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NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Lineup Strategy for Wednesday, January 4

Although we didn't get many options from Atlanta or Sacramento into our endorsements today, you can probably find some worthwhile omissions there. The game is on track to have the fastest pace of the night. The Nets and Bulls are two other teams where you can find additional plays despite no player from either team making our top list.

Injuries

CLE Darius Garland (thumb) - DOUBTFUL CLE Evan Mobley (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE We told you Donovan Mitchell ($9,600) would go off. His 21/11/8 evening caused his salary to spike, so I'm a bit less enamored with him now. He's still viable, but Jarrett Allen ($7,600) seems more obtainable, especially against the Suns, a team Allen has had some success against this season. OKC Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (illness) - QUESTIONABLE SGA could return, but load up on Josh Giddey ($7,500) if the illness keeps him off the floor. NYK RJ Barrett (finger) - OUT Immanuel Quickley ($6,800) is a tad too expensive, but he seems to be the prime beneficiary of Barrett's absence after a string of productive performances. NOR Zion Williamson (hamstring) - OUT There's no word on how long Williamson might be out. I'm hesitant to rule on a direct pivot due to the sample size, but Jonas Valanciunas ($6,600) tends to pick up a lot of slack when Williamson is out, especially in the rebounding department.

Elite Players While it's always a good idea to throw five-digit salaries into your lineups, there isn't an elite that stands out at this level. A slate this size demands uniqueness for a cash, so I think employing some balance is a better ploy. James Harden ($10,300) seems a bit appealing, as we have stayed off Philly often so far this year due to their slower pace of play. Of the group at the top, he may end up with the lowest roster percentage. I expect the Trail Blazers-Timberwolves matchup to have a lightning-fast pace, so Anthony Edwards ($9,000), D'Angelo Russell ($7,100) and Damian Lillard ($9,200) all have value for me. Russell is the cheaper grab, but I wouldn't rule the other two out. We've also watched De'Aaron Fox's ($8,500) salary spike a bit, but his point-assist totals are hard to ignore against the Hawks at home. Also consider: Jordan Poole, GSW ($8,400) vs. DET

Expected Chalk and Other Targets Jalen Brunson, NYK ($7,500) vs. SAN Brunson stands out to me due to RJ Barrett's absence. His usage percentage increases by 4.4 percent when Barrett is off the court, which is the best differential among all the Knicks starters. I'd imagine I won't be the only one to notice this metric, so Brunson may be about as chalk as you'll get on this slate. Jaren Jackson, MEM ($7,300) @ CHA I am a bit on the fence about Jackson due to his salary point, but it's generally a good idea to feature a frontcourt player against the Hornets, so I'll take the risk. This is the front end of a back-to-back, but considering they play the Magic tomorrow, it might be a more sensible side for Jackson to sit. The team is managing Jackson's injury, so check his status if you roster him early. Terry Rozier, CHA ($6,700) vs. MEM I'm not quite sure how Rozier's salary dropped $200 after a 27/4/2 line against the Lakers, but you won't see me complaining. His dip into the 6k range has been justified recently due to a cold shooting streak, but his salary is venturing into ridiculous territory. When you consider the 40-45 FDFP potential you can get from Rozier when he is dialed in, I think he's a steal here. Donte DiVincenzo, GSW ($6,400) vs. DET This is a great matchup against Detroit, and I feel compelled to give DiVincenzo a shout. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole will show up with more rostership in the ongoing injury scenario, which is why DiVincenzo seems to be a viable tournament option. He's averaged a solid 31 FDFP over the past five games, which is right in line with what we expect at this salary. His floor is also pretty reliable, and he may get more run if this game gets out of hand. Also consider: Thomas Bryant, LAL ($6,200) vs. MIA, Onyeka Okongwu, ATL ($6,700) @ SAC, OG Anunoby, TOR ($7,000) vs. MIL

Value Plays Mikal Bridges, PHO ($6,000) @ CLE Devin Booker's absence requires every Suns starter to step up, so a Phoenix starter at this salary seems wise. Bridges has delivered solid numbers recently, averaging 14.2 points, 3.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds over the past five games, and his FDFP average is hovering right around 30 over that span. Jalen Duren, DET ($5,900) @ GSW I wouldn't like to see Duren tangle with Draymond Green, but the youngster could have decent success otherwise. The Warriors have had their share of struggles against opposing big men, and although Duren's numbers can fluctuate wildly, he has some upside at this salary point. He comes with some risk but could also be overlooked on this slate. Willy Hernangomez, NOR ($4,400) vs. HOU I'll admit that this is a gut call, but with Williamson out, a wild card should step in and contribute, and Hernangomez makes the most sense. If he can get through a crowded depth chart where Naji Marshall and Jaxson Hayes will also compete for minutes, the big man could emerge as a solid value candidate. He only fits if you've spent up in several spots.



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