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NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Wednesday, January 26

Eric MacPherson



The best NBA DFS picks today for Yahoo, DraftKings & FanDuel daily fantasy basketball cash game lineups | Jimmy Butler NBA Tonight 5/18/22

Wednesday, Jan. 26, marks the midway point of the work week with a 10-game main slate tipping off 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: DraftKings, FanDuel & Yahoo Building Blocks Today | Wednesday, Jan. 26

Yahoo Play of the Day — Caris LeVert: Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 38.6 | DraftKings: 40.06
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 36.2% | FanDuel 24.9% | DraftKings 7.5%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $30 | FanDuel $7,800 | DraftKings $8,600

There are several teams that are shorthanded tonight. However, Indiana is missing three of their best four players, with Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner all out with various maladies. Caris LeVert (calf) returned on Monday after missing two games, and he was solid in 32.3 minutes. Tonight he should be in line for 34 to 35 minutes against a Charlotte squad that plays fast and eschews defense. Teammate Goga Bitadze was somewhat disappointing in his last outing, but he is one of the many discounted center options tonight. Yahoo still has him at just $14, which is a steal considering his Awesemo projection of just over 30 fantasy points.

Ja Morant: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 46.81 | DraftKings: 49.47
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25.8% | FanDuel 22.3% | DraftKings 20.4%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $9.900 | DraftKings $9.900

Memphis is running a little thin, with Dillon Brooks (ankle) out for the next 10 days and Kyle Anderson, Tyus Jones and Keita Bates-Diop all in the health and safety protocol. Desmond Bane has missed the last three games while in the health and safety protocol, and he is questionable to play tonight based on conditioning, while Brandon Clarke is questionable as well after missing the last game with back issues.

Ja Morant has been stellar this season, and he is averaging career highs across the board in every statistical category except assists, though he is just half an assist off in that category. Over their last seven games the Grizzlies are playing at the fastest pace in the league, while San Antonio has also been in the top 10. Tonight’s game has a 228.5 projected point total, which should lead to plenty of fantasy goodness. This is a back-to-back for the Spurs, but they were leading by 30 in Houston at the end of the third quarter, so the key members of their rotation had short nights. Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl are intriguing options tonight against the Grizzlies, and they provide a little in-game synergy when combined with Morant.

Brooklyn Nets vs. Denver Nuggets

James Harden was outstanding last night, with his second 65-plus fantasy point performance in his last three games. Kevin Durant is out through February, and Kyrie Irving is still not eligible to play in the state of New York. That should mean major minutes, usage and fantasy opportunities for Harden. Nicolas Claxton is also out, which opens up additional minutes. However, coach Steve Nash has no issues distributing these across the entire rotation. Depending on the site of choice, Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kessler Edwards, Day’Ron Sharpe, Bruce Brown and Cameron Thomas all have utility to varying degrees. Whoever ends up in the starting lineup will likely be the better options on the main slate, though unless others are ruled out, they are neutral plays. On the later slate they can be sprinkled in across lineups with the thinner player pool.

Nikola Jokic also had a phenomenal game last night, leading the Nuggets to victory in Detroit. In 34 minutes he had 28 points, 21 rebounds, nine assists and a steal on his way to 66.7 fantasy points. The Nets frontcourt is outmanned when it comes to defending sizable centers such as Jokic. Will Barton missed last night’s game with a sore hamstring, so keep tabs on his availability tonight. If he starts, he should be considered a full go, but if he is coming off the bench, tread lightly. Aaron Gordon, Jeff Green and Monte Morris are solid options on all slates.

Utah Jazz vs. Phoenix Suns

Tonight is a reprise of Monday’s matchup in Phoenix, where the Suns took down a 115-109 victory against a shorthanded Jazz squad. Utah is at home tonight, which helps, but they are without their two best players in Donovan Mitchell (concussion) and Rudy Gobert (calf). Hassan Whiteside should remain in the starting lineup, and he will likely play a similar rotation to his Phoenix counterparts. Rudy Gay may get some time as the nominal five if the Suns opt for a smaller lineup to close out the game, with several of their bigs on the shelf. Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles are all favorable options in all formats.

Devin Booker and Chris Paul will be doing the heavy lifting on offense tonight with Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder, Cameron Payne and JaVale McGee all out. Cameron Johnson should see a nice uptick in usage with his ability to play multiple frontcourt positions, and Bismack Biyombo is an intriguing fantasy option on Yahoo and FanDuel, where blocks and steals are worth 3 points. It is hard to get excited about any other Suns, with Mikal Bridges playing a ton of minutes but mostly focusing on defense and Jalen Smith seeing backup time at center and a couple minutes at power forward. The rug could be pulled out from under Smith at any moment.

The NBA player props market for Whiteside tonight is one to exploit. In the Awesemo projections he is currently carrying a 13.1-rebound projection, while his rebound prop is over/under 11.5. Though he has had only one double-digit rebounding performance in his last four starts, tonight Whiteside will be squaring off against Biyombo, who is not as tough a matchup as Ayton or McGee, so this may be a bet worth making, with an expected win rate of 67% on OddsShopper.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Wednesday, Jan. 26 Slate

Tonight has a staggered set of start times that winds down with pair of West Coast nightcaps at 10 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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