NBA DFS Picks Breakdown (Friday, Jan. 20): Julius Randle is Ready to Eat

Friday features a nine-game slate starting at 7 pm ET.

Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can utilize our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.

Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock. Use the PrizePicks promo code LABS to get a $100 sign-up bonus for NBA player props.

NBA DFS Point Guard Picks

Stud

The point guard position on Friday’s slate is loaded, with six players priced above $9,000 on DraftKings. You can make a solid case for a few of them as the top option at the position, but Ja Morant stands out in our NBA Models. Morant’s numbers haven’t been elite recently, but that’s primarily due to the team playing in so many blowouts. They’ve won nine straight games, and five of those wins have come by double-digits. Morant has still averaged 1.50 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, which trails only the significantly more expensive. Luka Doncic on Friday’s slate.

Morant also draws a fantastic matchup vs. the Lakers. They rank tied for second in pace and 22nd in defensive efficiency, so the Grizzlies should be able to put plenty of points on the scoreboard. They’re currently implied for 125.5 points, which is the top mark on the slate.


Value

Devin Vassell remains sidelined for the Spurs, which means Josh Richardson should continue to provide strong value on DraftKings. He’s taken over as the team’s sixth man with Vassell sidelined, and he’s averaged 25.3 minutes with a 19.6% usage rate and a 24.3% assist rate over his past eight games. That has led to plenty of fantasy production, with Richardson averaging 1.03 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s projected for another 26 minutes on Friday’s slate, giving him a strong chance to return value at just $4,500.


Fast Break

It was only a matter of time before Kyrie Irving went off with Kevin Durant sidelined. He stuffed the stat sheet with 30 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks on Thursday, good for 65.9 FanDuel points in 38.5 minutes. The defensive production might have been a bit fluky, but he should continue to serve as the team’s clear offensive focal point with KD sidelined. He’s underpriced at $9,200 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%.

Dennis Schroder has posted a negative Plus/Minus in four straight games, which has caused his salary to dip to just $4,900 on FanDuel. That makes him a strong buy-low candidate. He’s still playing more than 30 minutes on most nights, and Schroder has averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.59 with a comparable salary and minute projection as a member of the Lakers (per the Trends tool).

NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks

Stud

Josh Giddey has played exceptionally well for the Thunder of late. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five straight games, and he’s gone for at least 51.0 DraftKings points in three of them. He’s shown the ability to rack up stats in every category across the board, posting one triple-double and two double-doubles over that stretch.

He should be able to keep the good times rolling Friday vs. the Kings. The Kings have been an excellent matchup for fantasy purposes this season, ranking seventh in pace and 24th in defensive efficiency. This game features a 241.5-point total and a 3.5-point spread, so there should be plenty of fantasy value on both sides.


Value

The Nuggets are another team with a phenomenal matchup on Friday. They’re taking on the Pacers, and their implied team total of 125.25 just barely trails Memphis for the top mark on the slate.

Bruce Brown is a nice buy-low target in this spot. He’s been priced down to just $4,600 on DraftKings, but he’s coming off more than 32.6 minutes in his last outing. Brown is a solid fantasy producer for this price range – he’s averaged 0.89 DraftKings points per minute over the past month – so he has excellent upside if he sees similar volume vs. the Pacers.


Fast Break

On the other side of that matchup, Andrew Nembhardt remains in play for the Pacers. He hasn’t been quite as impactful with Tyrese Haliburton out of the lineup as he was earlier this season, but he’s coming off 39.25 DraftKings points in 27.4 minutes in his last outing. Nembhard has increased his usage rate by +6.3% in six games without Haliburton this season, resulting in an average of 1.00 DraftKings points per minute.

Benedict Mathurin is the preferred Pacers’ option on FanDuel, where his $5,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%. He hasn’t been nearly as effective in full games without Haliburton as Nembhard, but he’s thrived with Haliburton off the floor this season. He’s seen a team-high +4.2% usage bump in that scenario, and he’s averaged 0.92 FanDuel points per minute. He’s eventually going to put together a big game with Haliburton out of the picture, and there’s no reason that can’t be Friday.

NBA DFS Small Forward Picks

Stud

RJ Barrett isn’t exactly a fantasy stud, but there’s a lot to like about him on Friday. It starts with his insane volume. Barrett routinely plays as much as anyone in the league, and he’s currently projected for just under 38 minutes in our NBA Models. That’s the top mark among Friday’s small forwards by a wide margin.

