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Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Lineup Strategy for January 8

Julian Edlow gives his top lineup advice at each position for Friday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Friday’s 10-game NBA slate, along with some strategy unique to this slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st]


Point Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Caris LeVert, Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies ($7,400)

We got the surprising news before lock on Thursday that Kyrie Irving would be out for personal reasons, and he didn’t join the team on their way to Memphis following the upset over the 76ers. Eat the chalk on LeVert and differentiate yourself elsewhere, he absolutely runs the show when the stars are out for Brooklyn — 50.75 DKFP in 32 minutes last night, and that was while shooting 0-for-5 from downtown.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Chris Chiozza, Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies ($3,000)

No Kyrie carved out a nice little role for Choizza, and we should see him get similar run a night later at minimum salary. He went just 3-of-9 shooting in 16 minutes, but the PG still found his way to 23.75 DKFP. Easy value here, especially if ownership is focused on other Nets again.


Shooting Guard

Worth Paying Up For: Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic at Houston Rockets ($5,000)

Markelle Fultz (ACL) is down for the season, opening up a much larger role for Anthony for the remainder of the season. The rookie didn’t play all that well in the game Fultz went down in, shooting 4-of-12 and finishing with 18 DKFP, but the 32 minutes were a season-high. If Anthony settles into a 30-35 minute role, he’s underpriced as a volume shooter. He should find plenty of good looks in Houston.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Austin Rivers, New York Knicks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,300)

Rivers has quickly become a key piece of the Knicks’ early season success. He had to work his way back into the rotation after not being ready for the start of the season, but he’s now played at least 32 minutes in consecutive games, and is playing during crunch time. Coming off 35.75 DKFP against Utah, look for some momentum to carry over against the Thunder.


Small Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards ($9,200)

Boston has some health protocol issues entering this game, with three key pieces to the frontcourt rotation ruled out for the next week. On the first game back from a road trip, the Celtics face a Washington team allowing a league-worst 123 points per game. This should be a matchup Tatum can fill it up regardless, and the team is very thin right now up front.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies ($5,500)

No Kyrie, no problem. Harris filled it up on Thursday against the Sixers, dropping 28 points, including 6-of-9 from deep. Surely there will be some regression on Harris’ 46-DKFP outburst, but he took 19 shots in 30 minutes last night, and should play a similar role in this game. Memphis is also on the second night of a back-to-back.


Power Forward

Worth Paying Up For: Jerami Grant, Detroit Pistons vs. Phoenix Suns ($7,000)

Grant has been a go-to-guy as a new member of the Pistons, and while that’s not great for the team, his fantasy value is soaring. He scored 42.5 and 47.5 DKFP in a back-to-back against the Bucks this week, and now gets the Suns at home. Take out a bust in his first game of the season, and Grant is averaging over 42 DKFP in seven games this season. He’s still probably about $1,000 underpriced.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Daniel Theis, Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards ($4,300)

Three bigs out for Boston leaves literally no choice but for the C’s to lean on Theis for heavy minutes. Washington has an awful defense, and with all the sudden holes Boston has, this should be a high-scoring game. Theis is suddenly an obvious free square on this slate.


Center

Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic at Houston Rockets ($9,000)

Houston has no real center, which should prove to be an issue against a real center like Vuce. Vucevic is yet to really hurt us in any game this season, and brings 50-DKFP upside. He’s a very safe play given his floor, but this does set up as a high-upside spot given the matchup. Injury news might give us stronger plays to pay up for, but if we need a play just based on matchup, this would be the spot.

Best Bang For Your Buck: Tacko Fall, Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards ($3,000)

I didn’t think this would be the name I was writing up at center, but here we are. The three bigs out for Boston combine to average 58.3 minutes per game. Theis will play a lot more, and the C’s will go small without a center at times, but I’d imagine Tacko just has to play this next week. He’s very efficient when he does get minutes, and the Washington matchup is a great one to break him in.


Overall Lineup Strategy

The COVID-19 situation with the Celtics opens a ton of value on this slate. No Kyrie provides a lot of value with the Nets, even though we already saw them in this spot once. Salaries for Brooklyn still haven’t caught up on the back-to-back. Between those two teams and Cole Anthony alone, we have a pretty easy core of value plays for cash games, and then it makes it easy to pay up for a couple other stud plays.


Injury Report

OUT

Kevin Durant (protocols)
Kyrie Irving (personal)
Lauri Markkanen (protocols)
Alec Burks (ankle)
Tristan Thompson (protocols)
Grant Williams (protocols)
Robert Williams (COVID-19)
Michael Carter-Williams (foot)
Markelle Fultz (knee)
Tomas Satoransky (COVID-19)
Danuel House (back)
Pat Connaughton (back)

QUESTIONABLE

Stephen Curry (ankle)
De’Aaron Fox (hamstring)
Christian Wood (knee)
Richaun Holmes (ankle)
Derrick Rose (knee)
Evan Fournier (back)
Josh Jackson (ankle)
Joe Ingles (Achilles)
Jeff Teague (ankle)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (ankle)
JJ Redick (knee)

DOUBTFUL

None

PROBABLE

Reggie Bullock (knee)
Kevin Knox (knee)
Nerlens Noel (ankle)
Derrick Favors (knee)

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $600K Shootaround [$150K to 1st]


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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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