NBA DFS Projections Preview | DraftKings & FanDuel LineupHQ Optimizer Values 1/25/23
It’s going to be a wild Wednesday as we have ten games on the slate with only two currently projected for under 230 points. Brandon Ingram and Anthony Davis are on track to return from their long absences, while Steven Adams is out 3-5 weeks with a PCL sprain, and we still have plenty of questionable guys to worry about all day so don’t get too attached to any lineups you build any early in the day. The Pacers, Nuggets, Pelicans, Wizards, and Lakers are all on a back-to-back, so look for their first injury reports later, as there’s a possibility we see Lebron, Murray, Jokic, and possibly others get rested. Make sure to check back here and with all of RG’s amazing NBA DFS tools to stay up to date on the latest news, as it’s truly going to be a slate where adjusting fast and preparing for any potential late-swaps will be the key to maximizing the upside of your lineups.
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.
- It’s almost a guarantee LeBron James will have a questionable tag at best when we get the first Lakers’ injury report, but with Anthony Davis expected to play and see around 20-24 minutes today, I likely won’t be looking to jam in a bunch of fringe Lakers players if LeBron ends up out. I would consider Westbrook in GPP’s with no LBJ, but Davis just takes up so much usage even if he sees only 20 minutes, and Rui Hachimura is also on track to make his Lakers debut, so all-in-all I probably won’t have any Lakers in my main build, especially if we don’t know LeBron’s status before lock. (Update: The official injury report has LBJ, AD, and Walker as questionable)
- The Nuggets are listing Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter, and Bones Hyland all questionable tonight, although I’d consider Porter closer to doubtful. Hopefully we learn everyone’s status before lock as this is an 8PM game, but for now Bruce Brown and Aaron Gordon are the only Nuggets likely starts for sure playing today, and we could be looking at some great value in Zeke Nnaji, Christian Braun, and possibly Bones Hyland depending on how the Q tags break. (Update: Jokic, Murray, MPJ, and KCP are all OUT, Hyland is IN)
- Joel Embiid is questionable with foot soreness after sitting last game, and if he remains out then James Harden would be a top spend up of the slate in a revenge game with the Nets. Tobias Harris would also be a more appealing play getting a nice usage bump, while Harrell, Tucker, and Reed would all help cover the center minutes with Harrell likely starting. (Update: Embid is IN)
- Rudy Gobert is questionable with his groin soreness, so Naz Reid would likely start for him again if he ends up out, while Anthony Edwards and DAngelo Russell would keep their higher ceilings having to carry most of the offense.
- Andrew Nembhard is questionable after sitting yesterday with an illness, and if he remains out then TJ McConnell would remain one of the best plays of the slate as his price barely moved at all overnight, and Chris Duarte would likely start again and be a decent value play. Bennedict Mathurin saw more minutes than Duarte off the bench yesterday and would be a much more appealing play if Nembhard sat. Aaron Nesmith is also questionable so Brissett and Smith could be looking at more PF minutes if he’s out. (Update: Nembhard is OUT, Nesmith is IN)
- DeAndre Hunter & Onyeka Okongwu are questionable for Atlanta, and if Hunter sits I’d expect Bogdan Bogdanovic to start for him, while Clint Capela would have a much higher ceiling with little center behind him if Okongwu sits, as he played 36 minutes last game without him. (Update: Hunter is OUT, Okongwu is IN)
- Jabari Smith has missed the last two games and is questionable today with his ankle sprain, and if he remains out look for Tari Eason to continue to start and be a very strong value play on both sites. (Update: Smith is IN)
- Romeo Langford is questionable with groin tightness in the last game of the night, so I wouldn’t be looking to use him as there’s too much risk of an in-game injury if he ends up playing, along with the fact it’s the last game of the night so we may not know his status before lock and there’s plenty of safer value out there today. If he does end up out I’d expect either Josh Richardson or Malaki Branham to start at SG. (Update: Langford is OUT)
- Monte Morris is questionable with hamstring soreness on the b2b, and if out Delon Wright should get most of the PG minutes with Goodwin helping there too.
- Andrew Wiggins is now questionable so the other starters would get slight usage bumps if he sits and Kuminga could start.
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.
- Steven Adams is out indefinitely with a knee sprain, so Xavier Tillman will likely take over the starting center role if he continues to produce like he did last game as a starter, going for over 25 FP in 29 minutes. Jaren Jackson, Brandon Clarke, and Santi Aldama will all help cover Adams minutes as well, while Morant and Bane get slight usage bumps too.
- With Porzingis out, the Wizards went with starting Corey Kispert over Deni Avdija and will likely stick with that today. Kispert saw 33 minutes and went for around 25 FP so he’s a decent value option, while Avdija saw 32 minutes and went for almost 40 FP, and at the same salaries as yesterday, I much prefer Avdija as a cash game target as his upside is just way higher than Kispert’s.
- Brandon Ingram is on track to return from his long absence and should start right away, which likely moves Naji Marshall out of the starting lineup. Marshall is also probable and likely available after missing the last three games, while Dyson Daniels hurt his ankle yesterday and is out today.
- Michael Porter is dealing with a serious family issue and will likely remain out today, so Bruce Brown should draw another start at SF and is a very strong mid-range target especially if Murray or Jokic get a rest day. Denver’s opponent Milwaukee also has a decision of keeping Khris Middleton coming off the bench or starting him over Connaughton, but either way that choice won’t affect too much DFS-wise today.
