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NBA DFS Building Blocks for Friday, January 14 | Today, 1/14/22

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS optimizer picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups | Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight 1/14/22

Friday, Jan. 14, has nebulous nine-game main slate loaded with moving parts beginning at 7 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, Friday, Jan. 14

Yahoo Play of the Day — Darius Garland: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. San Antonio Spurs

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 36.09 | DraftKings: 39.13
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 28.6% | FanDuel 13.1% | DraftKings 21.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $28 | FanDuel $8,000 | DraftKings $7,800

Tonight is shaping up to be a unique tournament slate. Currently on Yahoo no player is projected for more than 50 fantasy points, and there are no superstars in the above-$50 range. In fact, Joel Embiid ($50), Luka Doncic ($49) and Dejounte Murray ($47) are the only players with salaries over $45, which is rare. There are also a plethora of options in the $25-$30 range in the Charlotte – Orlando and Houston – Sacramento games that should unleash some pinball-like fantasy scoring tonight.

Darius Garland has made the step to the next level this season, particularly in the absence of Collin Sexton. In the first 20 games that Garland played without Sexton, he averaged 34.6 minutes and 16.9 field goal attempts. This has resulted in 21.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.5 combined blocks/steals per game. Garland then missed four games in the health and safety protocol, during which Rubio was also lost for the season. In his five games back, as the only lead guard, Garland is averaging 35.1 minutes, 17 points, 4.4 rebounds, nine assists and 0.8 combined blocks and steals. In four of these games he has surpassed 36 fantasy points, and that should be considered his baseline for tonight’s matchup.

Fred VanVleet: Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 41.6 | DraftKings: 42.61
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 12.2% | FanDuel 6.9% | DraftKings 2.1%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $39 | FanDuel $9.700 | DraftKings $10.000

Toronto has quietly been putting together a string of victories, and they had won six in a row before falling to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. The three days off will be good for Fred VanVleet to recharge, as he is currently leading the league in minutes with 37.7 per game. While VanVleet is not a particularly exciting play, coach Nick Nurse tends to play his regulars excessive minutes to ensure wins, particularly in the stretches where COVID was forcing his hand. Scottie Barnes (knee) and Gary Trent Jr. (ankle) are dinged up and will be game-time decisions. Even if they play, the Raptors sill are likely to stick with an eight-man rotation, which means VanVleet should again get 36 to 38 minutes. Detroit has four wins in its last seven games, though it was blown out in the three losses by an average of 35 points while allowing 130.3 points. It is hard to imagine VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam ($38) for that matter, failing to surpass 40 fantasy points tonight.

Charlotte Hornets at Orlando Magic

Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kai Jones on the COVID reserve, which should secure the minutes for the top seven in the rotation. Terry Rozier has been on a heater and cannot seem to miss from anywhere on the court. LaMelo Ball has the most upside, followed closely by Miles Bridges. Gordon Hayward is a steady contributor, and P.J. Washington is a wild card who just cannot stay out of foul trouble.

Orlando is finally getting reasonably healthy, though they will be without Wendell Carter Jr., and Mo Bamba is a game-time decision. If they are both out and Robin Lopez starts, he is an excellent option. If Bamba is in, then there is no reason to roll with Lopez. Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs are mix-and-match options in tournaments given the 223.5 projected point total and lack of defense by both teams.

Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings

This game is the crown jewel of the slate and the definition of a late-night hammer, sporting a 238.5 projected point total. Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr. and Jae’Sean Tate are the trio to target, with Eric Gordon, Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun (if active) worth a look on the late slate.

Richaun Holmes is a game-time decision, having cleared the health and safety protocol, but conditioning will be a variable since he has played in just five of the last 19 games while dealing with an eye injury and COVID. If he starts, Alex Len will be an afterthought and Chimezie Metu and Marvin Bagley become neutral plays at best. If he is out, or there is word of a 20- to 24-minute limit, then whichever of Metu and Bagley starts becomes an outstanding late-swap pivot. Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox are on the short list in all formats. Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield are tournament options on the main slate, though they are upgraded to core plays for late-slate action.

According to Awesemo’s expert NBA projections, Wood is in line to record 11.4 rebounds tonight against the Kings. However, the books are offering his NBA player prop for rebounds at over/under 10.5. Taking the over here seems like the way to play it, especially when the OddsShopper expected win rate is 67%.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Friday, Jan. 14 Slate

With a twin-bill nightcap tipping off at 10 p.m. ET, there will almost certainly be 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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