DraftKings Daily Fantasy Basketball Helper: Thursday 1/14/21

With five games to choose from on Wednesday's slate -- which locks at 7:00 p.m. EST -- let's look at the top options across all five positions for NBA DFS.

Be sure to check out our projections, which are updated throughout the day as news breaks, and our other DFS tools such as advanced stats and a matchup heat map.

Here are some of the top plays on today's DraftKings slate. As always, good luck.

Point Guard

Malcolm Brogdon ($8,300) -- The story of the last 24 hours came out of Houston in the form of a blockbuster trade involving James Harden and many others. Among those others -- maybe at the top -- is Victor Oladipo, who will head to Houston after spending three-plus seasons with the Indiana Pacers. His absence opens up minutes, shots and usage, the latter of which will trickle to the team's starting point guard. Brogdon has already excelled to the tune of 43.5 DK points on a 23.9% usage rate, according to He's as safe a play as we have against a Portland team that struggles to defend point guards.

LaMelo Ball ($7,600) -- On Wednesday night, Gordon Hayward exited the game and is now considered day-to-day because of a hip injury. In his stead, Miles Bridges is the best option to slide into small forward for what is likely to be a one- or two-game absence for Hayward, but we could see more three-guard sets from Charlotte. They've already paired Ball with Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier for 37 minutes, and the star rookie has averaged 25.2 minutes per game in the early going. There's a chance he could play a lot more if this one happens to get out of hand on the road on the second night of a back-to-back in Tampa.

Shooting Guard

Tyler Herro ($7,300) -- Miami is super shorthanded due to both COVID-related protocols and injuries. Among those out of the lineup are Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo, which makes Herro Miami's go-to playmaker and point guard. The downside is that he faces a rebounding 76ers team, but over the last two games -- including Tuesday's against Philly -- Herro has averaged 32.5 real-world points and 46.8 DK points in 38 minutes a game. Another big night could be on the horizon.

Ben McLemore ($3,400) -- The Rockets are not what they were just over 24 hours ago. Not only is Harden gone, but they are dealing with a number of absences from injuries. Danuel House Jr. and John Wall are out, while Eric Gordon is questionable. Whether or not Gordon plays, someone's going to soak up all the usage left behind from Wall and Harden. McLemore's 21.6% usage rate is fifth among Houston's rotation players, and he's surprised with 1.1 DK points per minute. Likely to see close to 30 minutes, McLemore needs just 17 points to return the five-times value we are usually after.

Small Forward

David Nwaba ($3,200) -- The same things that work in McLemore's favor also go for Nwaba, another hybrid wing who is likely to see increased minutes in the wake of Wednesday's trade. But unlike his teammate, Nwaba has been healthy all year, and as a result, he's logged 23.1 minutes per game with four games over 27. According to data from NBA Wowy, Nwaba's usage rate climbs 6.5 percentage points without Harden and Gordon on the floor. If Nwaba is going to pick up some of the offensive burden, it won't be hard for him to have a relevant fantasy night against the Spurs.

Edmond Sumner ($3,200) -- Paying down on the wings, especially at small forward, seems like the play tonight. Without Oladipo, the Pacers will need someone to man the two or three spot -- opposite Justin Holiday -- with T.J. Warren already down. Sumner was that guy on Tuesday, when he drew the start and played 30 valuable minutes. He knocked down six shots on his way to 12 points and 17.5 DK points. That doesn't sound like a lot, but he doesn't need a lot to justify a spot in your lineup.

Power Forward

Domantas Sabonis ($9,500) -- As with Brogdon, Sabonis is going to soak up a lot of the Oladipo usage, as well. In fact, without Oladipo and the injured Warren, Sabonis has managed a team-high 30.5% usage rate in 118 minutes. It's a meaningful sample that's likely to play out with the passing skills of the versatile big man. Sabonis already assists on 23.4% of his team's field goals as it is. Throw in his averages of 21.8 points and 12.5 boards, and you have a sky-high floor with a ceiling worth targeting against a defensively weak Portland team.

Pascal Siakam ($8,500) -- If you're not fitting Sabonis into your lineups, the only good reason is because you are playing Siakam. You could play both, but prioritizing Siakam is a must. Since going through a rough stretch that included being benched, the 26-year-old has turned things around in a rather surprising way, as he's taken on a much larger role as an assist man. Not only is he scoring 24 a night over his last four, he's also tallying 7.0 assists on a 28.3% assist rate and 25.9% usage rate. He's a guy who should carry a salary in the low $9,000s at this point. He's not a bad play alongside Chris Boucher.


Nikola Jokic ($11,000) -- Out of the gates, Jokic is one of the leading candidates for MVP this season. He's fifth in odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, and for good reason. He has somehow improved on last year's ridiculous numbers -- averaging a triple double with 24.3 points and a grand total of 59.5 DK points per game. And he's even better in Denver, where he's averaging a monster 63.8 DK points per night. His Denver Nuggets get a boost from a matchup with the Golden State Warriors, who come into the game ranked 3rd in pace and 20th in defensive rating through 11 games.

Precious Achiuwa ($4,400) -- If you thought Siakam was a lock, that makes Achiuwa a stone-cold lock at his salary level. In the absence of Adebayo the other night, the rookie showed out with 17 points, 13 boards and 39.75 DK points in 36 minutes. He's facing a stiffer defense led by Joel Embiid and a returning Ben Simmons, but that should mean the same level of minutes for Achiuwa, even before considering Meyers Leonard's doubtful status. A mere 10 points and 10 boards will get you the points you need in cash, though you should expect much more from the Miami center.

Brett Oswalt i
s not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Brett Oswalt also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username BRO14THEKID. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.