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Top NBA DFS core plays at each position on DraftKings on Jan. 17

We go over some building blocks for your DFS lineup for Friday’s main seven-game slate on DraftKings.

We close out the work week with seven games in the NBA on the main slate on DraftKings. Among the top storylines heading into tonight is the first game for the Timberwolves without Jeff Teague, who was dealt to the Hawks on Thursday. The T-Wolves won’t have Allen Crabbe for his debut tonight, plus Karl-Anthony Towns’ status remains in question; he’s missed nearly a month of action.

We also need to mention the potential return of Kristaps Porzingis for the Mavericks. The big man has been out the past nine games due to a knee injury. He’ll likely be more of a game-time decision, so stick with DraftKings Nation for the latest updates on Porzingis. As always, if you have any other questions about the slate, hit me up on Twitter @BenZweimanDKN.

Point Guard

Malcolm Brogdon, IND vs. MIN, $7,000 — Like John Wick, Brogdon’s thinking he’s back from injury finally. He had been dealing with strep throat and a bad back, but has posted back-to-back 21-point outings, including 21-6-6 for 37 fantasy points against the T-Wolves on Wednesday. He’s played over 30 minutes in both contests after missing five games, so it appears Brogdon won’t be held back. His price is still pretty low, though I imagine his ownership will be pretty high again; it was 36.9% on Wednesday.

Other Options: Damian Lillard, POR @ DAL, $8,500; Ja Morant, MEM vs. CLE, $8,000

Shooting Guard

Jimmy Butler, MIA @ OKC, $7,800 — The mid-range is shaping up to be the way to go on tonight’s slate. Butler’s price is down to a low point after being as high as $8,600 in certain matchups. Justise Winslow has already been ruled out tonight and Tyler Herro is dealing with a knee injury. The Heat bench is shortened and the Thunder should make this game competitive. I think as a result we see Butler play around 34-36 minutes at high usage. Plus, if Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel are out for OKC, Butler should have an easier time getting to the basket.

Other Options: DeMar DeRozan, SAS vs. ATL, $8,100; Jarrett Culver, MIN @ IND, $5,900

Small Forward

Ben Simmons, PHI vs. CHI, $9,300 — I think as long as Joel Embiid is out, Simmons’ price won’t get too high. It’s not climbed up to $9,300 after being down at $8,200 two games ago. Simmons has played over 40 minutes in back-to-back games and is a matchup nightmare for the Bulls. Chicago can’t throw Wendell Carter Jr. on Simmons and I don’t think Kris Dunn or Tomas Satoransky is up to the task, so it’ll probably be Thaddeus Young. Simmons is averaging 18.5 points, 8.5 boards and 7.0 assists in the past four games without Embiid.

Other Options: Bradley Beal, WAS @ TOR, $7,600; TJ Warren, IND vs. MIN, $5,300

Power Forward

Pascal Siakam, TOR vs. WAS, $7,900 — We’ve seen Siakam slowly get back into the swing of things and I think this is the matchup he pops. His price is way down compared to the time before he injured his groin. His ownership has been suppressed due to fewer minutes, but I think that could change a bit tonight. The Wizards are still one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA and even with healthy bigs, won’t be able to deal with Siakam’s length. I think we see Siakam get around 34-35 minutes — and if he doesn’t, it’s because the Raptors destroyed Washington in the first half thanks to Siakam.

Other Options: Domantas Sabonis, IND vs. MIN, $8,600; Kevin Love, CLE @ MEM, $7,200

Center

Jaren Jackson Jr., MEM vs. CLE, $6,800 — The Cavaliers are allowing a ton of points in the paint over the past 10 games (55.4 per game). They also rank 27th in that same stretch in second-chance points at 15.7. That lines up well for Jackson, who is averaging 19.2 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting over 50% from the field and 40% from 3-point range over the past 10 games. The Cavs just can’t defend the paint and I think Jackson will go a bit overlooked, making him a strong tournament option.

Other Options: Hassan Whiteside, POR @ DAL, $8,400; Myles Turner, IND vs. MIN, $6,100