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Daily Fantasy Basketball: NBA Studs, Duds, and Value Plays for January 21st

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There is a huge slate of games tonight, so lets jump right into the games...

Miami Heat @ Charlotte Hornets – 7:00 P.M.

TakeGerald Henderson and Chris Andersen - This is a really ugly game for DFS purposes. A lot of guys are injured or coming off of injuries which makes it difficult to predict the minutes distribution among other things. Henderson is the only Hornet I feel remotely comfortable taking. With Kemba Walker probable, it will affect everyone else on the court except for Henderson. His output remained relatively static throughout Kemba’s absence.

Chris Andersen should be the prime beneficiary of Hassan Whiteside’s injury. He will see upwards of 30 minutes in this game which is a recipe for success, especially since he’s minimum priced.

Avoid – I’m fading everyone that I don’t mention here. There are plenty of games to choose from tonight and this one happens to look terrible.

ConsiderChris Bosh and Danny Granger - Someone will need to pick up the slack on the interior with Whiteside out. I highly doubt Cody Zeller has the athleticism or speed to adequately defend Bosh, so he makes for a decent option. He’s nowhere near my favorite PF on the night but there’s a good chance he leads the Heat in scoring tonight, especially if Dwyane Wade elects to rest.

I’m not a fan of Granger even with Luol Deng ruled out for this one, but I know if I didn’t include him people would ask. So think about it for a second then stop because Charlotte is really good at shutting down opposing SFs and he won’t likely get the ball very often. 

New York Knicks @ Philadelphia 76ers – 7:00 P.M.

TakeMichael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel (editors note: Noel is out for tonight's game) and Langston Galloway - Oddly enough, this is one of my most anticipated games on the night. I love watching dumpster fires. These happen to be the two worst defensive teams in the NBA. However, Vegas has the O/U sitting at 190 which seems a bit low to me.

MCW has been disappointing in his last couple of outings. I’ll eat my socks if he doesn’t at least put up 35 FP in this contest. That’s with Wroten still out of course. There’s bound to be an abundance of turnovers and missed shots in this game so there’s plenty for him to take advantage of.

Similarly, Noel will certainly take advantage of every missed shot. He’s earned himself more minutes on the court by developing his offensive game. He’s still known for his defense though and he’ll have the opportunity to show off here. Great value pick.

Galloway is a little risky but there’s little reason to believe he won’t start. After playing 31 minutes in their win against the Pelicans, Fischer would be crazy to put him back on the bench. His price hasn’t risen all that much considering so he, like Noel, makes for a great value play.

Avoid Cole Aldrich - I would like to sit here and tell you that his outlook is the same as Noel’s – plenty of rebounds and putbacks, but that’s not likely to happen. I’m far too concerned about his playing time now that Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire are healthy. He’s still a bit overpriced.

ConsiderCarmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Louis Amundson - Anthony’s price is a bit much for my liking but the upside for tonight’s game is ridiculous. If it weren’t for the extreme variance surrounding the Knicks and my continuing concern about his knee, I’d be expecting him to drop 50 FP.

Stoudemire and Amundson are great GPP options but, like any other low floor/high ceiling pick, there’s obviously a lot of risk. I wouldn’t build my lineup around these guys.

Utah Jazz @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 7:00 P.M.

Take Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith, Trey Burke and Rudy Gobert - Irving and Smith will be downgraded if LeBron James actually suits up for this one. If he doesn’t, however, they’ll be responsible for picking up the slack. Kevin Love will be as well but his price and back spasms stir the pot too much. Irving and Smith should hit near 5X value.

Burke has been one of the more consistent mid-ranged price guards in recent memory. He draws a decent matchup as Kyrie and the Cavs are in the bottom 10 at defending opposing guards. Not a flashy option so avoid him in GPPs but he’s a go for cash games.

Gobert is beginning to see fewer minutes since Enes Kanter is back but the sample is too small for us to really determine anything yet. The short of it is that he can score FP and do so quickly. He doesn’t match up very well with Mozgov but his length will likely disrupt the rest of the Cavs.

Avoid Kevin Love. You already know why…

ConsiderDerrick Favors and Timofey Mozgov - At a glance it would seem that Favors has a good matchup. Kevin Love isn’t a very good defender and injuries/ailments have prevented him from being the same rebounder we saw in Minnesota. However I’m afraid that this may have a ZBo-Frye impact. What I mean is that Love’s range is bound to draw Favors away from the glass, where he gets most of his FP. Mozgov’s size and reach isn’t likely to help either. I’m considering him for my own lineups because of his reasonable price, but his floor is relatively low.

Mozgov’s floor is a lot lower, however he has a great matchup. I fail to see a scenario where he has trouble scoring or rebounding tonight. If David Blatt elects to give him 30+ minutes again (so as long as he can stay out of foul trouble) then he’ll hit 5X value with ease.

Indiana Pacers @ Atlanta Hawks – 7:30 P.M.