Barrett has also started to heat up after a mediocre start to the year. He’s averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, giving him a nice combination of volume and efficiency. His price tag has also decreased to just $6,500 on DraftKings after peaking at $7,500 roughly 10 days ago. Add in a juicy matchup vs. the Hawks, and Barrett stands out as an elite option on Friday’s slate.


Value

The Pelicans’ injury report is going to be important to monitor on Friday. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram remain out of the lineup, while Naji Marshall and Herb Jones are questionable.

If Marshall is able to suit up, he’s definitely worth consideration across the industry. He’s currently projected for more than 34 minutes in our NBA Models, and Marshall has historically averaged 30.5 DraftKings points in 10 games with a comparable minute projection. That would be more than enough to pay off his current price tag.

If Marshall and Jones are unable to go, guys like Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphyand Devonte’ Graham would enter the conversation as value plays.


Fast Break

Lu Dort is another strong option for the Thunder on Friday. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in eight of his past 11 games on DraftKings, and he’s gone for at least 32.75 DraftKings points in his past two. Dort is also a nice value on DraftKings, where his $5,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%.

LeBron James is currently questionable for the Lakers, but if he’s able to suit up, he’s worth some consideration as a stud target. He’s been outstanding since Anthony Davis went down with an injury, scoring at least 56.1 FanDuel points in seven of his past eight games. He’s increased his production to 1.56 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, which trails only Nikola Jokic and Doncic on Friday’s slate. Overall, James leads all small forwards with 13 Pro Trends on FanDuel, and he’s slightly underpriced at $11,400.

NBA DFS Power Forward Picks

Stud

Julius Randle is coming off a subpar performance in his last contest, finishing with just 41.25 DraftKings points in 34.1 minutes. However, he’s in an outstanding bounce-back spot vs. the Hawks. Atlanta has been weak on the interior this season, ranking 26th in points in the paint allowed per game and 28th in team rebound rate. Those are the two areas where Randle typically dominates, and he torched the Hawks for 69.25 DraftKings points in their last meeting.

Additionally, the Knicks are going to be without Mitchell Robinson. Randle has seen a small boost in value with Robinson off the floor this season, and he’s already averaged 1.42 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. This is a potential eruption spot.


Value

Jericho Sims is also in play for the Knicks. He’s priced at the minimum and has dual PF/C eligibility on DraftKings, and he should see a solid role as the team’s backup center with Robinson sidelined. He’s currently projected for 24 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged a respectable 0.89 DraftKings points per minute this season. He benefits from the same elite matchup as Randle, so he’s a very appealing option in stars-and-scrubs builds.


Fast Break

Wendell Carter Jr. finished with just 17.2 FanDuel points in his last outing, but that stands out as an outlier. He had at least 34.9 FanDuel points in his three previous contests, so he’s a nice bounce-back target Friday vs. the Pelicans. There is also a chance that the team is without Franz Wagnerwho is questionable with an ankle injury, which would give WCJ an additional boost.

Myles Turner was a big bust in his last contest, but he’s still posted an average Plus/Minus of +8.30 over his past 10 games. He’s displayed a ceiling of more than 50 fantasy points recently, so he has plenty of upside at his current price tag. His added PF eligibility on FanDuel is an additional plus.

NBA DFS Center Picks

Stud

Jokic is now the betting favorite to take home his third consecutive MVP award. The only other players with three straight MVPs are Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird, who are all inner-circle Hall of Famers. That’s the kind of company that Jokic keeps these days.

He barely seemed to break a sweat Wednesday vs. the Timberwolves, putting up 31 points, 11 boards, and 13 assists for 69.25 DraftKings points in 31.2 minutes. Overall, he’s increased his production to 1.81 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he should be able to fill up the stat sheet once again vs. the Pacers. Jokic owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.47 on DraftKings, which is the top mark of the day at the center position.


Value

Walker Kessler continues to absolutely dominate in place of the injured Kelly Olynyk. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six straight games, and he’s had a Plus/Minus of at least +12.39 in five of them. For some reason, DraftKings refuses to price this guy properly, so continue to take advantage of the value while you can.


Fast Break

Isaiah Hartenstein should start at center for the Knicks on Friday. He wasn’t great in that role earlier this season, averaging 18.19 DraftKings points in 23.8 minutes per game, but it’s hard to ignore a starting center at a minimum price tag.

Jonas Valanciunas should continue to see a slightly larger workload given the Pelicans’ current injury situation. He’s averaged 1.17 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s played as many as 35 minutes recently. His playing time is volatile, but he has tons of upside when he hits his minutes ceiling.

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