NBA Picks: Top Fantasy Basketball Targets, Values for January 4

Friday’s fantasy basketball slate has 10 games. The biggest point totals on DraftKings Sportsbook as of this morning are in Milwaukee for Bucks-Hawks (231 points) and in Phoenix for Suns-Clippers (231 points).

Notable players whose statuses will need to be monitored during the day include Myles Turner (nose), Mike Conley (shoulder), Kyle Kuzma (back), Jeff Teague (ankle), Ricky Rubio (foot), Marcus Morris (back) and Dwyane Wade (illness).

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

Donovan Mitchell, UTA at CLE, $7,200 — The Jazz could be without Ricky Rubio (foot), which would make Mitchell a candidate for expanded volume in the offense. Mitchell’s usage rate is a heavy 33 percent in minutes with Rubio off the court this year, up from 29 percent with Rubio on the court. Mitchell faces a foul Cleveland defense that has the worst possession-adjusted team defense in the league, although its slow pace has it ranked 11th worst in points allowed to opponents.

Other Options — Russell Westbrook ($11,300), Damian Lillard ($8,600)

Value

Brandon Ingram, LAL vs. NY, $6,800 — Ingram has seen a massive spike in potential assist creation recently with ball-dominant LeBron James (groin) out, creating 20 potential assists per game over his past two games, up from his season average of six per game. Ingram’s boost in facilitating is aligned with a big spike in passing, making 68 passes per game over those two games, up from 34 passes per game previously.

The Lakers could be without both James (out, groin) and Kyle Kuzma ($7,300; questionable, back) Friday, which would put Ingram in line for a boost in volume in the Lakers’ offense. Ingram has a heavy 30 percent usage rate with both James and Kuzma off the court this season, up from 22 percent with each on the court with him. Ingram faces a Knicks team that is poor defensively, ranking second worst in the league in possession-adjusted team defense while allowing the fourth-most points to opponents and second-most assists to opponents, giving him a strong matchup. Keep it locked into the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news on Kuzma’s status.

Other Options — Justise Winslow ($6,700), Tyus Jones ($5,800)


SHOOTING GUARD

Stud

Devin Booker, PHO vs. LAC, $9,000 — Booker has a matchup with a Clippers team that ranks in the bottom third in pace-adjusted team defense, and the Clippers’ quick pace — ranked eighth highest — has them allowing the seventh-most points to opponents. The game is expected to be high scoring, with a 231 total points on DK Sportsbook.

Other Options — Bradley Beal ($9,200), Victor Oladipo ($8,800)

Value

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL vs. NY, $4,900 — Caldwell-Pope has had a big boost in shot volume over his past two games, taking 21 and 14 field goal attempts along with 13 and 11 3-pointers, respectively, both the two highest amounts he’s taken in games this season. Each outing has led to 37-DKFP performances. If Kuzma ends up not playing, KCP will have further clearance for shot volume against the Knicks, who are poor defensively. The Knicks don’t contest 3-point shots well, allowing the seventh-most wide-open 3s based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter, so KCP could get some open looks in this matchup.

Other Options — Terry Rozier ($6,100), Tomas Satoransky ($5,800)


SMALL FORWARD

Stud

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. ATL, $11,700 — Antetokounmpo faces a Hawks team that plays the fastest pace in the league and is poor defensively, which has resulted in them allowing the most points and most assists to opponents. The Hawks are also poor on the glass, ranking in the bottom third in the percentage of missed shots they rebound. The poor point and assist prevention combined with poor rebounding makes Antetokounmpo a triple-double threat, although the risk in the matchup is the Bucks are big 13.5-point favorites at home, which could cut into Antetokounmpo’s minute load late in the game if there’s a blowout.

The game is a strong candidate to be played at a fast pace with a lot of possessions, as the Hawks are first in pace and the Bucks rank seventh. The game’s 231 total points is also the highest on DK Sportsbook.

Other Options — Paul George ($9,700), Luka Doncic ($7,400)

Value

Chandler Hutchison, CHI vs. IND, $3,000 —The Bulls just traded starting wing Justin Holiday to the Grizzlies last night. Holiday has played a total of 1,325 minutes this season, seventh most among all players, so his void will open up opportunities for the rest of the roster. Hutchison, a 2018 first-round pick, is priced at the minimum and could benefit Friday from an expanded minute load, especially if announced as a starter. Keep it locked into the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news on the Bulls’ starting lineup.

Other Options — Khris Middleton ($7,300)


POWER FORWARD

Stud

Tobias Harris, LAC at PHO, $7,100 — Harris has a matchup with a Suns team that is poor defensively and poor on the glass. The Suns rank fourth worst both in possession-adjusted team defense and the percentage of missed shots they rebound and have allowed the sixth-most points to opponents. Harris is averaging a strong 44 DKFP in two previous meetings vs. the Suns this year, and the game is projected to be one of the highest scoring on the slate with a 231 point total on DK Sportsbook.

Other Options– John Collins ($7,500)

Value

Gordon Hayward, BOS vs. DAL, $5,400 — The Celtics could be without both Kyrie Irving (out, eye) and Marcus Morris ($5,700; questionable, neck), which would make Hayward a candidate for a bigger role in the offense. Hayward took a season-high 18 field goal attempts Wednesday with Irving out of the lineup and took on an expanded facilitator role, creating 11 potential assists in the game, up from his season average of six potential assists per game. The possible increased volume makes Hayward a salary relief candidate.

Other Options — Kevin Knox ($5,900)


CENTER

Stud

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN vs. ORL, $9,900 — Towns has seen an explosion in fantasy scoring lately, averaging 70 DKFP over his past four. That overlaps with Derrick Rose injuring his ankle, which has contributed to Towns getting more volume in the offense. Towns has taken 23 field goal attempts per game over his past three, a boost from his season average of 16 per game, and has a heavy 33 percent usage rate over his past three, up from 26 percent in previous games. In addition to more shots, Towns is creating three more potential assists per game over his past three games. The Timberwolves face a Magic team Friday that has been poor on the glass, ranking in the bottom third in the percentage of missed shots they rebound.

Marc Gasol, MEM vs. BKN, $8,100 — Gasol faces a Nets team that has struggled to defend centers this season. The Nets have a bottom-third team defense, both by points allowed to opponents and pace-adjusted metrics, and rank mediocre on the glass. In his previous game vs. the Nets, Gasol scored 51 DKFP on 15 points and 15 rebounds.

Other Options — Nikola Vucevic ($9,300)

Value

Thomas Bryant, WAS at MIA, $6,000 — Bryant has an excellent 21.5 player efficiency rating, but underwhelming minute totals have depressed his fantasy value until recently. Bryant has played 30 or more minutes in three straight, averaging 35 minutes per game in those three games. The increased minutes has resulted in 33, 41.5 and 45.25 DKFP outings. An expanded minute load makes Bryant an appealing fantasy option despite a matchup vs. the Heat, who have been better-than-average defensively and on the glass.

Other Options — DeAndre Jordan ($6,400)


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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