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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 18

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Wednesday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

Wednesday features a nine-game main slate on DraftKings starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.

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.



Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Atlanta Hawks ($12,400) – Doncic has been one of the best players in the league seemingly since he stepped on an NBA floor, but he’s taken his game to another level this season. He’s leading the league with a career-high 33.8 points per game, and he’s also racked up 9.0 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game. He’s doing virtually everything for the Mavericks, leading the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals per game. Add it all up, and he’s averaged 1.72 DKFP per minute.

Doncic is in a great spot for another huge game on Wednesday. He’s taking on the Hawks, who have played at the eighth-fastest pace this season. The Mavericks rank 29th in that department, so this is a massive pace-up spot. The team is currently implied for 117.75 points, which represents a significant increase from their season average of 112.7.

The team is also going to be without Tim Hardaway Jr., so Doncic will have to do a bit more than usual. He’s increased his usage rate by 2.6% with Hardaway off the floor this season.

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies ($8,100) – The Cavaliers will be without Donovan Mitchell on Wednesday due to a groin injury. That should allow Garland to take over as the team’s top offensive option. He’s posted a 32% usage rate in four games without Mitchell this season, and he averaged more than 41 DKFP per game as the Cavaliers’ lead guard last year.

The Grizzlies represent a tough matchup — they’re first in the league in defensive efficiency, but they also play at the second-fastest pace. The Cavaliers are dead-last in the latter department, so this is one of the biggest pace-up spots possible. That should help make up for the Grizzlies’ defensive prowess.

Other Options – LaMelo Ball ($9,600), Josh Giddey ($7,500)


Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz ($3,500) – Jackson has fallen out of favor for the Clippers recently. He picked up two DNP-CDs in back-to-back games, and he’s racked up 15.4 and 13.9 minutes in his past two outings. That’s caused his salary to dip to just $3,500 on DraftKings, and the Clippers may have no choice but to break Jackson back out on Wednesday.

The team has already ruled out Paul George, while Kawhi Leonard could also sit on the second leg of a back-to-back. He’s yet to play on both legs of a back-to-back all year, so it would be surprising if he is in the lineup. John Wall is also currently injured, and Jackson has increased his usage rate to 26% with George, Leonard and Wall off the floor this season. He still might not approach 30 minutes vs. the Jazz, but Jackson has the potential to be very effective when on the floor.

Other Options – Caris LeVert ($5,100), Jose Alvarado ($4,400)



Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets ($8,700) – The Timberwolves continue to list Edwards as questionable, but he’s been able to play through a hip injury in recent games. It also hasn’t impacted him from a fantasy perspective, with Edwards scoring at least 45.5 DKFP in three straight games.

His price has dipped to just $8,700 on Wednesday’s slate, and that’s an excellent number for a matchup vs. the Nuggets. Edwards has been priced as high as $9,500 recently, and the Nuggets have been a poor defensive team for most of the year. They’ve been a bit better in that department of late, but they still rank just 20th in terms of defensive efficiency.

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards ($6,600) – Barrett had a mini breakout in 2021-22, but he’s struggled to recapture that form this season. The team acquired Jalen Brunson in the offseason, and Barrett hasn’t looked 100% comfortable playing alongside him.

However, Barrett continues to play tons of minutes for the Knicks, which is not surprising with Tom Thibodeau at the helm. He’s notorious for running his players into the ground, and Barrett racked up 49.2 minutes in the Knicks’ last contest. That was an overtime game, but that means Barrett still played more than 44 minutes in regulation. Barrett has played at least 39.4 minutes in five of his past seven full games, and it’s hard to ignore someone with that much playing-time upside.

Other Options – Evan Mobley ($6,100), Norman Powell ($6,000)


Robert Covington, Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz ($3,600) – Covington might the best pure value on the slate. He’s capable of racking up fantasy points quickly thanks to his defensive prowess, and he’s increased his production to 0.98 DKFP per minute over the past month. He’s averaged one DKFP per minute with George, Leonard and Wall off the floor this season, and he should see a bump in playing time if all three players are sidelined on Wednesday. Covington has played at least 20 minutes in nine games this season, and he’s averaged 21.86 DKFP in those contests. You’ll gladly take that at $3,600.

Other Options – Luguentz Dort ($4,800), Marcus Morris ($4,800)



Mason Plumlee, Charlotte Hornets at Houston Rockets ($6,300) – The Hornets and Rockets will square off Wednesday in a matchup between a stoppable force and a moveable object. These have been the two worst teams in basketball this season, posting a combined 21-68 record. Both teams play fast and struggle on defense, so this game does have the potential to be fantasy-friendly. The Hornets are currently implied for 120 points, which is the fifth-highest mark on the slate.

Plumlee has been one of the team’s lone bright spots. He’s been an absolute monster of late, exceeding salary-based expectations by an average of 9.3 DKFP over his past 10 games. He has at least 30 DKFP in 10 of his past 11 games, and he’s had at least 42.5 DKFP in five of them. He should be able to do some serious damage vs. the Rockets, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season.

Other Options – Nikola Jokic ($11,400), Jarrett Allen ($6,700)


Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers ($5,400) – Kelly Olynyk remains out with an ankle injury, and we can continue to target Kessler for as long as he is sidelined. He’s done extremely well in Olynyk’s absence, racking up at least 37 DKFP in four of his past five games, and his playing time is trending in the right direction. Kessler has played at least 31 minutes in his past two contests, and he’s increased his production to 1.14 DKFP per minute over the past month. The Clippers aren’t a great matchup, but Kessler remains way underpriced for his current role.

Other Options – Nicolas Batum ($4,300), Mark Williams ($3,100)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $350K 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 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 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.