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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for January 8

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

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s NBA slate is on the smaller side. There are five games to choose from, and the main DraftKings slate gets underway at 7 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into some of the top options to consider at each position.


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Point Guard

Stud

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic @ Detroit Pistons ($8,100) – Anthony returned to the Magic’s lineup in their last game, and he wasted little time making an impact. He was limited to just 25.7 minutes, but that didn’t stop him from racking up 26 points, five rebounds and seven assists. He also posted a 39.7% usage rate and finished with 45.75 DKFP.

Anthony is currently questionable with an ankle injury, but he has one of the best matchups on the slate if he’s able to suit up. He’s taking on the Pistons, who rank 22nd in defensive efficiency, and they’ve struggled against opposing point guards this season.

Other Options – Malcolm Brogdon ($7,800; questionable), Mike Conley ($5,800)

Value

Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic ($3,400) – Hayes isn’t a particularly exciting DFS option, but he’s underpriced at just $3,400. He’s coming off 29.8 minutes in his last game, and that’s a lot of playing time for someone with such a minimal salary. Hayes hasn’t been great on a per-minute basis this season – he’s averaged 0.71 DKFP per minute – but he should be able to pay off his salary with a comparable workload on Saturday.

Other Options – Cameron Payne ($4,500), Immanuel Quickley ($4,200)


Shooting Guard

Stud

Alec Burks, New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics ($5,900) – Burks hasn’t been very productive recently, but he’s back to playing big minutes for the Knicks. He’s logged at least 35.6 minutes in back-to-back games, including 37.5 minutes in their last contest. He finished with 27.25 DKFP despite shooting just 1-10 from the field, so he obviously has the potential for a better performance on Saturday.

Other Options – Lonzo Ball ($9,500), Terry Rozier ($6,900)

Value

Max Strus, Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns ($5,200) – Jimmy Butler is currently questionable for the Heat, and Strus would be very appealing if he’s ultimately ruled out. Strus returned to the lineup in the Heat’s last game, and he racked up 31.1 minutes in his first game following a five-game absence. He was one of the Heat’s go-to scoring threats in that contest, posting a usage rate of 26.5% and finishing with 43.0 DKFP. Overall, Strus has increased his usage rate by +2.5% in 16 games without Butler this season – tied for the highest mark on the team – and he’s averaged 0.93 DKFP per minute in those contests.

Other Options – Gary Harris ($4,600), Quentin Grimes ($3,300)


Small Forward

Stud

Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($7,300) – Bridges continues to stand out as underpriced at just $7,300. He was limited to just 25.7 minutes in his last game, but the Hornets won that game by nearly 30 points. He logged more than 41.6 minutes in his previous contest and racked up 58.5 DKFP. Bridges should return to his usual workload if today’s game is more competitive, and Bridges has averaged 1.14 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.

Other Options – Gordon Hayward ($6,400), Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,700)

Value

Wesley Matthews, Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Hornets ($3,400) – The Bucks are still dealing with a host of absences at the moment. Five players remain in health and safety protocols – including point guard Jrue Holiday – while Brook Lopez remains sidelined with a long-term injury.

With all those players out of the lineup, the Bucks have had to turn to some unlikely sources. Matthews is one of them. He’s racked up at least 28.6 minutes in back-to-back games, and he’s projected for a similar workload on Saturday. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have been nice sources of value.

Other Options – Lance Stephenson ($4,200)


Power Forward

Stud

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Hornets ($11,600) – The Bucks are on the second leg of a back-to-back, and this is a potential letdown spot after a big win over the Nets on Friday. However, Antetokounmpo was only needed for 26.8 minutes vs. the Nets, so he should be ready to go on Saturday.

The Hornets also represent a fantastic matchup for Giannis. They’ve played at the fastest pace in the league this season, and they also rank 28th in defensive efficiency.

Of course, Giannis doesn’t need a great matchup to do damage. He’s averaged a stout 1.72 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s increased that figure to 1.77 over the past month. He stands out as the clear top stud on a slate that is lacking star power.

Other Options – Domantas Sabonis ($10,200)

Value

Jordan Nwora, Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Hornets ($5,000) – Sticking with the Bucks, Nwora is another potential option. He’s seen a nice spike in playing time given all their absences, logging at least 30.8 minutes in back-to-back games. Nwora struggled in his last contest, finishing with just 17.0 DKFP, but he’s averaged 0.95 DKFP per minute over the past month. He should see another 30 minutes on Saturday, making him an excellent bounce-back candidate.

Other Options – Royce O’Neale ($3,700; questionable), Taj Gibson ($3,500)


Center

Stud

Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks @ Charlotte Hornets ($6,500) – A third member of the Bucks? Don’t mind if I do. Portis stands out as one of the best values on the slate, and he’s averaged a dominant 1.18 DKFP per minute this season. He’s coming off 32 minutes yesterday vs. the Nets, which he parlayed into 47.0 DKFP. If he can do that vs. the Nets, he should have no problem returning value vs. the Hornets.

Other Options – Omer Yurtseven ($6,600), Mo Bamba ($5,500)

Value

Hassan Whiteside, Utah Jazz @ Indiana Pacers ($3,500) – Whiteside is tough to ignore at just $3,500. His production in place of Gobert on Friday was mediocre – he finished with just 20.75 DKFP – but he played more than 30.4 minutes. Whiteside has averaged 1.26 DKFP per minute this season, so he has the potential for a much bigger game on Saturday. If he can combine the increased workload with his typical per-minute efficiency, he’s going to destroy his current salary.

Other Options – None

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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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