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Expert NBA Fantasy Rankings & DFS Value Plays Today for DraftKings & FanDuel | 1/21/22

Tyler Schmidt



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Tonight features a large 11-game 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.

SF Joe Ingles — Grades: C, C | Values: A, A

Remember the Wednesday slate when the Jazz had five players in the top of the ownership projections as 13-point home favorites? Tonight features a similar situation, as Donovan Mitchell remains out and the Jazz are 14-point home favorites against the 11-33 Pistons. The Jazz once again have four of the top five in ownership on FanDuel and three of the top five on DraftKings. Joe Ingles is projected for the most ownership on both sites.

The price tag came up a little bit but not nearly enough for Ingles, who played 31 minutes in their last game as a starter and finished with 10 points, five rebounds and six assists. Awesemo projects Ingles to play similar minutes tonight and be one of the best value plays on the slate. The matchup against the Pistons provides extra value for these Jazz players, as the Pistons rank 24th in defensive rating this season and the Jazz have a 119-point implied total. He may be a streaky player, but Ingles and many other Jazz pieces will make up a majority of lineups once again tonight.

PG Ja Morant — Grades: A, A | Values: B, A

This 11-game slate is absolutely loaded with studs, but it is tough to ignore the value and upside that Ja Morant provides. Morant is coming off of his best game of the season, where he had 33 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds. He shot 27 field goal attempts and finished with a season-high 67 DraftKings points. That was the second-highest total of his career. Morant is climbing into the MVP discussion with his most recent play.

Morant still has a very reasonable price on both sites, which is why he is popping in Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool. Morant has the highest boom percentage on DraftKings and the second highest on FanDuel. The Grizzlies are 3-point road underdogs against the Nuggets despite winning 22 of their last 28 games. The Nuggets allow 48.1 points per game in the paint this season, which is great for the very aggressive Morant, who leads the league in field goals made from drives to the basket. He ranks third in total drives and has been fantastic finishing in the lane. This salary is still a discount on Morant.

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SG Jalen Suggs — Grades: C, C | Values: A, B

Since returning from his thumb injury, the minutes have been steadily ramping up for Jalen Suggs, who played 34 minutes last game against the 76ers. That was the second-most minutes he has played all season. He produced his third-highest DraftKings point total with 35.8, as he finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals. With R.J. Hampton out for the foreseeable future, Suggs’ minutes will be solidified moving forward.

Cole Anthony has gotten a lot of love for his incredible sophomore season, and rightfully so, but he barely leads Suggs in usage rate this season. Suggs has shot 51.2% from the field since his return while averaging double-digit field goal attempts in every game. The Magic are only 5-point home underdogs against the Lakers tonight. This matchup features a pace-up spot for the Magic, as the Lakers rank third in pace this season. They allow 112.8 points per game, which is the fourth most in the league. Suggs is preferred on DraftKings, where he ranks fourth in ownership and seventh in projected value.

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PG Kyrie Irving — Grades: A, A | Values: C, B

The best game environment for fantasy points on the slate is this matchup between the Nets and Spurs. The Spurs are 1-point home favorites, as this game total is the highest on the board (232.5). Both the Nets and Spurs rank inside the top 10 in pace this season, and they both allow a lot of points. Kyrie Irving stands out in this spot, as the Nets will continue to play without Kevin Durant for a few more weeks due to injury.

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Only being able to play in road games, Irving has only played in five games total this season. Two of those have been played without Durant in the lineup, and Irving has averaged 28.5 points, eight assists and five rebounds. He has averaged 48.8 DraftKings points to go along with a usage rate of 30.7% per game. Irving has outperformed James Harden during that time despite being much cheaper on both sites. Irving has played 38 or more minutes in three of his last four games, and the one he did not was a blowout. The usage, the minutes and the upside are all there for him.

SF LeBron James — Grades: A, A | Values: C, B

Going to the top of the board with all of the value on the slate should come to no surprise, as Awesemo projects LeBron James to be the best pay-up option tonight. He is projected to score the second-most fantasy points on the slate behind Nikola Jokic, but his salary is considerably cheaper. The Lakers continue to struggle without Anthony Davis in the lineup, losing four of their last five games, but James continues to thrive.

In 18 games without Davis this season, James has averaged 32.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists. He has a 33.4% usage rate, as he attempts 22.7 field goals per game. During that time James is averaging 60.4 DraftKings points while playing 36.7 minutes per game. This matchup against the worst team in the league is one that James should be able to exploit with ease. The Magic rank 25th in defensive rating and will struggle stopping this freight train tonight. James should be prioritized at the top despite so many fantastic options on the slate.

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

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