We only have five games to talk about for NBA DFS tonight, but there is no shortage of injuries and no shortage in value. We are focused on the Indiana Pacers matchup against the New York Knicks, as they are both missing multiple core players. We also really like getting to the Sacramento Kings matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers, as they both play at a fast pace. We are looking at a stars and scrubs style build here, with some great budget plays coming from Indiana.
The Knicks are missing a few of their top options in Julius Randle, Derrick Rose, and Kemba Walker. RJ Barrett is a priority for us tonight, as we expect him to take a ton of usage as a clear leading option. Barrett only played 29 minutes in a blowout loss to Toronto last time, but he still put up 14 shot attempts. We expect this game to stay closer as both the Knicks and Pacers are running awkward units. On top of everything, we are getting Barrett at a nice $5,600 price tag that makes him easy to include in lineups.
On the other side of this matchup, Domantas Sabonis is a priority for us from the Pacers at $9,900. With Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and Chris Duarte out, there are not many high-usage guys left from Indiana. Sabonis is taking on a much larger scoring role here, as the Pacers rely on him for their entire offense. He went for 62.25 FPTS last game with all the guys out, and he is in the perfect spot to crush again tonight.
Here’s a Fade DFS Basketball 1/4/22 (using DraftKings Values)
Although we only have five games tonight, there are quite a few guys we really like at the top end. For that reason, it is easy picking out guys we are passing on here, one of which being Brandon Ingram. Ingram is way too expensive at $9,700, as at this point most of the upside is baked out and there is just a ton of risk. Furthermore, a lot of the big games we have seen recently involved him taking a ton of usage in the absence of Jonas Valanciunas. With Valanciunas back in the rotation, we expect the price to come down on Ingram, and he is an unenticing play until it does.
Now, what do you get if you sign up now for $99?
• One guard who is wildly underpriced for his role.
• A star who has been on fire lately.
• A few cheap big men stepping into starting roles.
• How we are handling Cash Games vs GPP’s
Duane Washington Jr. – PG ($4,000 DK) With all the core guards out for Indiana, there has been an opportunity for some deeper rotation and even G-league guys to step up. Washington has at least 30 minutes in each of the last two games, scoring over 20 FPTS in both outings. He played 34 minutes with LeVert added to the sideline last game, and we expect him to play over 30 minutes again tonight. He is way too cheap here, as he could easily put out a big game with the role he is playing.
Fred VanVleet – ($9,000 DK) VanVleet has been making an all-star push lately, as his dominant play has been starting to turn Toronto’s season around. VanVleet has gone for 57 and 54.25 FPTS respectively in his two games back from health protocols, which matches the 66.25 and 54.5 FPTS he scored in the two before being sidelined. He has been taking a ton of usage for Toronto, and he has been making his shots from deep. He is coming in at a solid price here, and we really like the San Antonio Spurs as a matchup.
Alec Burks – ($6,300 DK) With all the injuries plaguing the Knicks we know Burks will see a ton of minutes and get up his fair share of shot attempts. He always has a ton of upsides with big games here and there, but at $6,300 we are expecting good value in this spot. If we see one of those games where Burks gets hot from deep, he will be a must-have.
Jalen Smith – ($5,500 DK) The Phoenix Suns have not had DeAndre Ayton, JaVale McGee, or Frank Kaminsky for a few games now, which has led to some big games from Smith. In the two games with all three of the other big men out Smith has scored 29.75 FPTS and 39 FPTS respectively. He had been hot already, and he has hit at least 5x value at this price in four straight games. Smith saw some crazy usage last time out, and there is a chance his strong play will earn him more run tonight.
Damian Jones – ($4,000 DK) The Sacramento Kings were without Richaun Holmes last time out, as will be the case again tonight. Where the Kings had spread Holmes minutes around in the past, we saw Jones as the primary beneficiary last game. He played 29 minutes and capitalized on the opportunity with 35.5 FPTS. Assuming he starts again here he looks fantastic at $4,000, as we would expect him to play solid minutes again.
Slates like this are always great for Cash games, as we have value options like Washington, and Jones with very high ceilings. Furthermore, a lot of the plays that stand out like Barrett, Burks, Sabonis, and VanVleet will likely see high ownership with only five games. Tournaments can also be great on a slate like this, as we look to mix the best chalk plays with a few more contrarian options. A few of the strictly GPP options we are looking at here are Evan Fournier, Pascal Siakam, and Derrick White, as they are all too inconsistent for Cash games but have some massive upside.
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