NBA DFS Picks Breakdown (Friday, Jan. 13): Pacers Providing Pristine Value vs. Hawks

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 use 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


CJ McCollum has been priced up across the industry, but he’s arguably still too cheap. That’s particularly true on FanDuel, where his $9,100 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%. He’s had to take on a larger role with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram both sidelined with injuries, scoring at least 47.2 FanDuel points in three straight games. McCollum has seen a team-high +5.2% usage bump with both players off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.18 FanDuel points per minute.

He should be able to keep the good times going Friday vs. the Pistons. They rank 29th in defensive efficiency, and the Pelicans’ implied team total of 120.0 ranks fourth on the slate.


Tyrese Haliburton is currently dealing with a sprained left elbow and a left knee bone contusion, which will sideline him for at least the next two weeks. Haliburton has been phenomenal for the Pacers this season, leading the team in both points and assists per game, so his absence is going to create plenty of value in the backcourt.

TJ McConnell stands out as one potential beneficiary. He’s increased his assist rate by +4.3% with Haliburton off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.95 DraftKings points per minute. He’s currently projected for more than 28 minutes in our NBA Models, making him an elite option at just $4,100. McConnell also owns an elite matchup vs. the Hawks, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.29.

Fast Break

The Bulls should be another prime source of value at the position. DeMar DeRozan is doubtful for Friday’s matchup vs. the Thunder, opening up plenty of minutes for the rest of the backcourt. Coby White racked up 24.5 DraftKings points across 29.1 minutes sans DeRozan on Wednesday, while Alex Caruso had 17.5 DraftKings points in 27.7 minutes. Both players should see similar workloads vs. the Thunder, and both players are priced at $3,800 or less on DraftKings. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.24 (per the Trends tool).

The game between the Warriors and the Spurs should provide plenty of offense. Both teams play fast, and the total currently sits at 244.0 points. The Warriors are 8.5-point favorites, but Tre Jones stands out as the best PG option in this matchup. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +7.07, and he has increased his production to 1.10 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.

NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks


Zach LaVine got off to a slow start this season, but he has been balling lately. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past eight games on DraftKings, and he’s gone for at least 50.25 fantasy points in four of them. LaVine has been filling it up as a scorer, and he posted a usage rate of 38.7% in the team’s last contest.

That was his first game of the year without DeRozan, and LaVine should continue to benefit from a usage perspective in his absence. He’s seen a team-high +4.4% usage bump with DeRozan off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.15 DraftKings points per minute. He’s in another great spot Friday vs. the Thunder, who have played at the fourth-fastest pace this season. That gives the Bulls much more scoring upside than usual.


Andrew Nembhardt should be the chalk on this slate. He has taken over as the Pacers’ primary point guard when Haliburton has been sidelined this season, and he’s absolutely thrived in that role. He’s averaged more than 39 minutes in two contests without Haliburton, and he’s responded with 47.38 DraftKings points per game. However, it is worth noting that McConnell was also unavailable for those two contests, so he could have to share some of the point guard responsibilities on Friday.

Still, it’s impossible to argue against Nembhard at just $4,300 on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 95%. He’s averaged 1.01 DraftKings points per minute with Haliburton off the floor in general this season, and he’s projected for 36 minutes in our NBA Models. Nembhard also benefits from the same elite matchup as McConnell, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.19.

Fast Break

Don’t forget about Duane Washington. The Suns will be without Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Cam Payneand Landry Shamet once again on Friday, opening the door for Washington to command another massive workload. He racked up at least 24.2 minutes and a 32.5% usage rate in four straight games, and Washington averaged 1.23 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.

The Rockets are another team dealing with a massive injury at the moment. Kevin Porter Jr. picked up a foot injury in the team’s last contest, and he’s been ruled out for Friday’s matchup vs. the Kings. Jalen Green has increased his usage rate by +4.0% with KPJ off the floor this season, so he has plenty of scoring upside in a juicy spot vs. the Kings. His $7,000 salary on FanDuel also comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%, and his 12 Pro Trends are tied with McCollum for the most at the position.

NBA DFS Small Forward Picks


Is Kawhi Leonard back? His minutes have been up recently, and he’s coming off 62.8 FanDuel points in his last outing. Those are definitely good signs for his fantasy prospects moving forward, and he should continue to benefit from the team’s current lineup configuration. Paul George remains out with an injury, while Reggie Jackson fell out of the rotation in their last game. Leonard has increased his usage rate by +3.1% with both players off the floor this season, so another strong performance could be in the cards vs. the Nuggets. He’s underpriced at $9,000 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 97%.


