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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 22

Pearce Dietrich gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Sunday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you’re chasing or just not a football fan, there is always a Sunday NBA DFS slate waiting for you. These slates are not very big, so the research process can be light. While everyone else dedicates their day to the NFL, we can get ahead by digging into the four-game evening slate that starts at 8 p.m. ET.

Delay the work week a few more hours. Get in on some NBA DFS action, and start by enjoying another colorful weekend edition of the NBA Targets.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.



Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets, $7,900 — He was one of the best of the 2021-22 rookie class. In his sophomore season, he’s taken another step forward. Giddey flirts with a triple-double each night and has regularly produced 40 to 50 DKFP per game over the last month. The Thunder are not just competitive, they’re winning games. Giddey is a large part of that. His ability to contribute in multiple statistical categories not only helps his team but it boosts his fantasy value. The Nuggets present an advantageous matchup with a 111.9 Defensive Efficiency Rating (21st). His teammate in the back court, SG Isaiah Joe ($4,300), is worth a value consideration on Sunday night, having scored 39 and 32 DKFP in back-to-back games.

Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns, $9,600 — The Suns are reeling. They’re battling injuries. This is the second night of a back-to-back and their third game in four days. Sunday is also a part of a brutal stretch where the Suns have played five games in eight days. Sunday is not Suns day. The only thing holding Ja Morant back is that his team is too good. The Grizzlies do not need him to play 30 minutes each night. They don’t need him to carry a usage rate in the mid 30s. On the nights he gets to work, he works. On Friday he got the work in a close loss at Los Angeles. He played 33 minutes and had a 39.4% usage rate. Unfortunately, it was a terrible shooting night. It happens.

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers, $10,100 — The Blazers don’t have much, but they’re not totally out of it. The little bit of life that they have is owed to Lillard. He can carry this team to wins and close losses. In both cases, Lillard scores. He has recorded 55 DKFP or more in six of the last seven games. The Lakers present a golden matchup with a 112 Defensive Efficiency Rating (22nd) and an up-tempo 103 in Pace (9th).


Saben Lee, Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $3,800 — Keep your eye on the injury report on Sunday. The Suns have been thin in the back court all week, and their schedule has been unforgiving. As their schedule grinds down and winds down, the subs get more run. Saben Lee may not be good and the matchup is terrible, but time on the court means a lot for cheap options. Also, this is a paced-up spot for the Suns.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,400 — It’s a weekend tradition. KCP at home is always a play to consider at altitude. Out-of-town teams struggle in Denver. It’s not the greatest disadvantage, but it’s just enough to make a marginal player, like KCP, above average. Check his splits. He turns it on at home.



LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trail Blazers, $11,400 — Will the King play? He carries a questionable tag every night until an hour before game time. He’s been suiting up a lot lately because the Lakers need him. He looks great and he is single-handedly keeping the Lakers’ playoff hopes alive while Anthony Davis remains out. James has scored over 58 DKFP in seven of the last nine games (over 48 DKFP in all nine).

Aaron Gordon, Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $6,400 — He’s an All-Star. Period. The Nuggets have the best frontcourt in the NBA. Period. There will be no debate. The Thunder are better this season, but much of their success is owed to their backcourt. The Thunder start a different mixture of power forwards and centers each night because they’re each equally bad. Gordon does not crush the scoreboard, but he’s consistent and affordable. And now for the obligatory Nuggets SG Christian Braun ($3,000) mention. The 2022 first-round pick looks great when he plays, but he never gets to play. In a possible blowout win at home vs. the Thunder, Braun could get an extended look.


Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets at Golden State Warriors, $3,900 — This article cannot list everyone, but PG Kyrie Irving ($10,000) is intriguing. He scored 89 DKFP on Friday in another game without Kevin Durant. Now, the Nets draw a paced-up matchup with the Warriors. If Irving doesn’t do it all again, then those points must come from somewhere. The Warriors upset the Cavs on Friday without Steph Curry. How did they do it? They made 23 3-pointers — without Curry! The threes will rain on Sunday. If the Nets are going to keep pace, then they will have to chuck. That’s Joe Harris’ job. He played 32 minutes on Jan. 19, and went 4-for-4 from downtown. He was 3-for-6 on 3PA in 21 minutes on Friday.



Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $11,600 — Denver always plays on Sundays. Jokic was a late scratch on Friday night, so he should have very fresh legs on Sunday. The Joker has exceeded 59 DKFP in eight of his last 10 games. The exceptions were a blowout 31-point win and a 13-point loss where Jokic was in foul trouble. Before this latest run, he closed December with four games north of 80 DKFP, including 95.75 on a Sunday night on Dec. 18.


Drew Eubanks, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers, $3,400 — Trail Blazers C Jusuf Nurkic ($7,000) is not playing well. Even when he is having a good game, Nurkic is constantly in foul trouble. He’s earned five fouls in four of the last six games. His 3.75 fouls per game are the second most in the NBA. This opens the door for Eubanks. In each of the last three games, Eubanks has eclipsed 5x. In Portland’s last game, Eubanks scored 20.5 DKFP in 24 minutes. The Lakers have allowed the sixth-most points in the paint and rebounds this season.

Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors vs. Brooklyn Nets, $4,900 — Revenge is a dish best served cold. On Dec. 21, the Warriors lost by 30 at Brooklyn. Now, the Nets have been invited to Oakland for a Red Wedding. Looney scored 39.25 DKFP against a slow, half-court oriented Cavaliers offense on Friday. That offense revolves around a strong frontcourt, but they couldn’t stymie Looney. Brooklyn plays a similar game but with a less impressive frontcourt.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $150K Fadeaway [$50K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.