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The NBA Rundown – FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Picks – January 4, 2022 (1/4/22)

The NBA Rundown – FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Picks – January 4, 2022 (1/4/22)

Please note that players on DraftKings and FanDuel have multi-position eligibility and may not always match their position between each other. In this article, we will be breaking down some of our favorite plays on the slate at their positions. Remember to always keep your eye on the news as the day progresses, as NBA news changes the slate frequently.

Guards

Duane Washington Jr ($4,000 DK, $4,000 FD)

Team Total Usage Rate Fantasy Points Per Minute Opponent Defensive Net Rating Rank Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game to Position
104.25 21.4% 0.79 11th 45.64

Washington has started each of the last 2 games for the Pacers, playing over 30 minutes in each and seeing his usage jump to over 23% on average in that time. He may not be the flashiest producer, but with all the challenges that the Pacers are currently experiencing with COVID-19 (Chris Duarte, Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon and others) while still battling injuries (T.J. Warren, T.J. McConnell) as well. Floor time is really what the DFS game is about investing in when it comes to values, and unless we get some surprise returns to action from the likes of Duarte for example, Washington is expected to get another 30+ minute opportunity, which will yield the potential for another 6-7+ ROI kind of game.

Fred VanVleet ($9,000 DK, $9,900 FD)

Team Total Usage Rate Fantasy Points Per Minute Opponent Defensive Net Rating Rank Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game to Position
113.75 23.9% 1.12 7th 47.50

The Raptors generally move at the pace of VanVleet, and with an attractive situation on tap against the Spurs who are without Dejounte Murray due to COVID-19 protocols, things open up a little extra for the Toronto guard from a DvP perspective. The Spurs collectively sit below average defensively against the position, and the SAS/TOR tilt is expected to yield plenty of scoring and possessions as the second highest game total on the board on tonight’s 5 game slate. Freddy has eclipsed the 54 DKP mark in 4 straight games, with Toronto scoring at least 116 points in each of those games as well. He’s a great source of minutes, usage, scoring and assists while chipping in with steals as well (37.6/31/5/8.8/2 slash line in that time). 

Forwards

Devin Vassell ($4,400 DK, $4,800 FD)

Team Total Usage Rate Fantasy Points Per Minute Opponent Defensive Net Rating Rank Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game to Position
108.75 17.7% 0.88 4th 46.09

If the Spurs’ last game was any indication of how they’ll continue to roll out their starting lineup in the wake of COVID-19 challenges, Vassell stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of a depleted roster. He played 41 minutes in their last outing against the Pistons, finishing with a nifty 19-4-4-3 line in that time on 7 of 16 shooting. Despite being below 50% from the field, that 43.75% mark is very respectable, and his usage from deep (5 for 12) is indicative of the kind of role he’ll continue to play tonight against the Raptors. At a sub-$5,000 price point with another 35+ minute output potentially there for the taking, you’ll have a hard time finding better value at the SF/PF slots this evening than him. 

Josh Hart ($6,600 DK, $8,000 FD)

Team Total Usage Rate Fantasy Points Per Minute Opponent Defensive Net Rating Rank Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game to Position
105.75 16.1% 0.96 24th 44.2

Has there been any bigger surprise in 2021-22 so far than Josh Hart? I’d argue not, especially over the last month of action. In his 8 games in December, he averaged 37.6 minutes, 16.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists and nearly 1.5 steals + blocks while being +35 from the floor and shooting 61.5% from the field (including 42% from deep). From a DK perspective, I don’t see how we fade him tonight at this price given a matchup that he lines up pretty well against with a lot of versatile guys at the 2 and 3 positions, where his competitiveness on the defensive end and rebounding efficiency will really come into the fold. He is easily one of my favourites on this slate, and I highly recommend you not be too short on exposure to him in this matchup. 

Power Foward/Centers

Jalen Smith ($5,500 DK, $5,800 FD)

Team Total Usage Rate Fantasy Points Per Minute Opponent Defensive Net Rating Rank Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game to Position
112.75 19.6% 1.15 7th 54.62

We’re starting to see what bigger minutes can do for Smith while Ayton’s been sidelined, and assuming that will be the case for Tuesday’s game against the Pelicans, I think we can go back to him once more here. In his last 4 games, he’s averaging 26.1 minutes and a double-double of 16-10.5 to go along with nearly 2.0 steals+blocks while shooting 56% from the field and 89% from the charity stripe. If there’s a path to another 25-28 minute outing from Smith (watch the news on Ayton as it’s a pretty clear fade if Deandre’s healthy for this one), he’s a great source of mid-range value in an attractive spot given the FFPM tendencies. 

Herbert Jones ($4,600 DK, $6,900 FD)

Team Total Usage Rate Fantasy Points Per Minute Opponent Defensive Net Rating Rank Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game to Position
105.75 12.4% 0.72 27th 49.66

Jones is an absolute steal on DraftKings at his $4,600 price point tonight, and I wouldn’t ignore him on FanDuel (thanks to the defensive contributions as FD rewards them wonderfully). He’s clearly taken on a larger role in his last few games in particular, and his prowess on the defensive end helps keep the floor nice and high. He’s hit the 35+ minutes mark in 3 of his last 4 games, and has eclipsed the 27 DKP mark in each of his last 3 (with 2 of those going over the 37 DKP threshold). He’ll generally give us something in the range of 12-15 points and 4-6 rebounds, but the 3-5 steals+blocks he delivers is what really props the baseline up nice and high. Tonight should be no exception against the Suns regardless of if he’s bodying up against Jalen Smith or Deandre Ayton (likely out again due to COVID-19 protocols). 

I should note that despite naming Smith and Jones at the position today in detail, Jakob Poeltl is one of my fav GPP options against a Toronto club that has no match for a big-bodied C on the defensive end. He could easily put together a 25-12 kind of night and hit a 40+ fantasy point threshold. Damian Jones for the shorthanded Kings is also intriguing as a lower-priced value – so we are really quite ripe with strong pickings here this evening at the middle and lower pricing tiers. Spending up for LeBron James while he’s playing as well as he is should not be a problem as a result of all this great value tonight.

About Jared

Jared is an expert fantasy sports player for both DFS and season-long formats. Specializing in DFS Baseball, Football & Basketball, with tens of thousands of dollars in career DFS earnings. Active player on FanDuel, DraftKings & FantasyDraft. Annual NFBC high stakes league participant.

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