NBA DFS Breakdown (Wednesday, Jan. 19): Shorthanded Jazz and Grizzlies offering value
Wednesday features a 13-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the best games using FantasyLabs tools and metrics.
Also, remember that for large field tournaments you can use our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to create your lineups at the hand.
Note: Leverage projections and scores/ratings may change throughout the day after the publication of this article. The NBA DFS landscape is changing rapidly. Check player models directly for any updates as we get closer to lockdown.
Today’s slate is absolutely loaded. All but four teams are in action, so there will be plenty of options to choose from at each position.
Ja Morant stands out as one of the best point guards. The Grizzlies will be without three key contributors, with Desmond Scourge, Dillon Brooks, and Kyle Anderson all currently out of range. Morant has increased his utilization rate by +6.0% with all three players off the pitch this season, giving him an added advantage. Overall, he’s averaging 1.47 DraftKings points per minute in this situation.
Stay with the Grizzlies, De’Anthony Melton is another player who should be asked to take over. Melton is a capable fantasy producer when given the opportunity to play — he’s averaging 1.08 DraftKings points per minute over the past month — and he’s currently thrown for 32 minutes in our NBA templates. It’s an elite combination for someone who only costs $3,700 on DraftKings. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minutes projections have averaged an Over/Under of +4.37 (according to the Trends tool).
Trae young is another option to consider on DraftKings. Its price has dropped significantly over the past month. He was sold for up to $11,500 during that time, but only paid $9,800 for Wednesday’s game against the Timberwolves. Young also increased his production to 1.41 DraftKings points per minute with Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic off the field, and he racked up nearly 39.7 minutes in his last outing.
The Jazz could be the strongest team to target on Wednesday’s slate. They have an absolutely elite game against the Rockets. They rank first in pace and dead last in defensive efficiency, and the Jazz’s implied total of 122.5 points is the best mark of the day.
The Jazz will also be without Donovan Mitchell, and Mike Conley is someone who should take on a bigger role in his absence. He increased his production to 1.03 FanDuel points per minute in three games without Mitchell, so he is undervalued in the industry.
Jordan Clarkson isn’t priced at a stud, but he should deliver stud-like production on Wednesday’s slate. He’s arguably the Jazz’s biggest beneficiary whenever Mitchell is out of training. He’s increased his usage rate by +4.8% in games without Mitchell this season, and he’s averaged 38.08 DraftKings points in those contests. He should be able to do some serious damage in an expanded role against the Rockets.
Kevin Huerter could be a little neglected on Wednesday. Value options for the Jazz and Grizzlies should be owned by the shooting guard, but Huerter is arguably just as well placed. He’s increased his production to 0.84 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s lost 36.5 minutes in his last outing. The Hawks’ implied team total of 118.5 also ranks second on the list.
Cade Cunningham continues to stand out as an elite value on FanDuel. He’s been limited to 27.6 minutes or less in consecutive games, but the Pistons have been beaten by the Suns and Warriors in those contests. If they can keep Wednesday’s game against the Kings more competitive, Cunningham has the elite advantage. The Kings rank 27th in defensive efficiency, so Cunningham could top his season average of 1.00 FanDuel points per minute.
The Bulls still play without Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball, so DeMar DeRozan should have a higher usage rate than usual. He has seen a +9.2% usage increase with both players off the pitch this season, which translates to an average of 1.26 FanDuel points per minute. This is a very reasonable target at $8,500 on FanDuel given its 92% bargain odds.
james lebronThe price has gotten a little out of control lately, but it’s priced a bit better on Wednesday’s slate. He’s still expensive — he’s $11,300 on DraftKings and $11,000 on FanDuel — but that’s a salary he can afford. He’s increased his production to 1.66 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s scored at least 54.75 DraftKings points in nine of his last 12 games. LeBron is also in a solid position against the Pacers, who rank only 22nd in defensive efficiency.
Joe Ingles is the leading candidate to replace Mitchell in the starting lineup. He hasn’t been as good this season on a per-minute basis, averaging 0.73 DraftKings points per minute, but he should see a nice increase in playing time. He’s currently projected for 31 minutes in our models. NBA, and it’s super cheap at just $3,700 on DraftKings. Ingles has historically averaged 25.29 DraftKings points with comparable minutes projection and salary, good for an average plus/minus of +8.38.
De’Andre Hunter is another potential option for the Hawks. He has played their last four games after an extended injury absence, and his playing time has increased over that time. He’s just completed nearly 35 minutes in his last outing, and he’s averaging 0.82 DraftKings points per minute since returning to the roster. Hunter is undervalued on DraftKings, where his $4,200 salary comes with 85% bargain odds.
Terance Davis has been extremely productive on the court this season, and he’s averaged 1.17 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. The only problem was the inconsistent playtime. However, this is not a problem with Tyrese Haliburton out of the lineup, and Davis racked up 42.7 FanDuel points in 37.5 minutes in his last outing. It is one of the best games of the day on FanDuel at just $4,400.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is one of the hardest players to predict on a nightly basis. His advantage is exorbitant, but he often struggles to stay on the pitch due to big problems. This gives it a wide range of results.
Still, I’m ready to ride the roller coaster with JJJ on Wednesday. He’s been incredibly good this season with Bane, Brooks and Anderson off the pitch. He increased his usage rate by +4.2%, which averages 1.48 DraftKings points per minute. Jackson also isn’t expected to own as much property as some of the Grizzlies’ guards, making him a great pivot for tournament play.
Devin Vasell had a great second season for Spurs, averaging 0.87 DraftKings points per minute. His playing time has varied throughout the year, but he has racked up at least 27.5 minutes in three straight games. He’s slated for a similar workload Wednesday against the Thunder, making him a viable option at just $4,300 on DraftKings.
Giannis Antetokounmpo plays basketball on Wednesday, which is enough to put him on the fantasy radar. The Greek Freak has averaged 1.73 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he owns the top cap projection on FanDuel in our NBA models. He’s also undervalued on FanDuel, where his $11,300 salary comes with a 92% bargain odds.
Al Horford recently saw a big reduction in playing time for the Celtics, but his minutes are heading in the right direction. He has played at least 25.4 minutes in consecutive games and is currently projected for 28 minutes in our NBA models. Horford is averaging 1.04 FanDuel points per minute this season, so that’s more than enough playing time to potentially pay his $5,100 salary.
There are plenty of stud options to consider at the center, but I like the idea of paying a little for Rudy Gobert. In addition to the Rockets’ myriad other issues this season, they’ve also been poor on the glass, ranking only 20th in team rebounding rate. Gobert is one of the best rebounders in the league, so he should be able to handle them in this game.
The Marcus Aldridge returned to the Nets’ roster in their last contest, and he finished with 24.75 DraftKings points in 22.5 minutes. He should see a few extra minutes on Wednesday, and Aldridge should also take advantage of the absence of Kevin Durant. He’s increased his usage rate by +6.3% with Durant off the court this season, averaging 1.22 DraftKings points per minute. Aldridge has also seen a significant price cut over the past month, so he stands out as an elite value over the Wizards.
Nikola Jokic torched the Jazz in their last game, finishing with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists in 36.7 minutes. He remains the league’s most dominant fantasy player, so there’s no reason he can’t repeat that production Wednesday against the Clippers. He’s best used on FanDuel, where his $11,500 salary comes with 95% bargain odds.
Bobby Portis posted a positive/less positive in five of his last six games on FanDuel, but his salary has remained stable at $6,300 on FanDuel. It’s just too cheap for Portis with Lopez Creek out of range. That results in a 92% bargain mark, and Portis is averaging a +6.07 plus/minus on comparable pay this season.