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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 25

Alex Hunter gives his top studs and values at each position for Monday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

San Antonio Spurs v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome back, everybody. For Monday night, barring any postponements, we will get a full 10-game slate to target, and DraftKings continues to offer huge tournaments for DFS players. Below are some of my favorite targets at each position.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


Point Guard

Stud

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $10,300

As expected, Lillard has been brilliant with Jusuf Nurkic (out, wrist) and C.J. McCollum (out, foot) sidelined for the Blazers’ past two games, generating 55.75 DKFP. Including this pair, Nurkic and McCollum have missed six contests over the past two seasons and Lillard is amassing 61.8 DKFP per game with the two starters out of the lineup.

His usage has jumped up to 36.5% during these last two and Lillard’s salary on DraftKings will soon be over $11,000 with both Nurkic and McCollum out indefinitely. In the meantime, we must attack him at this modest cost, especially tonight, against a Thunder defense that has slipped to 23rd in defensive rating over their past five games.

Other Options: Luka Doncic ($10,700), Stephen Curry ($9,200), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($8,100)

Value

Jeff Teague, Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls, $3,700

The Celtics will rest Kemba Walker tonight. Additionally, they will be without rookie Payton Pritchard (knee). This opens up a ton of playing time in this backcourt and Teague could join the starting five in place of Walker. Even if Boston went with a bigger lineup shifting Marcus Smart to point, Teague will likely still play 25-30 minutes tonight against the Bulls.

The 13-year vet is scoring 0.84 DKFP per minute with the Celtics and 21.6 DKFP per game when given over 20 minutes of work this season. Lastly, the Bulls are a great spot for opposing point guards, surrendering the third-most DKFP per game to the position. Teague is a better play if named a starter, but still a viable punt if he remains a reserve.

Other Options: Dejounte Murray ($6,500), Goran Dragic ($6,200)

Shooting Guard

Stud

Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers, $7,900

FVV will be going against the Pacers tonight for the second time in 2020-21. In the first meeting between these two clubs, the Raptors guard tallied 41.8 DKFP across 40.4 minutes. He ranks T13 in playing time per game this season and VanVleet regularly approaches 40 minutes when the tilt is competitive. This matchup vs. the Pacers presents a single-digit spread and we should see the combo-guard handle large minutes against this Indiana defense that ranks as the third-worst in terms of efficiency over their past three.

VanVleet is a solid target no matter what, but if Kyle Lowry (questionable, toe) was to sit, FVV would vault up the value rankings. This would be the third time the Raptors have played without Lowry this season, and VanVleet supplied 40.5 DKFP over the first two.

Other Options: D’Angelo Russell ($8,300)

Value

Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets, $6,100

Nunn doesn’t start, but he has been the Heat’s top guard with Jimmy Butler (health protocols) and Tyler Herro (neck) missing. In these past four games sans the two starters, Nunn has contributed 38.5 DKFP in 35 minutes per game with a 24.1% usage rate.

Both Butler and Herro will be out again Monday and in his last start, Nunn produced 32.25 DKFP against the Nets, and that is exactly who he will face tonight. Since trading for James Harden and the return of Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn has been the worst defense in the NBA and it’s not even close. With their new big three at the helm, the Nets have sported a defensive rating of 122.2 points over their past three games. The next worst during this stretch has been the Mavs at 119.1. Until they figure out how to play both sides of the ball, every Nets contest should be a shootout and it’s hard to envision Nunn not beating his $6,100 salary in this type of environment (235.5 O/U on DraftKings Sportsbook).

Other Options: Marcus Smart ($6,400), Evan Fournier ($6,300), Rodney Hood ($4,200)

Small Forward

Stud

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, $9,300

It’s another night of NBA basketball and another game that James (ankle) is listed as questionable. The 36-year-old has been listed on the Lakers’ injury report with this same injury for nearly every game this season, but he has yet to miss any of Los Angeles’ first 17 contests. It’s essentially a foregone conclusion James will suit up Monday, especially with this being a homecoming for him in Cleveland.

