NBA daily fantasy picks: Five players who could help your lineup for Jan. 4

Monday January 4th, 2016

We’ve got a star-studded, 10-game Monday slate, with Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond all in action. Of course, there’s no guarantee that Curry is able to go on Monday. After missing two games, he returned for the Warriors on Saturday, only to leave the game early because of his shin injury. For my money, that makes him far too risky to use today, even if he does play. Luckily, point guard is the deepest position on the 10-game docket.

All prices are courtesy of FanDuel and based on a $60,000 budget.

PG: Isaiah Thomas ($8,100) @ BKN: Thomas has a hot hand, scoring at least 34.1 fantasy points in each of his last three games and averaging 23 points and 6.3 assists per game in that time. The Nets, meanwhile, have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to point guards, and this game carries a solid 202.5 over/under. Thomas is, dollar for dollar, the best point guard available.

SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($5,800) vs. ORL: One thing you know when you roster Caldwell-Pope is you won’t have to worry about minutes. He’s averaging 37.7 minutes per game this season and 39.4 in the last 10. The better news is that he’s in one of his better offensive grooves of the season, putting up 28.3 fantasy points per game over his last 10 games, which is 19.4% more than his season average.

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SF: Paul George ($8,800) @ MIA: It’s time to get back on the Paul George bandwagon. After going through a slow couple of weeks, George has posted consecutive 30-point games. He had one of his best games of the season in Saturday’s win over the Pistons, scoring 32 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Miami is tough on most positions from a fantasy perspective, but small forward is the one spot where they’ve been a bit leaky, ranking 20th against the position. With the way George is going, however, he’s matchup-proof.

PF: Thaddeus Young ($6,700) vs. BOS: Young kicked off 2016 right where he ended 2015, going for 16 points and 10 rebounds in Brooklyn’s win over Boston. Young had actually fallen into a bit of a slump before Saturday, scoring fewer than 30 points in consecutive games and five of his previous nine, so it was good to see him go for a double-double over the weekend. The Celtics have surrendered the seventh-most fantasy points per game to power forwards, so there’s plenty of reason to believe Young will get going again on Monday.

C: Karl-Anthony Towns ($7,800) @ PHI: Towns had just eight real points against the Bucks on Saturday, but he was still able to put up 31 fantasy points, thanks to 10 rebounds and three blocks. That’s what makes the rookie out of Kentucky so dangerous. He’s not going to have many poor shooting nights, and the Sixers have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to centers. Towns is my favorite play, regardless of position, on Monday.

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