Daily Fantasy

NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Jan. 26

FantasyPros considers the best player values for DraftKings and FanDuel NBA DFS.

Bartilotta expects Caris LeVert to have a “big night” as the Cavaliers face the Pistons at 8 p.m. ET.

That Wednesday card was something else. We had 10 games in action, which was a wild slate to watch. The DFS picks had some mixed results, but we’re happy with the outcome. That’s leaving us with just six games on this card, so we don’t have as many recommendations as yesterday. With that in mind, let’s get started!

Injury Report

*As of 12:30 p.m. ET

  • Mitchell Robinson (hand) OUT
  • Marcus Smart (ankle) OUT
  • Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) Questionable
  • Cade Cunningham (shin) OUT
  • Kevin Durant (knee) OUT
  • Lonzo Ball (knee) OUT
  • LaMelo Ball (ankle) Questionable
  • Kelly Oubre (hand) OUT
  • Gordon Hayward (hamstring) Questionable
  • Donovan Mitchell (groin) Questionable
  • Christian Wood (thumb) OUT
  • Devin Booker (groin) OUT
  • Deandre Ayton (illness) Probable
  • John Wall (abs) OUT

Core Plays

Kawhi Leonard (SF/PF – LAC): $10,000 DraftKings, $9,500 FanDuel
Leonard has scored at least 37 DraftKings points in 15 of his previous 17 games, averaging 43 fantasy points per game in that span. A revenge game against San Antonio is sensational, with the Spurs sitting last in both points allowed and defensive efficiency. When they played a week ago, Kawhi collected 57 DK points!

Kyrie Irving (PG – BKN): $10,300 DraftKings, $10,100 FanDuel
Irving has a 36% usage rate while averaging 1.5 DK points per minute. He’s also scored at least 62 fantasy points in three straight outings, averaging nearly 70 DK points per game in that span. That makes him an elite play against anyone, especially a Detroit team that ranks 29th in both points allowed and defensive efficiency.

Darius Garland (PG/SG – CLE): $8,600 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
Garland has been great whether Donovan Mitchell has been in the lineup or not, but he’s impossible to fade with Mitchell possibly missing this game. In the eight games that Mitchell has missed, Garland is averaging nearly 50 fantasy points per game. That’s bad news for this Houston defense, with the Rockets ranked 28th in defensive efficiency while surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing point guards.

Cash Game Considerations

Luka Doncic (PG – DAL): $12,700 DraftKings, $12,000 FanDuel
Doncic is leading the NBA with 63 DraftKings points per game, thanks to his league-leading 38% usage rate. He’s also established a 50-point floor and is impossible to fade on a six-game slate. He always strives versus Phoenix when given a chance, scoring at least 56 fantasy points in their two meetings this season.

Nikola Vucevic (C – CHI): $9,000 DraftKings, $8,400 FanDuel
Vucevic has been a monster for nearly a decade now, averaging 40 DraftKings points per game this year. His recent form is even more ridiculous, scoring at least 38 DK points in 14 straight games while generating a 47-point average in that span. Getting to face the Hornets is the best part of this, though, with Charlotte surrendering the most fantasy points to opposing centers this year. We also don’t mind that Vucevic has at least 45 DK points in six of his last eight matchups with the Hornets.

GPP Targets

Caris LeVert (SG – CLE): $5,600 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
With Mitchell potentially missing this game, LeVert should enter the starting lineup and be a fantasy asset. In his 23 starts this year, LeVert is averaging 31 DK points per game. That’s nearly double what he does coming off the bench, and he should have another big night against a Houston team that ranks 25th in points allowed and 28th in defensive efficiency.

Jalen Duren (PF/C – DET): $5,100 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel
This rookie has gone nuts since Marvin Bagley III, Cade Cunningham, and Isaiah Stewart all got injured, with Duren averaging 36 DK points per game across his last five fixtures. He’s doing that damage across just 26 minutes a night, and it’s scary to think how good he could be in a 30-minute role. The Nets are a treacherous matchup, but the Pistons will need to play Duren 30 minutes to oppose Nic Claxton.

Robert Williams III (PF/C – BOS): $5,600 DraftKings, $5,700 FanDuel
Williams has earned the nickname “The Time Lord” because he’s one of the best per-minute producers in the NBA. That’s big news because his minutes are on the rise, playing at least 27 minutes in five of the last six games. This guy should be a $7K player in a 27-minute role, and it’s just a matter of time before he starts averaging over 30 fantasy points per game. Facing the Knicks is a good way to kickstart him, losing their starting center to an injury.

Value Plays

Derrick White (PG/SG – BOS): $5,900 DraftKings, $6,000 FanDuel
With Smart out for the next few weeks, White should be locked into a 30-minute role. This dude has proven to be a $7K player with that sort of opportunity in the past, and he’s playing with a better offense now. In the 17 games that White has played at least 30 minutes, he’s averaging 32 fantasy points per game. That makes him enticing against the Knicks, surrendering the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing guards.

Seth Curry (SG – BKN): $5,000 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
Curry has been inconsistent, but Brooklyn needs him to do more with Durant sidelined. He ranks second on the team with a 23% usage rate when Durant is off the floor, and he can be a stud when given the chance. We have to assume he’ll play 30 minutes and take double-digit shots, with Curry compiling a 28-point average in the 12 games he’s played over 25 minutes. That should be his floor against the second-worst defense in the NBA, especially after he dropped 32 points and four assists on Wednesday.

Advantageous Pricing

  • Jalen Duren (PF/C – DET): $5,100 DraftKings, $6,200 FanDuel
  • Jaylen Brown (SG/SF – BOS): $9,400 DraftKings, $8,500 FanDuel
  • Zach LaVine (SG – CHI): $8,900 DraftKings, $7,800 FanDuel
  • Alex Caruso (PG/SG – CHI): $4,100 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
  • Jarrett Allen (C – CLE): $6,500 DraftKings, $7,700 FanDuel
  • Eric Gordon (SG – HOU): $4,500 DraftKings, $5,400 FanDuel
  • Terance Mann (SG – LAC): $4,300 DraftKings, $5,500 FanDuel
  • Josh Richardson (SG/SF – SAS): $4,400 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel

* * *

Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.