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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 31

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

There are five games on this last day of the month. Time flies as if running like Forrest Gump. We are breaking down this slate for a game that has no bunts, punts or umps. Nope, it’s all about defense and breakaway dunks from hunks wearing knee-length trunks. Hopefully, we select the right players tonight. If not, off to the corner we go, donning the hat and proclaiming to the world that we are today’s dunce.

No teams are playing the first leg of a back-to-back set. LAL is the only team that played last night.

Jamal Murray ($7,500) is the only notable player who is questionable. Keep abreast of all the injury news @dklive.

Per DraftKings Sportsbook, the CHA/MIL has the highest total on the slate at 244. MIL is the biggest favorite at 11 points over CHA. The tighest spread is NYK -1.5 over LAL. CHI is the only home dog.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

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Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($7,900) – Brunson averages 1.14 DKFP per minute and 34.4 minutes per game. He’s scored at least 40 DKFP in 22 of 48 games, with five of those over 50 and a high of 61. The usage rate has fluctuated from 21% to 40%. That said, he will likely end up in the high-30 to low-40 DKFP range, but a 50-burger wouldn’t surprise me today, possibly another 60-spot.

The Lakers will be at full strength for this one and the Knicks have been 27th in defensive rating over the last 10 games. While New York has been dead-last in offensive pace, the Lakers have been 15th, so the Knicks will likely have to be aggressive in this contest. The Lakers have boosted the FPPM to point guards by 13.83% above the league average, so Brunson should be heavily involved and feast.

LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets at Milwaukee Bucks ($9,500) – Ball is the engine of the Hornets’ offense and is a threat to triple-double on any given night. The shooting efficiency is always a concern, as he’s converting only 40% of his attempts on the season, but the volume makes up for it. Ball is averaging 20 field goal attempts and a whopping 10.9 shots from downtown, to go along with the rebounds, assists and steals that he provides.

Over the last 10 games, the Bucks have been 5th in offensive pace while the Hornets have been 10th. There is blowout risk in this one as Milwaukee is favored by 11 points, but what if it isn’t? There would be plenty of possessions to rack up fantasy goodies.

These teams met early in January with the Hornets winning 138-109. Ball went for 24 points, 3 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 steals and 1 block, good for 56.75 DKFP.

Other Options - Terry Rozier ($8,000), Jamal Murray ($7,500)


Grayson Allen, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets ($4,400) – Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Allen is a viable player for fantasy. While he only averages 0.79 DKFP per minute, he receives 27.3 minutes per game of run. He has failed to score double-digit DKFP only three times this season and has gone for over 30 eight times. He’s shooting 40% from downtown and spaces the court for Giannis, Middleton and Holiday. Because of the defensive attention that those players receive, Allen gets plenty of good looks. The Hornets have allowed the 12th-most three-point attempts this season and the 7th-most makes.

Other Options - Immanuel Quickley ($5,100)



LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks ($11,600) – LeBron sat out the last game so should be well-rested and raring to put on a show for the MSG crowd. On the season, he’s exceeded points expectations 80% of the time and has gone for at least 60 DKFP in seven of the last nine games. This game has a healthy total of 231.5 and a 2.5 spread, so it should be competitive and LeBron should play a ton of minutes and soak up as much usage as he can handle. Without the rim protection and defense of Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks have been 28th in defensive rating.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets ($12,000) – There is plenty of risk for Giannis since the Bucks are favored by double digits and he is the highest-priced player on the slate. It will come down to the value that emerges, roster construction and projected ownership.

The floor/ceiling combo is one of the best in the league. He’s gone for over 70 DKFP in each of the last two games, with the most recent in a 25-point win. He’s exceeded points expectations only 50% of the time this season, so it’s well within the range of outcomes that he disappoints or doesn’t kill you for fading him.

That said, what if the game is competitive and he plays a full allotment of minutes? An 80-piece is within the range of outcomes since the Hornets play fast, are 23rd in defensive rating over the last 10 games and have boosted the FPPM to power forwards by 10.44% above league average.

Other Options - Julius Randle ($10,100)


Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets ($4,500) – Connaughton has started the last 18 games and averaged 29.4 minutes per contest. With Middleton not fully ramped up yet, Connaughton should continue to start and play close to 30 minutes. The range of outcomes is wide because he’s a low-usage player and he’s scored fewer than 20 DKFP in eight of the 18 games. He has gone over 30 four times, though, with a high of 44.5. Tonight’s environment should be a ripe one for him to thrive, as there should be plenty of rebounds to grab and points to be scored in transition.

Other Options - Naji Marshall ($4,800)



Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($11,800) – Jokic is good. Play him if you can. End of analysis. This is why I get paid the big bucks. Fine...

Jokic hasn’t been the Jokic of the past when he was basically guaranteed to put up 70 or more DKFP on the night. That’s because the Nuggets have gotten healthy and he hasn’t had to Atlas them to victories. That said, he’s still a threat to triple-double on any given night and has one of the best floor/ceiling combos on any slate he’s on.

In two games against the Pelicans this season, Jokic put up 59.75 and 71.5 DKFP. If Murray does not play, then more of the offense will flow through his Serbian shoulders.

Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Clippers ($8,800) – Vucevic has been very consistent since the start of the new year, scoring at least 40 DKFP in all but one of 13 games. He’s accessed ceiling games too, going for 65.5 and 76.75 DKFP. The reason I like Vucevic tonight is that he could feast on Zubac from the perimeter. Vucevic is averaging 4.6 attempts from downtown and converting at a 36% clip. Zubac wants to stay close to the rim and the Clippers have boosted three-point prowess to centers by a whopping 28.98% above league average. If the Clippers put Batum on him, he could just pound him down low in the box.

Other Options - Mason Plumlee ($6,600)


Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets ($3,000) – I am not enamored with any of the value centers today, so my ringing endorsement goes to Hayes. The ceiling is limited and he likely won’t be producing any flames but the playing time has increased from 18 to the 22-minute range over the last two contests. He’s scored 23, 12.25, 13.5 and 13.25 DKFP over the last four games. He’s the stone minimum.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $400K 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 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.