NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Monday, February 1st | Nikola Jokic

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Eric MacPherson
·7 min read
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EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo + DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups including Nikola Jokic for Monday 2/1
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo + DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups including Nikola Jokic for Monday 2/1

NBA DFS action on Monday, Feb. 1, locks at 7:30 p.m. EST with a terrific ten-game main slate. Before you lock in your lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and SuperDraft, make sure to check out Awesemo’s daily fantasy basketball rankings and projections. Let’s dig into some daily fantasy basketball picks, including Nikola Jokic, Lonzo Ball, LaMelo Ball and more.

Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS HOME PAGE for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

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Awesemo’s NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Yahoo Play of the Day – Gary Trent Jr.: Portland Trail Blazers at Milwaukee Bucks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 25.55 | DraftKings: 26.54

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 27.2% | FanDuel 1.7% | DraftKings 3.7%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $14 | FanDuel $5,500 | DraftKings $5,700

Derrick Jones Jr. (ankle) has already been ruled out, and with C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic sidelined as well, we should see Gary Trent Jr. stay in the starting lineup. He has been playing heavy minutes in his three starts, with 37, 38 and 41 while averaging a healthy 15.7 field-goal attempts, including 5 made 3-pointers per tilt. His full stat line is 21.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 2.7 combined blocks/steals. Speaking of steals, Trent certainly is one on Yahoo as a salary saver.

Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets vs. Detroit Pistons

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 54.05 | DraftKings: 56.78

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 6.4% | FanDuel 16.9% | DraftKings 12.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $54 | FanDuel $10,900 | DraftKings $10,900

Yesterday Nikola Jokic put on an absolute clinic against Rudy Gobert and the Jazz. He tied a career-high 47 points, going 17-for-26 from the field and 9-for-10 from the line. He had 22 points in the first quarter alone. Tonight he will be squaring off against the Pistons and former teammates Mason Plumlee and Jerami Grant. Advantage goes to Jokic.

Lonzo Ball: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 28.5 | DraftKings: 29.93

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 13.8% | FanDuel 12.2% | DraftKings 18.1%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $20 | FanDuel $5,700 | DraftKings $5,500

This recommendation was right on the edge of being in the Good Value section, but I am elevating Lonzo Ball to the core Building Blocks section. Savvy gamers know that when Sacramento is on the slate, we want to target players going against them. On the year the Kings have the worst defensive efficiency, allowing 116.0 points per 100 possessions. They are also in the top third of the league in pace and in turnovers.

The main difference for Ball this year is that he is getting more shots. In his last 10 games where he has played at least 25 minutes, he is averaging 13.3 field-goal attempts. This helps give him the potential to flirt with 40 fantasy points. The appealing matchup and favorable salary have Ball on the short list tonight.

Good Value

LaMelo Ball: Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 30.02 | DraftKings: 30.45

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 1.6% | FanDuel 11.7% | DraftKings 8.3%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $26 | FanDuel $6,300 | DraftKings $6,500

We will not be alone in rolling with LaMelo Ball on Monday night, but I do not want to miss out. There is a very good chance that Terry Rozier will miss this game. On Saturday he suffered a sprained ankle in the second quarter and was unable to return after halftime. Ball tied his season high with 31 minutes, knocking down 8 of 10 from the field and 9 of 9 from the charity stripe. This culminated in 27 points, to which he added 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals for his second career 50-fantasy-point performance.

Miami is in the middle of the pack from a pace and defensive efficiency standpoint, with 101.3 possessions per 48 minutes and allowing 109.3 points per 100 possessions. On the season Ball is averaging 1.26 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. Using NBA WOWY we can see that he is remarkably consistent, as that is essentially the same with or without Rozier on the court. Ideally we will see Ball get his first career start tonight, and the sky is the limit.

Xavier Tillman: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 24.4 | DraftKings: 23.3

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 0.6% | FanDuel 1.6% | DraftKings 5.7%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $14 | FanDuel $5,100 | DraftKings $4,800

It is important to look at NBA rotations, and game-flow box scores can be particularly helpful in understanding games that you did not actually watch closely. We saw rookie Xavier Tillman get his second straight start with the absence of Jonas Valanciunas, but he played just 21 minutes. Looking strictly at his game logs, that looks like a disappointing trend; he saw 29 and 28 minutes in his two prior games.

Before shutting things down for the health-and-safety protocol, Tillman had been serving as the direct backup to Valanciunas, which was capping his minutes. In the last two games as a starter, it has been Gorgui Dieng re-entering the rotation, and in turn, he is the direct backup for Tillman. Shortly after Dieng came in early in the fourth quarter, Memphis began to pull away from San Antonio and ultimately closed out the game on a 19-5 run, during which Dieng’s play kept Tillman from returning to the game.

We have a rematch tonight, and as long as Tillman is starting as expected, I am comfortable going back to him even with his increasing salary. While there is no need to force Tillman into our lineups on the full slate, he definitely becomes a priority salary saver on the night slate.

Risky Value

Cody Zeller: Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 30.55 | DraftKings: 30.86

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 38.0% | FanDuel 22.1% | DraftKings 27.7%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $17 | FanDuel $5,200 | DraftKings $5,300

Keep in mind that context really is everything in DFS. I recommended Cody Zeller as a good value play in his last two starts. He still is a fine option tonight, but with the increasing salary, he is by no means a great play. On 10-game slates we need options with high upside in tournaments. Since rejoining the starting lineup last Wednesday, Zeller’s price has increased by 33% on FanDuel and by over 50% on Yahoo and DraftKings.

In these starts he is averaging 29.9 minutes with 9.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 combined blocks/steals for 1.1 fantasy points per minute. Using the Awesemo Boom-Bust tool, we can see that Zeller has an 11.5% chance of being in the optimal lineup tonight. His boom score gives him an 36.7% chance of topping 5x his salary plus 10, or 36 FanDuel points. The bust score has him producing less than 5x, or 26 FanDuel points, 19.8% of the time. This shows that Zeller is a reasonable play. However, on FanDuel we only have one center slot. If we roster Zeller, we will not be able to roster Jokic or Andre Drummond, both of whom have reasonable access to 50-plus fantasy points in their respective matchups.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Ricky Rubio: MIN at CLE – $10

  2. De’Anthony Melton: MEM at SAS – $11

  3. Anthony Edwards: MIN at CLE – $13

SuperDraft Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

  1. Enes Kanter: POR at MIL – 1.85x multiplier

  2. Damian Lillard: POR at MIL – 1.20x multiplier

  3. Jerami Grant: DET at DEN – 1.65x multiplier

Final Thoughts on the Monday, Feb. 1 NBA DFS Slate

Tonight there are 20 teams in action with nine of the 10 games tipping off within one hour of each other. This means the news will be coming in fast and furious leading up to lock. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average option on DraftKings or FanDuel.

The post NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Monday, February 1st | Nikola Jokic appeared first on Awesemo.com.

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Denver
-193-4.5-
Indiana
+160+4.5-