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Fantasy Basketball Picks Today: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 5

Stan Son gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Friday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

Orlando Magic v Sacramento Kings Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After last night’s paltry two-game slate, we have a meaty 11-gamer tonight. That means many paths to victory and a robust injury report, so value could be popping up like those blades of grass that reach for the sky after a rainy day. I am not going to list all the players, so keep track of all the pertinent updates at DK Live.

As for back-to-backs, DEN and GSW played last night. BOS, HOU, IND, PHI, UTA and WAS play on Saturday.

DraftKings Sportsbook has one game with a total above 245 - ATL/IND (262). There is one game with a total below 220 - MIN/HOU (218.5). There are four double-digit favorites - GSW -10 over DET, DAL -10.5 over POR, CLE -10 over WAS and BOS -14 over UTA. There is one game with a spread below 2 - LAC -1 over NOP. There are three home dogs - BKN, NOP and HOU.

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


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Guard

Stud

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks ($10,200) – This game has a whopping total of 262. These teams are first and third in pace while being 26th and 28th in defensive efficiency. In the last meeting, the final was 157-152 with Haliburton putting up 78.25 DKFP. He is the driver of this pristinely tuned Pacers offense, setting up teammates, scoring points and.... basically doing it all. Over the last six games, he’s gone over 60 DKFP in all but one with a high of 70.25. The one “failure” was 58.75 DKFP. He has two 20-point/20-assist games during that span and has been contributing the defensive stats as well. There should be plenty of fantasy goodies in this one, with Haliburton leading the line at the buffet.

Other Options - Luka Doncic ($11,600), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,400), Trae Young ($10,100), James Harden (48,500), Kyrie Irving ($8,400), Tyler Herro ($8,100), Dejounte Murray ($7,700), Derrick White ($7,600), Scoot Henderson ($6,100), Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,100)

Value

Sam Merrill, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards ($3,900) – Merrill played sparingly for much of the season, but due to injuries and his ability to shoot the ball from downtown, he has carved out a role for himself for now. Eight games ago, he played 24 minutes and drilled five treys, finishing with 35 DKFP. Two days later, he played 30 minutes and made eight treys, producing 38.75 DKFP. Unfortunately, he suffered a wrist injury and was ineffective the next two games he played. Over the last two contests, though, it looks like he’s healthy, as he’s played 17 and 29 minutes, going 6-of-11 and 4-of-11 from downtown for 22.75 and 27.75 DKFP. Washington is dead-last in defensive efficiency and 21st in opponent three-point percentage.

Other Options - Bennedict Mathurin ($5,700), Mike Conley ($5,600), Grayson Allen ($5,600), Buddy Hield ($5,400), Cody Martin ($4,800), Cason Wallace ($3,700), Delon Wright ($3,600), Jordan McLaughlin ($3,200)


Forward

Stud

Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic at Denver Nuggets ($8,700) – Banchero has flashed brilliance during his young NBA career but, over the last 10 games, he’s consistently put it together. While the shooting efficiency isn’t at an elite level, he’s been draining 37% of his shots from downtown and averaged 27.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.1 treys. That’s translated to at least 40 DKFP in nine of the 10 games with five over 50, four of those coming in the most recent games. Now that Franz Wagner is out due to an ankle injury, more of the offensive load will be on his shoulders. With Wagner off the court this season, Banchero has seen a 5.84% usage rate increase. The Nuggets are also playing the second leg of a back-to-back.

Other Options - Kristaps Porzingis ($8,100), Kawhi Leonard ($8,000), Tobias Harris ($7,000), Jalen Johnson ($6,900), Max Strus ($6,600), Caris LeVert ($6,400)

Value

Simone Fontecchio, Utah Jazz at Boston Celtics ($5,300) – The matchup is terrible, as Boston is fifth in defensive efficiency and has neutered the FPPM to small forwards by a league-best 16.29%. I just cannot deny the price for expected playing time and volume. Over the last three games, Fontecchio has started and played 32, 29 and 35 minutes. He has averaged 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, two steals, 0.7 blocks and 2.3 treys. That translated to 30.25, 41.5 and 36.25 DKFP. If Fontecchio doesn’t start, then abort mission!

Other Options - Saddiq Bey ($5,900), Aaron Nesmith ($5,500), Jalen Smith ($5,200), Duncan Robinson ($5,100), Onyeka Okongwu ($5,100), Lugentz Dort ($5,000), Isaac Okoro ($4,900), Obi Toppin ($4,600), Corey Kispert ($4,200), Bol Bol ($3,800) if Durant is out


Center

Studs

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Washington Wizards ($8,300) – This was a tough writeup because Joel Embiid ($11,500) is probably the best play at the position and has the highest floor/ceiling combo. I will have some Embiid and we already know how awesome he is. I guess I just wanted to give some love to what Allen has been doing lately. When Evan Mobley went down with injury, there was a transition period and Allen’s production was all over the map. Over the last five games, though, something has clicked and he’s been balling the f out, putting up at least 50 DKFP in four with a high of 65.25. He has double-doubled in all of those contests with a high of 30 points and 23 rebounds. There’s a 20/20 game in there but what has really stood out is the playmaking. Allen has dished out seven, four, six, six and seven dimes. He’s always going to provide defensive stats so the floor is relatively high. Can he access a ceiling in the realm of Embiid? Niet, but for the price, a 50 or 60 burger would be sumptuous.

Other Options - Joel Embiid ($11,500), Nikola Jokic ($11,400), Alperen Sengun ($8,600), Kristaps Porzingis ($8,100), Chet Holmgren ($7,600), Myles Turner ($6,800), Clint Capela ($6,700)

Values

Nikola Jovic, Miami Heat at Phoenix Suns ($4,400) – Jimmy Butler is out and Caleb Martin is doubtful. They were both out last game and Jovic made his third start of the season. He went for 30 DKFP in 28 minutes. In his first start of the season, he put up 30.75 DKFP in 21 minutes. Jovic is averaging a healthy 1.16 DKFP per minute, so if he gets run, he should provide fantasy goodies.

Other Options - Nick Richards ($5,700), Goga Bitadze ($5,600) if Wendell Carter Jr. is out, Kevin Love ($5,400), Jalen Smith ($5,200), Onyeka Okongwu ($5,100), Obi Toppin ($4,600), Isaiah Jackson ($4,000), Bol Bol ($3,800) if Durant is out, Tristan Thompson ($3,300)

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 sontzu) 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.