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Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for January 1

Garion Thorne breaks down his top DraftKings value plays for Monday’s NBA slate.

Charlotte Hornets v Indiana Pacers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Happy New Year! I hope everyone reading this article had a wonderful evening and here’s to an even better 2024! I also hope everyone reading this article didn’t have to wake up early on New Year’s Day to write an article. Because that would suck. ...In theory, of course.

Let’s break down some values options for tonight’s six-game NBA slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

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PG/SG Immanuel Quickley, Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, $5,000

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? How about some new acquaintances? Quickley and RJ Barrett ($5,900) are not listed on the Raptors’ injury report for Monday night, which means the pair should make their debut in Toronto. The big question here is what exactly Quickley’s role will be. Despite career-best shooting rates across the board, Quickley was seeing fewer minutes for the Knicks this season than last. I have my doubts that that will be the case with the Raptors. Will he start right away? Unclear. However, Toronto recently attempted to switch up its lineup by bringing Dennis Schroder ($6,200) off the bench. The writing is on the wall that Toronto wants a new point guard, or at least a combo guard that can play next to Scottie Barnes ($9,000). Quickley averaged 22.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists in his 21 starts in 2022-23. His ceiling is massive and I think it’s worth taking a shot on that upside.

SF/PF Aaron Nesmith, Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks, $5,100

Here are the only two things that you really need to know about this game tonight: It has an implied total of over 260 points and Bruce Brown ($5,800; knee) is doubtful to play. That likely makes this the fifth consecutive contest that Brown will miss, which also means that Nesmith will start for the fifth time in 2023-24. In those prior four opportunities with the starting five, Nesmith has averaged 16.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 29.9 minutes of action. The former lottery pick has registered an eye-popping .781 true shooting percentage, as well. Obviously, Nesmith lacks the overall upside of Tyrese Haliburton ($10,300) or Myles Turner ($6,900), yet the wing did score 25 points and collect 33.75 DKFP in the Pacers’ victory over the Knicks on Saturday. Nesmith has the ability to go off.

PF Jabari Walker, Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns, $5,000

To be blunt, the Blazers are simply running out of big men. Deandre Ayton (knee) has already been ruled out, while Duop Reath ($4,700; back) is listed as doubtful for Monday. Then there’s Moses Brown ($4,200), who has technically started three straight games, but had barely played at all. To wit, Brown logged a paltry 3.4 minutes in Portland’s victory over the Spurs last Friday, with Walker even starting the second-half of that contest. He’d eventually finish with 25 points, nine rebounds and 41.75 DKFP. For the season as a whole, Walker is posting a respectable 0.96 DKFP per minute. With the Blazers’ lack of frontcourt depth, I’d expect him to flirt with 6x or 7x value once again.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.