Monday, Jan. 17, has dueling main slates with Yahoo and FanDuel rolling out a six-gamer tipping off at 6 p.m. ET and DraftKings going with a 7 p.m. ET start time and five games. 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, Monday, Jan. 17
Yahoo Play of the Day — LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 53.13 | DraftKings: 55.37
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 13.2% | FanDuel 22.1% | DraftKings 26.9%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $11,200 | DraftKings $10,900
The Lakers have now lost three in a row and in the last game they were crushed by Denver 133-96, so LeBron James did not play much down the stretch logging just 31 minutes which marked his second shortest on court stint since Thanksgiving and his third fewest minutes of any game this season. While it is not an easy matchup going against the Jazz, this is a back-to-back for Utah who beat the Nuggets in Denver last night. Everyone knows what James offers, and he will once again be forced to do everything for the Lakers if they have any hope of winning tonight.
Jusuf Nurkic: Portland Trail Blazers at Orlando Magic
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.56 | DraftKings: 41.88
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 9.6% | FanDuel 18.5% | DraftKings 14.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $35 | FanDuel $7,500 | DraftKings $8,100
C.J. McCollum should be making his return for Portland though they are still without Damian Lillard, Cody Zeller, Larry Nance Jr. and Norman Powell is a game time decision having cleared the health and safety protocol, though he has not played in the last 10 days so conditioning could be an issue.
Jusuf Nurkic actually sees nearly a 10% increase in his per minute fantasy production with McCollum on the court as it gives opposing defenses another player to worry about as well as an improved ballhandler along with a capable shooter who can convert on kick outs. Wendell Carter Jr. is out for the Magic which leaves them a little thin with Robin Lopez and Mo Bamba manning the frontcourt. Nurkic should easily be in line for a double-double and anything less than 40 fantasy points will be a disappointment.
Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat
The Raptors are missing Khem Birch (nose) tonight and Gary Trent Jr. will be a game time decision after missing the last five games with an ankle issue. Miami will be without Kyle Lowry (personal) though there is a chance that Bam Adebayo (thumb) may return tonight after missing the last six weeks. If Adebayo does not play tonight, there is a good chance he will take the court by the weekend.
Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet continue to do the heavy lifting for the Raptors, and Precious Achiuwa should get solid minutes off the bench as the backup big. Chris Boucher is hard to trust, but he is in play as a differentiation option in tournaments. O.G. Anunoby and Scottie Barnes are solid roster fillers in all formats.
Omar Yurtseven could feel the biggest impact if Adebayo returns, so be ready to react accordingly to the starting lineup. Jimmy Butler is a core option in all formats and Tyler Herro should pick up a few field goal attempts and minutes as the rotation adjusts for the absence of Lowry.
According to Awesemo’s expert NBA projections, Barnes is in line to record 7.3 rebounds tonight against the Heat. However, the books are offering his NBA player prop for assists at over/under 5.5. Taking the over here seems like the way to play it, especially when the OddsShopper expected win rate is 74%.
Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs
Tonight the Suns will once again be without Deandre Ayton which means a major boost in minutes and opportunities for JaVale McGee. Bismack Biyombo should enter the fray as the backup center, though he likely will cap out around 15-20 minutes as Jalen Smith should also absorb some of the backup minutes, depending on who is manning the pivot for the Spurs. Devin Booker and Chris Paul are in play on the main-slate, though they pick up more intrigue on the late-slate.
Jakob Poeltl should be making his return after a one game absence for a sore back and keep in mind that Derrick White also made his return over the weekend from the health and safety protocol. These players being back will likely push Drew Eubanks, Bryn Forbes and Joshua Primo out of the rotation. Dejounte Murray of course is still someone to target, though his salary has blossomed due to the recently shorthanded nature of the rotation. Most of the Spurs are best utilized on Yahoo with Poeltl and Keldon Johnson being the standouts on DraftKings and FanDuel
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Monday, Jan. 17 Slate
Tonight there are two games locking just after Monday Night Football kicks off and then another tipping off at 10:30 p.m. ET so be mindful of 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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