Daily Fantasy Basketball: DraftKings Cheat Sheet – January 5

Nick Young

Daily Fantasy Basketball is in full swing, which means each day XN Sports will have a column detailing advised plays and lineups for the remainder of the NBA season. For those familiar with DraftKings, their daily fantasy basketball is formatted differently this season. There is no multi-position eligibility, which makes it a bit harder to set your lineup.

For those unfamiliar with DraftKings, you are given $50,000 in cap space to select a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center, a guard, a forward, and a utility player. There are no points deducted for missed shots, which changes the strategy from other sites. To read the full scoring, click here. Keep in mind that a double-double awards a bonus, which can be the difference between cashing in and winning nothing.

Generally, the goal for value is at five times a player’s salary, plus five points. That brings a lineup to 290 fantasy points, which will cash each day.

Give DraftKings a shot, as there will be a few freeroll opportunities each night in Daily Fantasy Basketball. Click here to play.

Rather than value plays and lineups tonight, XN will give you a cheat sheet with the best plays at each position.

For those who frequent this column: if you like this idea let us know. If you prefer the other format, let us know as well.

Each position will have a few guys that we like for each night, ranked from top to bottom. To find these players, tools like usage rate, defense vs. position, injuries, minutes, and more are used.

There is a lot of news that will affect lineups tonight, stay informed before tip.

Point Guard

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers $10,400

Jarrett Jack, Brooklyn Nets $6,000

Donald Sloan, Indiana Pacers $4,600 (if Watson and Hill are both out)

Cheap Plays:

Matthew Dellavedova, Cleveland Cavaliers $4,000

Dante Exum, Utah Jazz $3,700

Beno Udrih, Memphis Grizzlies $3,000 (GPP play only)

Shooting Guard

Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls $8,800

Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers $4,600

Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors $7,900

Tim Hardaway Jr., New York Knicks $4,900 (if Melo is out)

Cheap Plays:

Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers $3,200

Small Forward

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors $8,300

Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz $8,000

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder $11,500

Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves $6,300

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Hornets $5,700

Cheap Plays:

Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz $3,000

Power Forward

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers $10,600

Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers $6,800

Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls $5,300 (if he starts)

Cheap Plays: 

Quincy Acy, New York Knicks $3,400


Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz $5,900

Jusuf Nurkic, Denver Nuggets $4,600

Cheap Plays:

No cheap plays at center tonight.


Trey Burke is questionable, and might not play. That gives Exum and Ingles value tonight.

Kyrie Irving is out, which makes Kevin Love the feature of the Cavaliers’ offense.

– Kobe is out tonight, Nick Young and Wayne Ellington will see boosts.

Enes Kanter is out again, Rudy Gobert starts at center against the Pacers, who allow a ton of points to centers.

– Quincy Acy should start again, making him a value at $3,400.

– Matthew Dellavedova and Dante Exum will both be high-volume plays tonight. In GPP, take Exum with a higher ceiling at a lower price.

Usage Rates

Dion Waiters and Kevin Love are both over 30 percent without James and Irving.

– Nick Young is over 30 percent without Kobe and Wesley Johnson on the floor.

– Gordon Hayward’s usage rate is an insane 36.7 percent in the current situation for Utah, if Trey Burke is unable to go.

If you have any questions or concerns leading to tip, let me know on Twitter @JoshCollacchi.

*Keep an eye on the inactives, as things in the NBA change at the last second. Good luck tonight.

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Josh Collacchi
In addition to writing here at XNSports, my fantasy content can be seen at Pro Football Focus Fantasy, eDraft, and Project Roto. Member of the FSWA and the FWAA and can be reached on Twitter @JoshCollacchi