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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 3

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

For me, this is the first slate of the new year. My mind is clear, probably because I don’t drink beer, but have no fear, I’m still your peer who will try to steer you to the top of the leaderboards, a place where you can cheer, a frontier that could propel you to making this a career. But let’s not get cavalier. We must be as precise as an engineer, not just spew explosives randomly like a bombardier. Then we would just disappear. Is that crystal clear?

MIL, OKC and SAC are playing the first leg of a back-to-back. None of the teams played last night.

Per DraftKings Sportsbook, BOS is favored by 9 points in OKC and the total is 233.5. MIL is favored at home over WAS by 8 points and the total is 228.5. UTA is favored by 3 points at home over SAC and that game has a robust total of 242.5.


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Guard

Studs

Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings ($7,000) – Clarkson used to just be a mercenary off the bench, who would huck and chuck until recalled back to the pine. This season, though, he’s a starter and has expanded his game. The assist percentage is up to 20.9%, after being in the 14% range the prior two seasons. This provides a slightly higher floor.

He’s still getting up his shots, so no need to worry on that front. In the season opener, he attempted nine shots. Since then, it’s been double-digit attempts in every contest. On the season, he’s averaging a career-high 16.6 shots per game. Clarkson has scored at least 20 points in each of the last seven games and gone for at least 30 DKFP in five with a high of 46.5.

This game has the highest total on the slate with the tightest spread. Clarkson went for 46.5 DKFP against these Kings two games ago and has gone for at least 40 DKFP in eight games this season with a high of 57.5. I think there’s a chance he could come close to matching the production from the higher-priced options today. Much will depend on the projected ownership because he could be popular.

De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz ($9,000) – Fox garners a usage rate in the 30% range on most nights and plays a ton of minutes. He’s the conductor of a Kings offense that is fourth in offensive pace and seventh in offensive rating. This game has the highest total and tightest spread, so the environment should be a good one.

When these teams faced off two games ago, Fox went for 24 points and ten assists, translating to 44.25 DKFP. He’s gone for at least 40 DKFP 15 times this season with two games above 60. That said, the range of outcomes is wider for Fox than most of the higher-priced options, as he’s put up fewer than 30 DKFP four times.

Other Options - Jrue Holiday ($8,100)

Value

Terence Davis, Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz ($3,000) – Both Kevin Huerter ($5,500) and Malik Monk ($4,700) are questionable for tonight. If both play, then abort this mission. If one or both are out, then Davis could see playing time in the mid-20s to possibly 30 minutes. Davis averages a more than respectable 1.1 DKFP per minute. He’s gone for at least 20 DKFP four times this season and has a 59.75 DKFP performance on the ledger. It also helps that Utah has boosted the FPPM to shooting guards by a whopping 27.84% above league average. Huerter put up 40 DKFP two games ago against the Kings.

Other Options - Derrick White ($4,700), Kevin Huerter ($5,500) if he plays.


Forward

Studs

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz vs. Sacramento Kings ($8,800) – I like this game a lot I guess. Many others will likely flock to this contest as well, so something to consider when constructing lineups. Projected ownership numbers will be huge on this slate.

Markkanen has exceeded points expectations 70% of the time this season. Over the last six games, he’s put up at least 50 DKFP four times. He’s playing around 35 minutes per game and garners a usage rate in the high-20s. Against the Kings two games ago, he went for 36 points and five rebounds, translating to 42.25 DKFP.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder ($10,700) – Tatum has evolved into one of the preeminent forces for fantasy because of his ability to contribute in every statistical category. That provides a relatively high floor and we know that he’s a professional getter of buckets, so he can get scorching hot on any given night. Over the last eight games, he’s scored at least 44 DKFP in every contest with four above 60. He only has three games with fewer than 40 DKFP on the season. The Celtics are implied to score 121 points, the second-highest total on the slate. If they reached that number, Tatum will have been a big reason why.

Other Options - Jaylen Brown ($9,300)

Value

Trey Lyles, Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz ($3,800) – Lyles will probably only play around 20 minutes and, on the season, is averaging 0.89 DKFP per minute. Good, not great. That said, over the last five games, he’s scored at least 20 DKFP in every contest and had two games with 24 minutes of run. He also had a 20+ percent usage rate in two of those contests. He went for 21 DKFP in 20 minutes when these teams met two games ago.

Other Options - Terence Davis ($3,000) if Huerter and/or Monk are out, Deni Avdija ($4,600)


Center

Studs

Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings at Utah Jazz ($10,500) – Sabonis has exceeded points expectations 70% of the time this season. Since the start of December, which was last year (that feels weird writing that), he’s gone for over 50 DKFP in 10 of 14 games with three above 60 and a high of 71.25. He’s double-doubled in all but one of those contests and dished out at least 10 assists in three. He’s even racked up his fair share of steals. The only thing that Sabonis doesn’t do is block shots.

Utah has boosted the FPPM to centers by 3.47% above league average this season and Sabonis put up 52.75 DKFP on them two games ago.

Value

Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks ($4,300) – Gafford entered the starting lineup seven games ago. He scored fewer than 20 DKFP in three of the first four games, but he’s picked things up over the past three contests, going for 31, 28 and 31.5 DKFP. In those three with fewer than 20 DKFP, he only played 20, 20 and 19 minutes. He’s received 25, 26 and 28 minutes in the most recent games, and I think this could be the New World Order, especially since the Wizards have won by 25, 19 and 23 points. Don’t fix what’s not broken, right? Gafford averages 1.03 DKFP per minute.


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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.