Friday, Jan. 21, wraps up the week with a gigantic 11-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: Building Blocks, Friday, Jan. 21
Yahoo Play of the Day — Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets vs. Memphis Grizzlies
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 59.8 | DraftKings: 63.2
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 12.6% | FanDuel 13.6% | DraftKings 8.1%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $11,900 | DraftKings $12,600
Rudy Gobert (ankle) received a mid-afternoon downgrade to questionable, and these such occurrences often portend to a player being scratched closer to lock. Gobert was looking like an excellent option against Detroit, though it seems that Utah is going with the understudies tonight. This moves Nikola Jokic back into the pole position for best option on the slate. LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the direct pivots for similar salaries, and they are also the only players who project within 10 fantasy points of Jokic tonight.
Denver is 3-2 in their last five games, and they will cut short Jokic’s night when they are winning handily. However, he plays heavy minutes in close games, as they need to bank all the wins they can in for the Western Conference playoff seeding. In his last two games, Jokic played 37 minutes and recorded 67 fantasy points in a loss to Utah and a whopping 41 minutes in an overtime win against the Clippers in which he had a 49-point, 14-rebound, 10-assist triple-double — 87.8 fantasy points. Tonight the Nuggets are favored by only a bucket against the Grizzlies.
Brooklyn Nets at San Antonio Spurs
Kevin Durant (leg) is going to be out through February, Joe Harris (ankle) may return at some point next week, Nicolas Claxton (hamstring) is doubtful and has missed the last five games, while DeAndre’ Bembry (back) is questionable and at risk to miss a third straight appearance. This is a game outside of New York, which means Kyrie Irving will be available to play, and he is very appealing on Yahoo and DraftKings where the salary algorithms have not adjusted to his sporadic playing opportunities. James Harden is also a core play, and LaMarcus Aldridge and Patty Mills round things out against their former team. Depending on the DFS site of choice, Day’Ron Sharpe, Cam Thomas and Kessler Edwards have varying degrees of utility, though all three are fine discount dandies on the mid-evening short slate.
The NBA player props market for Doug McDermott against Brooklyn tonight is also one to exploit. In the Awesemo projections he is currently carrying a 1.1-assist projection, while his assist prop is over/under 0.5. Though he has only one assist in his last four games, he has tallied at least one assist in 21 of 30 games this season. This might be a bet worth making since it has an expected win rate of 71% on OddsShopper.
Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks
Tonight Chicago is without Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball and Derrick Jones Jr. with various knee injuries, and Javonte Green (groin) is expected to miss a few more days as well. While Alex Caruso (foot) did return on Wednesday, he only played 23 minutes after missing a full month. DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are solid against Milwaukee tonight as the primary scoring options, and Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu will be the main facilitators, which gives them an excellent point-per-dollar ratio. This group turns into core options for the mid-evening sub-slate.
Utah Jazz vs. Detroit Pistons
Hassan Whiteside has cleared the health and safety protocol, though his conditioning could keep him out for a few more days. Donovan Mitchell (concussion) may return on Sunday, but he is out tonight. Then, as previously mentioned, Gobert received a mid-afternoon downgrade and is questionable. Utah currently is 12.5-point favorites at home against Detroit. Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic, Royce O’Neale, Joe Ingles and Rudy Gay are all likely to see extra minutes and usage, particularly if Gobert is out. While the entire group is clearly above average from a points per dollar perspective, there is no need to go completely overboard with 22 teams in action. Two Jazz players per lineup seems like a reasonable cap with so much of the field projected to be concentrated on this squad.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Friday, Jan. 21 Slate
There are games tipping off at six different times tonight including Golden State and Houston one hour after all the other action is underway. This should keep a fair amount of news trickling out, so be sure to have a computer or mobile device handy. 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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