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NBA DFS: LeBron James and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Monday, Jan. 13th

Duds and studs. Good and bad plays. We take a look at the upcoming NBA games to let you know who to roster and who to avoid in your daily DraftKings plays.

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Welcome to your daily NBA DFS digest at FakeTeams, gents. Every day I’m here with a handful of pro-tips to roster a winning team just a few hours from now.

You might be new to fantasy hoops, so let me tell you this: the world doesn’t end in LeBron James. Each night gives us a pretty good batch of surprising performances and leaves us in the dust with more than a few upsetting outings by those we played. First world problems, carry on. That’s the beauty of this game. There are so many matches going on every single day and such a big roster available that you can’t fixate yourself in the very same player on and on but instead you need to keep things fluid.

So read on, take note, play cool, and win the day. (Player salaries pulled from DraftKings.)

Love: (PG) Chris Paul, OKC ($6600, at MIN)

CP3 and all of his 34 years of age gave fits to Russ last Thursday and then our beloved Point God had another relatively good performance against the Lake Show on Saturday. The fantasy points aren’t massive, but getting 40 DKFP from Paul on around 32 minutes of playing time at this price is a very palatable dish. Only eight players including Pauly are on a 16-5-6 average line for the season. The points are always there with CP3 and he’s reached/topped that 16-per average in all but one of his last ten games, so they’re on the rise these days. Actually, since the flip of the calendar to 2020 Chris is averaging also 6.2 boards and 6.2 dimes while shooting 48.6% from the field with a higher usage (23%) than the one he logged in the 2019 months (21%).

Love: (SG) Derrick Rose, DET ($6700, vs NO)

Playing off the bench. Riding the pine. No matter what, this Rose is still pretty much alive. DRose is one of the very few bright things around Detroit these days... and I hope it is for not long and he gets moved so I can watch him go through a deep playoff run with a contending team. Rose is back to his old winning ways and in just 25 minutes per game he’s putting up 17.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 5.8 apg, and 1.2 stocks per with mental shooting splits of 49/33/88. Not even those with small samples are getting to that slash line, for real: just three guys (Dragan Bender, Johnathan Botley, Shamorie Ponds) are doing so with seven or fewer games played, and only Devin Booker is at it with a heavy role. This is the Rose I know and I love. Five-game streak scoring 20-plus points with an impossible usage of 37% or more in three of his last four (the other one, 25.5%) which basically comes to mean he’s the hub of the second unit and someone to play in DFS without caring about his bench-role (he’s averaged 30-plus minutes in his last five).

Hate: (SG) Josh Richardson, PHI ($6500, at IND)

If you’ve not paid too much attention to the league or only care about superstar guys you may just know JoJo and BS and not many more guys in Philly’s team. Joshy is one of them, and believe it or not he’s started every single game he’s played for the Sixers this season. This fool is playing 32 minutes per, yet he’s doing so little in that playing time that his DKFP per-minute average on the season is as low as 0.87. That is seriously horrific. Kuzma is at 0.86 in 24 minutes. TJ Warren at 0.85 but playing 32. Sexton is at 0.88 on 31. That’s the level, so just imagine. J-Rich is averaging a 15-3-3-1 line that wouldn’t look bad if he wasn’t starting, or if he was playing half the minutes he’s at right now... He has the eventual explosion here and there and has a 40-plus DKFP ceiling, but he’s only reached that mark three times this season. The usage is as bouncy as it gets, with nightly jumps ranging from 15% to 25% without much explanation behind them. Totally random guy worth avoiding.

Love: (SF) LeBron James, LAL ($9500, vs CLE)

First time I play Bron Bron. Makes sense that he comes cheap today as it’s my birthday and this is a very delicious present (I have a sad life, I know...). Under $10K you don’t even think about it. This King has leveled up when the #washed choirs started to sound to prove more than one and two fools wrong. People never learn. Shaking my head... Quick recap: 37 games played, 35 minutes per, 25-8-11-1 stat line, leads the league in dimes averaging 1.4 more than the second-best passer, averaging 56 DKFP per game on the year, performing as a top-6 player in every game he’s played more than 30 minutes (all but five of them), nine trip-dubs, 14 games stuffing the stat line with at least a token in all cats, three-point scorer (at least one trey) in 32 of his 37 games,... It makes no sense to write those season-reviews when they cover anyone like James. There is no point in doing them. This guy just thrives. He’s “probable” for tonight’s game with an illness but it’s the Cavs... so yeah, you know he will be playing as he’s been resting since last Friday.

