Wednesday, Jan. 12, brings a robust nine-game main slate 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, Wednesday, Jan. 12
Yahoo Play of the Day — Dejounte Murray: San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.42 | DraftKings: 56.69
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 32% | FanDuel 31.0% | DraftKings 31.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $10,200 | DraftKings $9,700
Once again the Spurs are running thin with Derrick White, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson and Doug McDermott in the health and safety protocol. Zach Collins is still out with a foot injury, though Jock Landale (back) and Thaddeus Young will be available, so the frontcourt should be fine.
In his four games since recovering from COVID, Dejounte Murray as averaged 34.6 minutes and 21.3 field goal attempts. This has resulted in 23 points, 6.8 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 3.2 combined blocks and steals. Other than the rebounds, everything is in line or slightly above his season averages. This season, in 1,481 minutes alongside White, Murray is averaging 1.26 fantasy points per minute. In 497 minutes without his fellow guard on the court, that rate increases to 1.5 fantasy points per minute. Over their last seven games, Houston is playing at the fastest pace in the league and has the third-worst defensive efficiency, allowing 119.3 points per 100 possessions. Lonnie Walker IV and Joshua Primo are both fine discount dandies across the DFS sites for the shorthanded backcourt.
Not only is Murray an amazing play in DFS tonight, but he is worth looking at in the NBA betting markets as well. According to the Awesemo OddsShopper expert projections, Murray is projected for 11.2 assists tonight, while his player prop for assists is sitting at just 9.5, thus making the OVER a bet that is profitable 69% of the time.
Spencer Dinwiddie: Washington Wizards
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 33.41 | DraftKings: 35.30
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 38.2% | FanDuel 20.4% | DraftKings 43.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $23 | FanDuel $7,100 | DraftKings $6,000
Tonight the Wizards will be without Bradley Beal, who is in the health and safety protocol, and there is a good chance that Rui Hachimura will get the night off after playing 14.7 minutes last night in just his second appearance of the year. Thomas Bryant is expected back after missing just over a full calendar year with a knee injury that knocked him out on Jan. 9 last season. Washington is nearly a double-digit home favorite, even without its franchise player.
Spencer Dinwiddie has not played on consecutive days all season after missing last year with a knee injury. Last night he played 33.6 minutes, and the expectations are that he will be starting tonight. If that is true, then he should get another 30 to 32 minutes as the league guard in a nice matchup. There is no reason for coach Wes Unseld Jr. to push Dinwiddie, but his salary is still very enticing for 30 to 32 minutes on Yahoo and DraftKings. In 492 minutes without Beal on the court, Dinwiddie is averaging 1.13 fantasy points per minute, which is a significant jump from the 0.76 when they are on the floor together. Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Daniel Gafford will see the biggest hit to their fantasy production with Bryant rejoining the frontcourt rotation.
Awesemo’s OddsShopper betting tool has Kuzma’s NBA player prop for points tonight showing over/under 21.5. According to the Awesemo expert projections, Kuzma is projecting for 16.9 points, which makes the UNDER a solid bet tonight.
LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers at Sacramento Kings
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.74 | DraftKings: 57.48
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 19% | FanDuel 33.4% | DraftKings 16.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $55 | FanDuel $11,300 | DraftKings $11,700
Once again LeBron James is in a great matchup, this time in Sacramento, where Los Angeles is only favored by a bucket. Both of these teams have been playing at an up-tempo pace without a lot of effort towards defense this season, which has this game as one of three on the slate with a projected point total of at least 230. James has failed to reach 60 fantasy points only four times over his last 11 games, and in those games he is averaging 51.3 fantasy points. There are enough value options tonight with 18 teams in action that it should not be difficult to make James a core play alongside at least one other top-shelf star.
Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls
On Monday James Harden sat out the Nets game in Portland with a knee issue, and Kyrie Irving tweaked his ankle towards the end of the game. In a twist, while this game is in Chicago, it is the second featured game on ESPN tonight and will be tipping off at 10 p.m. ET. There is a chance the status of Harden or Irving will not be known, which means there could be some uncertainty to take advantage of with the information void. If both are out, Kevin Durant is an excellent option despite the tricky matchup against the Bulls. If both are in, then all three are neutral plays, and if any one of the three is out, the other two are above-average options. The Kings – Lakers game also tips off at the same time, so there will be plenty of alternative options to work with for those who plan ahead.
Utah Jazz vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Utah is shorthanded with Rudy Gobert, Rudy Gay, Jared Butler, Udoka Azubuike and Elijah Hughes all in the health and safety protocol. Joe Ingles is eligible to return, though he has been out for 10 days, so conditioning will be a variable. Donovan Mitchell should continue to carry the offensive load, and Hassan Whiteside will be needed to battle the large Cleveland frontcourt. Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic are solid options on the later slate and neutral options on the main slate.
Cleveland is a sneaky team, as the Jazz have been in a defensive slump without Gobert, and over their last seven games they have the fourth-worst defensive efficiency, allowing 117.2 points per 100 possessions. Other than Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio being out for the rest of the season with their respective knee injuries, Cleveland is mostly intact. Darius Garland is a nice option for tournaments, and Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Kevin Love and Lauri Markkanen can be sprinkled across tournament lineups since Whiteside and Eric Paschall are not exactly the most formidable frontcourt defenders.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Wednesday, Jan. 12 Slate
Tonight there are games tipping off in five different time slots, which could lead to a fair amount of 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.
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