The Slate Starter is a daily first look at to get your daily fantasy basketball lineup-building process started before lock tonight. Each day, we will go through some of the best NBA DFS picks, top stacks and optimal lineup construction for DraftKings and FanDuel. Be sure to check Awesemo’s NBA Starting Lineups page, as it will be updated throughout the day as the NBA injury reports are released and breaking news surfaces. Let’s dive into some players who stand out as key options on Wednesday’s nine-game slate.
Want to see how your lineup stacked up against yesterday’s winning NBA DFS lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo? Check out Awesemo’s Optimal Lineup Review, which uses Fantasy Cruncher Rewind to analyze the winning plays from the night before.
NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Construction | Jan. 12
Kevin Durant, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets have the potential to be without James Harden and Kyrie Irving on Wednesday. Harden was out of the lineup in their last game, and he’s currently listed as questionable against the Bulls. Irving is also questionable, even though he’s played in just two games.
If both players are sidelined, Durant will be asked to carry a monster workload. He’s increased his usage rate to 36.6% in games three games without Harden and Irving this season, and he’s averaged nearly 43 minutes in those contests. Overall, he’s averaged an absurd 66.92 DraftKings points per game in that situation.
It will be important to monitor the Nets’ injury report throughout the day – this game doesn’t tip off until 10 p.m. ET – but Durant will own one of the top marks in our NBA Projections if Harden and Irving are ruled out.
Tyrese Maxey, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
Maxey has missed the past four games for the 76ers, but he is not listed on the injury report for Wednesday’s matchup against the Hornets. It would be an elite spot for him to make his return, with the Hornets ranking first in pace and 28th in defensive efficiency this season. The 76ers are currently implied for 116.5 points, which will likely be one of the top marks on the slate.
Maxey was playing some excellent basketball before entering health and safety protocols. He racked up 42.25 DraftKings points in his last game, and he’s averaged 0.88 DraftKings points per minute this season. There’s a chance that he’s limited in his first game back, but he should still have an opportunity to pay off his $5,400 salary.
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Lonnie Walker IV, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs are another team with an outstanding matchup on Wednesday. They’re taking on the Rockets, who rank second in pace and dead last in defensive efficiency. The Spurs have also played at the fifth-fastest pace this season, so this game has the potential for tons of scoring.
Additionally, the Spurs are also a bit shorthanded at the moment. Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, and a host of other rotation players are all in health and safety protocols, so Walker should be asked to play a few additional minutes. He’s played 27.3 and 32.8 minutes in his previous two games, and Walker has averaged an elite 1.01 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. Overall, he stands out as an excellent value option.
Walker has also displayed some increased scoring proficiency of late – he racked up 25 points two games ago – so he could be an attractive target in the player prop market. If his scoring prop isn’t adjusted for the Spurs’ absences and matchup, the over could be valuable. Make sure to take advantage of the Awesemo Player Prop tool, which highlights the most exploitable prop bets each day.
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View our Yahoo! NBA ownership, our FanDuel ownership and our DraftKings ownership projections. Our NBA daily fantasy projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more NBA DFS today and the top NBA DFS picks tonight? We also have Yahoo! rankings, FanDuel rankings and DraftKings NBA rankings for today's slate. Check out our NBA daily fantasy sports rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own DFS NBA projections.
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