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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 18

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

After a full day of basketball action on Monday, Tuesday’s slate slows the pace. There’s only two NBA games this evening, which means finding any edge or way to differentiate yourself from the pack becomes all the more important. Hopefully, I can help with that.

Let’s go position-by-position and dive into the numbers.

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POINT GUARD

Stud

D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves at New York Knicks, $8,200 - Russell has been an absolute monster in his past five starts, averaging an impressive 1.36 DKFP per minute played. The most interesting aspect of this recent run has been Russell’s ability to facilitate. To wit, the former All-Star has racked up a total of 50 assists since Jan. 7, while his 14.0 potential assists per game within that same span is good for the 10th-most of any player in the NBA. When Russell’s an elite contributor in two categories, he’s hard to overlook.

Value

Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons at Golden State Warriors, $3,800 - I know. It’s difficult to get too excited about putting Hayes in a lineup. However, on a slate like this, not every asset has to be a slam dunk — pun intended. Over his last three starts, Hayes is averaging 28.6 minutes per game and that’s translated to 24.5 DKFP. Again, nothing super impressive, but enough to bring back 6x value. There’s safety in that kind of locked in volume.


SHOOTING GUARD

Stud

Cade Cunningham, Detroit Pistons at Golden State Warriors, $7,500 - There’s blowout potential here, but on a slate this size, I think you have to risk it with Cunningham. The former first-overall pick has looked the part in recent weeks and, as you’d expect, his biggest performances have come with the longest runways. In fact, the last six times Cunningham’s logged at least 35 minutes, he’s exceeded 50.0 DKFP four times. In general, the rookie is putting up 1.09 DKFP per minute over his past 18 contests.

Value

Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $3,200 - The Knicks are currently without Derrick Rose (ankle) and Kemba Walker (knee), while they just shipped Kevin Knox to Atlanta. Basically, the team is light in the backcourt, and that means someone like Grimes has had to step into the void. The rookie is averaging over 22 minutes per game in New York’s last five contests. He’s bested 15.0 DKFP four times in that span. Again, we’ll take 5x value wherever we can get it.


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SMALL FORWARD

Stud

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $7,300 - After a prolonged slump in December, Barrett has been playing some of the best basketball of his season in January. With no Rose in the picture, Barrett has posted a team-high 29.5% usage rate across his last nine games, a stretch where he’s averaging a more than respectable 1.04 DKFP per minute. That efficiency is particularly important when you realize that Barrett has been playing an insane 39.3 minutes per contest over his past five starts.

Value

Otto Porter, Golden State Warriors vs. Detroit Pistons, $5,800 - I don’t think small forward is the best position to get frugal on this slate, but Porter is at least an option. The veteran hasn’t been logging crazy minutes with Draymond Green (calf) unavailable; however, Porter has been making the most of his opportunities as of late. In the Warriors’ past two games, Porter has averaged an eye-popping 1.64 DKFP per minute.


POWER FORWARD

Stud

Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons at Golden State Warriors, $6,800 - Meh. I’m pretty indifferent to the “studs” at power forward. Julius Randle ($9,200) hasn’t been producing like he was last season and no one else that’s active is priced above $7K. You don’t need to roster Bey, but he seems pretty locked into playing at around 35 minutes a night for Dwane Casey, and he’s flashed 50.0 DKFP upside with Jerami Grant (thumb) sidelined. He’s a decent target in the mid-tier.

Value

Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors vs. Detroit Pistons, $4,300 - What the Warriors’ rotation looks like on Tuesday is a massive storyline, particularly when it comes to the viability of their first-round pick. Kuminga’s last three games have been the best stretch of his brief career, yet his 25.6 minutes on Friday came with no Klay Thompson ($5,500) and his 33.0 minutes on Sunday were with no Stephen Curry ($10,600). Still, the rookie owns a team-high 28.6% usage rate within that span and he’s posting 1.25 DKFP per minute. As long as he sees 20 minutes, he should be fine.


CENTER

Stud

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves at New York Knicks, $10,200 - Towns just feels like the safest place to spend up on Tuesday. The big man is averaging 1.43 DKFP per minute across his past 10 starts and, in Minnesota’s last two “competitive” scripts, Towns has logged over 39 minutes of action. The Knicks have been stout against opposing centers in 2021-22, but matchups matter less with limited options.

Value

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $5,400 - Call this a mini-stack. With the presence of Towns, New York will be leaning heavily on Robinson — especially if Nerlens Noel ($3,700; knee) is ruled out once again. The big man is averaging a team-best 1.18 DKFP per minute over the Knicks’ past four games, and Robinson’s exceeded 30.0 DKFP three times during that stretch.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is theglt13) 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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