NBA DFS Projections Preview | DraftKings & FanDuel LineupHQ Optimizer Values 1/24/23

Another seven game main slate today with much lower totals than yesterday, as only three games currently have a projected total over 230. The Bulls, Celtics, and Hornets are on a back-to-back so look for their injury reports later today. Donovan Mitchell is on track to return for Cleveland, while Washington will be without Kristaps Porzingis who is now week-to-week with an ankle injury.

This is a daily weekday NBA article that can hopefully show you some lineup building tools on RG as well as provide some picks and analysis based on those tools.

Today’s FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Projections Preview

There are ways to get edges in DFS NBA, such as tracking injury news right up to lock and swapping in top value plays if a questionable player gets ruled, knowing which teams are on a back-to-back and not fully rested, and adjusting to daily positional matchups and team pace matchups to always be targeting the players and teams with the highest daily upside. I will be focusing on the “main slate” each weekday, but you can still find plenty of analysis for any other slates including weekends on RG, and feel free to leave suggestions in the comments sections for any strategies / tools you’d like to see here!

This article is meant to highlight some of RG’s most helpful tools for NBA, including our industry-leading NBA DFS projections and NBA lineup optimizer, with some picks and analysis along the way. Let’s get to it!

NBA DFS Injury Roundup

Before we take a look at the projected lineups and picks for the day it’s important to get a feel for any injuries that we’ll need to monitor throughout the day and how these injuries will affect our builds if a questionable player ends up out. For cash games I’m looking for big minutes, high usage, and fast-paced games with bad defenses so knowing who is dealing with any kind of injury and might not get 30+ minutes is critical as well as how a regular starter being out will affect other players’ usage rates and if their replacement starter is worth using.

Looking at The Situation Room we can see who is definitely out, likely out, and questionable for today’s main slate and how it will affect lineups if certain questionable players end up sitting.

  • The Nuggets are going to be very important today as Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter, and Bones Hyland are all questionable, so Murray and Gordon could be looking at big usage bumps and turn in to top plays of the slate if Jokic & Porter are out. Zeke Nnaji would likely start if Jokic sits and he’d be a pretty strong value play with b2b games of 20+ FP, while Bruce Brown would likely start if Porter sits and would be a great mid-range target with b2b games of 30+ FP. Hyland sitting would give more minutes to Murray, Brown, and Braun. (Update: Porter and Hyland are OUT)
  • LaMelo Ball can be considered questionable until we see the Hornets’ first injury report, but if he ends up out look for Jalen McDaniels to continue to start while Terry Rozier would stay at PG and be a very high upside play.
  • Andrew Nembhard is questionable with an illness, and if out we’d likely see either Mathurin, Duarte, or Brissett join the starting lineup, while TJ McConnell would be an even better play as he should start anyways but would have to handle the ball even more. (Update: Nembhard is OUT)
  • Naji Marshall is questionable for New Orleans, and if out Dyson Daniels should continue to start with Murphy and Jones sliding to the forward spots. (Update: Marshall is OUT)
  • Immanuel Quickley is questionable for the Knicks, and if out his minutes would be handled by Brunson, Grimes, and McBride. (Update: Quickley is IN)
  • LeBron James is questionable in the last game of the night in the battle of LA, and if out Wenyen Gabriel would likely start for him and guys like Schroder, Brown, Bryant, and Westbrook would all get big usage bumps and be great DFS plays.

If you want to see how someone out will affect the rest of the team check out the Court IQ Tool where you can see what players’ usage rates and FPPM (fantasy points per minute) are for any team with certain teammates on or off the floor.

NBA Projected Lineups – Analysis & Top Games to Target

Let’s take a look at NBA Starting Lineups to see any major lineup news, such as guys missing or interesting depth chart changes as well as which teams or games I’m looking to target. This page is my favorite tool for NBA DFS as we get betting lines, DFS salaries, projected ownership, and updated depth charts that we can refer to as we build our lineups or see what is affected by any news throughout the day, so make sure to take advantage of this page to keep you up to date on a variety of beneficial DFS info.

  • Donovan Mitchell is probable to return from his groin injury, so Caris LeVert will go back to the bench and be just a GPP play, while Jericho Sims should continue to start at C for the Knicks and Bismack Biyombo will likely continue to start for Phoenix with Ayton still out.

NBA DraftKings & FanDuel Lineup Optimizer Picks

With a good feel for injuries, projected lineups, and top games to target, let’s check out LineupHQ, where you can create lineups in seconds with our lineup optimizer tool as well as the “build” tool where you can create up to 300 lineups at once based on your custom settings.

