NBA DFS Picks & Lineup Optimizer Building Blocks Today | Monday, January 31

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Monday, Jan. 31, kicks off the week with an eight-game main slate. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.

NBA DFS Picks: DraftKings, FanDuel & Yahoo Building Blocks Today | Monday, Jan. 31

Yahoo Play of the Day — Ja Morant: Memphis Grizzlies at Philadelphia 76ers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 43.87 | DraftKings: 45.82

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 4.4% | FanDuel 10.8% | DraftKings 9.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $45 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $10,100

Ja Morant has been a fixture in this article over the last fortnight, and Monday is a good spot to go back to the well. It seems that his Yahoo salary has capped out at $45, which is still around an 8-10% discount. Joel Embiid is out tonight for load management, having somehow played in 29 of the last 30 games after returning from a bout with COVID-19. Andre Drummond is far from a defensive stalwart, and it is not hard to envision Morant finding success on drives to the hoop.

In his last six games, Morant has failed to top 55 fantasy points only once. During this stretch he is averaging 37.7 minutes and 26.8 field goal attempts. This has culminated in 35.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.4 combined blocks and steals. Dillon Brooks is still out, and Tyus Jones is working on regaining his conditioning after being in the health and safety protocol. Memphis plays again on Wednesday and then Saturday, so there will be plenty of recovery time ahead for Morant to continue seeing heavy minutes tonight in a game that easily could turn into a Memphis victory.

The NBA player props market for Andre Drummond tonight is one to exploit against the Grizzlies. In the Awesemo projections he is currently carrying a 13.3-rebound projection, while his rebound prop is over/under 11.5. In 44 games this season Drummond has made just 11 starts, but he is averaging 8.8 rebounds per outing — which is nearly half a rebound per minute. When starting, he is averaging 28.1 minutes and 13.4 rebounds per game. This may be a bet worth making, with an expected win rate of 70% on OddsShopper.

Julius Randle: New York Knicks vs. Sacramento Kings

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 38.62 | DraftKings: 41.52

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 43.6% | FanDuel 18.0% | DraftKings 13.2%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $29 | FanDuel $8,300 | DraftKings $9,000

The Yahoo salary algorithm has completely lost faith in Julius Randle. Tonight he has an absurdly low $29 salary, and it marks the first time in three calendar years that he has been below $30 on the site. Sacramento is allowing 118.3 points per 100 possessions over the last 10 games, which is the third-worst defensive efficiency in the league. The Kings are also playing at a top-five pace during this stretch, while the Knicks are the second-slowest squad with their deliberate style of play. This gives New York 5.5 more projected points than their seasonal average, which in turn means more fantasy opportunities.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets

This looks like a one-sided game, but it still has to be played. Golden State will be without Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter. The Warriors play again tomorrow in San Antonio. Porter will likely return to the starting lineup for that game while Klay Thompson gets the night off. Stephen Curry is obviously the top option, but if this game is a runaway, he will be the first to get veteran rest with a game tomorrow. Andrew Wiggins has scored 91.6 fantasy points in the two games since being announced as an All-Star Game starter. In the four prior games he had 103.2 combined fantasy points. Thompson is a neutral option on the main slate, though he is firmly in the mix on the two-game late slate. Kevon Looney should get plenty of run marking Christian Wood, and then whoever ends up starting for Porter between Gary Payton II and Jonathan Kuminga is worth a dart throw.

In the 13 games without Draymond Green, somehow Golden State still has the best defensive efficiency rating in the league, allowing 104.1 points per 100 possessions. Wood is a viable option in tournaments, but there are quite a few centers that have a better per-minute outlook on the main slate. Kevin Porter Jr. (health and safety protocol) missed the last game, but he may return tonight. If he does, the Rockets will be nearly at full health for their entire roster, which mutes their fantasy prospects across the board on the main slate.

Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder

Damian Lillard and Larry Nance Jr. remain out, which bodes well for the production of Anfernee Simons, C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Norman Powell and Robert Covington. Rookie Trendon Watford has also seen reliable rotation minutes this month, and he becomes a viable punt option on the two-game late slate. Portland has lost three of their last four games, and they are clinging to the final play-in slot. They are 3.5-point road favorites in a game against the Thunder, who are without their best player. Expect heavy minutes once again from the usual suspects in an effort to secure a gift victory.

Josh Giddey is likely to be the most popular player on every DFS site tonight. Portland is allowing 117.6 points per 100 possessions over their last five games, which is like not playing defense at all. Giddey is having a fine rookie campaign, and he is able to chip in with a little bit of everything. If his shot is falling, he should be able to flirt with 40 fantasy points tonight. Luguentz Dort, Tre Mann and Darius Bazley are all solid discount dandies on the main slate, with Kenrich Williams and Ty Jerome becoming viable options for the later contests.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Monday, Jan. 31 Slate

In a wild twist, all eight NBA games are tipping off in the first hour of the slate. Similarly, the five NHL games are dropping the puck between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, which should have the news alerts flying in across two sports. 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 NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

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