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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 8

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and values at each position for Friday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

After a small five-game slate on Thursday, the NBA is back in full swing on Friday night. We’ve got a 10-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET, so let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st]

Point Guard


Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns @ Detroit Pistons ($7,100) – Paul isn’t the highest-priced player at the position on Friday, but he might be the best pure value. He hasn’t gotten off to the best start this season – he’s shooting just 40.7% from the field and 33.3% from 3-point range – but he’s still averaged 1.10 DKFP per minute.

He’s in an elite spot tonight vs. the Pistons. They’ve struggled mightily on the defensive end of the court this season, ranking just 27th in defensive efficiency.

Other Options – Stephen Curry ($10,000), Jrue Holiday ($6,600)


De’Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets ($3,400) – The Grizzlies are desperate for offense right now, and Melton is a guy who should help them in that department. He’s still playing limited minutes following an absence due to COVID-19 protocols, but his playing time is trending in the right direction. He played 21.2 minutes Thursday vs. the Cavaliers after playing just 15.8 minutes in his first game this season. Melton doesn’t need a ton of playing time to return value given his average of 0.87 DKFP per minute this season, but it’s possible he takes another step forward in that area tonight.

Other Options – Cole Anthony ($5,000), Austin Rivers ($4,300)

Shooting Guard


Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz @ Milwaukee Bucks ($7,600) – The Jazz have not played well to start the season. Their 4-4 record isn’t a disaster, but they rank just 18th in Net Rating. They were ninth in Net Rating last season, so that represents a big decrease in production.

Luckily, they do have some room for improvement. Mitchell in particular is shooting just 37.9% from the field and 32.4% from 3-point range, both of which are well below his marks from last season. He seems like a prime positive regression candidate moving forward.

He’s an interesting buy-low target Friday vs. the Bucks. Milwaukee is an excellent defensive team, but they also play at one of the fastest paces in the league. That actually makes them an above-average opponent from a DFS perspective.

Other Options – James Harden ($11,000), Paul George ($9,100)


Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets @ Memphis Grizzlies ($5,500) – The Nets are extremely shorthanded at the moment. Not only is Spencer Dinwiddie possibly out for the season, but Kevin Durant is out due to health and safety protocols and Kyrie Irving is away from the team for personal reasons. That opens up a ton of opportunities for the rest of the roster.

Harris figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He posted a season-high 46.0 DKFP last night vs. the 76ers, and he’s averaged 0.96 DKFP per minute with Dinwiddie, Durant, and Irving off the court this season.

Other Options – George Hill ($4,800), David Nwaba ($3,700)

Small Forward


Caris LeVert, Brooklyn Nets @ Memphis Grizzlies ($7,400) – The Nets discussed bringing in a third superstar to play alongside Durant and Irving this season, but it’s possible that they had a third superstar all along. That’s how good LeVert has played to start the year.

He’s one of the easiest plays on Friday’s slate given the current state of the Nets’ roster. He finished with 50.75 DKFP last night vs. an excellent 76ers defense despite the fact that he shot just 9-25 from the field. He’s also seen a team-high usage bump of +7.7 percentage points with Dinwiddie, Durant, and Irving off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.45 DKFP per minute. He basically has the upside of a $10K+ player, but you can get him for less than $7,500. Don’t overthink this one.

Other Options – Kawhi Leonard ($9,300), Brandon Ingram ($8,500)


Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Brooklyn Nets @ Memphis Grizzlies ($3,900) – The Nets are the clear top team to target on Friday, so don’t be afraid to double or even triple dip on them. TLC is someone who figures to play around 24-26 minutes on tonight’s slate, and he’s averaged 0.87 DKFP per minute with Dinwiddie, Durant, and Irving off the court this season. That makes him too cheap at his current price tag.

Other Options – Taurean Prince ($3,700), Garrett Temple ($3,700)

Power Forward


Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards ($9,200) – The Celtics are in arguably the top spot of the day. They’re taking on the Wizards, who rank second in pace and 28th in defensive efficiency to start the year. That is a juicy combination from a fantasy perspective, and the Celtics’ implied team total of 120.5 is the top mark on the slate.

The Celtics are also going to be a bit shorthanded. Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams, and Grant Williams are all going to have to quarantine for at least the next seven days, which leaves them without a ton of available options in their frontcourt.

Jayson Tatum could be asked to play big minutes in their stead. He’s been fantastic this season, averaging 46.4 DKFP over 34.6 minutes per game, so he has massive upside if he sees a few additional minutes in a juicy matchup.

Other Options – Julius Randle ($9,800), Zion Williamson ($7,900)


Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics ($4,900) – Bertans was on a minutes limit to start the season, but it appears as though that has changed. He’s logged at least 30.7 minutes in each of his past two games, including a season-high 33 minutes in his last game. Bertans is capable of racking up fantasy points in bunches thanks to his ability to shoot the 3-ball, so he’s underpriced if he’s going to continue to see that much playing time.

Other Options – Kelly Oubre ($5,400), Jeff Green ($3,800)



Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets @ Memphis Grizzlies ($6,800) – Allen has moved into the starting lineup for the Nets recently and the results have been fantastic. He’s finished with at least 37.75 DKFP in each of his past three games, which is not surprising given his average of 1.26 DKFP per minute this season.

Other Options – Nikola Vucevic ($9,000), Jonas Valanciunas ($7,200)


Daniel Theis, Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards ($4,300) – Theis is a solid producer on a per-minute basis, and he’s going to have the chance to play more minutes with the rest of Boston’s center options sidelined. The Wizards are also a dream matchup for centers, and they’ve allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position this season.

Other Options – Mitchell Robinson ($5,700), Brook Lopez ($4,600)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st]

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