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NBA DFS Picks Breakdown (Friday, January 20): Julius Randle is ready to eat

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Friday features a roster of nine games starting at 7pm ET.

Let’s dive into some of the best plays using FantasyLabs tools and metrics.

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

Note: Projection and leverage scores/ratings may change throughout the day following the publication of this article. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.

Consult NBA player models directly for updates as we approach lockdown. Use the PrizePicks promo code LABS for a $100 NBA Player Signup Bonus.

NBA DFS Point Guard Picks

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The point guard position on Friday’s roster is loaded, with six players priced over $9,000 on DraftKings. You can make a solid case for some of them as the best option in the position, but Ja Morant stands out in our NBA models. Morant’s numbers haven’t been elite recently, but that’s mostly due to the team playing in so many blowouts. They have won nine games in a row and five of those wins have reached double digits. Morant still averaged 1.50 DraftKings points per minute last month, which is second only to the significantly more expensive Luka Doncic on Friday’s plate.

Morant also makes a fantastic matchup against the Lakers. They’re tied for second in pace and 22nd in defensive efficiency, so the Grizzlies should be able to put a lot of points on the scoreboard. They are currently implied at 125.5 points, which is the highest mark on the list.


Value

Devin Vassell stays away from the Spurs, which means Josh Richardson should continue to provide strong value to DraftKings. He took over as the team’s sixth man with Vassell sidelined, and averaged 25.3 minutes with a 19.6% usage rate and 24.3% assist rate over the last eight games. This led to a lot of fantasy production, with Richardson averaging 1.03 DraftKings points per minute last month. He’s projected for another 26 minutes on Friday’s list, giving him a great chance to make it back by just $4,500.


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It was just a matter of time before Kyrie Irving went out with Kevin Durant marginalized. He filled 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. Defensive production may have been a little shaky, but he should continue to serve as the sidelined KD team’s clear offensive focal point. He is underrated by $9,200 on FanDuel, resulting in a 96% Bargain rating.

Denis Schroder posted a negative Over/Under in four consecutive games, which caused his earnings to drop to just $4,900 on FanDuel. This makes it a strong candidate to buy the bear. He’s still playing 30+ minutes most nights, and Schroder averages an Over/Under of +7.59 with a comparable salary and projected minutes as a member of the Lakers (via the Trends tool).

NBA DFS Pitcher Picks

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josh giddey has played exceptionally well for the Thunder lately. He posted a Positive Over/Under in five straight games, and managed at least 51.0 points on DraftKings in three of them. He showed an ability to rack up stats across all categories, posting a triple-double and two doubles over that stretch.

He should be able to keep up the good times on Friday against 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 total of 241.5 points 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 Friday matchup. They’re up against the Pacers, and their team implied total of 125.25 barely trails Memphis for the top mark on the slate.

bruce brown is a good bearish buy target at this point. He’s down to just $4,600 on DraftKings, but he’s down more than 32.6 minutes in his last start. Brown is a solid fantasy producer for this price range – he averaged 0.89 DraftKings points per minute last month – so he has a great head start if he sees similar volume against the Pacers.


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On the other side of this confrontation, Andre Nembhard remains in play for the Pacers. He hasn’t been as impactful with Tyrese Haliburton out of the lineup like he was earlier this season, but he is trailing 39.25 points off the DraftKings in 27.4 minutes in his last game. 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.

Bento Mathurin is the Pacers’ preferred option on FanDuel, where his salary of $5,300 comes with an 88% bargain rating. He hasn’t been as effective in complete games without Haliburton as Nembhard has been, but he has thrived with Haliburton off the court this season. He saw a +4.2% usage increase from the team in this scenario and averaged 0.92 FanDuel points per minute. He’ll eventually make a big game with Haliburton out of the picture, and there’s no reason it can’t be Friday.

NBA DFS Small Forward Picks

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RJ Barrett not exactly a fantasy stallion, but there’s a lot to like about him on a friday. It starts with its insane volume. Barrett tends to play as much as anyone else in the league, and he’s currently projected for just under 38 minutes in our NBA models. That’s the best mark among Friday’s small forwards by a wide margin.

