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NBA DFS Picks: FREE 1/18 Cash Building Blocks: Trailblazers Galore, Value Plays and MORE

Eric MacPherson



Awesemo's 11/24/21 NBA DraftKings Picks cheat sheet for late-slate daily fantasy basketball lineups tonight | Damian Lillard

Saturday, Jan. 18 starts the weekend of with a nine-game main slate for all the big daily fantasy sites. Before you lock in your NBA DFS lineups and NBA DFS picks on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and FantasyDraft, make sure to check out check out Awesemo’s NBA DFS rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some NBA DFS Picks, including Damian Lillard, Carmelo Anthony, Anfernee Simons and more.

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Don’t forget to check out the NBA Strategy Show featuring Adam “ShipMyMoney” Scherer and Your Ol’ Pal EMac as they break down the NBA DFS slate and give out their thoughts on injury news and other NBA DFS analysis.

Get ready for NFL Sunday with the Championship Weekend Baller for your NFL DFS picks and analysis.

NBA DFS Picks: Prime Time Players

Damian Lillard: Portland Trailblazers at Oklahoma City Thunder

DraftKings $8,200, FanDuel $8,900, Yahoo $43 Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 29.2%, FanDuel 15.8% Yahoo Fantasy 4.8%

UPDATE: Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver were traded this afternoon, things are really thin for the Blazers tonight.

My how quickly things change. Yesterday Damian Lillard had an in-day downgrade to questionable with an upper respiratory illness. Today he is leading the way for our “best” point per dollar options. Between then and now, C.J. McCollum suffered an ankle injury and is listed as doubtful for tonight. As my co-host on the DFS Strategy Show Adam Scherer said this morning, Lillard would have been in play for him on DraftKings regardless of McCollum’s status.

There will be a void to be filled of 21.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists an nearly 20 field goal attempts if McCollumn is indeed out. We know that Lillard sees a nice boost when McCollum is off the floor. There will be a trickle down effect for Hassan Whiteside and Carmelo Anthony who will be first in line for additional field goal attempts. Anfernee Simons will be the discount dandy who should be in the 24-26 minute range tonight.

This will be the third time Anthony has faced the Thunder this season, but his first time back in Oklahoma City. Don’t worry about the narrative, just focus on the potential additional fantasy production that is up for grabs.

LeBron James: Los Angeles Lakers at Houston Rockets

DraftKings $11,000, FanDuel $11,100, Yahoo $55 Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 11.2%, FanDuel 21.1% Yahoo Fantasy 8.5%

In the likely event that Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus) is out again, we have LeBron James leading the way in a marquee matchup against James Harden and Russell Westbrook. It is a little concerning that he has only corralled five rebounds in his last two games, but he does have 27 assists in those outings as well.

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Of the top non-Portland options today including Harden and Westbrook along with Trae Young and Andre Drummond, LeBron is my preferred place to make a stand. With 18 teams in action on the main slate, we will have plenty of “value” options to facilitate a stars and scrubs build this evening on all sites. On the off chance that Anthony Davis is in, then I would roll with the premium quartet in that same order over LeBron (i.e. Harden, Westy, Young and Drummond).

NBA DFS Picks: Good Value

Eric Paschall: Golden State Warriors vs. Orlando Magic

DraftKings $8,200, FanDuel $8,900, Yahoo $43 Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 19.7%, FanDuel 3.8% Yahoo Fantasy 8.4%

We know that Draymond Green is out until next week and there is a chance that Glen Robinson III may be out with an ankle injury (we should expect a mid-day update). Eric Paschall has been solid over the last four games averaging 23.4 minutes with just over a fantasy point per minute. The stat line up 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 combined steals/blocks is attainable, particularly with Green out of action.

Yahoo Fantasy Discount Dandies

Luke Kornet vs. CLE – $10 (if starting)

Matisse Thybulle at NYK – $10 (if starting)

Terrence Ross at GSW – $12

Omari Spellman vs. ORL – $12 (if starting)

Nerlens Noel vs. POR – $12 (if Steven Adams remains out)

NBA DFS Picks: Risky Value

Larry Nance, Jr: Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls

DraftKings $3,600, FanDuel $3,800, Yahoo $10 Ownership Rating (preliminary run): DraftKings 16.2%, FanDuel <5.0% Yahoo Fantasy <1.0%

This is a back-to-back for Cleveland and we have seen Kevin Love get the last two off. Assuming Love is out, Larry Nance, Jr. should elevate to one of the five most popular players tonight. In this case then yes, he is a fine “cash” game option as we can just “go for the block” and best our opponents at other positions.

We should still have some concern about the potential upside and “risk of ruin” aka busting out if he becomes wildly popular. This will be just his third game back after missing half a dozen with a sore left knee. Ante Zizic was out last night with an illness, so this essentially becomes a function of how many minutes can Nance handle. It feels reasonable to give him 24 since he played 24 and 19 in his last two games. Just know that in his first game back on Tuesday, Nance was blanked taking only one shot in 19 minutes. In his last fourteen games, he has topped five field goal attempts only twice.

Check out today's FREE DFS tool of the day

FantasyCruncher Tip of the Day

Use promo code PRIMETIME to receive 50% off any one-week premium subscription (including FantasyCruncher options).

With the incredibly user-friendly and flexible rules creation feature on Fantasy Cruncher, we can take our lineup construction to the next level.

After the Damian Lillard illness fire drill last night, I wanted to remind everyone that we are able to easily make adjustments if we have FantasyCruncher.

Today’s highlighted feature is the Swaptimizer that makes life so much easier on DraftKings when that unexpected news breaks after the main slate action has begun.

Step 1: download your current CSV lineup file from DraftKings (you need to have the current file so the Swaptimizer knows which players have been locked).

Step 2: in FantasyCruncher, select the games that have yet to tip off. Then you can adjust any of your rules, exposures, projections, etc. for the remaining available player pool.


Step 3: it’s time to Swaptimize!

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of moving parts today with so many teams in action. Be sure to tune into the Live Before Lock featuring Fast Eddie Fear on YouTubeTwitch and Periscope beginning at 6 p.m. EST for all of the up-to-date information.

As always, you can reach out to me in Premium Slack or on Twitter @EMacDFS if you have any NBA DFS questions about DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo or FantasyDraft.

Good Luck NBA DFS Gamers! ~ EMac

If you haven’t signed up for Yahoo Fantasy DFS, click this link and use the promo code Awesemo when making your first deposit and you will be eligible for $30 of free play, which Yahoo will match through the first $30 of your deposit (this bonus will be received in Yahoo Sports Rewards Points, aka YSRP which can be used to enter any paid contest immediately).

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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