NBA DFS Picks Breakdown (Friday, Jan. 6): LeBron James is an Alien

Friday features an 11-game slate starting at 7 pm ET.

Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs tools and metrics.

Also, don’t forget that for large-field tournaments, you can use our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to hand-build your lineups.

Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly.

Consult the NBA Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock. Use the PrizePicks promo code LABS to get a $100 sign-up bonus for NBA player props.

NBA DFS Point Guard Picks

Stud

There are plenty of options to consider on an 11-game slate, but Damian Lillard stands out as one of the best on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $9,100, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 95%, and Lillard has averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.08 with a comparable salary this season (per the Trends tool). His 11 Pro Trends rank third at the position, and he’s increased his production to 1.29 FanDuel points per minute over the past month.

Lillard also draws one of the best matchups of the day. The Blazers are taking on the Pacers, who rank sixth in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency. The total on this game sits at 237.0, which is the second-highest mark on the slate. Lillard has at least 51.1 FanDuel points in three of his past five games, and there’s no reason he can’t do it again in this matchup.


Value

Killian Hayes is officially done serving his suspension, and he posted 33.5 DraftKings points in his first game back. He’s now logged at least 34.75 DraftKings points in each of his past three full games, and he’s shown major growth in his third professional season. He’s averaging 1.00 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s currently projected for 32 minutes in our NBA Models. Add in an excellent matchup vs. the Spurs, and Hayes is too cheap at $5,500.


Fast Break

Monte Morris has been a solid source of value recently, scoring at least 29.5 DraftKings points in three of his past four games. He’s taken on an increased role as a distributor with Bradley Beal sidelined, increasing his assist rate to 31.5% over the past five games. Overall, he averaged 0.86 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he should play around 30 minutes in a solid matchup vs. the Thunder.

Jalen Brunson returned to the Knicks’ lineup two games ago, and he wasted no time making an impact. He’s played at least 38.9 minutes in both contests, and he’s scored at least 35.8 FanDuel points in both. That includes 51.4 FanDuel points in his last outing when he torched the Spurs for a new regular season career-best 38 points. With RJ Barrett still sidelined, expect Brunson to continue to play around 40 minutes most evenings.

NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks

Stud

The 76ers are going to be without Joel Embiid on Friday, which leaves a huge hole in their lineup. His 38.0% usage rate ranks third in the league, so there are going to be plenty of additional opportunities for the rest of the roster.

James Harden stands out as the biggest potential beneficiary. He’s increased his usage rate by +7.0% with Embiid off the floor this season, and he’s increased his rebound rate by +1.0%. Add it all up, and he averaged 1.44 DraftKings points per minute. Harden has averaged 1.33 DraftKings points per minute for the year, so that represents a sizable increase.

Harden also routinely carries one of the largest workloads in basketball, and he’s projected for just under 37 minutes on this slate. The Bulls stand out as a solid matchup, so there’s plenty to like about the Beard in this spot.


Value

Immanuel Quickleyhis salary continues to rise, but he’s still too cheap across the industry. Quickley has carried an insane workload of late, even with Brunson back in the lineup. He played more than 45.5 minutes in the Knicks’ last contest, and he averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute this season. The Knicks’ matchup vs. the Raptors isn’t ideal for fantasy purposes, but Quickley still stands out as one of the best per-dollar options on the slate.


Fast Break

Alec Burks is another potential option for the Pistons on DraftKings. His $5,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%, and he’s been extremely efficient with his playing time this season. He’s averaged 1.07 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six straight games. Burks also got to 30.6 minutes in his last contest, so his playing time is trending in the right direction.

The Hornets are not expected to have Gordon Hayward available for this contest, which opens up some additional opportunities for Terry Rozier. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high +4.2% with Hayward and Kelly Oubre Jr. off the floor this season. He leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $6,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 92%.

NBA DFS Small Forward Picks

Stud

LeBron James deserves so much credit for how well he continues to play in his 20th NBA season. He’s averaging 29.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game, resulting in an average of 1.46 DraftKings points per minute. He’s been even more effective recently, and he’s coming off back-to-back games with at least 67.75 DraftKings points.

LeBron takes the floor in one of the best possible spots Friday vs. the Hawks. This game leads the slate with a total of 242.5 points, and the Hawks are listed as slight road favorites. Both teams are implied for at least 120 points in that matchup, so there should be plenty of value on both sides.


