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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 2

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

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Happy New Year! I know that it’s technically January 2, but since this is my first article since the calendar flipped to 2023, I’m hoping you’ll forgive me.

The NBA is offering up a sizable 10-game main slate on Monday, starting at 7 p.m. ET.

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $333K 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

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors vs. Atlanta Hawks ($8,200) – The Warriors continue to play without Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins, and they’re going to be even more shorthanded on Monday. The team will be without Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and JaMychal Green, so there are plenty of minutes available in a juicy matchup vs. the Hawks. This game has the second-highest total on the slate at 237.0 points, and the 1.5-point spread suggests it should be a competitive affair.

Poole hasn’t provided a ton of fantasy value of late, but it hasn’t been due to a lack of effort. He’s posted a usage rate of at least 40.2% in six of his past seven games, but he hasn’t been particularly efficient as a scorer. However, in his two games with a field goal percentage of at least 50% in that stretch, he’s posted 55.25 and 55.75 DKFP. That gives Poole an outstanding ceiling when his shot is falling, so he’s underpriced at $8,200.

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Houston Rockets ($12,400) – It’s hard to call anyone priced above $12,400 a value, but Doncic has still been one of the best values in basketball of late. He’s taken his game to another level over his past five contests, and he’s scored at least 81.0 DKFP in four of them. That includes a ridiculous 110.75 DKFP vs. the Knicks, becoming the first player in NBA history with a 60-20-10 triple-double.

With the way Doncic is rolling right now, fade him at your own risk vs. the Rockets. Houston remains one of the most favorable matchups in fantasy, ranking 28th in defensive efficiency. Luka torched the Rockets for 81.0 DKFP in 34.3 minutes last Thursday, and there’s no reason that he can’t do it again.

Other Options – Kyrie Irving ($8,700), Klay Thompson ($7,100)


Value

Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls ($4,800) – The Cavaliers were without point guard Darius Garland in their last matchup, which allowed LeVert to move into the starting lineup. He took full advantage, finishing with 39.25 DKFP in 37.3 minutes. He also had more than 30 DKFP in his last contest, and he has been a strong producer when given the chance to play consistent minutes this season. He’s increased his usage rate by +2.2% with Garland off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.88 DKFP per minute. With another sizable workload expected vs. the Bulls, LeVert stands out as one of the best values of the day.

Other Options – Alec Burks ($4,700), Cory Joseph ($3,300)


Forward

Studs

Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers ($10,200) – There have been plenty of monster performances across the NBA in recent weeks, which has resulted in Siakam being a bit overlooked. However, he’s scored at least 50.5 DKFP in five of his past six contests, including 76.25 DKFP two weeks ago vs. the Knicks.

Siakam continues to carry one of the largest workloads in basketball, and he can be expected to play around 40 minutes on most nights. Siakam has averaged 1.36 DKFP per minute this season, so he can do damage with that much playing time. The Raptors also draw one of the best matchups of the day vs. the Pacers, who rank fifth in pace and are tied for 23rd in defensive efficiency. Siakam won’t get the same love as some of the other high-priced studs on Monday, making him an elite pivot for tournaments.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers at Charlotte Hornets ($10,300) – James continues to age like a fine wine. He’s in the midst of his 20th professional season, and he delivered a huge performance on his 38th birthday on Friday. He racked up 47 points, 10 boards and nine assists, bringing his fantasy total to 76.0 DKFP for the evening. With Anthony Davis expected to miss at least a month, James is going to have to continue to do most of the heavy lifting to try to get the Lakers back to the playoffs.

LeBron is in a fantastic spot Monday vs. the Hornets. This game leads the slate with a total of 242.5 points, and the Lakers’ implied team total of 120.5 ranks fourth. LeBron’s average of 1.47 DKFP per minute leads all of Monday’s forwards, and he has the potential for another big performance vs. Charlotte.

Other Options – Christian Wood ($8,000), Draymond Green ($6,000)

Value

Jalen McDaniels, Charlotte Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($4,200) – On the other side of that matchup, the Hornets are arguably in an even better spot. They’re favored as the home team, and their implied team total of 122.0 trails only the Nets’ slate-best mark of 124.0.

The Hornets are also dealing with some injuries at the moment, most notably Kelly Oubre Jr. He’s been ruled out once again with a hand injury, opening up plenty of minutes on the wing for McDaniels. He’s logged at least 22.5 DKFP in two of his past three games, and he’s coming off 28.1 minutes on Saturday. McDaniels has averaged 0.93 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s a great bet to return value in this spot.

Other Options – Kyle Anderson ($5,200), Saddiq Bey ($4,300)


Center

Stud

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls ($6,600) – Garland isn’t the only injury the Cavs are dealing with at the moment. Evan Mobley also missed their last contest, and he’s questionable for Monday’s rematch with the Bulls.

Allen didn’t see a huge spike in production sans Mobley on Saturday, but Mobley’s absence should be considered a positive if he can’t suit up again. Allen has increased his usage rate by 1.8% and his rebound rate by 0.8% with Mobley off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.09 DKFP per minute. That’s a sizable increase from his average of 0.97 DKFP, in general, this season. The Bulls also represent a strong matchup for centers. Add in a lower price tag than usual, and Allen would be an outstanding buy-low target if Mobley is sidelined once again.

Other Options – Nikola Jokic ($11,700), Myles Turner ($6,400)

Value

Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors vs. Atlanta Hawks ($4,600) – Looney isn’t the most exciting DFS play, but he’s typically a nice value. He’s averaged 0.98 DKFP per minute this season and usually plays around 24 minutes, which is usually enough for him to return value.

However, the Warriors’ injuries in the frontcourt make him far more exciting than usual on Monday. There’s a chance that he picks up a few additional minutes, giving him far more upside than usual. The Hawks are another fantastic matchup for centers, so Looney stands out as an excellent salary-saver on Monday.

Other Options – Thomas Bryant ($5,900), Onyeka Okongwu ($5,600)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $333K 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.