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NBA DFS Building Blocks for Saturday, January 8 | Today, 1/8/22

Eric MacPherson



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Saturday, Jan. 8, brings a frisky five-game main slate beginning 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, Saturday, Jan. 8

Yahoo Play of the Day — Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks at Charlotte Hornets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 58.69 | DraftKings: 60.99
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 33.6% | FanDuel 38.8% | DraftKings 40.8%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $11,700 | DraftKings $11,600

This is a back-to-back for the Bucks who beat the Nets in Brooklyn last night 121-109. Giannis Antetokounmpo played just 26.7 minutes after getting his third foul early in the second quarter and limiting him to just 11 first half minutes. Even in his short time on the court in the second half with Milwaukee emptying the bench for the final five minutes, Antetkounmpo still rolled up 48.9 Yahoo Fantasy points. Charlotte is actually favored by a bucket at home, which is a bit of a surprise, though the Bucks will be without Jrue Holiday, Pat Connaughton, Grayson Allen and George Hill. The Hornets play fast and are not particularly good on defense making Antetokounmpo our premiere play of the day. DeMarcus Cousins was released this week so we should see solid minutes for Bobby Portis, Khris Middleton and Jordan Nwora making them core options as well. LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier are the four to target from Charlotte.

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Cade Cunningham: Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 35.38 | DraftKings: 36.68
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 29.2% | FanDuel 49.4% | DraftKings 15.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $29 | FanDuel $6,700 | DraftKings $8,300

Tonight marks the fourth game for Cade Cunningham since returning from the health and safety protocol. It is reasonable to project him for 32-34 minutes, which makes him an intriguing option against Orlando. Over their last seven game the Magic are allowing an unsightly 114.6 points per 100 possessions to their opponents and they are still running somewhat shorthanded tonight, which is not going to improve matters by any stretch of the imagination. Frank Jackson is still out, so Corey Joseph, Killian Hayes and Saben Lee will be rounding out the backcourt. Tonight there are only five games so we can sprinkle in these guards at their rock bottom salaries in the hopes of capturing a 20-25 fantasy point performance.

Mo Bamba: Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 33.82 | DraftKings: 32.38
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 17.6% | FanDuel 16.9% | DraftKings 15.5%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $20 | FanDuel $6,100 | DraftKings $5,500

Wendell Carter Jr. popped up on the injury report this morning with a sore hamstring. If he is out, that opens up rebounding and scoring opportunities for Mo Bamba with Robin Lopez also unavailable. In his three games since returning from a three week absence, Bamba’s minutes have been trending up from 18 to 22 and 28 in his most recent game. Something in the 28-30 minute range is reasonable and he should be in the mix for a double-double and a fantasy point per minute if Carter is out.

Utah Jazz at Indiana Pacers

Last night the Jazz took a schedule loss in Toronto by keeping their starters and Rudy Gay out of action. Hassan Whiteside and Eric Paschall were the only “regulars” who played with a motley crew including Trent Forrest, Jared Butler, Elijah Hughes all playing over 30 minutes and recent acquisition Danuel House Jr. and Malik Fitts each chipping in for 20 plus minutes.

Mike Conley was out for rest and even though Donovan Mitchell (back), Jordan Clarkson (back), Bojan Bogdanovic (finger), Royce O’Neale (knee) and Gay (heel) are currently listed as questionable, it would be a shock if any of them were out tonight. Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles are both in the health and safety protocol so we will want to give strong consideration to all of the Jazz starters and top reserves. Whiteside should get another 30 minutes tonight going against the Pacers bigs and with actual facilitators to get him the ball tonight and high screen rolls, he should double his seven points from Friday’s game.

The Pacers are still without Caris LeVert, Goga Bitadze, Torrey Craig, Isaiah Jackson and Justin Anderson who are on the COVID-reserve. Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte and Jeremy Lamb are expected back, though conditioning will once again be a variable to consider. Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are core plays, though it will be hard to trust anyone outside of that duo now that the regulars are starting to return to the rotation.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Saturday, Jan. 8 Slate

Tonight has a frontloaded slate with four games tipping off in the first half hour and then the nightcap begins at 9:00 p.m. ET. There may be some late breaking news regarding the availability of Jimmy Butler as well as minutes expectations for Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee and Jae Crowder who are all expected to see action after clearing the health and safety protocol. 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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