Value

Devin Vassell has been ruled out for the Spurs, which creates some value with the rest of the roster. Josh Richardson is also questionable with a quad injury, but if he’s able to suit up, he stands out as an excellent value option at $3,800 on DraftKings. He’s increased his fantasy production to 0.93 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s currently projected for just under 25 minutes in our NBA Models. The matchup vs. the Pistons is also a good one, with Detroit ranked 29th in defensive efficiency.


Fast Break

Keldon Johnson is another potential target for the Spurs. He’s been their top offensive option all season, and he’s seen a team-high +2.9% usage bump with Vassell off the floor. Johnson was mired in a deep shooting slump earlier this year, but he bounced back with at least 22 points in four straight games. He’s an excellent target on FanDuel, where his $6,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 81%.

Landry Shamet has become an important part of the Suns’ rotation. They’re dealing with injuries to Devin Booker, Cam Payneand Cameron Johnson, which has allowed Shamet to play more than 30 minutes in recent contests. He’s also increased his production to 0.91 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s scored at least 45.0 DraftKings points in two of his past five games. That’s an elite ceiling for someone priced at just $4,500.

NBA DFS Power Forward Picks

Stud

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been rolling recently, racking up at least 72.25 DraftKings points in four straight games. He has been an absolute monster on the glass in those contests, grabbing at least 20 boards in three of those games, and he added 10 assists in his most recent contest. Giannis has also scored 30, 55, 43, and 45 points in those outings, so he is stuffing the stat sheet in every category across the board.

That alone makes Giannis worth consideration, but he also has an elite matchup Friday vs. the Hornets. They’ve played at the fastest pace in basketball since LaMelo Ball returned to the lineup, and the Bucks’ implied team total of 121.25 ranks second on the slate.


Value

Naji Marshall should continue to provide value for the shorthanded Pelicans. They’re currently without Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and Marshall played 32.6 minutes with both players out of the lineup on Wednesday. He responded with 29.75 DraftKings points, and that’s not an outlier: Marshall has averaged 27.88 DraftKings points in 11 games with at least 28 minutes this season. He’s underpriced across the industry for Friday’s matchup vs. the Nets.


Fast Break

Tobias Harris doesn’t provide the highest ceiling at the position, but he’s a safe option with Embiid sidelined. He’s increased his usage rate by +4.2% with Embiid off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 0.99 FanDuel points per minute. He’s projected for more than 32 minutes in our NBA Models, and that should be more than enough to pay off his $6,600 salary.

Kyle Kuzma stands out as one of the best pure values ​​at the position on FanDuel, where his $7,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%. Kuzma has increased his usage rate by +1.6% in games without Beal this season, resulting in an average of 34.98 FanDuel points per game. He has more upside than usual vs. the Thunder, who have played at the third-fastest pace this season.

NBA DFS Center Picks

Stud

Nikola Vucevic hasn’t gotten a ton of attention recently, but he’s been playing some really solid basketball. He’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +4.18 over his past 10 games on DraftKings, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in eight of those contests. However, his price tag has barely budged over that time frame, and it has actually decreased over his past few games. His $7,300 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 90%, and he leads the position with 11 Pro Trends.

His ownership also could be a bit depressed since his matchup vs. the 76ers looks tough on paper. Of course, the 76ers are not nearly the same defensive team with Embiid off the floor, allowing an additional +6.1 points per 100 possessions.


Value

Clint Capela remains out for the Hawks, so DFS players can continue to look to Onyeka Okongwu. He’s averaged 0.99 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s played at least 32.1 minutes in four straight games. He’s logged at least 36.9 minutes in three of those contests, so he has plenty of upside at just $5,700. His matchup vs. the Lakers is also elite, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +10.72.


Fast Break

Ivica Zubac owns a perfect 99% Bargain Rating on DraftKings, making him an excellent option vs. the Timberwolves. His minutes are extremely volatile – he’s played 15.5 and 34.1 minutes in his past two games – but he’s typically productive when he’s on the floor. He’s priced at a point where he can pay off his salary if he hits his minute floor and has elite upside if he hits his ceiling.

Thomas Bryant can continue to be targeted for the Lakers on FanDuel. He’s scored at least 34.3 FanDuel points in three of his past four games, and the lone exception was a game where he played just 22.6 minutes in a blowout. He’s averaged 1.11 FanDuel points per minute this season, and his matchup vs. the Hawks comes with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +8.39.

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