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NBA DFS Building Blocks for Sunday, January 16 | Today, 1/16/22

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS optimizer picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups | Nikola Jokic tonight 1/16/22

Sunday, Jan. 16, has a three-game slate tipping off at 6 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, Sunday, Jan. 16

Yahoo Play of the Day — Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 54.6 | DraftKings: 58.19
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 52.6% | FanDuel 56.9% | DraftKings 40.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $10,900 | DraftKings $12,000

Last night the Nuggets cruised by the Lakers without any issue, rolling off a 133-96 victory. Nikola Jokic was a big reason for this drubbing, and he dropped a 17-point, 12-rebound, 13-assist triple-double in just 28 minutes. Thursday had a similar result, with Denver logging a 140-108 victory against Portland and Jokic only needing to play 28 minutes. Now Denver has a third game in four-night stretch, this one against the visiting Jazz, who should get Rudy Gobert and Rudy Gay back.

While it can be frustrating when Jokic is not needed for his usual 33 to 36 minutes, he is still a phenomenal fantasy option every time he takes the court. Denver is going to have to ride Jokic into the playoffs, and they are just three games above .500 and 4-3 in their last seven. There will be plenty of games Jokic gets full run, and on those nights the non-believers will be hard-pressed to win tournaments.

According to Awesemo’s expert NBA projections, Jokic is in line to record 7.14 assists tonight against the Jazz. However, the books are offering his NBA player prop for assists at over/under 8.5. Taking the over here seems like the way to play it, especially when the OddsShopper expected win rate is 72%.

Andrew Wiggins: Golden State Warriors at Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 31.81 | DraftKings: 32.8
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 33.8% | FanDuel 45.1% | DraftKings 27.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $23 | FanDuel $5,800 | DraftKings $6,600

Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Gary Payton II are out with injuries, and Klay Thompson is still working back into game shape after a near two-year layoff. That is going to mean Andrew Wiggins is the primary scoring option for most of the game when Thompson is off the court. Though Wiggins has only reached the 40-fantasy point plateau three times this season, he should have a reasonable chance at that milestone tonight against his former team.

Karl-Anthony Towns: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.44 | DraftKings: 44.58
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 27.8% | FanDuel 17.5% | DraftKings 17.5%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $9,800 | DraftKings $10,300

There should be little in the way of a frontcourt presence slowing down Karl-Anthony Towns tonight. Kevon Looney plays decent position defense, but he is foul-prone against elite big men, and Juan Toscano-Anderson and Nemanja Bjelica are going to be physically overmatched by Towns when it is their turn to guard him. Gamers can roll with Jokic and Towns or with Towns solo tonight with only three teams in the player pool.

Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings

This is a reprisal of Friday’s matchup where these two teams combined for 240 points. Houston is mostly healthy, and their best fantasy option is Christian Wood on a slate where center is loaded despite there being only six teams in action. With the rest of the Rockets finally healthy, theirs is a crowded rotation. Jae’Sean Tate and Kevin Porter Jr. are the best players to target, though it is unlikely they will see much more than 30 to 32 minutes tonight. Alperen Sengun is a discount dandy on Yahoo at the $10 minimum salary, but there are a plethora of centers on this slate. Jalen Green, Eric Gordon and K.J. Martin are neutral options that can be sprinkled across lineups as the last player or two making the cut.

Richaun Holmes gave another false appearance and was a late scratch. At this point it is hard to know what to expect from him, as he has missed the last two weeks and since Dec. 9 has played in only five games. This is the first game of the night, so his starting status will be known tonight, but this seems like a trap with so many other pivots at the position. If Holmes is not starting, Marvin Bagley III has strung together a couple good games, and now would be the perfect time for the Kings to continue showcasing him for a potential trade. Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox are core plays in all formats across the DFS sites, while Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield are in the mix-and-match category.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Sunday, Jan. 16 Slate

Something funny always seems to happen with NBA Sunday lineups, so do not get distracted by the NFL playoffs. 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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