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NBA DFS Building Blocks for Wednesday, January 5 | Today, 1/5/22

Eric MacPherson

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The best NBA DFS optimizer picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups | Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight 1/19/22

Wednesday, Jan. 5, has a mega 11-main slate tipping off at 7:00 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Wednesday, Jan. 5

Yahoo Play of the Day — Bradley Beal: Washington Wizards vs. Houston Rockets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 45.86 | DraftKings: 47.98
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20.4% | FanDuel 17.8% | DraftKings 8.3%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $10,500

Washington will be getting Raul Neto back from the health and safety protocol, though they were still without Spencer Dinwiddie, Montrezl Harrell, Aaron Holiday, Rui Hachimura, Brad Wanamaker, Tremont Waters and Anthony Gill. On tap is a matchup with the Houston Rockets, who are on the precipice of descending into pure unadulterated internal chaos.

Bradley Beal has played 43 minutes in each of the last two games, and that should put to rest any concerns about his conditioning from his recent stint on the COVID-reserve. In his last half dozen games, three each before and after his time in the health and safety protocol, Beal is putting up numbers and usage similar to what he did last season. In this stretch he is averaging 37.2 minutes and an outstanding 52.7% success rate on 21.8 field goal attempts per game. This works out to 30.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.5 combined blocks and steals. The return of Neto should not impact Beal’s production much and could actually help his efficiency with an actual NBA-caliber facilitator on the court instead of Corey Kispert, Anthony Gill and Deni Avdija as the only other distributors available. Kyle Kuzma and Daniel Gafford continue to be excellent options from Washington, and Avdija is a reasonable small forward option on Yahoo.

After a massive 17-assist game against the Bulls, the sportsbooks seem to have bumped Beal’s assists props. Awesemo’s OddsShopper tool has found a Bradley Beal NBA player prop bet tonight that has an expected win rate of 79%. The over/under for Beal’s assists is currently at 9.5, while Awesemo’s expert projections have him slated for only 7.6, which makes the UNDER a solid bet here tonight.

Christian Wood: Houston Rockets at Washington Wizards

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 36.96 | DraftKings: 38.67
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.0% | FanDuel 21.2% | DraftKings 29.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $26 | FanDuel $7,200 | DraftKings $6,200

It would seem that Christian Wood is at a crossroad. Two games ago he was late to the arena for a COVID test and was benched for the first quarter. He played eight listless minutes in the second quarter and was again banished to the bench. This also earned him a one-game suspension from the team for detrimental conduct. Tonight he could put that all behind him, come out raring to go and show why he was worth the massive contract Houston gave him two seasons ago. Or he could continue to pout and mope, maintaining his residence in the doghouse. The DFS salary across the sites is incredibly tempting today, though there is some unknown risk.

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors

Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out tonight with a non-COVID related illness. This means that Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton become phenomenal fantasy options, as they are both averaging right around 1.3 fantasy points per minute when Antetokounmpo is off the court since the beginning of last season. Pat Connaughton and Grayson Allen are both in the health and safety protocol, while there is a chance that Jordan Nwora, Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Semi Ojeleye will return. Depending on what happens with that trio, Bobby Portis and DeMarcus Cousins may be in play if there continues to be a minutes void that could trickle to the frontcourt.

Toronto played last night in a laugher against San Antonio where they were able to rest most of their key players for the entire fourth quarter and nobody logged over 33 minutes. Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr. and O.G. Anunoby are the key players to target. Rookie Scottie Barnes is a secondary option, as he has some risk while battling through a thumb issue. This should be an up-tempo game, with Milwaukee playing at the third-fastest pace in the league over their last seven games and the Raptors checking in as the eighth-fastest squad.

Indiana Pacers vs. Brooklyn Nets

Last night Indiana was curb-stomped by the Knicks losing by 10 points in New York. They are running very shorthanded with Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte, Jeremy Lamb, Goga Bitadze, Isaiah Jackson and Kelan Martin in the health and safety protocol, and Torrey Craig suffered a groin injury last night and has been ruled out as well. Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner are still top options, as they each just had bad games and sometimes that is going to happen. Keifer Sykes and Duane Washington Jr. each had excellent fantasy games for their near minimum salaries, and that result is unlikely to happen again, they are two of the better discount dandies in the player pool. Even with heavy minutes, it is hard to consider Oshae Brissett or Justin Holiday since they are unlikely to reach 30 fantasy points, and with their inefficient ways it would not be a shock for them to barely reach 20 fantasy points.

Tonight Kyrie Irving is slated to make his first appearance for the Nets in over seven months. It is hard to know what to expect at this point, as he is coming off the health and safety protocol. Even if he is projected for 1.2 fantasy points per minute, it is hard to see him with more than 26 to 30 minutes after such a long layoff. Yahoo has him at just $22, so that is the place to jump on the opportunity — otherwise, it seems more prudent to take a risk on someone like Christian Wood. The return of Irving will directly impact Patty Mills and Bruce Brown the most, though it will also be a new variable for Kevin Durant and James Harden as well. Tonight Brooklyn seems like a team to stay away from with 21 others taking the court.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Wednesday, Jan. 5 Slate

Tonight is a frontloaded slate with eight games tipping off in the first hour and then a two-hour break until a trio of 10:00 p.m. ET West Coast games are underway. This likely will lead to some post-lock news. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

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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