If we click on the “P/$” column header in the LineupHQ grid, it will rank all the available players from high to low based on their expected fantasy points per dollar of salary on the specific DFS site you have selected — this is one of the best starting points for finding value on any slate.

On FanDuel:

  • TJ McConnell ($6,600) started for the Pacers last game and delivered with a 50 FP triple-double in 39 minutes, so it’s safe to assume he has won this starting PG job until Haliburton returns. His price went up just $100 since last game, so this is probably the last chance we can play him for under $7k, and in the highest projected game total of the slate with just a 1.5 point spread against Chicago, McConnell is the first guy I’m locking in to my cash games.
  • DeMar DeRozan ($8,800) went up $800 overnight, while Zach LaVine ($8,200) went down $900 overnight, so for the price I prefer LaVine today, while Nikola Vucevic ($8,500) dropped $200 in salary and remains a solid option at C.
  • With four top Celtics players ruled out, Jayson Tatum ($11,200) is now the top spend up of the slate as his usage rate should be insane tonight, while Derrick White ($5,700) and Payton Pritchard ($4,100) are top value plays as they should both see a ton of guard minutes.
  • Bismack Biyombo ($4,600) bombed last game going for under 10 FP in just 15 minutes in a tough matchup with Memphis, but today he has a great chance to bounce back against his former Charlotte team who really struggles against big men. He’s still super cheap and should draw the start for Ayton, and although it’s hard to expect the 42.2 FP he had two games ago, I’m still expecting him to see around 25 minutes and hopefully put up at least 25-30 FP putting him in play as a great value option.
  • With Porzingis out there’s a lot of usage available for the Wizards, and a lot of it will go to Kyle Kuzma ($8,300) who will likely get above $9k in the next few games. Kuzma has gone for 48+ FP in three of his last four games, and even though Washington has one of the lowest team totals of the slate, Kuzma still has 60+ FP upside at a great price. If Deni Avdija ($5,000) draws the start for Porzingis he will be hard to fade at that price, as he should see 30+ minutes and has been a great FPPM producer when given increased roles this season.
  • Their opponents Dallas have one of the highest projected team totals today, so I’d look to get at least one of Luka Doncic ($11,900) and/or Tim Hardaway ($5,500) in your cash game lineup as both are having to carry more offense with Wood out, and at their current prices I prefer them over Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,000) or any other Dallas player.

Looking at DraftKings:

  • TJ McConnell ($6,100) remains my favorite cash game play of the slate, and I will also seriously consider Myles Turner ($7,100) in my main build as he’s $1k cheaper than FD and is one of the highest upside plays in the highest projected game total of the slate at a great price.
  • Kyle Kuzma ($7,900) and Deni Avdija ($4,000) are at excellent prices and I will likely use both in my cash game lineup.
  • Jayson Tatum ($11,100), Derrick White ($5,400), and Payton Pritchard ($3,700) remain top targets of the slate and I will likely have all three in my main build or at least two depending on how other news breaks today.
  • Jericho Sims ($3,900) and Bismack Biyombo ($3,600) are great extreme value options on DK today, as both are $1k+ cheaper than FD and should have 4-5x value floors. I’m expecting both to be pretty popular today, so if you want to go a bit more contrarian at C and save a few extra bucks then Mark Williams ($3,200) is a great option as he’s gone for 6x value or better in three straight games.
  • He’s not the most exciting play, but Kyle Lowry ($4,800) is at his second lowest salary of the season and should have a 5x value floor today, so if you need a PG under $5k he’s my favorite p/$ target.

Keep checking LineupHQ for any projections changes throughout the day, as the best p/$ plays could change in an instant if someone gets ruled out or some other type of news makes someone likely to see more or less minutes or usage.

NBA DFS – RotoGrinders Premium Tools Pre-Lock

If you have any tough lineup decisions or need some quick picks, be sure to check out the Consensus Value Rankings, Expert Survey, and LineupHQ tags from our DFS experts.

For up-to-the-minute news and analysis leading right up to lock, make sure to follow the RotoGrinders NBA twitter feed, read our NBA DFS Alerts page, and watch NBA Crunch Time.

Good luck today!

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

  • Erik Wardenburg (naapstermaan)

  • Erik Wardenburg, fantasy alias Naapstermaan, has been playing fantasy sports since 2005 and DFS since 2010. He’s made multiple live finals in MLB, NBA, and NFL on a variety of sites and enjoys grinding small/medium stakes every day.

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