Welcome to the Team Rise or Fall Free FanDuel and DraftKings NBA DFS picks article. This morning we will highlight some standout Vegas totals, pace ups picks, notable injury news, and my early picks for the slate. At the conclusion of the article, we’ll discuss how I plan on handling the slate with the information we have this early in the day. Be mindful that this preview is subject to change as news breaks throughout the day. Also, note that today is Martin Luther King Day and we have a few different slates throughout the day. I’ll be notating which games are on which slate as we move along.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Atlanta Hawks O/U 227.5 (Early Slate on FanDuel and DraftKings)
Each team comes into the contest with a losing record, but we don’t care about records in DFS do we? The game has the highest implied total on the early slate.
Minnesota is led by DeAngelo Russell. He’s averaging over 20 points per game on the season and should be given the go-ahead to shoot with the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns. The Wolves will also be without veterans Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez. With a short bench, they’ll have smaller rotations which equal more opportunities.
On the Hawks side, Trae Young has slowed down a bit from his hot start. In the 8 games he’s played in January he’s only broken 30 points once while shooting 22.2% from 3-points range – ouch. However, shooters shoot and he won’t be ice cold all season long, I won’t be fading him on the early slate.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Brooklyn Nets O/U 239 (Main Slate on FanDuel and DraftKings)
Oh Boy! If you’re any sort of a basketball fan you’ll be finding a way to tune into this game. It has fantasy goodness written all over it. On the Brooklyn side of the court, Kyrie Irving is eligible to play this game which would be the first since James Harden joined the team in the mega-trade that happened last week. We saw how well Harden and Durant gelled together in Harden’s first game the question will be, how does Irving slot into the mix? I think each will get their shots in but without seeing rotations I’d be cautious with Brooklyn’s studs.
The Bucks are lead by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis consistently fills the stat sheet in every category, his salary makes it tough to jam in multiple studs, but he is one you can build around. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday make up the Bucks big three. I don’t know if I’m necessarily locking them in, but you can determine that based on your lineup construction to see if a game stack is viable for you.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Atlanta Hawks (Early Slate on FanDuel and DraftKings)
This game is full of fantasy goodness and is my favorite game to attack on the early slate on the two big DFS sites. This is a pace up spot for Trae Young’s Hawks who rank 12th in the league in pace. As with fast paced games, I want exposure to ball handlers. So on the other side, I want DeAngelo Russell who acts as the primary ball-handler for the Wolves.
Golden State Warriors @ Los Angeles Lakers (Main Slate on FanDuel and DraftKings)
The Warriors visit the slow-paced Lakers for the first time this year. The Warriors rank 2nd in the league in pace while the Lakers rank 18th. The Warriors have no one to keep up with LeBron James or Anthony Davis so it’ll be interesting to see ownership on both players. However, my preferred target is Steph Curry as he’ll have the green light to shoot to keep the Warriors in the game.
Probable: Demarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Tyler Herro,
Questionable: Cam Reddish, Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr, LeBron James
Out: Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Josh Richardson, Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith, John Wall, Ricky Rubio, Karl-Anthony Towns
Trae Young (Early) – I don’t think he’ll stay in this slump forever (thank you Captain Obvious). He’s at home in a pace up game against a defense that isn’t that great. I feel like he’s a better FanDuel value than DraftKings where he’s only $500 less than Dame Lillard.
DeAngelo Russell (Early) – I want some back-and-forth action between Russell and Young. He’s decently priced on both DFS sites. Towns will be out due to COVID so he won’t be competing with anyone to put up shots.
Luka Doncic (Main) – Ownership will be on the Bucks @ Nets game but I want to go to Luka. The Mavericks are missing a handful of players which should tighten the rotation and force Luka into playing some extra minutes like we saw the Mavs last game against the Bulls where he played 38 minutes.
These are my early picks, but make sure to check out our NBA coaches Building Blocks closer to lock.
Questions or comments?
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