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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for January 18

Julian Edlow gives his top lineup advice at each position for Monday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Monday’s NBA slate main slate, along with some strategy unique to this slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $450K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]

Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Toronto Raptors ($11,000)

The Mavericks are super shorthanded yet again, which doesn’t leave them much of a choice but to lean on Doncic even more than usual. Over his past six games, Luka has five triple-doubles, with the only miss being one assist shy. He’s averaging an insane 72.7 DKFP during this span, and the Raptors rank 28th against the PG position.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers ($3,700)

Value is insanely thin on this slate, so expect some lower scoring lineups. Lee provides a pretty safe floor for his price and is capable of 20 DKFP in 20 minutes. We’ll have to deal with a bad matchup, but plays at the position fall off rapidly.

Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: James Harden, Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($10,800)

Harden looked like a changed man on Saturday, posting a 32-12-14 triple-double for 79.5 in his team debut. If Kyrie Irving ($9,100; questionable) remains out, we can keep rolling with Harden. But if Kyrie does play for the first time in about two weeks, it’s probably safer to fade the Nets’ Big Three and see what the dynamic is. Zach LaVine ($9,500) jumps out as a solid option if that’s the case, and clearly has the better matchup.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Irving has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Bucks.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors ($3,900)

Last week we had slates with easy spots to identify values with 10X upside, and generally, they came through. We start this week just hoping to get 5X from these values. KCP has been playing through probable tags each game, and having some of his best outings this season. Having exceeded 20 DKFP in three of his last four, a plus matchup against the Warriors gives him a good chance at some scoring opportunities.

Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets ($8,000)

Middleton’s hit his stride recently, scoring 40 or more DKFP in five of his past six games. He’s showed us 50-DKFP upside on multiple occasions, and the Nets are a huge question mark on defense right now. While the long-term outlook is good for Brooklyn, there are sure to be some growing pains, particularly giving up points.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers ($4,000)

The SF position is probably the weakest on the slate. Fortunately, there are a few good options to pay up for, but if you need to pay down, Paschall is a consideration. He averages just shy of a fantasy point per minute, but the issue is getting him more than 20 minutes. KCP also is eligible at SF and is likely the safer play.

Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets ($10,400)

Giannis has had a couple of down games recently from a fantasy perspective, but we’re getting him priced down in a great matchup. Similar to Middleton, we don’t really have defensive numbers on the Nets yet, but it seems like it won’t be great, at least for now. After being held under 100 points four games in a row, the Magic went off for 115 against the Nets on Saturday.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers ($5,200)

Draymond is priced pretty appropriately here, but unless any injury news gives us some better value, that means plays like this are the best chance at value. There’s a low floor here, especially against the Lakers, but nobody in this price range is going to provide triple-double upside.


Worth Paying Up For: Christian Wood, Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls ($8,900)

In two games since the Harden trade, Wood’s averaging 56.3 DKFP in 38 minutes per game. The Bulls have actually defended centers well statistically this season, but we should see plenty of points, and it’s tough to imagine Wood not being heavily involved. Even with some bodies likely returning for Houston, John Wall (knee) remains out, meaning there’s no ball-dominant scorer to take usage away.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets ($5,600)

Bucks vs. Nets is loaded with stars, but getting some cheap exposure to the game with the highest total on the board by far seems smart. Specifically targeting Milwaukee’s bigs, as Brooklyn is very thin in the middle. Even if Lopez has an off night scoring the ball, this is a matchup he should be able to pull down plenty of boards in. Lopez is one point away from having a double-double in his last two games, and the Nets already rank just 24th defending centers and got worse at doing so from the trade.

Overall Lineup Strategy

The bubble-less NBA is turning into the wild west ... just like NFL and MLB were. So first and foremost, following the news is always a must in the NBA, but now it’s even more important. Make sure to follow @dklive on Twitter and download the DK Live app to stay up-to-date with all the latest news.

Picking your stars on this slate is easy, but the value is nearly impossible. You’re going to have to settle for some really shaky value play unless we get some news to help out. The games in Brooklyn and Los Angeles feel like the safest spots to find those values if nothing changes.

Key Injuries to Monitor

Lakers: LeBron James is questionable with an ankle injury and Anthony Davis is probable with a back injury. It’s become routine for both to be on the injury report every game, but we have to make mention.

Nets: Kyrie Irving is questionable to return from health protocols and his personal hiatus.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Irving has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Bucks.

Rockets: John Wall remains out with a knee injury, but Victor Oladipo makes his team debut. Eric Gordon and DeMarcus Cousins are both probable to return after missing games.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Gordon will be available to play in tonight’s game vs. the Bulls.

Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. is questionable with a groin injury. Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell all remain out.

Make sure to follow @dklive on Twitter and download the DK Live app to stay up-to-date with all the latest news.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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 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.

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