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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 15

Matt LaMarca gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Saturday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings.

Golden State Warriors v Chicago Bulls Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Saturday’s NBA slate is a good one. There are nine games to choose from, and the main DraftKings slate gets underway at 7:00 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into some of the top options to consider at each position.

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Point Guard

Stud

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Orlando Magic ($11,100) – The Mavericks have quietly played some excellent basketball recently, winning seven of their past eight games. Unsurprisingly, that coincides with Doncic’s return to the lineup. The Mavericks have been a much better team with Doncic this season, and he’s provided some solid fantasy value recently. He’s coming off 58.5 DKFP in just 31.8 minutes Friday vs. the Grizzlies, and he’s posted a usage rate of at least 40.5% in back-to-back games. Doncic also owns a solid matchup vs. the Magic, who rank merely 25th in defensive efficiency.

Other Options – Trae Young ($9,900), Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,800)

Value

Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat ($5,700) – Maxey recently missed four games due to health and safety protocols, but he returned to the lineup two games ago. The 76ers wasted little time throwing him back into the fire, with Maxey logging at least 38 minutes in both contests. Maxey is expected to see a similar workload on Saturday, and he’s averaged 0.87 DKFP per minute this season. That makes him underpriced at this salary.

Other Options – Dennis Schroder ($5,100), Monte Morris ($4,700)


Shooting Guard

Stud

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers at Washington Wizards ($7,200) – Simons has been priced up to $7,200, but that’s still way too cheap given the Blazers’ absences. Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Norman Powell remain out of the lineup, and Simons has increased his usage rate by 9.5 percentage points with all three players off the court this season. He’s averaged 1.08 DKFP per minute in that situation, and he’s scored at least 45.25 DKFP in four of his past five games. Simons also has a solid matchup vs. the Wizards, who rank 23rd in defensive efficiency.

Other Options – Seth Curry ($6,100)

Value

Will Barton, Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($5,900) – Barton has served as the Nuggets’ No. 2 offensive option this season, and he has fared well in that role. He racked up 32.5 DKFP Thursday vs. the Blazers, and he did it in just 25.5 minutes. He should see a few additional minutes if Saturday’s game is more competitive, and he’s averaged 0.93 DKFP per minute this season.

Other Options – Lu Dort ($5,700), Kevin Huerter ($4,600)


Small Forward

Stud

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls ($9,300) – The Bulls are reeling at the moment. They’ve dropped two straight games in colossal fashion, losing by 26 points to the Nets and 48 points to the Warriors. This is also their fourth game in five nights, and they just lost Zach LaVine (knee) to an injury.

With that in mind, Tatum could be catching them at the perfect time. He’s been a bit boom or bust recently, scoring at least 55.75 DKFP in two of his past five games and 40.75 or less in the other three. That’s caused his salary to dip to just $9,300, which makes him a solid buy-low option.

Other Options – Josh Hart ($7,000), RJ Barrett ($6,800)

Value

De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks ($3,000) – Hunter is priced at the absolute minimum, and he’s tough to ignore at that price tag. He returned to the lineup for the Hawks two games ago, and he’s played limited minutes in his return. However, that hasn’t stopped him from scoring at least 21.75 DKFP in both contests. As long as he’s in the lineup – which isn’t a lock on the second leg of a back-to-back – he’s an elite value option vs. the Knicks.

Other Options – Alec Burks ($5,800), Devin Vassell ($4,000)


Power Forward

Stud

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics ($8,500) – DeRozan has struggled recently, scoring 31.5 DKFP or fewer in back-to-back games, but he’s going to have to do some heavy lifting on Saturday. The absence of LaVine and Lonzo Ball (knee) is going to open up a bunch of usage, and DeRozan figures to be the primary beneficiary. He’s increased his usage rate to a staggering 41.2% with both players off the court, resulting in an average of 1.32 DKFP per minute. His price tag has also decreased by $900 over the past month, so this is an excellent time to load up on DeRozan.

Other Options – Julius Randle ($8,600), Tobias Harris ($7,500)

Value

Troy Brown Jr., Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics ($3,000) – If you’re looking to go cheaper with the Bulls, Brown could be a nice source of savings. He’s priced at the minimum, and he’s one of the leading candidates to absorb some of LaVine’s minutes. Brown has averaged a respectable 0.74 DKFP per minute, so he can take advantage of a few additional minutes.

Other Options – Maxi Kleber ($4,700), Nicolas Batum ($4,200)


Center

Stud

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($12,600) – There is more than enough value on Saturday to spend up for Jokic if you’d like to. That’s been a good decision for most of the year. Jokic has averaged a stout 1.8 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s been the clear No. 1 player in DFS.

However, Jokic has hit a bit of a skid recently. He’s failed to return value in three straight games, which is a bit concerning. That includes just 43.5 DKFP in his last outing, albeit in just 28.5 minutes.

Still, the Lakers could be the perfect spot for Jokic to get right. They rank third in pace and allow the second-most points in the paint per game, and the Nuggets’ implied team total of 114.75 ranks second on the slate. Jokic could also carry slightly lower ownership than usual, which makes him very appealing.

Other Options – Nikola Vucevic ($8,700), Jusuf Nurkic ($7,800)

Value

Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs ($4,500) – Zubac has struggled recently, scoring at 13.75 DKFP or fewer in back-to-back games. However, his playing time was limited in both contests, once by foul trouble and once due to a blowout. He’s expected to return to his usual workload on Saturday, and Zubac has averaged 0.97 DKFP per minute this season.

Other Options – Mo Bamba ($5,800), Dwight Powell ($3,700)

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


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