Hardaway.  He’s performing significantly better than a traditional 5k player, which makes him the perfect fit for your DFS lineups tonight. He’s an absolute lock for 30+ minutes and he should easily get to 24 DK points at a minimum. He’s done that in 7 of his last 8. Target: 25

Thabo Sefolosha $3,900 – Another punt play alert. Sefolosha is another Jazz player benefiting from the increased pace of play in the absence of Gobert. In his last two games, he’s gone off for 28 and 33.5 DK points in 33 and 31 minutes. That is pure GPP gold on any given night. He’s not an ultra-safe play, but who under 4k is? Lock him in for the fast paced matchup with Denver. Target: 19.5

Also consider Reggie Bullock at 4.4k if Stanley Johnson does indeed miss the game tonight. He’s currently listed as doubtful. Bullock continues to see over 30 minutes a game when a Detroit starter misses, as has been the case with both Stanley Johnson and Avery Bradley in recent weeks. In those games, he has a 20 DK point floor.


Power Forward

Enes Kanter $5,900 – This is a weird plug, right? Kanter hasn’t exactly been locked into minutes recently, but tonight he plays the Heat and their terrible frontcourt defense. The last time he went against Miami he went off for 22 points and 14 rebounds. Another performance like that and we’ll be making some money tonight. Power forward is pretty rough tonight, so you’ll need to take some chances. Target: 29.5

Robert Covington $5,600 – Speaking of taking chances, we come to Rob Covington. The greatness of Cov is in his ability to meet value without the need of scoring. His price has gone way down lately, so I think he’s coming at an absolute bargain tonight. Stanley Johnson is also set to miss tonight as he’s currently being listed as doubtful, so I think Covington can do just fine over guys like Reggie Bullock. Target: 28



Dwight Howard $8,400 – Howard will be very chalky tonight, but I think he warrants it. He always seems to show up against his old team in the Lakers. You know he wants to stick it to them each and every time they play. It’s not abundantly difficult for him either, given how porous they are in the frontcourt. The last time he went toe to toe with the Lakers he had 39 DK points. It’s not great, but I think he surpasses 40 tonight. The Lakers are in a bit of disarray given their current injury status, and while they are starting to get guys back into the rotation, they aren’t doing so with any regularity. Each night presents a different challenge. Is Lonzo healthy? Is Lopez healthy? Is KCP eligible to play? It’s a bit of a mess. Look for Howard to capitalize. Target: 42

Jusuf Nurkic $7,300 – I love rostering centers against the Hawks. Despite the impressive play from rookie Collins, the Hawks are still dreadful against opposing centers each and every night. Nurkic will see a lot of Collins, Ilyasova, and others who won’t be able to contain him. After a string of below average play, he’s bounced back nicely with 40+ DK points in three of his last four. Target: 36.5



Lineup 1:

PG – Kyle Lowry $7,300

SG – Tyreke Evans $8,000

SF – Kawhi Leonard $7,600

PF – Robert Covington $5,600

C – Dwight Howard $8,400

G – Avery Bradley $5,300

F – Thabo Sefolosha $3,900

U – Mario Chalmers $3,600


Lineup 2:

PG – Goran Dragic $6,600

SG – Dennis Smith Jr $6,300

SF – Courtney Lee $5,000

PF – Enes Kanter $5,900

C – Jusuf Nurkic $7,300

G – Donovan Mitchell $7,500

F – Andrew Wiggins $5,900

U – Tyler Johnson $5,200



Best of luck everyone. Thanks for reading and appreciate the support. Go make some money!

Published by

Matt Hicks

Matt’s writing is focused on dynasty and devy fantasy football. He loves blending his experience writing research in the field of education with fantasy football stats. Matt currently lives in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @TheFF_Educator

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