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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 12

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

Six games. That ain’t so lame. Another slate to conquer the puzzle by selecting the most amount of names who produce the DK flames. Are you building your lineup around James Harden or LeBron James? Take a deep breath and let the oxygen flow through your brain, and travel through all the veins to minimize the strain and reduce the pain. Get to a clear mental plane. Choose the right lane. Strengthen the weakest chain. Then it is in the universe’s hands to see how much you lose or gain.

OKC is the only team playing the first leg of a back-to-back. BOS and MIL played Wednesday.

Damian Lillard is the biggest name on the slate who is questionable. Kevin Durant, Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry are out. Keep abreast of all the injury news @dklive.

Per DraftKings Sportsbook, there are three games with a total of at least 230: OKC/PHI (233), CHA/TOR (231) and DAL/LAL (235.5). There is one double-digit spread: PHI -10 vs. OKC. There are two games with a spread three points or lower: BOS -3 vs. BKN, DAL -2.5 vs. LAL and CLE -3 vs. POR. BKN, LAL and POR are home dogs on Thursday’s slate.


Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $350K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.


Guard

Studs

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Lakers ($12,800) – This game has the highest total on the slate, and the spread is only 2.5 points. The Lakers play at the second-fastest pace in the league, so the environment should be a juicy one. Oh, did I forget to mention that Doncic averages a whopping 1.68 DKFP per minute and is a triple-double threat on any given night? My bad.

Doncic has exceeded points expectations 70% of the time this season, which is quite the feat considering his price. His usage rate has been over 40% the last month, and over the last 10 games, Doncic has gone for at least 70 DKFP five times, logging over 80 in four of those with a high of 110.75. He went for 60.25 vs. the Lakers back on Christmas.

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics ($8,800) – Durant is out for at least a few weeks, so it will be the Irving show until then. Boston does have the seventh-best defensive rating, but against point guards, they have boosted the FPPM by 11.49 percentage points above league average. On the season, Irving has a 29% usage rate. With Durant off the floor, that number spikes to 36.6%. The Nets have enough floor spacers to keep the Celtics from completely clamping down the seams and space for Irving to operate.

Other Options - James Harden ($10,400), LaMelo Ball ($9,800)

Value

Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat ($3,700) – With Khris Middleton out, Connaughton has started the last nine games. The results have been sporadic, as he’s scored fewer than 20 DKFP five times. On the flip side, he’s posted 28.5, 26.5, 33.25 and 21.25 DKFP, with the last two totals happening in the two most recent games.

Connaughton isn’t a high-usage player, but he doesn’t just stand in the corner either. He’s athletic, crashes the boards and cuts well in the half court. With defenses always focused on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday, he is often given plenty of opportunities to make plays.

Other Options - Royce O’Neale ($4,500), Gabe Vincent ($4,000), Seth Curry ($3,500)


Forward

Studs

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($9,700) – Butler is a unique superstar, in that he usually operates within the confines of the system and doesn’t garner an insanely high usage rate. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the ability to put the squad on his back. He just often chooses not to. There are times, though, when he steps up when the team needs him.

On Tuesday, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo ($9,100) and Kyle Lowry were all out, so he put up 62.75 DKFP with a 31.9% usage rate. Adebayo will return for this one, but Lowry and Herro are out again, so Butler will have to step up once again.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks ($10,900) – James did not play on Monday, so he’s well-rested for tonight’s contest. James is one of the metronomes of the NBA, as he delivers the goodies on a nightly basis. He’s scored fewer than 40 DKFP just once this season and will usually land in the 50-DKFP area. He does have 70-DKFP ceiling, though, and is a threat to post a triple-double on any given night.

This game has the highest total, the spread is tight and it could be a back-and-forth affair between him and Doncic.

Other Options - Jayson Tatum ($10,500), Christian Wood ($8,300), Scottie Barnes ($6,700)

Value

MarJon Beauchamp, Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat ($3,000) – Beauchamp only averages 0.77 DKFP per minute, but he could get the start tonight due to Grayson Allen suffering an ankle injury on Wednesday. Beauchamp has made eight starts this season and had two 30-burgers. While he doesn’t subscribe to the “sharing is caring” mantra, Beauchamp does grab his fair share of rebounds and contributes in the defensive categories.

Other Options - T.J. Warren ($3,900), Jamal Cain ($3,500)


Center

Studs

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($11,000)“Too small. Too small!” These are the words that Embiid will be likely barking all night. The Thunder have no one to match up with him. Eugene Omoruyi ($3,000) is 6-foot-6, Kenrich Williams ($4,100) is 6-foot-7 and Jaylin Williams ($3,000) is 6-foot-9. Mike Muscala ($3,000) is 6-foot-11, but plays like a 6-foot-6 player. Plus, he’s Mike Muscala. Due to the lack of talent, the Thunder get creative defending the post, often sending double teams. Embiid dished out 10 dimes and notched a triple-double when these teams met three games ago. A similar scenario will likely play out Thursday.

Embiid put up 59.75 DKFP in that meeting vs. OKC. He only played 29 minutes due to blowout. There’s risk of that here, as well, but if there’s a blowout, Embiid will have been a big reason why, as his usage rate has been near 40% over the last month.

Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors vs. Charlotte Hornets ($10,300) – These teams just played on Tuesday, with the Raptors winning 132-120. Siakam “only” played 36 minutes in that one and put up 48 DKFP. I say “only” because he will usually play close to 42 minutes in a competitive game, so there’s upside there if that scenario manifests.

The Hornets have been playing at the fastest pace since LaMelo Ball ($9,800) returned to action, so the environment should be a good one with plenty of opportunities for fantasy goodies. Charlotte has also boosted the FPPM to centers by 10.5 percentage points above league average.

Other Options - Christian Wood ($8,300), Bam Adebayo ($9,100), Mason Plumlee ($6,200)

Value

Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets ($4,700) – Williams did not play on Wednesday due to the back-to-back. He should be good to go for this one. Since returning from injury, Williams hasn’t played more than 23 minutes in any contest, but he’s put up at least 20 DKFP in six of 10 games played, with a high of 41.75 DKFP.


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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.