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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for January 4

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

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/undefined

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $1M Shootaround Special [$200K to 1st]

Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings ($9,300)

Is it a square move to go to Curry the night after he dropped a career-high 62 on the Blazers? Maybe, and ownership could show that, but Steph still checks in at a reasonable salary in a favorable matchup against the Kings. Curry’s getting up all the shots he could possibly need with Klay Thompson out of the offense, and we somehow get a $100 discount on him compared to Sunday’s slate. If some momentum carries over, we could be looking at another big outing.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors ($3,700)

The Celtics are on the second night of a back-to-back and could be extremely thin in the backcourt. Jeff Teague has already been ruled out after rolling his ankle on Sunday in Detroit and Marcus Smart ($6,600) is considered questionable due to a thumb injury. Teague’s absence alone is enough to justify playing Pritchard, who’s been one of the pleasant surprises of this rookie class. Pritchard already has three games of at least 18.5 DKFP and played a career-high 28 minutes yesterday with Teague departing early. If he shoots the ball better than 2-for-6 this time around, Pritchard should prove valuable. If Smart is ruled out, Pritchard likely goes more than 30 minutes.

Lineup Strategy

This is a deep position with good plays on both sides of the SAC/GSW game and the HOU/DAL game. As per usual, we have plenty of options and can easily ride with three PG plays.

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic ($7,200)

Sexton is having a breakout season for the Cavs, averaging exactly 37.3 DKFP in 37.3 minutes per game. He’s a very safe play considering how high his usage is, and how many minutes he plays. Orlando ranks just 25th defending guards and Darius Garland ($5,900) is also questionable with a shoulder injury, which could leave even more opportunities.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Delon Wright, Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks ($4,000)

The Pistons are missing a lot of bodies, as you’ll see in the injury report. That leaves some open minutes, and as massive underdogs, it also means bench players like Wright could see some extra run. Milwaukee isn’t the best matchup, but this is a play based on projected minutes. We’ve already seen Wright put up a pair of 30-DKFP games.

Lineup Strategy

SG isn’t as deep of a position, but at least we have some cheap plays near the top of the board. I’d either play Sexton here or just pay down. James Harden ($11,1000) seems overpriced given his production with the lineup at full strength and his return from injury.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors ($8,600)

If Smart is out, Tatum could be looking at 40 minutes in this game, but regardless, everyone will have to pick up the slack with the top bench scorer in Teague already ruled out. Tatum scored 59.5 DKFP on a near triple-double on Sunday, and Toronto ranks an awful 29th in DKFP allowed to SF. Smart getting ruled out would only lead to more usage.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks ($3,900)

Bey played very well in the two games against Boston over the weekend, but the first game where he earned the start really stands out. Blake Griffin will rest again on the second night of a back-to-back, leaving Bey in a similar spot. The Villanova product played 30 minutes and scored 32.75 DKFP when starting in place of Griffin on New Year’s Day.

Lineup Strategy

The situations with the Celtics and Pistons injury reports the day after playing each other gives us plenty of value at forward. Jerami Grant ($6,900) and Jaylen Brown ($8,300) are other considerations.

Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons ($10,800)

Giannis is clearly one of the strongest plays on the slate, with his only real risk being the blowout factor. Even so, Giannis is coming off his two strongest games of the season, one of which was a 65-DKFP game in just 28 minutes, with the Bucks throttling the Bulls. Look for Antetokounmpo to get whatever he wants in this matchup, especially with Griffin out.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Kelly Oubre, Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings ($5,500)

The jokes about Oubre’s awful shooting start to his Warriors career continue, but at some point, we expect some regression. He’s still contributing in other areas and scored at least 27.75 DKFP in three of his past four games. He shot 7-of-13 for 17 points on Sunday against Portland, which was encouraging. If he can just maintain that, Oubre’s salary is down $1,600 since Christmas. He’s now a bargain.

Lineup Strategy

Giannis is one of my favorite plays on the slate and is in a position to dominate, even if it’s for just 25-30 minutes. But for paying down, we do have some good buy-low spots in the nightcap, on both GSW and SAC sides of the game.


Worth Paying Up For: Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks ($6,100)

Spend up at center if you please, but I think we can get a stud in Capela still priced much cheaper than we’re used to. After missing the start of the season, Capela returned on a minutes restriction, playing just 20 minutes in each of his first two contests. Since then, Capela is averaging 41 DKFP in 31 minutes per game. We’re getting an extreme discount here, especially against a Knicks defense that ranks 26th in DKFP allowed to the position.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Richaun Holmes, Sacramento Kings at Golden State Warriors ($5,600)

Holmes has been having a very strong start to the season with the Kings. After averaging 24 minutes in his first three games, Holmes has played nearly 34 minutes per game in his past three, averaging 36.9 DKFP in those contests. Going up against a Golden State frontcourt with a lot of holes, Holmes brings a high ceiling if we still see him playing the same amount of minutes.

Lineup Strategy

Center is pretty loaded, and unfortunately, most of the plays are only eligible at one position. Mason Plumlee ($5,800) and Tristan Thompson ($4,400) both jump out as strong plays. I’d roster more than two if I could.

Injury Report


Blake Griffin (rest)
Josh Jackson (ankle)
Tyrese Haliburton (wrist)
Pat Connaughton (groin)


Marcus Smart (thumb)
Darius Garland (shoulder)
Alec Burks (ankle)
Evan Fournier (back)
Kevin Huerter (ankle)
Isaac Okoro (foot)
Avery Bradley (protocol)




Luka Doncic (quad)
Kevin Knox (hand/knee)

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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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