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Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Bargain Plays for January 5

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

Orlando Magic v Washington Wizards Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

As has become the norm, Friday’s featured DraftKings slate is just 11 games, with the three contests starting past 10:00 p.m. ET getting the axe. Here’s to some good ol’ fashioned East coast bias. You love to see it! ...it being me in bed by midnight watching reels on Instagram.

Let’s dive into the action on the hardcourt.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $333K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


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C Duop Reath, Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks, $4,000

We’re hopping back on the Duop Reath bandwagon. While things went about as poorly as possible in the big man’s return to action on Wednesday — Reath managed four fouls and an ejection in just 6.0 minutes of work — let us not forget the last time we saw the rookie play a full game. On December 26, in 32.1 minutes against the Kings, Reath set new career-highs in both points (25) and DKFP (41.25). If you’re looking for upside, you clearly don’t have to go back too far. Reath is averaging 1.06 DKFP per minute logged for the season as a whole. He’s more than capable of producing when given the opportunity, which should be Friday considering the state of the Blazers’ frontcourt. Deandre Ayton (knee) and Moses Brown (wrist) remain out, while Jabari Walker ($5,300; knee) is now doubtful to suit up. On top of all that, Reath’s $700 cheaper than he was 48 hours ago. Sign me up.


SF Caleb Houstan, Orlando Magic at Denver Nuggets, $4,800

If you want to get a quick sense of just how beat up the Magic currently are, look no further than the plight of Trevelin Queen, a man who doesn’t even have a price on DraftKings. The usual G League standout had played a total of 75 seconds for Orlando coming into Wednesday night’s double-overtime loss to Sacramento. That night? He logged 38.1 minutes. A total which trailed only the likes of Paolo Banchero ($8,700) and Jalen Suggs ($6,800). Insane. Queen’s services probably won’t be as necessary with Cole Anthony ($6,500; quad) set to return in Denver, yet that’s only the tip of the injury iceberg. The Magic will be without Franz Wagner (ankle), Markelle Fultz (knee), Gary Harris (calf), Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) and Joe Ingles (ankle). Long story short, Houstan is going to play. A lot. The former second-round pick set a season-high in points (15) and DKFP (28.5) versus the Kings. He also started the second-half in place of the unavailable Wagner.


SG Sam Merrill, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards, $3,900

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, wouldn’t that suggest that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results is incredibly sane? Think about it. Anyway, two days ago, while writing up Isaac Okoro ($4,900) in this same matchup, I ended the blurb with this: “The Wizards are arguably the best matchup in DFS basketball. So much so, I’d even take a look at Sam Merrill if you’re really needing to save.” The idea was simple. Merrill was cheap, he can knock down a three and, most importantly, the Cavaliers might be up by so much that he plays the entire fourth quarter. Well, that’s exactly what happened. Merrill hit three treys, dished out six assists and finished with 27.75 DKFP in a 39-point victory. He’s a little more expensive on Friday, but my thinking hasn’t really changed. Let’s do it again.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $333K 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.