NBA Picks: Top Fantasy Basketball Targets, Values For New Year's Day

After finishing 2018 with five games on Monday, the NBA is ready to start 2019 off right with another five-game slate of fantasy basketball goodness to help you celebrate New Year’s Day. None of the 10 teams on the court Tuesday played Monday, so rotation shouldn’t be impacted by fatigue.

There are some key injury situations to monitor throughout the day, highlighted by Joel Embiid ($10,200; knee, questionable), Ricky Rubio ($5,800; back/knee, probable), Emmanuel Mudiay ($5,600; hamstring, questionable) and Gary Harris Jr. ($5,500; hip, questionable). Make sure to check the DK Live app or leading up to game-time to find out who is in and who is out. Here are the players at each position and price point that I think can help start your New Year with a bang.

Point Guard


De’Aaron Fox, SAC vs. POR, $8,200 — Fox is in the midst of a breakout campaign in his second NBA season and has been especially impressive over his past six games. He has posted at least 40 DKFP in each of those six games and is averaging 47.0 DKFP on 20.2 points, 9.8 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 steals per contest. Fox has three double-double’s during that span and is becoming a reliable high-level producer. This is the first meeting between the Kings and Trail Blazers this season, but Fox should be able to stay hot in a game that is expected to be one of the highest scoring of the night.

Other Options — Damian Lillard ($8,700), Donovan Mitchell ($7,100)


T.J. McConnell, PHI at LAC, $3,600 — If you’re spending up at other spots, McConnell can be a serious salary saver at guard. He has at least 20 DKFP in each of his past four games and at least 18 in 12 of the past 15. McConnell has scored double-digit points in each of his past two games and handed out at least seven assists in three of four. He continues to play meaningful minutes off the bench and is a solid play to return 5x value even though his ceiling is somewhat limited by his usage.

Other Options — Fred VanVleet ($5,500), Reggie Jackson ($4,800)

Shooting Guard


Jamal Murray, DEN vs. NY, $7,600 — Murray enters a tasty matchup with the Knicks coming off back-to-back monster games. He had 31 points and 45 DKFP on Friday against the Spurs and then dropped a career-high 46 points in a 69.5-DKFP performance on Saturday against the Suns. Murray was 9-for-11 from long range in that game and 16-for-24 from the field. The Blue Arrow comes into the New Year red hot, and even the possible return of Gary Harris won’t derail Murray when the Nuggets host the Knicks tonight.

Other Options — Khris Middleton ($7,000), C.J. McCollum ($6,600)


Malcolm Brogdon, MIL vs. DET, $5,600 — Brogdon returned from a one-game absence with strong back-to-back performances against the Knicks and continued his efficient production with 31.5 DKFP against the Nets in his most recent game Saturday. He has at least 25 DKFP in eight of his past 10 games and four of his past five. His complimentary role in the Bucks lineup gives him a consistent chance to put up multi-faceted numbers, making him a relatively low-risk play. He doesn’t have the highest ceiling as a result of his limited offensive role, but almost always chips in around 15 points with solid counting stats in rebounds, assists and steals.

Other Options — Danté Exum ($4,400), Reggie Bullock ($4,000)

Small Forward


Giannis Antetokoumpo, MIL vs. DET, $11,600 — The Greek Freak sent 2018 out in style with three straight 30-point games, culminating in a massive 31-point triple-double against the Nets on Saturday that resulted in 72 DKFP. He had at least 64 DKFP in each of those three games and at least 50 DKFP in seven of his past eight contests. Giannis had 57 DKFP in 32 minutes against the Pistons on Dec. 17 during that stretch and should be able to keep smashing as the Bucks host the Pistons.

Other Options — Jimmy Butler ($6,900), Kevin Knox ($5,900)


Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC vs. POR, $5,700 Bogdanovic has at least 20 points and 30 DKFP in three of his past four games and continues to be a major contributor off the Sacramento bench. He is averaging 29.5 minutes per contest over those four games, so don’t let his status as a non-starter make you think his role isn’t large enough to justify his salary just under $6K.

Other Options — Danny Green ($4,200), Luke Kennard ($3,500)

Power Forward


Danilo Gallinari, LAC vs. PHI, $6,700 — Gallinari has at least 32 DKFP in seven of his past eight contests, continuing his strong season with the surprising Clippers, who enter the day as the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Gallinari has averaged 22.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 38.3 DKFP over his past eight games with over 40 DKFP in four of those contests. Gallinari should be able to keep posting solid, well-balanced lines when the Clippers host the 76ers, and has been the most consistent PF option to return value on this slate.

Other Options — Kawhi Leonard ($8,900), Montrezl Harrell ($6,800)


Moe Harkless, POR at SAC, $3,700 — Harkless (knee) is probable after missing Sunday’s contest and is expected to jump right back into the Portland lineup. He has battled injury this season, but has looked like he is settling into a nice rhythm lately. Harkless had 29.0 DKFP and 29.75 DKFP in the Blazers’ two contests with the Warriors last week and has over 20 DKFP in six of his past 10. He’s another solid salary-saved under $4K.

Other Options — Al-Farouq Aminu ($4,900), Wilson Chandler ($3,800)



Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. NY, $9,800 — Jokic has been hovering around a triple-double, but hasn’t quite put together all the elements needed in the same game. He has at least nine assists in three straight games, at least eight rebounds in eight of his past 10, and at least 19 points in eight of his past nine.  He has at least 43 DKFP in eight of those 10 games and could finally go off in his matchup against the Knicks. He had 52.5 DKFP Saturday in his most recent contest with 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and I think he should be set up for big numbers at home against the Knicks.

Other Options — Joel Embiid ($10,200), Noah Vonleh ($6,300)


Luke Kornet, NY at DEN, $4,600 — Kornet has moved into the New York starting lineup the past two games and put together strong fantasy games in an expanded role. He had 23 points, five assists and a rebound for 39.25 DKFP against the Bucks on Thursday and followed that with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and 32.0 DKFP Saturday in Utah. Kornet’s ability to stretch the floor helps the rest of the Knicks offense, so coach David Fizdale will likely keep giving him expanded playing time, making him a nice affordable big-man option under $5K.

Other Options — Pascal Siakam ($6,100), D.J. Wilson ($3,600)

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.