NBA Thoughts 1/16/17

Good morning and welcome to today’s NBA Thoughts where we get a split slate of NBA games as we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I will be covering the early games with my favorite DraftKings picks, and Manny Lora will be covering the later slate with his NBA Thoughts, so be sure to check back later for that information. Let’s dive right into it.

Sergio Rodriguez — Rodriguez lost his starting point guard spot to TJ McConnell a few weeks ago, but McConnell will miss this game against the Milwaukee Bucks with a wrist injury, and Rodriguez will presumably step into the starting lineup. Just $3,200 on DraftKings, Rodriguez should be just about locked into 30+ minutes here and has somewhat surprisingly been a better fantasy player when sharing the court with Joel Embiid. Rodriguez is averaging just under a fantasy point per minute with Embiid on the court with him and should come close to that today. That makes him a slam dunk value play at his price point.

Dwight Howard — Howard’s production has been phenomenal this season on a per minute basis, but the minutes have not always been there. Today, however, he gets a great matchup against the Knicks weak frontcourt (who will be missing Kristaps Porzingis as well), and Mike Muscala will miss the game due to an ankle injury. Muscala essentially has acted as Howard’s direct backup over the past few weeks, and is a capable player himself. While the Hawks could conceivably elect to go small against the Knicks, they could also decide to let Howard absolutely dominate the glass and the paint. At $7,000 on DraftKings, he brings legitimate 40+ fantasy upside to this matchup with a solid floor as well.

 

John Wall — The Wizards’ point guard has a lot going for him today. He will be at home where he has performed much better throughout the years, and he will get a phenomenal matchup against Damian Lillard and the Blazers. The Blazers’ defense has been atrocious with Lillard on the court this season and Wall should be motivated for this game against a fellow star point guard. Wall’s price of $9,300 is certainly affordable with the value on this slate and he should contend for the top overall fantasy scorer of the early slate.

 

Bradley Beal — At a weak position, sometimes it is best to take the safe option, even if that option is somewhat expensive and lacks a bit of upside. Beal is playing huge minutes right now and taking a ton of shots and gets a nice matchup against CJ McCollum and the Blazers back court. McCollum’s defense has been better this season, but Beal should still be able to get 15+ shots up in a pace up game. He does not come at a discount at his price point of $6,900, but he is certainly a solid option that shouldn’t hurt you.

 

Nikola Jokic — It is a battle of Nikola’s in Denver this afternoon with starting centers Nikola Jokic and the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic doing battle. Jokic has been truly amazing over the past few weeks , and on most nights, the only thing that can really slow him down if his own foul trouble. He has been much better in that regard lately, however, and should be able to stay out of trouble in this game as Vucevic has one of the lowest free throw rates of any center in the NBA. Jokic is expensive now, but he still has tremendous upside at his $7,900 price point, and will be playing at home where he averages 5 more fantasy points per game.