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DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy: Monday (1/4)

Jan 4, 2021

With the regular season of the NFL now in the rearview mirror, NBA DFS is about to pop off. That means contests will be bigger and more eyes will be keyed in on all the breaking news. What’s nice about that is that we’ve been doing this for weeks now and have a leg up on the competition. That’s why this is actually one of my favorite slates of the season with tons of value plays and great matchups abound. So, let’s go ahead and get into it!

If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

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Value Plays: Point Guard

Luka Doncic (DAL) at HOU $11,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Stephen Curry (GSW) vs. SAC $9,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Elfrid Payton (NYK) at ATL $6,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Doncic is always hard to fade, particularly in such a tasty matchup. We’ll discuss that more later.
  • Look for Curry in the studs section after he dropped a career-high on Sunday.
  • Payton has been brilliant in the last four games. He’s scored at least 25 DraftKings points in all of them en route to a 34-point average. We love that against a terrible Hawks defense.

Shooting Guard

James Harden (HOU) vs. DAL $11,100 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Josh Richardson (DAL) at HOU $5,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
George Hill (OKC) at MIA $4,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Harden is always a top-notch fantasy option, and he’ll be in our studs section.
  • If Luka misses this game, Richardson is one of the best value plays out there. Even if he does play, we think Richardson should see huge minutes opposing Harden and handle the ball a ton against this lackluster Rockets defense.
  • Hill is averaging 27 DraftKings points per game for the season. That’s an incredible total from a player scoring south of $5K.

Small Forward

Victor Oladipo (IND) at NOR $7,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Harrison Barnes (SAC) at GSW $5,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Reggie Bullock (NYK) at ATL $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ High

  • Oladipo is averaging 37 fantasy points per game for the season and is seeing a ton of usage and shots in the absence of T.J. Warren.
  • Barnes has been a pleasant surprise with his 33-point average, and it’s a wonder why he’s so cheap against the worst defense in the NBA.
  • Bullock is playing 37 minutes a game over his last three fixtures, and that alone makes him worth a shot at just $4,300 in such a tasty matchup.

Power Forward

Julius Randle (NYK) at ATL $9,000 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Aaron Gordon (ORL) vs. CLE $5,900 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium
P.J. Tucker (HOU) vs. DAL $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Randle has been one of the biggest surprises this season, and he’ll make his way into our stud section.
  • Gordon simply has too much potential to be priced below $6,000.
  • Tucker regularly plays 35 minutes a game, and he averaged 25 DK points per game in that role last season. If he can do that here, he’d be one of the best values on the board.


Joel Embiid (PHI) vs. CHA $9,900 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Low
Richaun Holmes (SAC) vs. GSW $5,600 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium
Brook Lopez (MIL) vs. DET $4,300 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Medium

  • Embiid just wrecked the Hornets on Saturday, and we’re going right back to the well. Look for him in the next section.
  • This Holmes price makes no sense. The Sacramento big man has scored at least 26 DraftKings points in four-straight games and is averaging nearly 35 fantasy points per game in that span.
  • Lopez has been downright terrible, but he’s been a $6,000-$7,000 player throughout his career. That makes him hard to fade at just $4,300 with his size being needed against this big Detroit team.

5 Studs Worth Their Salary

  • James Harden (HOU) $11,100: Despite the fact that Harden is dealing with an ankle issue, he’s the best option on the slate. That’s always the case with Harden, though, as he’s scored at least 55 DraftKings points in each of his first three games en route to a 59-point average. He absolutely obliterated Dallas last season, too, by scoring at least 61 DK points in all three of their meetings while averaging 72.3 fantasy points per game.
  • Luka Doncic (DAL)  $10,300: Harden and Doncic love to tango, and they’ll likely put on a show here. Not only does Houston sit 29th in total defense so far this season, but Doncic also averaged 68 DK points per game in his two meetings with them last season. If you can stack these two, please do it!
  • Joel Embiid (PHI) $9,900: Embiid has played at least 37 minutes in two of his last three games, and that’s a workload we’ve never seen from him before. That’s led to a 48-point average and it’s hard to overlook that production against a terrible Hornets frontcourt.
  • Stephen Curry (GSW) $9,300: Curry is the man with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson out of the picture, and he’s leading the Warriors with 20 shots per game and a 31 percent usage rate. That makes him really enticing against a Sacramento defense that sits 22nd in points allowed and 24th in defensive efficiency. Not to mention, he dropped a career-best 62 points on Sunday night.
  • Julius Randle (NYK) $9,000: Randle has been an absolute monster for the Knicks this season, and he’s averaging 23 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game. A big reason why he’s been so reliable is his role — he’s played at least 35 minutes in every game this season while scoring at least 39 fantasy points in all six games played. We love all that against a Hawks team that ranks 22nd in defensive efficiency.
  • BONUS: If Harden is out, looks at guys like John Wall and Eric Gordon. If Doncic is out, pivot to Jalen Brunson, Tim Hardaway Jr.and Josh Richardson.

5 Notable Players to Fade

  • Nikola Vucevic (ORL) $8,800: Vooch is obviously a stud, but this price really scares me in this matchup. Not only does Cleveland play at the seventh-slowest pace in the NBA, but they also rank fifth in defensive efficiency. That worries me with Vucevic failing to crack 40 DK points in half his games this year.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC) $7,800: SGA is obviously the man in OKC, but it’s killed his efficiency. The talented guard is shooting just 29.6 percent from the field over his last two games while averaging just 29 DK points per game. That’s unmistakably a terrible total from someone priced this high. Also, Miami has one of the best defenses in the NBA.
  • Pascal Siakam (TOR) $7,700: Something is off with Siakam right now. The Toronto big has only surpassed 36 DraftKings points once this season and is coming off a 17-point dud on Saturday. That makes him really hard to trust against stingy Celtics defense.
  • John Collins (ATL) $7,200: Collins is another big who’s struggling, and it’s becoming clear that all of the other talent in Atlanta is killing his role. In fact, he’s had 26 DK points or fewer in three of his six games this season en route to a disappointing 31.5 DK points per game average. That’s simply not good at this price, particularly with the Pelicans surrendering the second-fewest points in the NBA right now.
  • Devonte’ Graham (CHA) $5,700: This dude can’t hit the broadside of a barn right now. Shooting below 28 percent from the field for the season is bad enough, but it looks even worse when you see that he’s 1-of-10 from the field in each of his last two games. We obviously can’t trust that against a top-notch Sixers defense.

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Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.

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