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DraftKings, FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks (1/4/22): Today's Top NBA DFS Lineups

Happy Tuesday, Rotoballers! It's my first NBA DFS article of 2022, and I'm ready to help y'all start the year with a win. 2021 had some wild nights, especially towards the end there with the spike in COVID cases. Hopefully, this year can begin with smoother sailing, and all of you can rely on our advice coming out in the morning to still be relevant by the time of the game's tip-off. So thanks for continuing to come back and read us at Rotoballer, and here's to a successful and contest-winning 2022!

Five games occupy the Tuesday schedule this week, but one stands out above the rest. The Sacramento-Los Angeles game has the highest over/under (228.5 points), the fastest projected pace, and the worst team by defensive rating on the slate in Sacramento. Every player in this game is in play for DFS purposes. I'll see a lot of LeBron James in my lineups tonight. In my opinion, the second-best contest among the five games is the San Antonio-Toronto game. Pascal Siakam is enjoying the holiday period after his COVID comeback, and the Spurs have plenty of value options up and down their roster.

This article will provide you with my daily fantasy basketball lineup picks for DraftKings and FanDuel on 1/4/22. Remember to monitor injury news as the slate can completely change before lineups lock.

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DraftKings and FanDuel Guards - NBA DFS Lineup Picks

Fred VanVleet - PG/SG, TOR vs. SAS ($9,000 DraftKings; $9,900 FanDuel)

As someone that writes about NBA DFS, it always brings a warm feeling to my heart when I see Toronto on the schedule because of the reliable minutes you can count on from their starters. Fred VanVleet is no exception to the rule. This minutes-heavy policy Head Coach Nick Nurse employs could be named after FVV. When he can play, he plays a lot of minutes, making him a spectacular DFS option any night. VanVleet only returned from a COVID-induced quarantine on Friday after missing 13 days but played 39 and 31 minutes in back-to-back matchups. The 2019 NBA Champion averaged 33 points, seven assists, 5.5 threes, four rebounds, and two stocks (steals+blocks) in his couple of return games. Tuesday's opponent, San Antonio, is dealing with its COVID issues at the moment. They enter the game as a top-10 defense versus point guards over the last 15 games, but I expect it to be a lot weaker without Dejounte Murray (conditioning) operating the backcourt gates.

Tyrese Haliburton - PG/SG, SAC at LAL ($7,300 DK; $7,500 FD)

The changing of the guard is officially upon us in Sacramento. With De'Aaron Fox's name becoming an ever-increasingly popular name in trade rumors, sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton is showing the basketball world precisely what he brings to the court. He's registered at least 40 DraftKings points in eight of his previous 10 contests and at least 50 points in four of those eight. It all comes down to aggression with Haliburton. In games where he takes at least 14 shots, the 2020 first-round pick averages 51.15 DK FPPG, whereas his average dips to 37.3 DK FPPG when he doesn't reach that benchmark. I know it's tough to rely on the Kings to do something clever, but in an up-and-down showdown with the Lakers, they will need to rely on their sophomore of the future if they want to take down the purple and gold.

Tre Jones - PG, SAS at TOR ($3,800 DK; $4,100 FD)

Tonight will likely be Tre Jones' swan song for DFS purposes in 2022, so let's see him go out on a high note. Dejounte Murray (conditioning) has cleared quarantine but lacks game fitness. Therefore, it would stand to reason Tre Jones will keep his role in the starting five for one more game. He made his first one of the season on Saturday against Detroit and impressed in his 32 minutes. The second-year guard produced 15 points on 10 shots, with seven rebounds and three assists for 27.75 DK points while only costing $3,100. In fact, Jones has seen at least 20 minutes in three of his last four games and averages 26.4 DK FPPG. His Tuesday salary sits at $3,800 on DraftKings, and 20 minutes and an average performance makes him a seven times return on value player. So as long as Jones gets the start, he's on my radar as a value play.

