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Expert NBA Fantasy Rankings & Value Plays Today for DraftKings & FanDuel | 1/18/22

Tyler Schmidt



Tonight is a very short two-game slate. There is a player from each team provided below that is popping in Awesemo’s NBA Fantasy Rankings today. Value is tough to come by on this slate. With that, NBA DFS injury news will be a big part of tonight’s process. Be sure to check the Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page to see who is in, who is out and who is starting as news breaks, and look at the NBA DFS rankings and projections before making your NBA fantasy picks today for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.

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DraftKings & FanDuel NBA Fantasy Rankings Today

*Grades are ordered DraftKings, FanDuel. Initial grade indicates a player’s strength of output, with the value grade indicating their strength as a play in relation to their salary.

PG Stephen Curry — Grades: A, A | Values: D, D

It has been quite a while since Stephen Curry has appeared in this article. His value grades are pretty poor, but on a two-game slate Awesemo’s ownership projections show Curry as a top-three option on both sites tonight. The Warriors are a ridiculous 15-point home favorite against the Pistons, where they are implied to score a slate-high 116.5 points. They need this easy game, as they have lost five of their last seven and need to get Curry back on track. Over the last eight games that Curry has played, he is averaging only 20 points per game while shooting 35.7% from the field.

Curry has not scored 30 or more points in a game since Dec. 25. Now is as good of a time as ever to get back on track against the Pistons, who have the second-worst record in the league at 8-32. They rank 23rd in defensive rating and 11th in pace this season. The Pistons have allowed their opponents to shoot 47.3% from the field and 36.7% from behind the arc — both in the top three of percentages allowed. It is time for Curry to get back on track tonight. The blowout risk is a real concern in this matchup, but Curry has shown several times in the past he can reach value in three quarters.

PG Cade Cunningham — Grades: B, B | Values: C, A

On the Pistons side, their top option is clearly rookie Cade Cunningham. Using Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool, Cunningham has by far the highest boom percentage on FanDuel tonight. FanDuel is where to really get Cunningham exposure at his cheap price tag. If the Pistons keep this game close, he will be the main reason. Since returning from the COVID protocols, Cunningham is averaging 16.9 points while attempting double-digit field goals in each game. With Jerami Grant still sidelined due to injury, the Pistons lean on Cunningham, who leads the team in usage rate (25.9%).

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This matchup against the Warriors is brutal, as they have allowed a league-best 102 points per game. They also lead the league in defensive rating and opponent field goal percentage (42.9%). However, the loss of Draymond Green to the Warriors defense is significant. Their defensive rating drops from 101.9 to 109.6 with Green not in the lineup this season. The Pistons are still implied to score a slate-low 101.5 points tonight. They have won five of their last nine games, so the Pistons are playing better lately. Cunningham is cheap and provides a ceiling if the Pistons can compete for four quarters.

C Karl-Anthony Towns — Grades: A, A | Values: D, C

Not too far behind Curry in pricing tonight on both sites is Karl-Anthony Towns. Awesemo projects Towns to score the second-most points, which is valuable on this short two-game slate. He is a great replacement for Curry if the blowout in Golden State is worrisome. Over the last six games since coming out of the COVID protocols, Towns is averaging a double-double of 25.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. He has also been extremely active on the defensive end, averaging 1.2 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. Towns have also averaged 49.5 DraftKings points per game during that time.

The Knicks allow only 41.7 points per game to be scored in the paint this season, which is second best in the league. They also play at the slowest pace and allow only 104.5 points per game. The one positive is, unlike the Warriors and Pistons, this matchup has a better chance to be competitive, as the Timberwolves are 3-point road favorites. Despite having aggressive scoring teammates in Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell, Towns leads the Timberwolves with 24.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and a 27.7% usage rate. He is the best center option on the slate by far.

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PF Julius Randle — Grades: A, A | Values: C, B

Coming in as the highest-owned player on both sites tonight, Julius Randle is also has the best value in Awesemo’s NBA DFS Rankings among the studs. Randle has been filling up the stat sheet lately. Over his last seven games, Randle is averaging 18 points, 10.9 rebounds and five assists per game. Using Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool, Randle has the highest boom percentage on DraftKings and the second highest on FanDuel. He also has the highest optimal percentage on both sites. Randle is very favorably priced and should be a staple in lineups tonight.

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Despite being 3-point home underdogs, Randle and the Knicks are probably in the best spot on the slate from an offensive standpoint. The Timberwolves play at the fourth-fastest pace in the league, which is a major upgrade for the Knicks. They also rank 22nd in rebounds allowed per game, which will boost Randle’s production. He is in a great spot to record his 21st double-double of the season. The Knicks are without Derrick Rose and Nerlens Noel tonight, while Kemba Walker is questionable to play. Especially if Walker is ruled out, the Knicks offense will run through Randle once again.

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We also have DraftKings ownership rankings, FanDuel ownership rankings and Yahoo! NBA ownership rankings for today's slate. Looking for more DFS NBA advice and the best NBA DFS tools? Check out our daily fantasy rankings NBA for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own most accurate NBA DFS projections. Our NBA daily projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. View our Yahoo! NBA ownership projections, our FanDuel NBA ownership projections and our DraftKings ownership projections.

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