- OG Anunoby missed last game after jamming his ankle, and even though he’s officially Q right now, all signs/quotes point to him being probable so look for him to start with Achiuwa moving back to the bench.
- The Warriors will likely stick with their smaller lineup of Draymond at center and Looney off the bench, and James Wiseman is on track to return to help at center if needed.
- With Davis likely back for the Lakers, they could opt to start him alongside Bryant or start AD at center and bring Bryant off the bench like they were doing the last few games before AD got hurt. Either way it won’t affect my decision to go light on the Lakers today regardless of how their starting lineup looks.
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.
- So TJ McConnell ($6,700) did exactly as everyone expected yesterday going for over 45 FP in 40 minutes, and his salary increased a whopping $100 overnight. Regardless if Nembhard plays or not today I have to consider McConnell a top play of the slate at that salary, and like most people he will again be the first guy I lock in to cash games. Buddy Hield ($6,500) remains a high-upside play at that price after going for over 50 FP yesterday, while Bennedict Mathurin ($5,500) and Chris Duarte ($3,900) are in play if Nembhard sits.
- With Adams out, Xavier Tillman ($4,600) should start at center, and assuming he gets around 30 minutes he is squarely in play for cash games even at a price point that doesn’t scream must play. He should have a 5x value floor and has shown 30+ FP upside when given starters’ minutes, so unless a bunch of other crazy safer value opens up today I will likely have him in my main build.
- The Timberwolves continue to be on the cash game radar as DAngelo Russell ($6,800) is still somehow under $7k after another big game of 46+ FP, while Anthony Edwards ($9,200) only went up $300 after dropping another 50+ FP last game. Kyle Anderson ($6,200) put up an absolute dud last game going for just 2.5 FP, and his salary dropped $1,100, so at this reduced price he is back in play for cash game consideration if Gobert ends up out.
- WSH/HOU should be a top game to target as the Porzingis and Porter injuries have opened up a lot of usage for other guys, and if Jabari Smith ends up out I would consider Tari Eason ($4,700) a top value play of the slate while KJ Martin ($5,300) and Eric Gordon ($5,300) would also be more appealing plays. Jalen Green ($8,000) and Alperen Sengun ($8,400) remain elite GPP plays and I can’t blame anyone for using either in their main build. Kyle Kuzma ($8,500) only went up $200 overnight, and I’m expecting a much bigger performance from him today after he shot just 2 for 10 from three yesterday with only 5 boards and 2 assists, but he still put up almost 40 FP on a down night. Deni Avdija ($5,000) remains one of my favorite cash game plays as his salary didn’t budge after he went for almost 40 FP in 32 minutes yesterday.
- More guys I’m liking for the price right now include Draymond Green ($6,800), Wendell Carter ($6,700), Clint Capela ($6,500), John Collins ($6,000), Bruce Brown ($5,900), Mike Conley ($5,700), and Keegan Murray ($5,500).
Looking at DraftKings:
- I can’t really believe I’m saying this but TJ McConnell ($6,000) DROPPED $100 in salary overnight on DK….yes I repeat the guy who has gone for 55.5 and 45.75 FP in his last two games, has a stranglehold on the starting PG spot, and could remain without his PG competition in Nembhard, was lowered in price. I really don’t know what else to say but fade McConnell at your own risk at that price. Myles Turner ($7,100) is also way too cheap after his price didn’t budge overnight, while Buddy Hield ($6,200) remains the same price after dropping 46.75 FP last game and is in play especially if Nembhard sits again.
- Another egregious mispricing on DK today is Xavier Tillman ($3,200), as he only went up $200 after going for over 25 FP last game as the new starter for Adams, and at a $1,400 discount to FD I’d expect most DK cash game lineups to have him today.
- The mispricing continues with Deni Avdija ($4,000) whose price didn’t change after going for 10x value yesterday, so even if he goes for 6-7x value today he’s a steal at that price and will absolutely be in my cash game lineup in an even better matchup with Houston. Kyle Kuzma ($8,800) is now priced more appropriately after going up $900 overnight, but remains a super strong target in all formats as he has easy 50+ FP upside with no Porzingis. Corey Kispert ($3,100) didn’t see a price change and is in play if you need a min-price guy to fill out your favorite build.
- Jalen Green ($7,500) went down $300 in salary after going for almost 60 FP last game, and with two games over 57 FP in his last three it’s going to be hard to not use him in cash games especially with a decreased salary. Eric Gordon ($4,600) and KJ Martin ($5,100) remain solid targets as well at those prices while Tari Eason ($4,400) would be a top value if Smith sits again.
- Clint Capela ($5,700) only went up $200 after dropping 41 FP last game, and if Okongwu remains out today I would make sure to have some exposure to Capela either in GPPs or your cash game lineup as he’d likely see around 35 minutes again in a nice matchup with OKC.
If you want to bet on some of your favorite plays today but can’t find a place to use them in DFS, make sure to check out Underdog Fantasy or PrizePicks where new users get a 100% deposit match up to $100 using the promo code “LABS” when you sign up.
Keep checking LineupHQ for any projections changes throughout the day, as the best p/$ 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.
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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.
Good luck today!
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