<
>

Fantasy basketball tipoff for Jan. 16

Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored at least 46 DraftKings fantasy points in his last three games. Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Each morning we provide the daily fantasy tipoff, where we examine several key angles to get you ready for this evening’s daily fantasy action. We have eight games on tap Saturday, so let’s tip it off.


1. Greak Freak on fire

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo ($6,800) has been on a tear recently, scoring at least 46 fantasy points in his past three games, including 56.5 Friday night in an overtime win against the Atlanta Hawks. In that same span, Antetokounmpo also has averaged a double-double, and he has grabbed double-digit rebounds in his previous four games.

Tonight the Bucks travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, to face the Hornets, a team that has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to small forwards all season. On top of that, this is the Bucks’ fourth game in five nights, and both teams are in the middle of the pack when it comes to pace this season.

With all this going against Antetokounmpo, on top of the fact that he put up only seven points and five rebounds against this same team back in November, this might be the night to go with a higher-priced forward like Carmelo Anthony ($8,300) or Gordon Hayward ($7,500).

2. Matchup alert: Chris Paul vs. Sacramento Kings

In the past three weeks, the Kings have allowed the third-most fantasy points to point guards, per RotoGrinders. That might have to do with the fact that they are the fastest-paced team in the league and the fourth worst in defensive efficiency (106 points allowed per 100 possessions).

Insert CP3, whose productions has surged since late December, around the time that his All-Star teammate Blake Griffin went down with a quad injury. According to ESPN Fantasy analyst Jim McCormick, Paul averages more points, rebounds, assists and DraftKings points with Griffin out of the lineup since the start of last season. Paul has put up 43-plus fantasy points in eight of his past 10 games, including 52.5 against Miami on Wednesday night.

3. Follow the pace

Pace factor is the number of possessions a team uses per game. As of Saturday, only five teams average 100 or more possessions per game, and the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics are two of those teams. This game has the third-highest expected total tonight (206 points), so expect a high-scoring affair (though their last matchup in November ended up a Boston 111-78 rout. Washington shot 32 percent from the field and committed 22 turnovers that night).

John Wall ($9,100) has averaged more than 44 fantasy points over his past six games, but he scored only 10 points in that November meeting, and the Celtics are one of the best teams in the league against opposing point guards. Bradley Beal ($6,600) put up 22 points and four 3-pointers in his second game back since early December. Otto Porter Jr. is expected to miss his second game in a row, but don’t sell too high on Kelly Oubre Jr. ($3,600), who will be followed by Jae Crowder ($6,400) all night. Crowder is one of the top defenders at the small forward position, trailing only Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James, and has also averaged more than 32 fantasy points in his past six.

Isaiah Thomas ($8,000), outside of a “down” performance Friday night against Phoenix, has averaged more than 40 fantasy points in his past five games. Marcus Smart ($4,200) is fresh off his first triple-double of his career (10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists) vs. the Suns, but don’t expect another 50-plus output from the second-year guard tonight.