Daily Fantasy NBA Preview – 12th January, 2019

ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 29: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against the Orlando Magic on November 29, 2017 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Gary Bassing/NBAE via Getty Images)

Welcome to the 2018-19 NBA season!

To help you with your DFS lineups at PlayON, we’ll provide daily editions of our NBA Preview all season long here at Daily Fantasy Focus.

Your NBA fantasy teams have a budget of $100 million to spend on a seven-player team, with players ranging in price from $28 million to $5 million. You must pick one player from each of the five NBA positions – point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and centre – with two final picks being at whichever position you like. With the need to squeeze in that much under budget, we need to look for the best value picks in each night’s game, at all positions.

Below is a breakdown of my team for tonight’s nine-game slate. Once you’ve seen who I like, be sure to lock in your line-ups and win some cash tonight

 Point guard – Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: $26.6 million

Westbrook, like almost every member of the Spurs and Thunder rotations, enjoyed a fantasy boost in the Thunder’s last game by virtueo f how long and high scoring it was. Specifically for Russ, he recorded a colossal 78.6 fantasy points in that game, raising his average over his last six to 61.2 per game.


Point guard – Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs: $8.7 million

Mills was also a beneficiary of the above. He specifically went in for 31.6 fantasy points that game, raising his average over the last four games to 26.5. All of them have been over the 20 point mark, too, so Mills is giving us consistency as well as value right now.


Shooting guard – Terrence Ferguson, Oklahoma City Thunder: $6.9 million

The Thunder throw the fewest passes in the league, and Russell Westbrook has a truly dominant share of the ball. The shooting guard’s job, then, whoever it is, is to stand in the corner and shoot the ball, run out at every opportunity, and otherwise not do much offensively. This suits Ferguson, who is a limited talent as an offensive player. But on the nights he does get a few looks – and hits them – he can give us good fantasy production by virtue of his sizeable minutes share as a starter, and his 21.5 fantasy point average over his last two games speaks to that.


Shooting guard – Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz: $17.4 million

Small forward – Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz: $12.6 million

Small forward – Royce O’Neale, Utah Jazz: $5.9 million

We anointed this trio before the Jazz’s last game as being the most likely beneficiaries of the team’s current point guard crisis. With absolutely no healthy point guards available, Mitchell and Ingles stood to gain significantly in the playmaking department, while O’Neale would also get a resultant minute spike, especially since Thabo Sefolosha was also out. It worked; Ingles recorded 34.4 fantasy points last time out, O’Neale was not far behind at 30.9, and Mitchell had the best night of all, recording 57.1 fantasy points via what would normally be an out-of-character nine assists. We thus anoint them all once again.


Small forward – Torrey Craig, Denver Nuggets: $9.2 million

Craig’s recent scoring confidence seems to be continuing. The player moved into the starting line-up for his defensive pedigree has averaged 32.5 fantasy points over the past two games, a very big mark-up on this price. And since it looks as though Gary Harris will not be back yet, Craig’s production should continue.


Power forward – Jerami Grant, Oklahoma City Thunder: $12.5 million

It looks as though both halves of the Thunder’s two headed centre monster will be unavailable tonight. Nerlens Noel suffered a concussion after his nasty fall two games ago, and Steven Adams is also struggling with an ankle tweak suffered in the last game. There isn’t really a third string centre on this team, so in their absence, Grant got a bigger role. He responded with a 48.0 fantasy point performance, admittedly aided by double overtime. And if both are out, Grant’s role gets even bigger.


Power forward – Harry Giles, Sacramento Kings: $7.8 million

Giles it seems is a part of the rotation now, and he put in a career-best 33.3 fantasy points last time out. This was in a game in which we had already recommended him as a fantasy pick, which was pretty validating. Over his last six, Giles, who tends to contribute in every part of the stat sheet, has averaged 20.2 fantasy points per game.


Centre – Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Hornets: $7.7 million

Biyombo has now started the last four games at centre for the Hornets, and even received 31 minutes in the last game. Given that he did not record a block like he usually would in that one, Biyombo’s fantasy point return of 18.6 was less than you would expect in such a large minute share. But compare it to his price rather than his minutes, and it’s a good degree of value to be had.


Centre – Jahlil Okafor, New Orleans Pelicans: $8.3 million

It seems as though even now that all three parts of the Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic are all back to full health, there is still a place for Okafor to be had anyway. He has recorded 19.9 fantasy points per game over the last three, a good return on a low price. Will it last for one more night?

My team:

Point guard – De’Anthony Melton, $11.2 million
Shooting guard – Donovan Mitchell, $17.4 million
Small forward – Josh Jackson, $11.7 million
Power forward – Jerami Grant, $12.5 million
Centre – Bismack Biyombo: $7.7 million

Bench – Kyrie Irving, $20.0 million
Bench – Kemba Walker: $19.4 million

In any NBA slate of games, we need to be sure to avoid certain players each night. Here’s who you should steer clear of.

(Note that the NBA provides four different player injury classifications – ‘probable’ (meaning the player has a 75% chance of playing in the game), ‘questionable’ (50%), ‘doubtful’ (25%) and ‘out’ (0%). Such classifications are subject to change right up until game time; for the purposes of the below, we list anyone from ‘questionable’ on down as being picks to avoid.)

DO NOT PICK DUE TO INJURY/ABSENCE/SUSPENSION: Aron Baynes, Jabari Bird (Boston), Devonte’ Graham, Cody Zeller (Charlotte), Denzel Valentine (Chicago), Jarred Vanderbilt, Isaiah Thomas, Michael Porter Jr, Will Barton, Gary Harris, Trey Lyles (Denver), Karl-Anthony Towns, Robert Covington (Minnesota), Andre Roberson, Alex Abrines, Steven Adams, Nerlens Noel (Oklahoma City), Mo Bamba, Timofey Mozgov (Orlando), Devin Booker (Phoenix), Dejounte Murray (San Antonio), Ricky Rubio, Thabo Sefolosha, Raul Neto, Tony Bradley, Grayson Allen, Dante Exum (Utah)

That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in, and check back every day during the season for our daily picks and advice!