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NBA DFS Building Blocks for Sunday, January 9 | Today, 1/9/22

Eric MacPherson

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Sunday, Jan. 9, has dual main-slates Yahoo is running as six-game main-slate beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET; while DraftKings and FanDuel are tipping off an hour earlier with an eight-gamer beginning at 6:00 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, Sunday, Jan. 9

Yahoo Play of the Day — Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 58.06 | DraftKings: 61.16
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 22.8% | FanDuel 29.2% | DraftKings 18.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,300 | DraftKings $12,200

Once again we are going to want to build our core lineups around Nikola Jokic in a great matchup with the Thunder. This game is in Oklahoma City and while the Nuggets are favored by 7.0 points, it is going to be Jokic that propels them to victory. Denver has lost two of their last three games and they are only one game above .500 which means they cannot let “easy victories” slip away. The reigning NBA MVP continues to be a fantasy goldmine and over his last seven games he is averaging 34.1 minutes with 20.6 field goal attempts. This has culminated in 26.7 points, 17.1 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.8 combined blocks and steals. JaMychal Green is an intriguing discount dandy at the Yahoo minimum salary.

LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies 

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 54.89 | DraftKings: 56.59
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 20% | FanDuel 23.1% | DraftKings 17.9%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $11,500 | DraftKings $11,600

In his last ten games, LeBron James has topped 60 Yahoo points seven times and he is averaging a tick shy of 50 fantasy points in the other three. The Lakers have sort of righted the ship winning five of their last six games. In the most recent 10 game stretch without Anthony Davis, James is averaging 36.7 minutes and 22.6 field goal attempts with an eye-popping 55.3% success rate. This works out to 34.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists with a healthy 3.5 combined blocks and steals. Memphis is one of the more efficient defenses, however, they do pay at a top-ten pace which balances things out from a fantasy perspective. Los Angeles is just two games above .500 and half a game ahead of Denver in the standings which has them at risk of slipping into the “play-in” tournament. The Lakers are off until Wednesday so we should expect big minutes from Lebron and Russell Westbrook tonight.

Fred VanVleet: Toronto Raptors vs. New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.85 | DraftKings: 44.22
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo N/A | FanDuel 8.4% | DraftKings 3.3%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo N/A | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $10,200

While he is not on the Yahoo main-slate, Fred VanVleet is an enticing tournament option on DraftKings and FanDuel. On DraftKings his salary is at an all-time high and on FanDuel it is right at the apex as well. On Friday, VanVleet recorded his first career triple-double with 37 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a block on his way to a 70 fantasy point performance. While that was against a shorthanded Jazz squad who left all of their starters south of the border, it was his sixth game with 50 or more fantasy points in his last seven appearances. New Orleans plays fast and they eschew defense which is the perfect fantasy environment for VanVleet.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Sacramento Kings

Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Larry Nance Jr. are all out for the Trail Blazers. This gives a dramatic boost in usage and rebounding opportunities to Jusuf Nurkic who has excelled in his three games back from the health and safety protocols averaging 30.2 minutes with 16.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.4 combined blocks and steals. Norman Powell, Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little and Robert Covington are all fine plays who will be assuming the heavy lifting in a great matchup against the Kings.

Sacramento is running low on frontcourt players with Richaun Holmes, Chimezie Metu and Damian Jones in the health and safety protocol. De’Aaron Fox (shoulder) is going to be a game time decision. Alex Len is an interesting option at center as he should see 24-28 minutes as the remaining big body to go against Nurkic. In a similar spot in Denver on Friday he played 28 minutes and had 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals just missing the 40 fantasy point plateau. There are a lot of good center options today, though we can only roster two on Yahoo. Harrison Barnes, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley are perfectly fine mix and match options. If De’Aaron Fox is a go, he is a priority, if he is out then that gives a direct boost to Haliburton and it brings Davion Mitchell in play as the backup point guard at a near minimum salary across the DFS sites. Portland has lost six of their last seven games and they are allowing 129.2 points per 100 possessions to the opposition in this stretch. We are going to want to have some Kings in most of our rosters tonight.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Sunday, Jan. 9 Slate

Do not lose track of post-lock news while watching Sunday Night Football with three games tipping off after 8:30 p.m. ET. 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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