The last time the future hall-of-famer visited his home state, he went off for 62.5 DKFP. The Lakers are obviously the far superior team (LAL -10.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook) and they have been blowing out their opponents on a regular basis, but James will always be a viable option when this cheap. The four-time MVP is generating 47.7 DKFP in 2021, which would be right over five times value at his salary for Monday.

Other Options: Brandon Ingram ($8,000), Gordon Hayward ($7,300)

Value

Derrick Jones Jr., Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,300

In last night’s victory over the Knicks, Jones Jr. finished second in playing time for the Blazers, only trailing Lillard. With the 31 minutes of work, the former Heat wing chipped in with 22.75 DKFP. This was the fourth consecutive effort of over 20 DKFP for Jones Jr. and his current point per minute production without Nurkic and McCollum currently sits at a solid 0.8 DKFP.

He will likely receive right around 30 minutes again on Monday and the Thunder are currently allowing opposing small forwards to score DKFP at the fourth-highest rate in the league. His upside isn’t the greatest, but Jones Jr. is a decent punt play that will help us fit in multiple studs for this 10-game slate.

Other Options: Doug McDermott ($5,500), Norman Powell ($5,200, if Lowry is out), Lonnie Walker IV ($4,500), James Ennis III ($3,600, if Aaron Gordon is out)

Power Forward

Stud

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans vs. San Antonio Spurs, $7,900

Coming into Monday night, Williamson has topped 40 DKFP in six of his past eight starts. The consistent forward will be at home tonight, facing the Spurs. This season, the 2019 first-overall pick has been more productive on his home court in New Orleans, collecting 3.4 more DKFP per game. Plus, Williamson does most of his damage in the paint, which is exactly where the Spurs are most vulnerable.

This San Antonio defense is yielding the fifth-most points in the paint per game and in his first matchup with the club this season, Williamson recorded 44.75 DKFP. He continues to be underpriced at $7,900 and the 20-year-old is a reliable option for cash games and GPPs.

Other Options: Anthony Davis ($9,200), Jayson Tatum ($8,900, if he isn’t limited), Kristaps Porzingis ($8,200)

Value

Kelly Oubre Jr., Golden State Warriors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $5,900

Right now is an excellent time to buy low on Oubre Jr. After falling victim to a massive blowout Saturday vs. the Jazz (8.5 DKFP in 24 minutes), the forward is in a prime situation to bounce back Monday, going up against defensively inept Wolves, who rank 27th in efficiency. Plus, both the Warriors and Wolves are fast paced teams, ranking third and sixth in pace, respectively.

Before Saturday night, Oubre Jr. was averaging 29.9 DKFP per game in his previous six and the 25-year-old should excel in this uptempo setting.

Other Options: Lauri Markkanen ($6,500), Jarred Vanderbilt ($5,000)

Center

Stud

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons, $9,700

Embiid (back) is questionable tonight, but he carried this same injury tag on Saturday and ended up destroying the Pistons for 58.5 DKFP across 35 minutes. Since this outburst, the center’s price has dropped $300 and assuming he plays through the injury designation again, Embiid will be an extremely strong target in a rematch with this putrid Pistons’ front-court.

They are currently allowing the second-most DKFP per game to opposing centers and the 26-year-old is amassing 59.9 DKFP per game over his past three. This is one of the best possible matchups in all of fantasy basketball and Embiid is a steal at a sub $10,000 price.

Other Options: Nikola Jokic ($10,800), Nikola Vucevic ($8,700), Bam Adebayo ($8,500)

Value

James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $5,400

As the Warriors improve, so has Wiseman, scoring 29.25 DKFP per game over his past three. The rookie has seen at least 24 minutes in five of his past six and Wiseman finds himself in a beautiful spot against the Wolves on Monday.

Karl-Anthony Towns (COVID-19) is still self-isolating and this interior defense has struggled mightily without their best player, allowing the second-most points in the paint and fourth-most rebounds per game this season. All in all, opposing centers have exposed this Minnesota defense for the sixth-most DKFP per game. Wiseman has a ceiling near 40 DKFP tonight and his slightly elevated price tag should keep his ownership relatively low in GPPs.

Other Options: Enes Kanter ($6,600), Draymond Green ($5,200), Isaiah Roby ($4,600, if Al Horford is out)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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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