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NBA DFS Picks: Top fantasy basketball value plays on DraftKings on Jan. 8 [UPDATE]

We go over some top bargain options under $5K on DraftKings’ main nine-game slate set for Wednesday.

Chicago Bulls forward Daniel Gafford dunks past Dallas Mavericks guard Delon Wright and forward Maxi Kleber during the fourth quarter at American Airlines Center.  Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got nine games set for Wednesday night in the NBA and on DraftKings we’ve got a similar main slate on tap. There are a lot of injuries, I mean a lot of injures, to take into account tonight, so we’ll try to get you ahead of the curve in terms of value plays. Let’s take a look at some top targets $5K or under on DraftKings.

Daniel Gafford, C, CHI @ NOP ($4,800)

The Chicago Bulls will be without Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) tonight, so I think there will be minutes up for grabs in the frontcourt. The Bulls will likely start Lauri Markkanen and Thaddeus Young, but after that they lack size. Gafford has plenty of that and played 24 minutes on Monday vs. the Dallas Mavericks when WCJ was injured. Gaff is an explosive athlete and the New Orleans Pelicans aren’t an overly tough matchup. Also, Gafford’s per 36 minute stats are pretty solid: 13.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and a whopping 4.0 blocks.

Eric Paschall, SF/PF, GSW vs. MIL ($4,000)

I talked a little bit about Paschall on DraftKings morning show The Sweat, but in terms of the Showdown contest between the Bucks and Warriors. Paschall for whatever reason is the same price on the main slate. He’s coming off 30 minutes last game out and it seems coach Steve Kerr is ready to give him more playing time. If this one is a blowout (13.5-point spread), then Paschall should eat up some minutes in the frontcourt with Marquese Chriss waived.

Josh Hart, SG/SF, NOP vs. CHI ($4,200)

So the Pelicans are another team shorthanded without the services of Jrue Holiday (elbow) tonight. Hart should get another start in place of Holiday and should fare better than last game, when he had a paltry 14.25 fantasy points vs. the Jazz. The Bulls are an easier matchup and Hart should still see around 25 minutes. We should also see Hart’s ownership a bit lower than Monday (22.8%) with fantasy owners scared off by his dud.

P.J. Tucker, SF/PF, HOU @ ATL ($4,000)

Tucker hasn’t scored a point since 2019. That’s only been two games, so relax, but it’s still somewhat significant. I think Tucker will have an easy time getting his first bucket of 2020 tonight vs. the Hawks. The Rockets are well-rested after getting most of the weekend off and are still running one of the shortest benches in the NBA. So Tucker is almost locked into 30-36 minutes against Atlanta, which should make it easy to return value on a salary so low.

Other injuries to attack

Toronto Raptors: Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell OUT
Players to target: Patrick McCaw ($3,900), Matt Thomas ($3,000)

Boston Celtics: Kemba Walker, Daniel Theis QUESTIONABLE
Players to target: Brad Wanamaker ($3,500), Grant Williams ($3,500)

UPDATE: Walker and Theis are both available to play.

UPDATE: Walker will play vs. the Spurs but is on a minutes restriction.