 

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DraftKings and FanDuel Forwards - NBA DFS Lineup Picks

LeBron James - PG/SF, LAL vs. SAC ($11,400 DK; $11,400 FD)

I would love to say I tried very hard to keep LeBron James out of today's picks, but that would make me a liar. Rostering one of the hottest players in NBA DFS against possibly the worst defense in the league is too enticing to pass up. Despite a nagging abdominal strain, the King provides DFS gold to his constituents nightly. He's scored less than 50 DraftKings points in one of his last eight games while averaging a massive 64.96 DK FPPG in that same stretch. In the previous 15 games, Sacramento ranks in the bottom-10 versus point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, and power forwards. So essentially everywhere LeBron plays. We don't have to overthink this one in cash games.

Domantas Sabonis - PF/C, IND  ($9,900 DK; $10,000 FD)

I sort of hit on a player involved in trade talks while mentioning De'Aaron Fox in my Tyrese Haliburton write-up. However, now I'm writing about a player who will be wearing a different uniform when the trade deadline passes. Maybe dealing in absolutes is only for Sith Lords, but I would be shocked to see Sabonis as a Pacer come February 10th. Regardless, the big man is playing some of his best basketball of the year right now, and I'm on board to invest in him against the Knicks.

As of this writing, Julius Randle (protocols) is out for this fixture. Therefore, the Knicks league-best defense versus centers will take a huge hit. Today, Sabonis finds himself written up in the forward's section, but I would deploy him at either spot in the lineup without hesitation. I prefer Lebron as the premium-priced forward to build around, but Sabonis is an acceptable pivot in tournament games if you want to separate yourself from the crowd. He's dropped at least 53 fantasy points in three consecutive games and averages 57.4 DK FPPG over this stretch of games.

Devin Vassell - SF/PF, SAS at TOR ($4,400 DK; $4,800 FD)

Rolling with Vassell in Canada provides us a lot of minutes for not a lot of investment. San Antonio is dealing with several injuries to key players, and it's opening the door for some of the secondary contributors to play big minutes. Vassell is a prime example of this. On Saturday, he played 41 minutes against the Pistons and recorded 19 points, five three-pointers, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals. His three steals tied a career-high for the sophomore forward, and he will look to register a similar line against the Raptors on Tuesday. Over the last 15 games, Toronto gives up the 10th-most DK FPPG (DraftKings Fantasy Points Per Game) to small forwards and the third-most DK FPPG to power forwards. Vassell has the opportunity, the matchup, and the upside to be a seven or eight times return on value play at only $4,400 on DraftKings.

 

DraftKings and FanDuel Centers - NBA DFS Lineup Picks

Pascal Siakam - C, TOR vs. SAS ($8,700 DK; $9,400 FD)

Labeled as a pure center these days, Siakam is cranking up the production since his return to the court. He missed two weeks of games due to a run-in with COVID, but it's seemingly reset his focus and provided DFS managers with his best run of games this season. Over the last three games, Siakam's averaging 24.3 points, 13 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and a block per game for 56.1 DK FPPG. Now, he meets a turnstile-like Spurs defense as he looks to continue this incredible form. San Antonio allows the fifth-most DK FPPG to centers over the last 15 games. It provides Siakam with a perfect matchup to pair with his recent uptick in production.

Jalen Smith - PF/C, PHX at NOP ($5,500 DK; $5,800 FD)

Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee will both sit another game as they work through the NBA's health and safety protocols. Therefore, sophomore big man Jalen Smith will grab another start for the Suns and have the chance for a big night against the New Orleans Pelicans. Smith has played at least 24 minutes in every contest during the previous four games. In those four games, the former Maryland Terrapin registered 16 points on 10.25 shots, with 10.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks for 33 DK FPPG. At $5,500, those are fantastic returns in any matchup. However, Smith will meet a Pelicans defense giving up 55.26 DK FPPG, the tenth-worst mark in the league. Smith could be a significant chalk play in cash games tonight, but I'm still running him out there in my tournament lineups.



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