TakeJeff Teague and Al Horford - Teague had a very underwhelming performance against Detroit. That was to be expected with Detroit’s stingy perimeter defense. It was a good thing, though, as long as you didn’t roster him because it made him a little cheaper for this dandy of a matchup. The Pacers are just plain bad against point guards. I’ll be very surprised if Teague, like MCW, doesn’t drop 35+ FP.

Horford has hit 5X+ value in 6 straight contests. The matchup looks really nice as Hibbert continues to play like a big teddy bear. I’m slightly concerned about this game getting out of hand, so roster these guys with that in mind.

Avoid Paul Millsap and every Indiana Pacer - Millsap is still having trouble hitting value with the rest of the Hawks healthy. The Hawks are allowing the fewest points to opposing teams in the league. The Pacers already play slow enough as it is so I don’t see much upside for anyone on that squad. Maybe David West, but I’m not risking it.

ConsiderKyle Korver - He’s on a hot streak from beyond the arc. It would only take a few baskets from outside to put him into the 5X value range.

Orlando Magic @ Detroit Pistons – 7:30 P.M.

TakeBrandon Jennings. If Tobias Harris is OUT - Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton and Channing Frye - Jennings has had a couple of nasty matchups defensively as of late. That’s knocked his price down a little and made him an even better option, in my eyes, for tonight’s game against the Magic. Orlando is the 4th worst team in the NBA at defending the PG position. Jennings has the ability to go off on any given night so he makes this list as one of my favorite options on this slate.

Dipo’s price has risen by $1.6k since the start of January. It’s beginning to scare me away just a bit, but as long as Harris is out he will be scoring at will. Payton has been just as surprising if not more so, hitting 8X value in his past two contests and 6X in the two before that. Maybe he’s starting to gain some confidence. Frye is a solid option to hit 5X, cheap and reliable.

Avoid – I’ve found myself taking a look at everyone in this game except Andre Drummond. - He has a really nice matchup but he’s just too costly for me. With Monroe playing really good ball right now, his ceiling is capped.

Consider Nikola Vucevic and Greg Monroe - I really like Vucevic in this one but only for GPPs. His price is a bit high to make him cash game material but all of the opportunity is there. This is with Harris out of course. If he returns, I’ll be fading Vuc. Monroe usually makes a great cash game option. I think that’s true for tonight as well, but I do have my concerns. Channing Frye’s range has impacted the rebounding ability of everyone he’s matched with. I’m not expecting it to hurt Monroe too badly because he can score as well, but if you find yourself trying to decide between him and another option, that may be the determining factor.

Dallas Mavericks @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 8:00 P.M.

Take Tyson Chandler - In a fast paced game that’s likely going to involve near 100 missed shots, I’m taking the over on 15 rebounds for Tyson. He’s probably my favorite choice at C tomorrow because of his high floor and high % chance at hitting 6+X value.

Avoid Rajon Rondo and Andrew Wiggins - What’s up with Rajon? My main man is going through a serious rough patch in Dallas. His first few games there looked fantastic but he’s hit a slump. Maybe he’s in the doghouse, I’m not sure. Whatever the reason it doesn’t really matter because he’s way too unreliable to take tonight.

Wiggins’ price has risen too high to make him a reasonable choice.

ConsiderDirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis and Mo Williams - Dirk has been sliding around 5X value for a while now. He gets a pretty solid matchup in this one so I’d say he has a good chance at hitting 30 FP. Ellis is a riskier option with great upside especially given this matchup and pace. Mo has been disappointing since his career performance against Indiana. He’s still fairly cheap though for the minutes and usage he’s being given.

Los Angeles Lakers @ New Orleans Pelicans – 8:00 P.M.

TakeEric Gordon - He’s the only reliable Pelican. With Anthony Davis probable to return but Jrue Holiday still questionable, the usage and playing time for the rest of that squad is up in the air. All I know is that Gordon will get his minutes and he’ll score points.

Avoid – Nobody I guess, but I’ll likely fade this game given all of the uncertainty surrounding it.

ConsiderAnthony Davis, Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca - If AD is playing I’m probably going to fade Asik and Ajinca. They’ll get fewer minutes, fewer rebounds, fewer points, etc. Davis is an interesting prospect for tonight’s slate. Obviously he is very expensive and the likeliness of him hitting 5X+ isn’t very high, but the ceiling is definitely intriguing.

He will be well rested after taking a few nights off. The Lakers are a team that struggle to rebound the ball and struggle to put the ball in the hoop. They also don’t handle the ball very well. They had 23 turnovers in their last game against the Phoenix Suns. Davis can score, rebound, block and steal. What’s not to like?

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Washington Wizards – 8:00 P.M.

Take – I can’t recommend you lock in anyone from this game. - No, not Durant or Westbrook or Wall. I’ll explain why down below. Waiters would likely be listed here had he not dropped that dud last night.

AvoidJohn Wall - Same story as every other game he’s in. Until he hits value you’re fading him because he just doesn’t do enough at his current price.

ConsiderKevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Bradley Beal and Dion Waiters - Durant didn’t have a great shooting night against the Heat but that’s understandable. Deng and Granger can usually disrupt their opponent. I wouldn’t touch him for cash games but he’ll need to score in this one. The spread is fairly close so maybe hope for an overtime? I know there are those of you that stack those games. You’re crazy by the way.

Ibaka doesn’t draw a great matchup but I don’t think it matters much. Nerlens Noel played great against Washington recently and Serge is on a roll. He’s a bit too pricey for me to consider a lock but definitely worth a look in any format.

Beal draws a great matchup but comes with some risk. His ceiling is around 7X his value but he’s had a couple of duds in recent games. Waiters had been fantastic up until last night. There’s little reason to believe he’ll hit another slump in this one, but if you don’t have the huevos don’t worry about it. You can find SG value elsewhere.

Toronto Raptors @ Memphis Grizzlies – 8:00 P.M.

Take – All of the Memphis starters + Lou Williams - That means Conley, Lee, Green, Randolph and Gasol. My apologies if Green doesn’t get the start. I believe I made this same suggestion for their game against Dallas. Conley draws a better matchup in this one. The Raptors are terrible defensively but like to get the ball up and down the floor. That pace makes for additional opportunities to score. My favorite of the group is Randolph. His price is still remarkably low.

Avoid Kyle Lowry - Thankfully his price is dropping but it’s still way to high. The Grizzlies play pretty good defense so he isn’t going to hit 5X value in this one.

Consider DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson - Neither is very reliable after witnessing some of their recent performances. However, they both make for good GPP plays. Their ceilings translate into 7X+ value if they decide to have such a game.

Portland Trail Blazers @ Phoenix Suns – 9:00 P.M.

Take Damian Lillard, Wes Matthews, Markieff Morris and Alex Len - Lillard and Matthews should pick up the slack in terms of scoring. With LMA out of this contest and the Suns playing poor perimeter defense, both guys should have little trouble putting up points.

Morris surely loves that Aldridge is out as he’ll now be matched with Thomas Robinson or Dorell Wright. He’s a bit inconsistent but his floor is still high enough to make him a reasonable option for cash games. Len’s minutes have been fluctuating a bit since Brandon Wright has come to town. It’s a cause for concern for owners in season fantasy leagues, but not for DFS players. At least not for the time being.

AvoidEric Bledsoe and Nicolas Batum - It’s been far too long since either of them got near hitting 5X value. I’ll be fading both of them as should you. Despite a good matchup for Batum, it’s unlikely that he does much with it. There’s a theory that soreness in his wrist had led to his poor strain of shooting.

ConsiderChris Kaman, Dorell Wright and Thomas Robinson - All three guys will be tasked with additional playing time and rebounding responsibilities. With Len and Wright controlling the interior it won’t be an easy task, but at their price you aren’t risking a whole lot. 

Brooklyn Nets @ Sacramento Kings – 10:00 P.M.

TakeDeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Jarret Jack - If you’re willing to spend up you’re going to want to take Cousins. He’s probably going to give you 55+ FP tonight. Rudy, despite a bad knee, has strung together a couple of good games. Maybe the rest helped him. He has a good matchup in this one and his price is good enough for cash games and GPPs alike.

Jack and the rest of the Nets have had a few days to rest. He has a good matchup as Darren Collison doesn’t defend very well. The Sacramento pace will likely keep him running but he’s just fine with seeing 35 minutes.

AvoidMason Plumlee - Not a very good matchup. I doubt he grabs many rebounds or scores much with Cousins controlling the paint.

ConsiderDarren Collison and Joe Johnson - Both guys are reliable if you’re looking for a high floor. There’s little chance that either of them hit 5X, but 4-4.5X is almost guaranteed. If that’s something you want for your lineup then I would strongly consider them. 

Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors – 10:30 P.M.

TakeStephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Donatas Motiejunas, Patrick Beverley - The Splash Brothers dominated the Rockets a few nights ago. With Klay on a hot streak and this game coming back home to Golden State, it’s looking like another domination is in store. That being said, I’m sure James Harden won’t let them win quietly. The O/U for this game is ridiculous with GS expected to score 110 points.

Motiejunas and Beverley are the only reasonably priced and consistent options on the Houston roster.

Avoid Draymond Green - It’s tough to say what really happened to Green. It’s possible that the return of Lee and improving health of Bogut limited the amount of work he could do on the floor. Either way, his price is ridiculous considering the kind of numbers we’ve seen from him recently.

Consider Dwight Howard and James Harden - I’m expecting these guys to look for revenge. Howard has hit 5X value in two consecutive games now. In another fast paced, high octane matchup tonight he could very well continue that streak. He’s still a big baby in my eyes, but we’ll see if we can get it done.

Klay did a great job on Harden in Saturday’s game. He’s a good defender, but James is one of the elite offensive guards in the NBA. He’s going to be looking for revenge and the Rockets will need him to score if they want to stick around in this one. Obviously he’s only up for consideration in tournament plays. 

Good luck everyone!

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