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DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy: Friday (1/22)

Jan 22, 2021

Welcome to the Friday edition of DraftKings DFS NBA advice. We have a massive, star-studded, 11-game slate tonight. Value is tough to come by, and you’re going to have to pick and choose who to spend up for on a slate like tonight’s. Let’s dive right in.

Check out today’s NBA Tip Off from DraftKings >>

Most Value Per Dollar 

Players expected to generate the most value relative to salary.

Point Guard

Kemba Walker (BOS) @ PHI $6,500 ⭐⭐⭐ LOW
Jamal Murray (DEN) @PHO $7,000 ⭐⭐⭐ HIGH

  • Walker will play just his third game of the season tonight after he missed the first 11 games while recovering from an offseason knee procedure. He put up 31.5 DK points in just 22 minutes on Wednesday and is set to see his minutes limit loosened tonight. He only needs 32.5 DK points to hit 5x value, which shouldn’t be a problem in 25-28 minutes.
  • Murray is a streaky player coming off of his worst fantasy performance of the season on Tuesday. You don’t want to touch him in cash lineups, but his 50+ DK point ceiling makes him a great tournament play. He went for 48 DK points three weeks ago against the Suns, which would be nearly 7x value at his $7,000 salary tonight.  

Shooting Guard

Kendrick Nunn (MIA) @ TOR $5,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM
Kevin Huerter (ATL) @ MIN $5,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ LOW

  • Nunn has been coming on strong this week, and his salary isn’t increasing at the same pace as his production. He’s averaged 34.5 minutes and 40.9 DK points over his last two games, over 7x value on his salary tonight. He just put up 47 DK points against this same Toronto team on Wednesday.
  • We all had a good laugh when we saw Huerter’s salary inexplicably skyrocket to $9,500 on Wednesday, but the drop to $5,900 seems like an over-correction. At that price, it would take just 35.4 DK points to hit 6x value. That’s well within range; he’s averaged 39.6 DK points over his past two games, and he went for 45 DK points against this same Minnesota team on Monday.

Small Forward

Taurean Prince (CLE) vs. BKN $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐ HIGH
RJ Barrett (NYK) @ SAC $6,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ LOW

  • Prince made his Cleveland debut Wednesday and racked up 35.75 DK points over 32 minutes played. He may not hit that minutes total tonight without double overtime, but if he can put up 1+ DK points/minute again, he’ll only need around 25 minutes to hit 6x value. That shouldn’t be too difficult against his former team.
  • As we occasionally see when pricing comes out before the West Coast games get going, Barrett’s price actually went down despite another strong performance Thursday night. He’s averaged just over 40 DK points over his last three games, and you shouldn’t worry about the 20-year-old being limited on the second half of the back-to-back. He gets to take on the porous Sacramento defense, so another 6x performance is well within reach.

Power Forward

Jeff Green (BKN) @ CLE $4,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ LOW
P.J. Washington (CHA) vs. CHI $6,800 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ LOW

  • Green has played at least 30 minutes in every game since Jarrett Allen was traded away. He’s also averaged over 28 DK points over the last two games. He has almost no ceiling playing on the same team as James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving, but as he proved on Wednesday, he’ll do enough to come with an ultra-safe floor for the price.
  • Washington is another player whose salary isn’t increasing enough compared to his production. He’s racked up a double-double in three straight games while topping 40 DK points in all of them, roughly 6x value on his $6,800 price tonight. 


Cody Zeller (CHA) vs. CHI $3,500 ⭐⭐⭐ MEDIUM
DeMarcus Cousins (HOU) @ DET $4,400 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ LOW

  • Zeller hasn’t played since injuring his hand in the season opener, but he’s listed as probable tonight and isn’t expected to have a minutes restriction. He’ll hit nearly 7x value on his bargain-bin salary tonight if he can perform at the level he did last season when he averaged nearly 24 DK points/game with the Hornets. He’s the best option to save some major salary cap space tonight.
  • This slate is loaded with good plays at center tonight, but Cousins is my favorite, primarily because Christian Wood has already been ruled out. The last time Wood sat, Cousins went for 40 DK points, and that was when he still had James Harden as a teammate. The matchup with Detroit is a juicy one, too, as the Pistons have given up the most DK points to centers over the last three games. 

Studs Worth Their Salary

  1. Luka Doncic (DAL) $10,900: There are a plethora of studs to pay up for tonight, but, as usual, fade Doncic at your own risk. He’s always capable of topping 70 DK points on any given night, something he’s done four times already this season.
  2. Kevin Durant (BKN) $10,700: Durant is my favorite stud on the slate. If you want a piece of the Brooklyn superteam, it’s tempting to pay up for Harden or down for Irving, but Durant falls in the often-overlooked Goldilocks zone. He also has the highest ceiling of any small forward on tonight’s slate.
  3. Joel Embiid (PHI) $10,100: This slate is loaded with high-priced centers tonight, but I’m totally comfortable paying for Embiid. He put up an insane 82.5 DK points three games ago, and he posted 65 DK points in his last outing against the same Celtics team he’ll see tonight.
  4. Trae Young (ATL) $9,600: After a rough stretch earlier in the month, Young is finally heating up and looking like the fantasy scoring machine we remember. In his past three games, he’s posted 50, 55, and 66 DK points. He shouldn’t struggle to top 50 DK points again tonight against Minnesota, just like he did on Monday.
  5. Clint Capela (ATL) $8,300: As I said earlier, this slate is loaded with quality centers. If you can’t afford Embiid in your lineup, take Capela for a $1,800 discount. He’s been racking up double-digit rebounds all season, but he’s seen a scoring uptick lately, dropping at least 23 real points and 54 DK points in three consecutive games.  

Notable Players to Fade

  1. Nikola Jokic (DEN) $11,000: It’s always risky to fade a player who averages a triple-double. The problem tonight is that he’s the most expensive player on a loaded slate, and there are a handful of cheaper centers that come with the same sky-high ceiling.
  2. James Harden (BKN) $10,800: We’re splitting hairs here, because of course, Harden can break any given slate. I bring him up here because he’s my least favorite of the Nets superstars to play tonight. It’s tough to stomach his high price on this star-studded slate where you need to save salary anyway you can.
  3. Andre Drummond (CLE) $9,400: The matchup is strong, and Drummond is typically a deal at $9,400, but there’s real cause for concern after new teammate Jarrett Allen outplayed him in his Cleveland debut. 
  4. Devin Booker (PHO) $8,000: I know I’ve asked this before, but why is Booker priced at $8,000? His season-high 43.75 DK points came almost two weeks ago, and he’s only topped 40 DK points three times all season.

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Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.

Aaron Larson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @aalarson.

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