NBA daily fantasy picks: Five players who could help your lineup for Jan. 27
There is one feature that dominates Wednesday’s eight-game slate. Four of the league’s best teams—Golden State, San Antonio, Cleveland and Oklahoma City—are in action. They all have great matchups, taking on Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Minnesota, respectively. The problem, however, is that the matchups might be too good. The Warriors and Cavaliers are both favored by at least 16 points, the Spurs are laying 10.5, and the Thunder are expected to win by at least eight points. In other words, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and the like could all play fewer minutes than usual, assuming their teams cruise to blowout victories. The question for the daily fantasy owner, then, is are you willing to take that risk?
All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.
PG: Isaiah Thomas ($8,300) vs. DEN: Thomas is, dollar-for-dollar, one of my favorite plays on the board for Wednesday. He has given his fantasy owners at least 33.3 points in eight of his last 10 games, and he should be able to make that 9-for-11 against the Nuggets. They’ve allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to point guards on the year.
SG: Andrew Wiggins ($6,800) vs. OKC: This is the third time the Timberwolves and Thunder have met in the last three weeks. In the first two meetings, Wiggins put up 23.5 real points and 31.1 fantasy points per game. Look at that as a floor for this one. The second-year player out of Kansas has turned into the Timberwolves’ best scorer, and won’t be cowed by Kevin Durant on the other side of the floor. This game also carries a healthy 210.5 over/under, the second-highest on the board Wednesday.
SF: Kevin Durant ($10,200) @ MIN: If I’m using a star from one of the big favorites on Wednesday, Durant is going to be that guy. He has double-doubles in his last two games, four of his last six, and five of his last eight. Over his last 10 games, he’s putting up an average of 46.8 fantasy points. When a player like Durant is on a short-term roll like he is (76 points, 24 rebounds, 12 assists in his last two games), you want to get a piece of the action.
PF: Nerlens Noel ($6,400) @ DET: Jahlil Okafor has already been ruled out for Wednesday night’s game with Detroit because of an illness, and that should open a greater avenue of fantasy production to Noel. Okafor missed the team’s win over Phoenix Tuesday, and Noel took advantage to the tune of 14 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, three steals and 36.3 fantasy points. Detroit provides him with a tougher matchup, but it is just 20th in fantasy points allowed to power forwards this season. At worst, the matchup is neutral.
C: Rudy Gobert ($7,200) vs. CHA: Quite frankly, Gobert makes the team because FanDuel is a one-center site, and he’s the cheapest, palatable center on Wednesday. He has played at least 30 minutes in six games since returning from injury. In those games, Gobert is averaging 12 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. Before factoring in assists, steals and turnovers, that puts him at a floor of 31.8 fantasy points. I’ll take that bet, even in a slow-paced game like the one expected for Charlotte-Utah.