NBA DFS action on Tuesday, Jan. 26, locks at 7:30 p.m. EST with a chaotic three-game main slate. Before you lock in your lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and SuperDraft, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy basketball rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS picks, including Bradley Beal, DeMarcus Cousins, Donovan Mitchell and more.
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Awesemo’s Key NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks | Jan. 26
Yahoo Play of the Day – Bradley Beal: Washington Wizards at Houston Rockets
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 51.51 | DraftKings: 53.24
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 46.6% | FanDuel 54.5% | DraftKings 43.1%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $47 | FanDuel $10,300 | DraftKings $9,900
This should be a spirited affair as former backcourt mates Bradley Beal and John Wall will be playing for opposite teams. Washington will be without six players as a result of injuries and health-and-safety protocols. Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Troy Brown Jr., Ish Smith and Moritz Wagner will all be out for at least the next two games. Raul Neto missed the last game with a groin injury, so the Wizards are dealing with a patchwork rotation.
Russell Westbrook (quad) was able to return after missing two weeks, though he was on a 25-minute limit. Naturally he will be raring to go against his former squad, though something in the 30-minute range is most likely, as there is no reason for the Wizards to risk a setback. Washington also plays tomorrow in New Orleans, and we know that Westbrook will not be playing on back-to-backs. Be prepared with a contingency plan in case he is an unexpected scratch.
The above information demonstrates why Beal is such an excellent option tonight. On the season he is averaging 35.4 minutes per game. He leads the league in both scoring with 34.5 points per game and in usage rate, which is an astronomical 37.1 percent. Beal is the best building block across the board for Tuesday’s NBA DFS pick.
DeMarcus Cousins: Houston Rockets vs. Washington Wizards
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 45.71 | DraftKings: 47.93
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 61.6% | FanDuel 54.7% | DraftKings 88.1%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $25 | FanDuel $7,200 | DraftKings $6,000
This is a phenomenal matchup for DeMarcus Cousins. It sounds like Christian Wood (ankle) will be out again, which bodes well for Cousins, who played 33 and 30 minutes in each of the last two games with Wood on the shelf. In these games Cousins averaged 31.5 minutes with 16.0 field goal attempts, 16.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 combined blocks steals. For good measure, he was 5-for-14 from beyond the arc. This culminated in a two-game average of 43.2 Yahoo points. Washington plays at the fastest pace with 107.5 possessions per 48 minutes, and they have the third-worst defensive efficiency, allowing 112.8 points per 100 possessions. They are also a bottom-10 team when it comes to rebounding rates.
Donovan Mitchell: Utah Jazz vs. New York Knicks
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 51.51 | DraftKings: 53.24
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 27.2% | FanDuel 30.1% | DraftKings 22.8%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $34 | FanDuel $8,500 | DraftKings $8,400
In a bit of a plot twist, Tom Thibodeau has the Knicks playing at the slowest pace in the league, with 98.2 possessions per 48 minutes. They have improved from the seventh-worst defensive efficiency rating last season to the fifth best this year. That said, this game still has an implied point total of 212.5, and the Jazz are perfectly content playing in half-court sets. Donovan Mitchell has been somewhat uneven in his performances this season, though he has topped 40 Yahoo points in his last two games, and he at least 35-plus in his last six. He continues to be the focal point of the Jazz offense and is averaging nearly 20 field goal attempts each game. As a bonus, he is averaging 8.6 3-point attempts per game, with a 40.6 percent success rate.
Los Angeles Clippers at Atlanta Hawks
Today is rather unique in that we have a fair amount of uncertainty with regards to injury situations as well as two teams dealing with COVID-19 ramifications. Additionally, each of the DFS sites has handled pre-emptive pricing differently so not all recommendations are created equal.
