NBA Picks: Top Fantasy Basketball Targets, Values for January 2

Wednesday’s fantasy basketball slate has nine games. The biggest point totals on DraftKings Sportsbook are for Lakers-Thunder (229.5 points), Hawks-Wizards (229.5 points) and Pelicans-Nets (230.5 points).

Notable players whose statuses will need to be monitored during the day include Anthony Davis (illness), Joel Embiid (knee), Nikola Vucevic (calf), Kyrie Irving (eye), Tristan Thompson (foot), Robert Covington (ankle), Dewayne Dedmon (knee) and Jeff Teague (ankle). Otto Porter Jr. (knee) is expected to return to the Wizards’ lineup after being out since Dec. 10.

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines can change throughout the day. Value also unexpectedly can open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up to the minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock.

Let’s take a look at some plays fantasy owners can consider using on DraftKings.

POINT GUARD

Stud

Russell Westbrook, OKC at LAL, $11,700 —The Lakers and Thunder rank third and fourth in pace, respectively, making this matchup a candidate for a lot of possessions for fantasy scoring. While the Lakers have a better-than-average pace-adjusted team defense, their fast pace has them ranking in the bottom third in points allowed to opponents. The Lakers also have allowed the fourth-most wide-open shots and ninth-most wide-open 3s based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter. The game’s 229.5 total points is one of the highest on DK Sportsbook. The Lakers also have turned the ball over the fifth-most times.

Other Options — Kemba Walker ($9,000), Ben Simmons ($8,900)

Value

Trae Young, ATL at WAS, $6,500 — Young has a matchup against a Wizards team that has been poor defensively. The Wizards have the league’s third-worst pace-adjusted team defense and have allowed the second-most points to opponents with the sixth-most assists to opponents. While the Wizards will be in position to perform better defensively the rest of the season with John Wall (heel) out — Wall has graded as one of the league’s worst defensive players — Young remains in a good position to score and dish out assists. Young has been hot lately, shooting 49 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3 while averaging 36 DKFP over his past six. The game’s 229.5 total points is one of the highest on DK Sportsbook.

Other Options — Zach LaVine ($6,600), Jeremy Lin ($3,900)


SHOOTING GUARD

Stud

Bradley Beal, WAS vs. ATL, $8,600 — Beal stands to benefit the rest of the season with Wall out of the lineup. Beal’s usage rate is a strong 31 percent in minutes with Wall off the court this season, up from 26 percent with Wall on the court. Beal faces a Hawks team that is poor defensively and plays the fastest pace in the league, which has them allowing the most points and most assists to opponents. The Hawks also have poor shot-quality metrics, allowing the third-most wide-open shots and fifth-most wide-open 3s based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter.

Beal is averaging 54.5 DKFP in two previous games vs. the Hawks this season and 49 DKFP in two games since Wall went out of the lineup. As mentioned above, the game’s 229.5 total points is one of the highest on DK Sportsbook. The Hawks also lead the league in turnovers.

Other Options — Jrue Holiday ($8,300), Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,200)

Value

Tomas Satoransky, WAS vs. ATL, $4,600 — Satoransky created a strong 17 potential assists in his most recent start in place of Wall and has created 13.5 potential assists per game in two starts since Wall has been sidelined. Satoransky is averaging 35.5 minutes and 30 DKFP over those two starts, and has a good matchup against the Hawks for reasons similar to Beal. The Hawks play lightning fast, increasing possessions for fantasy scoring, and combine their fast play with bottom third pace-adjusted defense and poor shot contesting, giving opponents good opportunities to score points and dish out assists.

Other Options — Dwyane Wade ($4,700), DeAndre’ Bembry ($4,200)


SMALL FORWARD

Stud

Paul George, OKC at LAL, $9,200 — George is in a somewhat revenge spot in Los Angeles against the Lakers, who George spurned in free agency to stay with the Thunder after originally planned on signing with the Lakers. Narratives aside, George is in a good spot for reasons similar to =Westbrook. The Lakers and Thunder are third and fourth in pace, respectively, which should create a lot of possessions for fantasy scoring, and the Lakers rank in the bottom third in points allowed to opponents. The game is also projected to be one of the highest scoring on the slate.

Other Options — Luka Doncic ($7,800)

Value

Daniel Hamilton, ATL at WAS, $3,400 — The Hawks are thin at wing with both Kent Bazemore (ankle) and Taurean Prince (ankle) out, which forced Hamilton into the starting lineup last time out. Hamilton played just 16 minutes but scored 20 DKFP and is a salary relief candidate if he starts again. The Hawks face a Wizards team that ranks towards the bottom of the league in points allowed to opponents, assists allowed to opponents and team rebounding.

Other Options — Jayson Tatum ($6,300), Gordon Hayward ($4,800)


POWER FORWARD

Stud

Anthony Davis, NO at BKN, $11,800 — Davis is legendary for his ability to burn fantasy owners with various ailments, and his late scratch Monday due to an illness was the most recent example. Despite the scratch, Davis is listed as probable and is expected to play Wednesday against the Nets. The Nets have a bottom-third team defense, rank mediocre on the glass and generally have struggled to defend centers this year. Davis always carries risk due to his propensity to head to the locker room during games with injuries or illnesses but carries about as much upside as anybody.

Other Options — John Collins ($8,200), Julius Randle ($8,000)

Value

Thomas Bryant, WAS vs. ATL, $4,700 — Bryant has a strong 21.5 player efficiency rating, and when he is given a good minute total, his fantasy production ticks up. Bryant has played at least 30 minutes in consecutive games — two of his three biggest minute loads of the season — scoring 33 and 41.5 DKFP with the expanded minutes. Bryant has a matchup vs. the aforementioned Hawks who are not only poor defensively but poor on the glass, ranking eighth worst in the percentage of missed shots they rebound.

Other Options — Trevor Ariza ($5,900)


CENTER

Stud

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN at BOS, $9,600 — Towns has a heavy 34 percent usage rate over his past two games, both with Derrick Rose (ankle) out of the lineup. Towns has taken 23 and 24 field goal attempts while dominating on the glass and facilitating a total of 13 assists over those two games, scoring 70 DKFP and 86.5 DKFP, respectively. Rose is not expected to play again Wednesday. Towns faces a Celtics team that is without interior defender Aron Baynes (hand). The Celtics have been noticeably worse defensively in minutes with Baynes off the court this year, allowing eight more points per 100 possessions, while also ranking worse on the glass.

Other Options — Nikola Vucevic ($9,400), Marc Gasol ($7,400)

Value

Guillermo Hernangomez, CHA vs. DAL, $3,800 — Hernangomez is in line to start at center after Cody Zeller injured his hand Monday. Hernagomez is averaging 25 minutes per game in starts in his career, significantly more than his 13 minutes per game when he comes off the bench, and is a candidate for an expanded minute total Wednesday. He has an excellent 22.4 player efficiency rating in 365 minutes this season. Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky ($3,000) is also a candidate for an expanded role at the minimum price.

Other Options — Alex Len ($4,700)


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) 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.

Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.

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