NBA DFS Picks Breakdown (Monday, Jan. 9): Malcolm Brogdon Stands Out for Celtics

Monday features a six-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 150 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

Russell Westbrook is officially back, baby. Is he still going to clank a shot or two of the side of the backboard every now and again? Sure. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s delivered outstanding fantasy value of late. He’s scored at least 43.0 DraftKings points in four of his past five games, and the only exception was a game where he played just 11.4 minutes. He has at least 52.25 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and he can continue to be counted on with Anthony Davis out of the lineup.

This also stands out as one of the best matchups of the day for fantasy purposes. The total on this game sits at 241.0 points, and the Nuggets rank just 25th in defensive efficiency for the year.


Value

The Celtics are dealing with a key injury at the moment. Marcus Smart is currently listed as doubtful after suffering a left knee contusion during Saturday’s matchup vs. the Spurs.

As long as he’s out, Malcolm Brogdon figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s seen a team-high +3.3% usage bump with Smart off the floor this season, and he’s also increased his assist rate by +3.7%. Add it all up, and Brogdon averages 1.13 DraftKings points per minute in that scenario. He should also pick up a few additional minutes with Smart sidelined, making him an outstanding value option vs. the Bulls.


Fast Break

Jalen Brunson stands out as an appealing stud target at the position on FanDuel. His $8,000 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 84%, and he leads all point guards with 12 Pro Trends. He’s taken on a massive workload since returning to the lineup three games, playing at least 38.5 minutes in each contest, and that doesn’t figure to change with RJ Barrett doubtful.

Tre Jones is back to delivering excellent fantasy value for the Spurs. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in eight of his past nine games, and he’s scored at least 33.5 FanDuel points in back-to-back games.

NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks

Stud

The Grizzlies are also dealing with a few key injuries at the moment. Ja Morant, Steven Adamsand Brandon Clarke were all out of the lineup on Sunday, and it’s very possible they could sit again on the second leg of a back-to-back. Their statuses will be important on this six-game slate, so make sure to monitor the news heading into lineup lock.

If Morant is out, Desmond Bane should take over as the team’s top offensive option. He’s increased his usage rate by +4.2% with Morant off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.31 DraftKings points per minute. That’s an elite figure, with only Morant (1.52) and Westbrook (1.32) averaging more than 1.31 DraftKings points per minute among Monday’s guards. Bane thrived in place of Morant on Sunday, finishing with 51.5 DraftKings points in 30.7 minutes vs. the Jazz. The Spurs represent another fantastic matchup, ranking fourth in pace and 30th in defensive efficiency for the year.


Value

Immanuel Quickley is another strong option for the Knicks. Like Brunson, he’s playing as many minutes as he can handle with Barrett out of the lineup. He’s racked up at least 35.8 minutes in six straight games, and he’s currently projected for more than 38 minutes in our NBA Models. Quickley has averaged 0.93 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he’s capable of making the most of an expanded workload.


Fast Break

CJ McCollum got the night off the Pelicans’ last game, but he should be back in the lineup on Monday. He’s going to be asked to carry the team offensively, with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson both still sidelined with injuries. He’s increased his usage rate by +5.1% with both players off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.19 DraftKings points per minute.

Jaylen Brown has been underpriced on FanDuel basically all season, and Monday’s slate is no exception. His $9,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%, and he should see a slight boost if Smart is unable to play. He leads the team in fantasy points per minute with Smart off the court this season, and he’s projected for more than 36 minutes vs. the Bulls.

Small Forward

Stud

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most expensive player on this slate, but it’s hard to argue against that. He’s coming off a rare flop in his last game, finishing with just 12.5 DraftKings points in 22 minutes, but he had scored at least 72.25 DraftKings points in his previous four contests. He had at least 81.0 DraftKings points in three of them, and Giannis has been gobbling up points and rebounds at an unparalleled rate. He averaged 43.3 points and 18.3 boards over that four-game stretch, and he even added 7.3 assists per game just for good measure.

The Knicks are a tough matchup for Giannis. They rank fifth in the league in team rebound rate, and their third in points allowed in the paint. However, that should result in lower ownership than usual, and Giannis is capable of going off against anyone. Giannis has also historically enjoyed playing at Madison Square Garden, scoring at least 51.75 DraftKings points in his past seven outings (per the Trends tool).

Giannis is best deployed on FanDuel, where he has an 87% Bargain Rating and is eligible at both forward spots.