On Sunday both Trae Young (back spasms) and Clint Capela (wrist) were out due to injury. Danilo Gallinari (ankle) is questionable, and he has only played in four games this season. Fortunately, this is the first game of the night, so we will have the starting lineups before contests lock. If Capela is out, we should make John Collins a priority NBA DFS pick. Reviewing the data on NBA WOWY, we can see that Collins is averaging 0.86 fantasy points per minute when playing alongside Capela and 1.20 without his fellow big man on the court. Most of this is related to his rebounding rate, which increases by nearly 50 percent from 10.4 percent to 15.5 percent.
If Trae Young is out, then that means Rajon Rondo will likely be starting at point guard. I am most interested in him on Yahoo where he is still at the minimum price. Young and/or Gallinari being out will allow more opportunities for De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish. However, the latter two really need both players to be out for them to become above-average options.
The Clippers will be without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley. There will be increased opportunities, as this trio is vacating 94.4 minutes per game and 57.9 points, 16.0 rebounds, 13.2 assists and 6.2 combined blocks/steals. Each DFS site has handled the pricing differently, so some players may be excellent on one site but only a mediocre option on another. Check out the Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock on the Awesemo YouTube channel beginning at 5:30 p.m. for the most up-to-date analysis heading up to tip-off.
Washington Wizards at Houston Rockets
The only real variable for the Wizards as compared to the Sunday game with this same group of players is how many minutes Westbrook will receive. The best discount options based on the last game should be guards Jerome Robinson and Garrison Mathews. The both saw 35 minutes, with the former starting and the latter coming off the bench. My preference would be whomever is starting, but this duo is not what I would consider a priority play unless I am building more than five lineups.
Robin Lopez and Alex Len played 24 and 21 minutes, respectively, with the latter coming off the bench. Len has more fantasy upside, but he is also foul prone. I would consider these guys as similar NBA DFS picks with the Clippers’ Ivica Zubac.
John Wall: Houston Rockets vs. Washington Wizards
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 32.15 | DraftKings: 33.01
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20.4% | FanDuel 24.0% | DraftKings 25.1%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $7,700 | DraftKings $6,900
On Saturday John Wall played 20.7 minutes after missing five games with knee soreness. While it will be fun to see him on the court against his former squad, it is hard to see more than 25-28 minutes. This is in line with the Awesemo median projection of 28 minutes. Houston does not play again until Thursday, but it is unlikely Stephen Silas will acquiesce to Wall’s likely pleading for 30-35 minutes.
Using the Awesemo Boom vs. Bust tool that allows daily fantasy basketball players to see what a player’s likelihood is of appearing in the optimal NBA DFS lineup compared against their rostered percentage, Wall has a 16.17 percent chance of ending up in the optimal lineup but is getting a 25.1 rostered percentage on DraftKings. This gives him a -8.5 leverage score.
That score shows that he is projecting to be over-rostered on DraftKings. However, he also has a 58.1 percent chance of busting and is coming in with less than 5x his DraftKings salary in fantasy points. He has a 5.9 percent chance of a boom performance of 5x + 10, or 44.5 DraftKings points. For perspective, he has 44.5-plus fantasy points in just two of his eight games this season, and that was in the first two games when he averaged just shy of 37 minutes per game before his latest bout with his knees.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
- Luke Kennard: LAC at ATL – $10
- Marcus Morris: LAC at ATL – $10
- Jerome Robinson: WAS at HOU – $10
SuperDraft Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks
- DeMarcus Cousin: HOU vs. OKC – 1.50x multiplier
- Rudy Gobert: UTA vs. NYK – 1.35x multiplier
- Marcus Morris: LAC at ATL – 1.90x multiplier
Final Thoughts on the Tuesday, Jan. 26 NBA DFS Slate
Despite only six teams in action, we have a seemingly infinite number of value options. Remember pricing and scoring systems vary by site, so know which players that impacts on your favorite site. There is, of course, some concern with additional Clippers behind held out via the COVID-19 contact tracing protocols, so be ready if things get shaken up.
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