Eric Gordon should be another beneficiary of the Porter injury in Houston. He’s seen a massive +9.2% usage bump with KPJ off the floor, resulting in an average of 0.95 DraftKings points per minute. He finished with 24.75 DraftKings points over 28 minutes Wednesday vs. the Kings, and a similar performance is definitely possible in Friday’s rematch. Gordon is projected for just under 30 minutes in our NBA Models, and his $3,900 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 92%.

Fast Break

Benedict Mathurin had a phenomenal start to his rookie season, and he’s started to heat back up for the Pacers. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five of his past six games, and he should take on a larger scoring load with Haliburton sidelined. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.1% with Hali off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.01 DraftKings points per minute.

Keldon Johnson is another potential target for the Spurs in this fantasy-friendly matchup vs. the Warriors. Johnson has struggled through some terrible shooting numbers at times this season, but he remains the team’s top offensive option. He’s played at least 35 minutes in three of his past five games, and he’s racked up at least 34.3 FanDuel points in each. As long as his minutes are secure vs. the Warriors, he’s a great bet to return value at his current salary across the industry.

NBA DFS Power Forward Picks


Lauri Markkanen has been a phenomenal source of value for the Jazz all season, and he’s been particularly effective of late. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +7.63 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, yet his salary hasn’t moved an inch. He remains priced at just $8,200 for Friday’s matchup vs. the Magic despite scoring at least 44.3 FanDuel points in six of his past nine games. The result in a 99% Bargain Rating, and he stands out as one of the strongest per-dollar options at the position in our NBA Models.


KJ Martin is another strong value for the Rockets on Friday. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in four straight games on DraftKings, and he should pick up a few additional minutes with KPJ out of the lineup. He’s currently projected for just under 29 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +6.40 with a comparable salary and minute projection.

Fast Break

Torrey Craig has turned in some solid performances for the shorthanded Suns of late. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in three of his past four games on DraftKings, and he’s had at least 32.25 DraftKings points in his two games with more than 30 minutes. Craig has averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he should continue to provide excellent value on nights when he hits his minute’s ceiling.

Julius Randle lost some value in his last contest with the return of RJ Barrett. His usage rate dipped to just 22.3% after averaging a 33.7% usage rate in six games with Barrett sidelined. That’s not the most encouraging sign for his fantasy prospects, but Randle has still delivered value while playing alongside Barrett for most of the year. That makes him an interesting bounce-back target for GPPs.

NBA DFS Center Picks


There is an abundance of value on Friday’s slate, but there aren’t a ton of super studs to pay up for. That would be particularly true if Nikola Jokic gets the night off. He’s currently listed as questionable due to injury management, and he’s the only player priced above $10,600 on DraftKings. Jokic hasn’t missed a game since November, so it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the team gives him a rest.

However, Jokic is clearly worth consideration if he’s in the lineup. He’s been a fantasy monster of late, increasing his production to 1.83 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. No one on this slate can come close to that mark: Steph Curry is the only other player above 1.46, but he’s played less than 90 minutes over that span.

Jokic made quick work of the Suns on Wednesday, racking up 59.0 DraftKings points in just 28.3 minutes. The Clippers aren’t an ideal matchup, but Jokic comfortably owns the top ceiling projection in our NBA Models.


Walker Kessler has filled Rudy Gobert‘s spot in the Jazz’s lineup pretty perfectly in his rookie season. He averaged 3.5 blocks per 36 minutes while shooting 70.3% from the field, which is exactly what Gobert did during his tenure in Utah. The only difference is the number of minutes, with Kessler averaging just 19.0 minutes through his first 41 games.

However, Kelly Olynyk is currently dealing with an ankle sprain, which has allowed Kessler to take on a larger role. He’s coming off 30 minutes in his last contest, and he’s averaging 1.07 DraftKings points per minute this season. That gives him plenty of appeal at just $5,000.

Fast Break

Myles Turner is questionable for the Pacers, but he’s another strong option if he’s able to go. He’s been a great source of fantasy value of late, scoring at least 35.0 DraftKings points in five of his past six games, and he’s seen the second-largest usage bump with Haliburton off the floor. His minutes have also been more consistent after being volatile earlier in the year.

Alperen Sengun took over as the Rockets’ top facilitator after the injury to KPJ on Wednesday. He finished with 10 assists to go along with 10 points and 10 boards, good for the rare “lazy man” triple-double. He’s an excellent option at center on FanDuel given his 94% Bargain Rating.

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