Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top Four Under $4K For Jan. 12

WATCH: Looking for a value big? Domantas Sabonis provides huge upside

Friday night sets up to be a fun one in the NBA with a nine-game schedule, featuring six in-conference showdowns. In the inter-conference games, we’ll get a chance to see the Warriors in Milwaukee to take on The Alphabet (Giannis Antetokounmpo) and the Bucks, as well as Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns going head-to-head as the Knicks visit the Timberwolves.

As you make your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups from tonight’s 18-team pool, make sure to check out these potential bargains if you are planning on diving into the bargain bin and spending less than $4K on a lineup spot. All these players are in a place to exceed expectations heading into the weekend.


Canaan missed the Suns’ last two games with a left abductor strain, but he was able to go through practice Thursday and appears to be on track to play tonight. He likely will do all he can to get back on the court against his former team, the Rockets, who drafted him back in 2013 and had him on the roster earlier this season as well. After the Rockets waived him, Canaan settled in as the Suns’ backup PG, playing 10 games with Phoenix and averaging 22.6 FPPG.

If he returns and plays 20+ minutes, there should be plenty of shots available tonight because the Suns won’t have Marquese Chriss (hip, out) and likely Josh Jackson (hip, doubtful) in an up-tempo game against the Rockets. Canaan is a high-risk, high-reward play to consider because he has a high ceiling and tends to be aggressive. If he’s confirmed to be ready, give him a look for GPP use tonight.


The Cavs were destroyed last night in Toronto, but one of the few bright spots was Thompson’s continued consistent return from his calf injury. Thompson has played at least 20 minutes in four straight games, and last night he had eight points, eight boards, an assist and a block in 23 minutes against the Raptors. He was one of my bargain plays yesterday, and I think he should continue to be a safe play tonight as the Cavs finish their back-to-back in Indiana.

Thompson will catch the Pacers at a good time with starting center Myles Turner (elbow) already ruled out. He still is coming off the bench, but he seems to have found a solid rhythm with at least 16 DKFP in six straight, making him a low-risk play if you have to spend under $4K.


On the other side of that matchup tonight, Joseph makes sense if you decide to spend big on big men and go cheap in the backcourt. Joseph had at least 20 DKFP in six straight games before struggling with his shot on Wednesday night and only producing 9.75 DKFP in 27 minutes. He gets plenty of run off the Indiana bench with at least 26 minutes in eight straight.

He had 25.0 and 20.5 DKFP in his two meetings with the Cavs earlier this season, and he should be in a good place to bounce back and return value tonight. He is a much safer play than Canaan because Joseph gets more time and has been more consistent. However, Joseph doesn’t have the high ceiling the volume-shooter brings off the Phoenix bench in a possible revenge game.


Johnson has found a nice niche with the Jazz, and his role has increased lately with Rudy Gobert (knee) out, opening more time at PF while Derrick Favors ($6,300; ankle, probable) slides to center. Johnson has played very well over his four games in 2018, averaging 26.3 minutes per game and producing 26.2 FPPG. He has over 32 DKFP in two of those four games including Wednesday when he had 16 points, four boards, four assists, three steals and 33.5 DKFP.

As he faces the Hornets in Charlotte, he gets a good matchup tonight and should be able to produce good numbers — even though he likely will see fewer minutes if Favors is able to return after sitting out Wednesday. The 36-year-old vet will continue to be a source of offense in Utah’s second unit, though, and is a solid play to consider if you go cheap at forward.


(Other cheap options worth considering)
  • Marreese Speights, Magic PF/C, at Wizards ($3,900)
  • Marvin Williams, Hornets SF/PF, vs. Jazz ($3,900)
  • Mario Chalmers, Grizzlies PG, at Nuggets ($3,700)
  • Malcolm Delaney, Hawks PG/SG, vs. Nets ($3,700)
  • Gorgui Dieng, Timberwolves PF/C, vs. Knicks ($3,700)
  • Ed Davis, Trail Blazers PF/C, at Pelicans ($3,600)
  • Shaun Livingston, Warriors PG/SG, at Bucks ($3,600)
  • Marco Belinelli, Hawks SG/SF, vs. Nets ($3,600)
  • Darius Miller, Pelicans SF/PF, vs. Trail Blazers ($3,600)
  • Jamal Crawford, Timberwolves SG, vs. Knicks ($3,500)
  • P.J. Tucker, Rockets SF/PF, at Suns ($3,500)
  • D.J. Augustin, Magic PG/SG, at Wizards ($3,400)
  • Zaza Pachulia, Warriors C, at Bucks ($3,300)
  • Troy Daniels, Suns SG, vs. Rockets ($3,300)

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