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High-Upside NBA Daily Fantasy Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Tonight | 1/7/22

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On tap for Friday is a nine-game slate, and with 18 clubs competing, NBA fantasy lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel will be flush with high-level talent and value plays. The Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page will provide breaking news when starters are announced as well as a full injury report on players who might be missing in action. Below are some NBA daily fantasy options that stand out for tonight’s slate using Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool and NBA DFS projections.

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Boom: Jalen Brunson: $7,000 DraftKings/$5,300 FanDuel

74.1% DraftKings Boom/88% FanDuel Boom

As always, Brunson is an elite option with Luka Doncic (doubtful, ankle) and Kristaps Porzingis (health protocols) out of the lineup. In the three games these two have missed this season, Brunson has delivered 38.4 DraftKings points in 38.6 minutes per game. Furthermore, in the 369 minutes he has played with Doncic and Porzingis off the court this season, Brunson’s usage and assist rates have increased 5.1 and 7.7 percentage points, respectively. This results in 1.1 DraftKings points per minute, and on the menu for Friday night is a beautiful matchup against the Rockets, who rank third in pace and 29th in defensive efficiency. In this prime spot, Brunson’s props on BetMGM are set at 20.5 points, 7.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds, which is already 35.5 DraftKings points before defensive stats and bonuses are credited.

Brunson is an outstanding target on both sites, but at only $5,300 on FanDuel, he is the No. 1 value on the slate in Awesemo’s projections and a must-play.

Boom: Hassan Whiteside: $3,500 DraftKings/$5,300 FanDuel

78.1% DraftKings Boom/46.6% FanDuel Boom

Whiteside (concussion) has missed the last three games but went through shootaround Friday, putting him in position to suit up against the Raptors. Whiteside should instantly find himself in a large role as the Jazz’s likely starting center Friday, with Rudy Gobert (health protocols) confirmed out. While Gobert’s absence is the most important factor for Whiteside, it is worth noting Donovan Mitchell (back), Mike Conley (rest), Bojan Bogdanovic (finger) and Joe Ingles (health protocols) have also been ruled out. Utah is going to be forced to use a very tight rotation, and Awesemo is projecting Whiteside for 24.8 minutes against the Raptors, which is more than enough time for him to destroy his current price tags. Whiteside is contributing 1.3 DraftKings points per minute this season and 28.5 DraftKings points per game in the last 10 he has logged at least 20 minutes.

Luckily, this game is the second of the night to tip off, and once there is confirmed word Whiteside is active, he will need to be one of the plays. He is particularly strong at only $3,500 on DraftKings, where Whiteside is rating as the No. 1 value and has the highest boom score on the slate in Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool.

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Boom: Nikola Jokic: $12,000 DraftKings/$11,400 FanDuel

46.5% DraftKings Boom/43% FanDuel Boom

Facing the Kings on his home floor, Jokic is a building block for all formats. He is fresh off a triple-double worth 75.25 DraftKings points Wednesday against the Jazz, which ties Jokic’s season high. He is now averaging a whopping 62.6 DraftKings points per game at home this season, which is 5.6 more DraftKings points per game than when competing on the road. With career highs in usage (32.5%), assist rate (41.1%) and rebound percentage (24.1%), Jokic is producing a league-best 1.83 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he could not ask for a better matchup than Sacramento. This season the Kings rank fourth in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency. Additionally, no team in the NBA is giving up more points in the paint than Sacramento, and they are also yielding the sixth-most rebounds.

The Nuggets boast the second-highest implied team total on the slate in this dream spot (117 points), and Jokic’s props are set at 27.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists on BetMGM. Including the DraftKings bonus for a double-double, this is already 56.75 DraftKings points before defensive stats and additional bonuses. In Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool no player brings a higher ceiling than Jokic on Friday, and he is also rating as the best value above $8,000 for both DraftKings and FanDuel.

Boom: Khris Middleton: $7,900 DraftKings/$7,800 FanDuel

22% DraftKings Boom/15.9% FanDuel Boom

The Bucks and Nets face off in Brooklyn tonight, and this game’s total is the highest on the slate (232.5 points). Plus, this game is expected to stay competitive throughout, with the Nets only favored by 4.5 points. Having exposure to this elite environment should be a priority, and Middleton is a very interesting way to attack this game given Awesemo is projecting him for low ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Jrue Holiday (health protocols) will be inactive for the Bucks, and when Holiday has been off the floor this season, Middleton’s usage has risen 4.6 percentage points to 30.8%. His assist rate has also jumped up 6.1 percentage points to 30%, lifting Middleton to 1.2 DraftKings points per minute. He has 50-fantasy-point upside in this marquee matchup and is one of the best GPP plays available for Friday’s massive slate.

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Check out our daily fantasy rankings NBA for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own best DFS NBA projections. Looking for more NBA DFS strategy and the best NBA DFS picks? Our NBA DFS projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. View our FanDuel NBA ownership, our DraftKings NBA ownership projections and our Yahoo! NBA ownership. We also have FanDuel rankings, DraftKings NBA rankings and Yahoo! NBA rankings for today's slate.
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