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NBA DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings & FanDuel | 1/22

Eric MacPherson



NBA FanDuel Picks and lineups for daily fantasy on Wednesday February 3 based off Josh Engleman's expert simulations and model with ownership projections on Victor Oladipo

NBA DFS action on Friday, Jan. 22, locks at 7:00 p.m. EST with an 11-game main slate. Before you lock in your NBA DFS picks and favorite 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 Julius Randle, DeMarcus Cousins and more.

NBA DFS Picks: Key Building Blocks | Jan. 22

Julius Randle: New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors

DraftKings $9,100, FanDuel $8,900, Yahoo $42
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 9.0%, FanDuel 16.5% Yahoo 6.0%

Yes, Julius Randle has been a frequently recommended building block this season, but he has been well worth it. Tom Thibodeau has been key in unlocking Randle’s fantasy production. The seventh-year forward is averaging a career-high 37.1 minutes, which is nearly five more that last year. It should be no surprise that this has this has led to top-shelf production in most statistical categories. The two surprises, however, are the 6.3 assists and the 35.9% success rate on 4.0 3-point shots per game.

Last night Randle played 37 minutes and just missed a triple-double by one assist. He has reached this milestone once this season but has narrowly missed it four other times by five combined assists and one rebound. Sacramento has been an absolute disaster on defense, and they are allowing a league-worst 118.3 points per 100 possessions. This is nearly 6 more points than the Wizards, who are the next worse team.

Victor Oladipo: Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons

DraftKings $8,000, FanDuel $8,500, Yahoo $33
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 15.5%, FanDuel 15.3% Yahoo 25.0%

There are going to be many intriguing value plays coming from the Rockets tonight, but we definitely have a core building block with the newly acquired Victor Oladipo. Christian Wood, John Wall and Danuel House will all miss tonight’s tilt. That leaves a tremendous void that will need to be filled by the remaining healthy players.

In his first two games with Houston, Oladipo has averaged 31.7 minutes, producing 27.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 3.0 combined blocks/steals. The 39.6% usage rate may actually be sustainable with so many key members of the squad on the shelf. Though Detroit is in the bottom third of the league from a pace perspective, they have the fourth-worst defensive efficiency, allowing 111.2 points per 100 possessions. Anything less than 40 fantasy points from Oladipo will be a disappointment.

Jerami Grant: Detroit Pistons vs. Houston Rockets

DraftKings $8,100, FanDuel $8,400, Yahoo $36
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 17.1%, FanDuel 18.5% Yahoo 20.0%

This has been a breakout season for Jerami Grant, who is averaging 36.7 minutes per game for his new team. While he has been solid in his seven seasons, this year has bested all expectations. In his 14 games he is posting 25.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 combined blocks/steals. This works out to just over 41 fantasy points per game.

Currently he is 12th in the league with his 25.4 points per game, and most impressive is that he has topped 20 points in 13 straight appearances. This should be very repeatable since he has 19-plus field goal attempts in all but three games during this stretch.

NBA DFS Picks: Good Value

Jalen Brunson: Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs

DraftKings $4,700, FanDuel $3,900, Yahoo $13
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 16.0%, FanDuel 29.2% Yahoo 14.8%

This is not a sexy play, but we are seeing steady production from Jalen Brunson, who should once again be starting for Dallas. Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber are all out again. In his three starts this season, Brunson has been very fantasy friendly. In 33 minutes per game, he has tallied 21.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 0.7 steals per game. The Spurs will be occupied with slowing down Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, which should allow Brunson to chug along with 25-30 fantasy points.

NBA DFS Picks: Risky Value

DeMarcus Cousins: Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons

DraftKings $4,400, FanDuel $4,500, Yahoo $18
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 83.9%, FanDuel 77.3% Yahoo 60.0%

The risk with DeMarcus Cousins tonight is not with his matchup, but with the massive levels of popularity he is projected to carry tonight. This season Cousins is averaging 1.35 fantasy points per minute. The main variable is how many minutes will he play. In the two games this season where he has topped 18 minutes, he has averaged 21.0 minutes with 9.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 3.5 combined blocks/steals with 1.5 made 3-pointers for good measure. He has also been ejected twice in just 10 games. Forty fantasy points is very much in play tonight. Of course, would it be a shock if he was disinterested or even tossed from the game?

Eric Gordon: Houston Rockets at Detroit Pistons

DraftKings $5,700, FanDuel $5,200, Yahoo $16
Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 17.9%, FanDuel 24.1% Yahoo 37.6%

This is just a reminder that Eric Gordon is very scoring dependent when it comes to his fantasy production. In his last nine seasons, he has not averaged more than 26 fantasy points per game. Considering that he is a 42.5% career shooter, this is not a surprise. In his last two games, both starts, since returning from a two game absence, he has averaged 34.0 minutes, 18.5 field goal attempts, 21.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and no blocks or steals. This works out to 27.4 FanDuel/Yahoo and 29.5 DraftKings points. Does that seem worth it for this price tag with 20teams in action?

 Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Isaiah Roby: OKC at LAC – $11
  2. Delon Wright: DET vs. HOU – $11
  3. Jae’Sean Tate: HOU at DET – $12

SuperDraft Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

  1. Jerami Grant: DET vs. HOU – 1.60x multiplier
  2. Victor Oladipo: HOU at DET – 1.55x multiplier
  3. DeMarcus Cousins: HOU at DET – 1.55x multiplier

Final Thoughts

There is plenty of value to facilitate a stars and scrubs build. Just keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats will change the preferred options from site-to-site.

Be sure to tune into the Awesemo NBA Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock show beginning at 4:45 p.m. EST for all of your up-to-date information and analysis.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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