Welcome to the NBA Rundown for FanDuel contests on Thursday, January 14, 2021.
Our favorite players at each position in the various price points can be found below for tonight’s five-game slate.
Gabe Vincent ($4,500)– Vincent played 36 minutes in the Heat’s last game against the 76ers who they play again tonight. In that overtime loss, Vincent had 24 points, two rebounds, three assists, and two steals on his way to 34.9 fantasy points. Heavy minutes should be in play once again for Vincent as the Heat are only going to have eight to nine players once again due to Covid protocols and I don’t see why Vincent doesn’t produce in the 30 fantasy point range.
Tyler Herro ($6,500)– Herro is my favorite Heat player on this slate as he is not only going to play big minutes but the ball is going to be in his hands a lot. In that last game with everyone out Herro had a usage rate of 33% and took 26 shots. Herro scored 34 points with that high usage rate and also added in seven rebounds and four assists on his way to 45 fantasy points. That was actually the second straight game that Herro scored over 30 points with at least 40 fantasy points.
Lonnie Walker ($5,200)– I am going to watch the status of DeMar DeRozan tonight. If DeRozan is out I am going right back to FantasyCruncher’s favorite player Walker as he has seen a huge increase in usage the past two games without DeRozan. Walker has taken at least 15 shots in both of those two games and is averaging 24.5 points in those games. Walker has also added in his normal solid rebounding, assist, and defensive numbers to the increase in scoring which has allowed him to produce over 32 fantasy points in each of those games. There really is no reason to believe that Walker wouldn’t have similar production tonight against what will be a short-handed Rockets squad after the blockbuster trade yesterday of James Harden and injuries to some key players in John Wall and Danuel House.
Eric Gordon ($5,200)– Gordon is a question mark for this game due to injury but if he is able to play he is my favorite player on the entire slate as he should see a big boost in usage with James Harden out of Houston and John Wall injured. This season when not sharing the court with both players Gordon has a usage rate of 35.5% and is averaging 1.59 fantasy points per minute. While the sample size of those numbers is not high at just over 16 minutes the usage rate lines up with what we saw from Gordon last season with Harden and Russell Westbrook off the court.
Precious Achiuwa ($4,100)– Another cheap Heat player I like on this slate is Achiuwa. I like Achiuwa for the same reason I like the other two Heat players I talked about in this article. For those of you who skipped over those players and just moved to the middle of the article, Achiuwa is going to play big minutes due to the Heat being short-handed as he did last game. In that game against the 76ers who the Heat play again tonight, Achiuwa played 35 minutes and had 17 points and 13 rebounds on his way to 37.1 fantasy points.
Pascal Siakam ($8,900)– Power forward is an excellent position to spend up on tonight as there are several elite expensive power forwards on this slate. Siakam is my favorite of the bunch as he has really picked it up in his past four games. In those four games, Siakam is averaging 24 points, 10.5 rebounds, and seven assists. Siakam has at least 40 fantasy points in each of those games and has three games with at least 49 fantasy points. Siakam is not just putting up big numbers right now but the Hornets are also a team to target power forwards against as they are allowing the most fantasy points per game to the position this season.
Nikola Jokic ($11,200)– There is enough value on this slate that rostering one of the two elite centers on this slate shouldn’t be an issue. If I had to choose between Jokic and Joel Embiid I am going to give the slight edge to Jokic as Embiid is dealing with a back injury. While I expect Embiid to play tonight we don’t know if that back injury will cause him to play limited minutes or hurt his production in any way. We also know that Jokic is going to put up a huge game as he has put up a huge game each and every time he has stepped on the court this season. Jokic has only produced one game under 44 fantasy points in his 11 games and is averaging a triple-double at 24.27 points, 10.9 rebounds, 10.45 assists with 2.4 steals+blocks.