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NBA DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings & FanDuel | 1/23

Eric MacPherson



NBA DraftKings Picks daily fantasy lineup cheat sheet with Luka Doncic

NBA DFS action on Saturday, Jan. 23, locks at 8:00 p.m. EST with a seven-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 Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, DeMarcus Cousins and more.

Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS HOME PAGE for more great written content, including the FREE Deep Dive – the most in article in the industry.

Awesemo’s Key NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Saturday, January 23rd

Luka Doncic: DraftKings $10,700, FanDuel $10,800, Yahoo $55

Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 58.66 (slate high) | Yahoo and  FanDuel: 55.06 (slate high)

Awesemo’s Preliminary Ownership Projections: DraftKings 22.6% | FanDuel 31.4% | Yahoo 19.2%

Tonight should be fun with the later than normal start along with all seven-games tipping off within one hour of each other. Nine of the fourteen teams in action also played last night. New Orleans, Minnesota, Golden State, Utah and the Lakers did not. The first four teams of that group are squaring off while Los Angeles is taking on a Chicago squad that won last night in the Queen City.

Last night the Mavericks knocked off the Spurs in San Antonio 122-117 and Luka Doncic played 36 minutes, which is right in line with his season average. On Monday we saw Kristaps Porzingis play 32 minutes in his first back-to-back of the season, so that seems like a reasonable baseline projection for him. There is always the chance that he sees less with Dallas installed as nine point favorites.

There is not much to add regarding Doncic that will surprise anyone. The third-year guard is tenth in the league with 26.8 points per game, third with 9.6 assists and he is averaging 10.0 rebounds to boot. He also leads the league with five triple-doubles which underscores how he contributes at a high level across so many categories. As mentioned above, he is Awesemo’s top projected player on tonight’s slate.

Chris Paul: DraftKings $7,100, FanDuel $6,900, Yahoo $28

Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 39.7 | Yahoo and FanDuel: 38.67

Awesemo’s Preliminary Ownership Projections: DraftKings 20.7% | FanDuel 27.4% | Yahoo 23.0%

Last night Chris Paul logged a season high 39 minutes in an overtime loss to these same Nuggets, while Devin Booker played 40 minutes but suffered a hamstring injury at the end of the game. There are varying reports, but it sounds like Booker may be held out of this game. In his two back-to-back sets this season, CP3 is averaging 30.2 minutes on the second leg. Keep in mind that Phoenix just missed a week’s worth of games due to health and safety protocols. Their next game is on Wednesday. It would seem that a 30-33 minutes projection is reasonable given the circumstances.

The key to this recommendation is the increased production that Paul sees when Booker is off the court. When this duo is sharing the backcourt, Paul averages right around a fantasy point per minute. Utilizing NBA WOWY we can see that when Booker is off the court, Paul’s fantasy production increases to 1.14 fantasy points per minute. While the 35-year old veteran of 16 NBA seasons is not a spectacular option, he is a nice building block. If Booker is indeed out, Cameron Payne is a nice value at a near minimum price across the board.

Zion Williamson: DraftKings $7,600, FanDuel $7,900, Yahoo $35

Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 39.3 | Yahoo and  FanDuel: 38.51

Awesemo’s Preliminary Ownership Projections: DraftKings 16.8%, FanDuel 21.7% Yahoo 10.0%

This is a nice matchup for the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, who has been a steady producer this season and he is a near lock for 40 fantasy points. Though he has not topped 45+ fantasy points in nearly a month, a big game is lurking and it could arrive tonight against the limited frontcourt of the Timberwolves.

The addition of Steven Adams has cut into Williamson’s rebounding opportunities, but Minnesota is in the bottom-third of the league when it comes to that category. Additionally, they are the fifth worst defensive squad allowing 110.4 points per 100 possessions. This is a reasonable price point when considering just how favorable this matchup is for the second-year big man.

Good Value

Jalen Brunson: DraftKings $4,800, FanDuel $4,300, Yahoo $13

Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 24.43 | Yahoo and  FanDuel: 23.51

Awesemo’s Preliminary Ownership Projections: DraftKings 10.1%, FanDuel 15.7% Yahoo 8.0%

Jalen Brunson was a key value recommendation yesterday and we can go right back to him on Saturday. Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber are all out again. In his four starts this season, Brunson has been very fantasy friendly. In 32.4 minutes per game, he has produced 19.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 0.5 steals per game along with 2.3 made three-pointers. The short-handed Rockets will be preoccupied with Doncic and Porzingis which should allow Brunson to flirt with thirty fantasy points.

Risky Value

DeMarcus Cousins: DraftKings $5,100, FanDuel $4,900, Yahoo $14

Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 35.23 | Yahoo and  FanDuel: 34.27

Awesemo’s Preliminary Ownership Projections: DraftKings 60.9%, FanDuel 52.9% Yahoo 73.2%

The risk with DeMarcus Cousins tonight is just how many minutes will he play on a back-to-back. Last night he was solid with 35ish fantasy points depending on your site of choice in 32.8 minutes. He made only two of his sixteen field goal attempts otherwise he would have topped forty fantasy points. However, even that would not have “broken the slate” by any stretch. On Yahoo his price came down from $18 to $14 so that is a bonus. Alex ‘Awesemo’ Baker says “He’s a near lock on Yahoo! at that price.” On DraftKings and FanDuel there was little change from yesterday. Absolutely roll with him in your cash games, but if you are building more than a couple of lineups, it seems reasonable to pivot to other players. Fortunately at Awesemo, we have a 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 vs. their ownership. As of writing, Cousins has a 39.5% chance of ending up in the optimal lineup, but is getting 60.9% ownership on DraftKings, giving him a slate low -21.1 leverage score. That doesn’t mean you can’t play him – because he’s great value – it just means you have to think about your roster construction as a whole, and add in some pivots off the chalk in certain spots.

Eric Gordon: DraftKings $6,000, FanDuel $5,200, Yahoo $16

Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 32.53| Yahoo and  FanDuel: 30.77

Awesemo’s Preliminary Ownership Projections: DraftKings 12.0%, FanDuel 25.6 Yahoo 33.4%

In my opinion there just isn’t enough upside to consider Eric Gordon in tournaments. The 32-year old veteran of thirteen NBA campaigns is very scoring dependent for his fantasy production and as a 42.5% career shooter, that is not a good thing. In his dreamy matchup last night he played 36 minutes but notched only 23.7 FanDuel/Yahoo points and 25.25 DraftKings points. Over the last nine years he has failed to average more than 26 fantasy points per game.

Keep in mind that this Rockets duo of Eric Gordan and DeMarcus Cousins are great plays in a vacuum, but anytime we see popularity surge like it has, we have to factor in upside vs. ownership. There’s a tipping point somewhere after all, and that’s where the Awesemo Boom vs. Bust tool comes in. Awesemo gives Gordon a 17% chance to end up in the optimal lineup, compared to 12% ownership. This tool will help you take your game to the next level.

 Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Cameron Payne: PHX vs. DEN – $10
  2. Delon Wright: DET vs. PHI – $11
  3. Jae’Sean Tate: HOU at DAL – $13

SuperDraft Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

  1. Jerami Grant: DET vs. PHI – 1.65x multiplier
  2. Victor Oladipo: HOU at DAL – 1.55x multiplier
  3. Zion Williamson: NOP at MIN – 1.45x multiplier

Final Thoughts on the Saturday, January 23rd NBA DFS Slate

This should be a fun one tonight with the compressed tipoff times. We have a plethora of value and several key players we can use as foundational pieces in any roster construction strategy.

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

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