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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for January 12

Julian Edlow gives his top lineup advice at each position for Tuesday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Tuesday’s six-game NBA slate, along with some strategy unique to this slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs ($8,000)

SGA has been terrific for the Thunder, who suddenly find themselves winners of four of their last five. San Antonio has allowed the third-most DKFP to PG this season, and SGA enters Tuesday having gone for at least 50 DKFP in three straight games.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat ($5,500)

The Sixers and Heat are playing this game down to the last pieces of their rosters, so we’ll touch on both sides plenty. Long story short, the entire slate hinges on this game. I don’t think Maxey has another 60-DKFP game in him, but there was nothing wrong with the 31.5 DKFP he scored on Monday’s slate. As long as Philly is without four major contributors on the wing, Maxey is an easy free square, even at this price. This time around he’ll be facing the Miami bench.

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Tyler Herro, Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers ($6,700)

Speaking of that Miami bench, the Heat are without their two best players, along with other key contributors. Herro is probably the go-to-guy in this game, and Philly doesn’t have the roster to pull away in this game. Matchups and everything go out the window here. Herro is in line for the type of role Maxey had on Saturday. Welcome to the COVID-19 NBA. SG is a thin position, and Herro should give you superstar upside at a middling price.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers at Golden State Warriors ($3,300)

The Pacers are a little bit short handed to begin with, but this is really about the potential of Victor Oladipo sitting out back-to-backs. If that winds up the case, Holiday would be in line for the minutes boost. On a slate where everyone is obsessed with playing value in the MIA/PHI matchup, being different will pay off in GPPs.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder ($6,200)

SG and SF have been the positions you either pay down, or find someone that could give you star potential in the mid-priced range. Johnson was awful on Sunday against Minnesota, but played 34 minutes and just shot 1-of-6 from the field. Prior to that, he’d exceeded 30 DKFP in five of seven games, twice topping 42 DKFP. Look for a bounce-back game here, with more offense running through him in DeMar DeRozan’s absence.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Andre Iguodala, Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers ($3,300)

Iggy’s game log is nothing special, but there’s a good chance he’s going to be the fourth-most expensive player on the Heat for this slate. He’s going to have to play minutes, and he’s going to have to play some PG. This is a free square in cash and single entries if you want it. Going to a Pacer or Spur would be the GPP pivot.

Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers at Golden State Warriors ($9,300)

Sabonis is dominating the paint for Indy, coming off his second straight double-double with exactly 28 points — he’s finished every game to start the season with a double-double. The big boost to his fantasy production has been that the Pacers are giving the big guy minutes — 37.5 per game. Against a below average Golden State frontcourt, Sabonis will have another favorable matchup.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Precious Achiuwa, Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers ($3,100)

If you play one cheap punt from this game, it’s probably Achiuwa. He’s averaging just shy of a DKFP per minute in the early going of his rookie season, but he’s playing just 15 minutes a game. He should see 30-plus this time around, leaving pretty easy 10X upside.


Worth Paying Up For: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat ($9,700)

Embiid was looking at a big night on Monday, scoring 18 points in the first quarter of a close one with the Hawks. Then Atlanta predictably pulled away, and Embiid barely had anymore production. He played just 23 minutes though, so he should be ready to go again on Tuesday. This time, he’ll face a team arguably in an even worse COVID-19 situation. Nobody on Miami will be able to defend Embiid.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Trey Lyles, San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder ($3,300)

Lyles is another way to pivot to a non MIA/PHI value. After barely being in the rotation, he got the start for DeRozan on Sunday and played 35 minutes. Lyles was absolutely horrible, but it leaves him cheap with the upside to do a lot more with those minutes this time around. But if you want to go more chalky, Kelly Olynyk ($5,300) and Meyers Leonard ($3,000) should get plenty of run for Miami.

Overall Lineup Strategy

The bubble-less NBA is turning into the wild west ... just like NFL and MLB were. So first and foremost, following the news is always a must in the NBA, but now it’s even more important. Make sure to follow @dklive on Twitter and download the DK Live app to stay up-to-date with all the latest news.

The slate hinges on Miami and Philly, where we have all the value in the world. Those cash plays allow you to pay up for whatever studs you want to roster. In cash, choose wisely, and play it safe with the more heavily owned plays. In GPPs, you’ll want to get exposure to all of these values in different combinations. But again, some sneaky good value on Indy and San Antonio could be a good pivot off the DFS game of the night.

Key Injuries to Monitor

Heat vs. Sixers (COVID-19): Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Goran Dagic, Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, Shake Milton, among others are out. Ben Simmons is expected to return from a knee injury.

Lakers: LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both questionable, but generally have been playing through the Q tag.

Other key names ruled out: DeMar DeRozan

Questionable key names we haven’t mentioned: John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Collin Sexton

Make sure to follow @dklive on Twitter and download the DK Live app to stay up-to-date with all the latest news.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K 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 jedlow) 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 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.

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