Sunday, Jan. 23, brings a six-game main slate tipping off at 7 p.m. ET on Yahoo with DraftKings and FanDuel electing to go an hour earlier with a nine-game featured slate. 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. 23
Yahoo Play of the Day — Ja Morant: Memphis Grizzlies at Dallas Mavericks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 47.68 | DraftKings: 50.26
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 21.0% | FanDuel 19.6% | DraftKings 18.5%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $9,600 | DraftKings $9,600
The Yahoo salary algorithm has been slow to recognize the dramatic leap that Ja Morant has taken this season. In three of his last six games he has surpassed the 50 fantasy point plateau and he is consistently seeing 30% or higher usage. Morant should have a salary closer to $50, so we are seeing a solid opportunity to realize his upside with enough of a discount that a game in the mid-30 fantasy point range will not sink our hopes.
Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets vs. Detroit Pistons
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 58.46 | DraftKings: 61.51
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 17.4% | FanDuel 15.7% | DraftKings 14.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $11,900 | DraftKings $12,200
The Nuggets have lost two of their last three games, though they are favored by a dozen points at home tonight against the Pistons who are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that has thinned their ranks. Nikola Jokic has taken things to a new level while carrying his team. In his last three games, including one that went to overtime, the reigning NBA MVP is averaging 39.4 minutes with 33.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 12.0 assists and 3.0 combined blocks and steals. There is not much wiggle room left at his lofty salary and we really need a triple-double tonight. Even with Denver being heavy favorites, Jokic will be in the thick of things in getting them out to any lead tonight. Depending on how popular Jokic ends up, we can always pivot to other center options which will afford other lineup improvements.
Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors vs. Utah Jazz
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 43.77 | DraftKings: 46.95
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 8.6% | FanDuel 2.9% | DraftKings 0.5%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $42 | FanDuel $9,800 | DraftKings $10,900
Tonight the Warriors are favored by a bucket against the Utah Jazz who are without Donovan Mitchell. Over there last seven games, Utah is allowing 115.0 points per 100 possessions which is the eighth worst defensive efficiency rating in the league. They are also playing at a league average pace, which bodes well for keeping this game moving on both ends of the court. This should be other game where we see Stephen Curry with at least 20 field goal attempts and he has seen his assists tick up with Draymond Green on the sideline.
The NBA player props market for Curry tonight is one to exploit. In the Awesemo projections he is currently carrying a 7.5-assist projection, while his rebound prop is over/under 5.5. In his last three games, Curry has eight or more assists so this might be a bet worth making with an expected win rate of 78% on OddsShopper.
Philadelphia 76ers at San Antonio Spurs
The ‘Sixers are running thing tonight with Seth Curry (ankle), Shake Milton (back), Danny Green (hip) and Matisse Thybulle (shoulder) all out with various maladies. Even running with a short rotation, Philadelphia is still favored by a bucket on the road. Joel Embiid has 53 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games and since Christmas Day he is averaging 31.7 minutes and 19.9 field goal attempts with a 57.1% success rate. That has resulted in 33.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.1 combined blocks and steals. Even on a slate loaded with centers, Embiid stands out.
Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey are core options tonight and each should be in the mix for mid-30s fantasy points with upside. Furkan Korkmaz punched everyone in the gut with only a dozen fantasy points in his last game despite drawing the start and playing 39 minutes. Set that pain and suffering aside and keep him in your player pool as a discount dandy if he starts again.
Brooklyn Nets at Minnesota Timberwolves
The Nets of course are without Kevin Durant for the next month and Nicolas Claxton his been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Kyrie Irving will be available tonight with this game being played outside of New York and he along with James Harden are going to have to carry the team in a game where they are actually three point underdogs. LaMarcus Aldridge and Day’Ron Sharpe will both benefit from the absence of Claxton and they are intriguing options in all formats for differentiation at a reasonable salary.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Sunday, Jan. 23 Slate
The dueling main-slates on the various DFS sites are tipping off on either side of the NFL playoffs tonight, be sure to stay on your toes for any late-breaking 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.
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