Value

Grant Williams is another potential value play for the Celtics. He’s priced at just $3,500 on DraftKings, and he’s projected for just under 29 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.27. Williams isn’t a great per-minute producer, but his average of 0.72 DraftKings points per minute isn’t terrible, either.


Fast Break

Doug McDermott is even cheaper than Williams at $3,200 on DraftKings. He’s not expected to see the same volume of minutes, but he makes up for it with superior per-minute production. He’s averaged 0.89 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s played at least 19.6 minutes in four of his past five games. McDermott doesn’t possess a huge ceiling, but he’s a viable punt play in stars-and-scrubs builds.

DeMar DeRozan has taken a slight backseat to Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic of late, but he’s still a tremendous value on FanDuel. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +9.04 over his past 10 games, and his price tag has come way down recently. He was up as high as $9,500 last week, but he’s down to just $8,700 for Monday’s matchup vs. the Celtics. It results in a Bargain Rating of 90%, and DeRozan leads all players with 14 Pro Trends.

NBA DFS Power Forward Picks

Stud

Julius Randle was a major disappointment for the Knicks last season, but he has returned to being a dominant fantasy force in 2022-23. He’s been particularly effective of late, scoring at least 52.75 DraftKings points in nine straight games. Overall, he posted an average Plus/Minus of +7.56 over his past 10 contests.

That makes Randle’s $10,400 salary a bit too cheap. He’s increased his production to 1.41 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and very few players have the same upside from a minute perspective on a night-to-night basis. Randle has played at least 38.3 minutes in nine straight games, and he has cracked 40 minutes in five of them.


Value

Williamson and Ingram being out of the lineup solidifies Naji Marshall‘s spot in the rotation. He’s played at least 32.6 minutes in three straight games, and he’s scored at least 29.75 DraftKings points in each. He’s gone for at least 39.0 DraftKings points in two of those contests, and he should continue to provide great value at his current price tag. Marshall has played at least 30 minutes in 21 career games, and he averaged 32.05 DraftKings points in those contests.


Fast Break

Harrison Barnes has been getting the job done for the Kings recently, posting a positive Plus/Minus in four straight games. He’s playing all the minutes he can handle, racking up at least 36.5 minutes in three straight games, and he’s averaging 0.77 DraftKings points per minute this season. He’s underpriced at $5,600.

If Adams and Clarke remain out for the Grizzlies, Xavier Tillman would be an outstanding value play. He averaged 1.11 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and he racked up 32.5 minutes on Sunday. He responded with 32.3 FanDuel points, and you can expect similar production if he gets a similar workload vs. the Spurs.

NBA Center Picks

Stud

There are some strong stud options to consider paying up for on Monday, but Nikola Jokic stands out as the best of the bunch. The back-to-back MVP has been slightly overshadowed by Luka Doncic of late, but Jokic has been absolutely dominant over the past month. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.86 DraftKings points per minute and has six games with at least 69.75 DraftKings points over that time frame.

He draws one of the best possible matchups Monday vs. the Lakers. They have been extremely generous towards opposing centers this season, allowing the third-most DraftKings points per game to the position. The Nuggets’ implied team total of 125.75 ranks first on the slate, and Jokic has smashed in three previous matchups vs. the Lakers this season. He averaged 60.5 DraftKings points in those outings, scoring at least 54.5 DraftKings points in each.


Value

Jakob Poeltlhis workload has been limited since returning to the lineup, but he’s coming off 32.3 minutes in his last outing. If he’s going to continue to see that much playing time, Poeltl has the potential to deliver massive value at his current salary. He’s averaged 1.20 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he racked up more than 50 DraftKings points in his last game. Ultimately, he has the potential for another huge outing against a shorthanded Grizzlies’ frontcourt, and he doesn’t have a ton of bust potential at his current price tag.


Fast Break

Thomas Bryant is going to have his hands full with Jokic, but he remains underpriced at $6,300 on DraftKings. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five straight games, and he’s scored at least 40.75 DraftKings points in four of them. That includes 51.0 DraftKings points in his last outing, giving him an outstanding ceiling for his price tag.

Jonas Valanciunas has seen a nice bump in playing time recently, logging at least 30 minutes in two of his past three games. If he’s going to continue to play that much, he’s underpriced across the industry. He’s always been an elite per-minute producer, and he’s averaged 1.16 FanDuel points per minute this season.

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