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Expert NBA Fantasy Rankings & Value Plays Today for DraftKings & FanDuel | 1/7/22

Tyler Schmidt

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There is an awesome nine-game NBA fantasy slate tonight. With that, NBA DFS injury news will be a big part of tonight’s process. Be sure to check the Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page to see who is in, who is out and who is starting as news breaks, and look at the NBA DFS rankings and projections before making your NBA fantasy picks today for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.

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DraftKings & FanDuel NBA Fantasy Picks & Rankings

*Grades are ordered DraftKings, FanDuel. Initial grade indicates a player’s strength of output, with the value grade indicating their strength as a play in relation to their salary.

PG Jalen Brunson — Grades: A, A | Values: A, A

The only player who has an A grade and an A value on both sites tonight is Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson. The reason for that is Luka Doncic is doubtful to play, while Kristaps Porzingis is out. We have a pretty solid sample size of 14 games that Doncic has missed this season. In those 14 games Brunson has averaged 20.1 points, 7.8 assists and 16.5 field goal attempts per game. He has also averaged 38.4 DraftKings points per game during that time and a 26.4% usage rate.

This is a fantastic matchup to target Brunson. The Rockets rank 29th in defensive rating, and they have given up 115.5 points per game which is the second highest in the league. Not only are they awful defensively, the Rockets also rank third in Pace this season. Brunson’s price tag on FanDuel is criminal. Using Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool, Brunson has a ridiculous 78.9% boom percentage and a 3.1% bust score. He is the highest projected player on FanDuel, reaching nearly 80%, but it is for good reason.

C Jusuf Nurkic — Grades: B, B | Values: B, A

The Trail Blazers are still playing with a make-shift lineup, as Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and now Larry Nance Jr. are all out tonight. Nurkic has played over 30 minutes in five of his last seven games, which provides him with incredible upside. In those last seven games, Nurkic is averaging a double-double of 14.9 points and 10 rebounds per game. Nurkic is favorably priced on FanDuel, though there is another center who is even better tonight.

Playing against the Cavaliers presents a difficult challenge for Nurkic and the Trail Blazers. The Cavaliers rank third in defensive rating and second in points allowed, with 102.6 per game. The most intriguing part for Nurkic tonight is he will have to play as many minutes as he can handle because of the massive Cavaliers frontcourt. Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Kevin Love all played 29 or more minutes in their last game. The minutes security for Nurkic is very compelling.

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SG Jordan Clarkson — Grades: B, B | Values: A, A

The Jazz will be the value hub tonight. They are playing without Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Ingles. Those five players have combined for 80.9 points, 28.9 rebounds, 16.7 assists and 105.9% usage rate per game this season. There is so many stats and usage to go around tonight. They also have four players who are listed as questionable with Jordan Clarkson, Rudy Gay, Royce O’Neale and Hassan Whiteside. Somebody has to play. The Jazz are playing tonight and then tomorrow. Lean towards Clarkson playing tonight and then sitting tomorrow on the second leg of their back-to-back.

Clarkson is by far the best option for the Jazz if he is able to go. Monitor their starting lineup, but operate as if Clarkson is playing. He is second to Mitchell in usage rate for the Jazz this season — 27.4% per game — and he also ranks fourth in points, averaging 15 per game. The Jazz are implied for a slate-low 105 points but will provide many value pieces in a stars-and-scrubs build. This is a situation to check back later in the day once there is more Jazz news.


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C Nikola Jokic — Grades: A, A | Values: B, A

With so much value on the Jazz being available, paying up for Nikola Jokic will be a popular way to go tonight. There is not a player with as much upside as Jokic. He is averaging a career-high 1.81 DraftKings points per minute this season. Jokic leads the Nuggets in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. His career-high 14.2 rebounds per game rank second in the league. Awesemo’s ownership projections have Jokic in the top five on both sites tonight.

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Jokic should absolutely feast in this matchup against the Kings. They rank 27th in defensive rating and have allowed the most points in the paint this season, with 53 per game. Jokic leads the league in points in the paint, with 15.2 per game. The Kings have also been destroyed on the glass. They allow the sixth-most rebounds and second-most offensive rebounds per game. Starting Damian Jones and Marvin Bagley III is a major problem. Jokic has massive potential in this spot.

PG James Harden — Grades: A, A | Values: C, B

The Nets got a glimpse of life with Kyrie Irving in their last game, as they scored 129 points, which was their most points scored in regulation this season. Irving will not be available tonight, as this is a Nets home game against the Bucks. James Harden has struggled in the past two games, one with Irving and one without. His price has dropped considerably following those two dudes. However, do not forget that in the five games before that Harden scored over 70 DraftKings points in each game.

This is a secretly awesome spot for Harden tonight. The Bucks allow the most 3-point attempts in the league and the second-most made 3-pointers per game. Harden is second on the team to Patty Mills in 3-point attempts and makes this season but is historically known for his incredible outside shooting. The Bucks will be playing without standout defender Jrue Holiday. Harden is another fantastic pay-up option with all of this value. Ideally, it would be great to get both Harden and Jokic tonight.


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