NBA Picks: Top Fantasy Basketball Targets, Values for January 9

Wednesday’s fantasy basketball slate has 10 games. The biggest point totals on DraftKings Sportsbook are for Nets-Hawks (227.5 points), Sixers-Wizards (227.5 points) and Rockets-Bucks (226 points).

Notable players whose statuses will need to be monitored during the day include Devin Booker (back), Luka Doncic (back), Larry Nance Jr. (knee), DeMarre Carroll (knee), Joe Harris (ankle) and Dennis Smith Jr. (back).

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

D’Angelo Russell, BKN vs. ATL, $7,600 — Russell has an excellent matchup against the Hawks, who combine the fastest pace in the league with poor defense, which has them allowing the most points and most assists to opponents in the league. The Hawks are prone to allowing uncontested shots, allowing the third-most wide-open shots with the third-most wide-open 3s based on the league’s player tracking system, which measures the closest defender to the shooter. The Hawks also turn the ball over the most in the league by a comfortable margin and allow the most steals to opponents. In Russell’s previous game vs. Atlanta this year, he scored 56.5 DKFP in 29 minutes. The game’s total points is tied for the highest on DK Sportsbook.

Other Options — Damian Lillard ($8,800)

Value

Raul Neto, UTA vs. ORL, $4,300 — Starting point guard Ricky Rubio injured his hamstring after only five minutes Monday, which thrust Neto onto the court with Dante Exum (ankle) also out. Neto played a season-high 29 minutes — 10 more than any previous game this season — and scored 25 DKFP against a tough Bucks team. Neto’s 15.5 player efficiency rating on the season is slightly better than average, and his expanded role in the absence of Rubio and Exum, who have both been ruled out Wednesday, makes him a salary relief option vs. the Magic.

Other Options — Alec Burks ($5,000)


SHOOTING GUARD

Stud

James Harden, HOU vs. MIL, $12,200 — A matchup against the lengthy Bucks defense is not ideal, as the Bucks are a top-four possession-adjusted defensive and rebounding team, but Harden’s volume in the Rockets’ offense in the absence of Chris Paul (hamstring) and Eric Gordon (knee) pretty much makes him matchup proof. Harden’s usage rate since Gordon went out of the lineup is a beyond-heavy 43 percent, and he’s averaged 26 field goals while creating 19.5 potential assists per game over that timeframe, both about four higher than previous games this season. The Bucks’ fast pace, which ranks fifth, also will help create more possessions for Harden to score and dish out assists. The game’s total points is also among the highest on DK Sportsbook today.

Donovan Mitchell, UTA vs. ORL, $7,300 — As mentioned above, Rubio injured his hamstring Monday and will not play Wednesday, opening up clearance for Mitchell to have an expanded role in the Jazz’s offense. Mitchell’s usage rate is a heavy 34 percent with Rubio off the court this season, five percentage points higher than his 29 percent with Rubio on the court. Despite the expected bump in usage, Mitchell’s price is down $100 from his most recent game, making him an affordable source of volume.

Other Options — Bradley Beal ($8,900), Luka Doncic ($8,200)

Value

Jeremy Lin, ATL at BKN, $4,200 — Lin started Tuesday and played a season-high 34 minutes, scoring 36.5 DKFP. Lin has a better-than-average 17.6 player efficiency rating this season and an expanded minute load again Wednesday if he remains in the starting lineup makes him a strong salary relief candidate. Lin’s matchup also qualifies as a potential revenge game against his former team, the Nets.

Other Options — Shabazz Napier ($4,000)


SMALL FORWARD

Stud

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at HOU, $11,1000 — Antetokounmpo faces a Houston defense that has been poor this season, especially near the basket. The Rockets have allowed the sixth-most field goals within five feet of the basket while allowing opponents to shoot a very efficient 65.5 percent there, which is the zone Antetokounmpo takes most of his shots in due to his outside shooting deficiencies. Antetokounmpo is shooting a ridiculous 75 percent in that zone and is extremely difficult to strongly contest his shots there due to his length and finishing ability around the basket. The Rockets also rank as the sixth-worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they grab and the fifth-worst defensive team by possession-adjusted team defense.

Other Options — Ben Simmons ($9,100), Jimmy Butler ($7,200)

Value

Josh Jackson, PHO vs. DAL, $5,200 — With Devin Booker (back) out of the lineup Tuesday, Jackson started and played 31 minutes while scoring 30 DKFP. If Booker remains out again Wednesday, Jackson is a candidate to start again and continue an expanded minute load. Jackson came into yesterday’s game averaging seven more minutes per game in starts than off the bench prior to playing his 31 minutes Tuesday.

Evan Turner, POR vs. CHI, $3,900 — Moe Harkless (knee) has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game, and the last time Harkless missed a start, Turner took his place and played 31 minutes, six more than his season average. Turner faces a Bulls team that is poor on the glass, ranking as the fourth-worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they rebound. The Bulls also have a below-average team defense.

Other Options — Furkan Korkmaz ($3,600)


POWER FORWARD

Stud

Anthony Davis, NO vs. CLE, $11,500 — Davis faces a Cleveland team that has been horrific defensively this season, easily ranking last by possession-adjusted team defense, three points worse than the 29th-ranked team. The Cavs have allowed the fourth-most field goals within five feet of the basket while allowing opponents to shoot a league-high 66 percent in that zone, which is where Davis takes most of his shots. Davis will face incredibly soft defense for the entirety of his time on the court, but the issue with this matchup is Davis’ minutes. The Cavs have been getting their doors blown off lately and have the worst point differential in the league, being outscored on average by 11 points per game, which could cut Davis’ night short.

Other Options — Blake Griffin ($9,000), Julius Randle ($8,100)

Value

Dewayne Dedmon, ATL at BKN, $5,200 — The Nets have struggled against centers this year, and Dedmon took advantage in his previous matchup vs. Brooklyn, smashing it for 51.5 DKFP in 31 minutes. The Nets also rank in the bottom third by pace-adjusted team defense and allow points to opponents at a higher-than-average clip. The downside of the matchup is the Hawks are playing on the second night of a back-to-back after playing in Toronto last night, but Dedmon is an affordable option against a team that has been prone to allowing fantasy production to centers. Dedmon has PF/C eligibility in fantasy contests.

Other Options — Cedi Osman ($4,400)


CENTER

Stud

Joel Embiid, PHI at WAS, $10,800 — The Sixers play the second half of a home-and-home in Washington on Wednesday after playing the Wizards in Philadelphia on Tuesday. A blowout kept Embiid’s fantasy production in check Tuesday, as he was held to only 24 minutes, 10 less than his season average. Embiid is in good position Wednesday provided a normal minute load against a Wizards team that is poor on the glass and poor defensively. The Wizards rank as the worst team in the league by the percentage of missed shots they rebound and rank in the bottom 10 in both field goals allowed and field goal percentage within five feet of the basket. The game’s total points is also tied for highest on DK Sportsbook.

Other Options — Andre Drummond ($8,600), Jusuf Nurkic ($8,200)

Value

Jakob Poeltl, SA at MEM, $3,600 — Rudy Gay (wrist) has been ruled out of Wednesday’s game. With Gay out of the lineup Monday, Poeltl started and played 27 minutes, tied for the most he’s played in a game this season. Poeltl’s 19.3 player efficiency rating is better than average, and the expanded minute load makes him a salary relief option against the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are excellent at limiting points but are weak on the glass, ranking second worst by the percentage of missed shots they rebound.

Other Options — Domantas Sabonis ($7,100), Kyle O’Quinn ($3,500)


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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