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Expert NBA Fantasy Rankings & DFS Value Plays Today for DraftKings & FanDuel | 1/26/22

Tyler Schmidt

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Free NBA fantasy picks, rankings & projections for DraftKings & FanDuel fantasy basketball lineups tonight from Awesemo's lineup optimizer today

Tonight features a large 10-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 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.

C Nikola Jokic — Grades: A, A | Values: B, A

The only player that has a perfect A grade and A value on the slate is Nikola Jokic on FanDuel. To no surprise, Awesemo projects Jokic to have the most fantasy points on both sites tonight. He is simply playing on a different level than everyone else lately. Over the last five games, Jokic is averaging a triple-double with 32.4 points, 14.0 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game. He is shooting 59.2 percent from the field while averaging an absurd 73.7 DraftKings points per game during that time! Jokic continues to average a career-high 1.82 DraftKings points per minute this season.

Nikola Jokic is matchup proof, but this spot against the Nets is definitely above average. Nets forward Kevin Durant does not get enough credit for his defense because in 11 games without him in the lineup this season, the Nets defensive rating drops from 109.4 to 117.0 per game. Jokic should have his way against this aging and inexperienced frontcourt. In our boom/bust probability tool, Jokic has the second-highest boom percentage on DraftKings and the fifth-highest on FanDuel. The ceiling that Jokic provides is unlike anyone in the league right now. Fade at your own risk.

PG James Harden — Grades: A, B | Values: B, B

It seems impossible to avoid James Harden on this slate as he gets another home matchup without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. He is coming off of a triple-double last night where he posted a line of 33 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. He scored 73 DraftKings points and had a 36.7 percent usage rate. Harden has thrived with Irving and Durant missing from the lineup this season. In six games without those two, Harden is averaging 32.5 points, 10.2 assists and 9.7 rebounds per game. He is a completely different player when he does not play alongside another superstar.

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This matchup against the Nuggets is much worse than facing the Lakers last night. The Nuggets rank 24th in pace and have allowed only 106.9 points per game this season. They slow the game down and get the ball to Jokic. It is as simple as that. However, it is impossible to ignore the upside that Harden has without Irving and Durant. In four of the six games he has played without them, he has scored over 70 DraftKings points. Harden certainly will not be a sneaky play as our ownership projections have him in the top four in terms of highest-owned on both sites tonight.

SF Cameron Johnson — Grades: B, C | Values: A, A

Playing Jokic and Harden together may be difficult, but it is possible. Cameron Johnson would need to be involved to make it happen. According to our boom/bust probability tool, Johnson has the highest boom percentage on DraftKings by a massive margin. The Suns continue to play without Cameron Payne and Jae Crowder, which moves Johnson into the starting lineup. Johnson played a season-high 38 minutes in their last game as he poured in 20 points while shooting 7-for-12 from the field and 5-for-8 from behind the arc. He also had six rebounds and three steals.

This is a rematch of the Suns’ last game against the Jazz, they are just switching venues to play in Utah tonight. The Suns are still 4-point road favorites. Johnson has thrived in the starting lineup this season. In the seven games he started in, Johnson averaged 18.1 points while shooting 55.6 percent from the field and 51.9 percent from downtown making 3.9 3-pointers per game. During that time he averaged 31.3 DraftKings points per game, which provides incredible value. Per our ownership projections, he is the highest-owned player on DraftKings and third-highest on FanDuel.


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PG Jalen Brunson — Grades: B, B | Values: A, A

Sticking with the value theme, one of the best value plays on the slate is Jalen Brunson. Especially on FanDuel, Brunson ranks fourth in both boom percentage and projected value. The Mavericks lost Tim Hardaway Jr. last night to injury in their massive loss on the road to the Warriors 130-92. Despite the loss, Brunson still managed to play 36 minutes. In six games without Hardaway Jr. in the lineup this season, Brunson is averaging 22.7 points and 7.2 assists. Losing out on 14.3 points per game is a big loss. Granted, Luka Doncic was also not playing in those games.

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Brunson certainly is not near as good as Doncic is, but he is a cheap way to get exposure to the Mavericks, who are in a great spot on the road against the Trail Blazers. They rank 28th in defensive rating this season and allow opponents to shoot a league-high 47.3 percent from the field and 37.0 percent from behind the arc. Brunson moved into the starting lineup on December 12th. When Brunson starts, he averages 18.0 points, 6.3 assists, and 34.7 DraftKings points per game. He will be relatively popular as Brunson ranks in the top six on both sites for ownership, but it is deserving.

C Hassan Whiteside — Grades: B, B | Values: B, A & C Bismack Biyombo Grades: B, B | Values: A, B

Hassan Whiteside and Bismack Biyombo are two fantastic value center options. It is impossible to discuss one without the other. For starters, they play against each other tonight for the second-straight game. Secondly, their prices flip-flop on DraftKings and FanDuel. Our NBA DFS Rankings show that briefly, but Whiteside is a much better play on FanDuel while Biyombo is much better on DraftKings. Let’s dive into each option.

Awesemo projects Whiteside to be the best play on the slate for FanDuel tonight. He also has the highest boom percentage just surpassing 50 percent. Rudy Gobert, who still leads the league in rebounds this season, remains out with an injury, which will keep Whiteside in the starting lineup. Whiteside returned from COVID protocols last game and nearly had a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. His game is better suited on FanDuel, where he fills up the stat sheet with steals and blocks. When given the minutes, Whiteside has massive block potential.

Biyombo is a perfect mid-range option on DraftKings. His recent surge has been surprising, but it is certainly time to take notice. Biyombo has out-performed JaVale McGee significantly. Over the last four games, Biyombo is averaging a double-double with 15.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. He shot a ridiculous 74.3 percent from the field and has three games where he has scored over 37 DraftKings points. Biyombo ranks in the top four in boom percentage on DraftKings. Now let’s hope they both stay out of foul trouble tonight.

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

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