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NBA DFS Picks: Top fantasy basketball value plays on DraftKings for Jan. 3 [UPDATE]

We go over some top bargain options under $5K for Friday night’s main six-game slate on DraftKings.

Boston Celtics guard Brad Wanamaker in action during the game between the Mavericks and the Celtics at the American Airlines Center.  Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Bradley Beal has been ruled out for Friday’s game vs. the Blazers.

There are six games on the main slate for Friday night in the NBA. On DraftKings, targeting value that opens up is crucial. Whether it’s through injuries or potential garbage time, hitting on cheap players is key to cashing in tournaments. There are a few notable injuries we’re tracking heading into tonight, including Kemba Walker (illness), who has been ruled out vs. the Atlanta Hawks.

We’re also tracking the status of Magic F Aaron Gordon (Achilles), Wizards SG Bradley Beal (leg) and Sixers C Joel Embiid (knee) heading into tonight. Here are some top value options on DraftKings to help you save salary in lineup construction:

Brad Wanamaker, PG/SG, BOS vs. ATL ($3,900)

With Kemba Walker ruled out, chances are Marcus Smart will start in his place. Jaylen Brown (illness) is expected to return to the lineup, so the Boston Celtics should be close to 100% despite missing Walker. Even without Kemba Time, I think the Celtics take care of the Hawks pretty easily at home. If that’s the case, Wanamaker should get plenty of run in garbage time. At sub-$4K pricing, Wanamaker has good upside and wouldn’t need much to return value if he’s given around 25 minutes.

Ish Smith, PG, WAS vs. POR ($4,200)

The Wizards are dealing with a ton of injuries and Beal’s status will be the main focus here. If Beal is ruled out, Washington should run a backcourt featuring Isaiah Thomas and Ish Smith often. Even if Beal is healthy, the Wizards generally don’t play in close games and they have a potent offense. Smith should see in between 20-30 minutes regardless of tonight’s outcome. He’s scored at least 23.25 DKFP in four of five games, including two games over 30 fantasy points.

Mohamed Bamba, C, ORL vs. MIA ($3,500)

We already know Jonathan Isaac (knee) isn’t playing for the next 8-10 weeks. We’re also not sure if Gordon will return to the lineup for the Magic tonight. If both players remain out, Orlando will need size and Bamba offers that. We could see him line up at PF next to Nikola Vucevic in order to deal with the Heat’s bigs like Bam Adebayo and Meyers Leonard. The flip side of this is since the Magic are shorthanded, this game could be a blowout. If that’s the case, garbage time for Bamba would make it easy to return value. Bamba is averaging 13.5 points and 11.9 rebounds per 36 minutes this season.

Kendrick Nunn, SG/SF, MIA at ORL ($4,400)

Nunn is stupid cheap tonight. Like insanely stupid cheap. I realize he hasn’t been doing much in terms of fantasy production, but last game he played 38 minutes. That amount of playing time alone should make it a cakewalk to return value at this price. Rarely do we see a price discrepancy like this; Nunn was $6,700 about three weeks ago, so that gives us a sense of the type of ceiling he has. The Magic will also be a lot easier to deal with in the paint since Isaac is out.