Hate: (SF) Tobias Harris, PHI ($6600, at IND)

Bummer to put Tobi here because I love him way more than I hate him, but it’s time. Harris hasn’t topped the 36-DKFP mark since all the way back to Dec. 27, a span covering his last six games. That’s worrying as hell. ToHa was super hot to start December but then cooled off and never regained his mojo in a long run (he had a couple of good games around Xmas Day but that was it). Even playing 32-plus minutes the scoring is ugly at no more than 20 points per (16.5 ppg in his last five) while the boards and dimes are also trending down with averages of 5.8 and 2 in that span, almost one point down each from the season averages at those cats. Other than the rebounds and the couple of threes he’s hitting nightly Tobi isn’t a great play these days. Embiid injury has opened the boards a bit for him but there’s not much more to find in his numbers.

Love: (PF) Brandon Ingram, NO ($8100, at DET)

Ingram did us a favor by having a down night against Boston two days ago. He finished with 30 DKFP after being priced at $8.4K and his value dropped for tonight’s massive get-right game against the shitty Pistons. Expect a booming performance for Tiny Dog. This mad man has played more than 35 minutes per in the last month with great averages of 25.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 4.8 apg. Those (in 15 games) are virtually the same as the ones he’s posted in the other 21 games, which means this BI2.0 is legit and finally a true franchise player... with Zion yet to land in New Orleans. In his last three games—not including the one against Boston—Ingram scored at least 28 points, grabbed 6 or more boards, and finished with 5 or more assists. He logged one dub-dub and fell short of another one by one dime, and he was also short of a trip-dub by a couple of boards against Utah finishing with a 35-8-11 line... and adding 2 blocks to that outcome.

Hate: (PF) Al Horford, PHI ($6800, at IND)

Obviously, Big Al’s production has jumped up a bit since Embiid went down. He’s had 40-DKFP games in his last two with JoJo out, but he’s still not cutting it for me. The improvement was to be expected, but Horford is more of a 20-to-30 fantasy points player than anything else. Those 40s were nice but he saw extended run and his numbers weren’t that popping to begin with. He’s doing a little bit of everything but not a lot of anything, which I’ve always hated if the production doesn’t ultimately go over the board. Consider him a 15-5-5 guy these days with the ample room he’s been given, but don’t trust him as a nightly surefire play and much less against packed-inside bunch like that of the Pacers.

Love: (C) Nikola Vucevic, ORL ($8300, at SAC)

I could go against the grain and pick another player here (I was this close to hand you Hassan, so consider him playable at C tonight too if for some reason you don’t like the Vuc), but Niko is sublime. It’s been now nine games straight in the 40-DKFP club, and 10 of 11 if we go back to Dec. 20 when he reached a massive 57-point tally. The thing with Vuc is that he’s always been in that weird good-not-great spot, but what he’s been doing lately is proving him more right than wrong and raising his profile. NV is turning into a virtual walking dub-dub with five of them in his last six games (missed the other one just by a rebound), and he’s also helping the Magic with some sweet dimes (3.3 since Jan. 1) and great shooting at 42% while hitting two or more triple almost every night (would be on a 10-game streak had he not scored just one against Brooklyn three games ago). Your typical monster big-man on the dub-dub with upside to give you an extra boost thanks to the long-range scoring prowess.

Hate: (C) Myles Turner, IND ($7000, vs PHI)

We’ve reached a point at which people aren’t even mentioning Turner anymore when discussing the Pacers great season. Don’t be fooled by his last game, as it was his best of the season but he was 1) facing Chicago, 2) playing 33-plus minutes, 3) using more than 31% of Indiana’s possessions, 4) getting to 56 DKFP while he hadn’t even reached 45 prior to that... and that happened all the way back on Nov. 16. Turner would need to walk a few Myles to reach that level nightly, and he’s more of a 30-DKFP player on a good night than even a 40-fantasy point performer being generous. Turner is doing nothing but low-score on the 15s and grabbing some rebounds here and there, but that’s all he does. He kind of stretches the floor a bit and gets his trey per game, but not even that saves him. Don’t rule out a trade out of Indy if they find some good return put on the table with Domas thriving as their leading big.

If you have any comment or question about the daily column, tonight’s games, players involved in them, or even season-long fantasy NBA topics, just drop it below or reach out to me on Twitter at @chapulana and I’ll get back to you as soon as I grab a keyboard!