Barrett also began to warm up after a mediocre start to the year. He averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute last month, giving him a good combination of volume and efficiency. Price of it has also dropped to just $6,500 on DraftKings after peaking at $7,500 about 10 days ago. Add in a juicy matchup against the Hawks, and Barrett stands out as an elite option on Friday’s roster.


Value

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

If Marshall is able to fit in, he definitely deserves industry-wide consideration. He’s currently projected 34+ minutes in our NBA models, and Marshall is averaging 30.5 points in DraftKings history over 10 games with a comparable minute projection. That would be more than enough to pay its current price.

If Marshall and Jones can’t make it, guys like Jose Alvarado, Trey Murphyand Devonte’Graham would enter the conversation as value plays.


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

lebron james is currently questionable for the Lakers, but if he’s able to fit, he’s worth considering as a stud target. He has excelled since Anthony Davis went down with an injury, scoring at least 56.1 points in FanDuel in seven of his last eight games. He increased his output to 1.56 FanDuel points per minute last month, second only to Nikola Jokic and Doncic on Friday’s list. Overall, James leads all small forwards with 13 Pro Trends in FanDuel, and he is just under the price at $11,400.

NBA DFS Power Forward Picks

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Julius Randle comes off a below-average performance in his last contest, finishing with just 41.25 points on DraftKings in 34.1 minutes. However, he is in an excellent recovery position against the Hawks. Atlanta has been weak on the inside this season, ranking 26th in points allowed per game and 28th in rebound rate on the team. Those are the two areas where Randle typically dominates, and he torched the Hawks for 69.25 DraftKings points in their last meeting.

Also, the Knicks will be without Mitchell Robinson. Randle has seen a small increase in value with Robinson off the ground this season, and he already averaged 1.42 DraftKings points per minute last month. This is a potential eruption site.


Value

Jericho Sims is also on the line for the Knicks. He is minimally priced and has dual PF/C eligibility in the DraftKings, and should have a solid role as the team’s backup center with Robinson sidelined. He’s currently projected for 24 minutes in our NBA models and has averaged a respectable 0.89 DraftKings points per minute this season. He benefits from the same elite combo as Randle, so he’s a very attractive option in star builds and scrubs.


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Wendell Carter Jr. finished with just 17.2 FanDuel points in their last outing, but that stands out as an outlier. He’s had at least 34.9 FanDuel points in his three previous contests, so he’s a good comeback target on Friday against the Pelicans. There is also a chance that the team will be without Franz Wagnerwhich is questionable with an ankle injury, which would give WCJ an added boost.

Myles Turner was a huge flop in his last contest, but he still posted an Over/Under average of +8.30 in his last 10 games. It has exhibited a ceiling of over 50 fantasy points recently, so it has a lot of advantages at its current price. Your added PF eligibility in FanDuel is an added advantage.

NBA DFS Center Picks

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Jokic is now the betting favorite to take home his third consecutive MVP award. The only other players with three consecutive MVPs are Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird, who are all Inner Circle Hall of Famers. That’s the kind of company Jokic currently runs.

He barely appeared to break a sweat on Wednesday against the Timberwolves, adding 31 points, 11 boards and 13 assists for 69.25 points for the DraftKings in 31.2 minutes. Overall, he upped his DraftKings output to 1.81 points per minute last month and should be able to fill out the stat sheet once again against the Pacers. Jokic has an Adponent Plus/Minus of +4.47 on DraftKings, which is the best mark for the day in the center position.


Value

Walker Kessler continues to absolutely dominate in place of the wounded Kelly Olynyk. He posted a positive Over/Under in six consecutive games and had an Over/Under of at least +12.39 in five of them. For some reason DraftKings refuses to price this guy properly so continue to enjoy the value while you can.


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

Jonas Valanciunas should continue to have a slightly higher workload given the Pelicans’ current injury situation. He’s averaging 1.17 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s played up to 35 minutes recently. His playing time is volatile, but he has a lot of advantages when he hits the minute cap.

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