Tuesday, Feb. 1, keeps a robust NBA week chugging along with a seven-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 | Tuesday, Feb. 1
Yahoo Play of the Day — Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 57.95 | DraftKings: 61.79
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 2% | FanDuel 11.4% | DraftKings 3.5%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $57 | FanDuel $11,300 | DraftKings $12,500
There is some strategy to this recommendation, as Nikola Jokic is dealing with a toe injury. Fortunately, this game is at 8 p.m. ET and there are built-in pivot options. The first option is in this same game, with Karl-Anthony Towns having been incredibly steady with 40 or more fantasy points in 15 of his last 17 games while averaging 48.4 Yahoo points in this stretch. Nikola Vucevic will be saying hello to his former team, and at $36 he is one of the best point-per-dollar plays at the center position on Yahoo tonight.
Jokic has been racking up the fantasy points at similar pace to last season’s MVP campaign. Even playing just 30 and 28 minutes in the last two games, he still had back-to-back 59-fantasy-point performances. While coach Michael Malone will be looking to get him in-game rest whenever he can, even if Denver is on the positive side of a blowout, it is likely that Jokic will do the heavy lifting to put the team in that position. Over the last two seasons when Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray are off the court, Jokic is averaging 1.75 fantasy points per minute.
The NBA player props market for Towns tonight is one to exploit against the Nuggets. In the Awesemo projections he is currently projecting for 2.4 3’s, and his made 3-point prop is over/under 1.5. In seven of his last nine games this season Towns has made at least two 3-point buckets. This may be a bet worth making, with an expected win rate of 70% on OddsShopper.
Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs
The Warriors won a thriller last night in Houston, and to celebrate it seems like they are giving everyone the night off against San Antonio. Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Otto Porter, Nemanja Bjelica, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are all out. Golden State will still have at least nine players available, but there should be major minutes for Jordan Poole, Gary Payton II, Kevon Looney and Damion Lee. Jonathan Kuminga and Juan Toscano-Anderson will also have the opportunity for increased minutes, but foul trouble and mental lapses could land them on the bench as well.
Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Jakob Poeltl all were out for the last game, so the Spurs should be fresh and ready to go against the Golden State understudies tonight. Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell are options on the later slate, but there is no need to use them on the main slate if the big three are available.
New Orleans Pelicans at Detroit Pistons
Tonight there is a matchup between two dreadful teams. Somehow the Pelicans lost to a Cavaliers squad missing their best three players and a starting five that managed to combine for just 41 points. New Orleans is not even being subtle about tanking at this point. Brandon Ingram has missed the last five games with an ankle injury, and it seems unlikely that he will be rushed back. Josh Hart played 37 minutes last night but has been ruled out tonight with a knee contusion. Jonas Valanciunas missed a week due to illness, and while he was solid in 31 minutes last night, a late scratch is not out of the question. Fortunately, this is the first game of the night, so there will be ample options and pivots depending on the news from the Pelicans.
If Ingram does start, he should be considered likely to play around 30 minutes, and the same can be said for Valanciunas. If Ingram remains out, then either Garrett Temple or Nickeil Alexander-Walker are likely to draw the spot start, making the winner of that designation an interesting option. If Valanciunas is out, then Willy Hernangomez should move back into the starting lineup, giving him value.
Detroit has been even more egregious about their own tanking efforts, but they are going to be a stay-away tonight if both Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk return and multiple other players are not randomly ruled out. Grant last played on Dec. 10, missing the last 24 games. Olynyk returned from an even longer absence, played two games and then went into the health and safety protocol. The Pistons were playable a lot last year, but that was because they basically divided their rotation into two groups and then alternated and played each set every other game. Until that happens again, stay away from Detroit.
Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks
Tonight the Wizards are in Milwaukee for the second game of a three-stop road trip. Bradley Beal (wrist) has been ruled out, with a tentative return date of this Saturday or possibly Monday. Washington is in the midst of a five-game losing streak, and things are seeming all too familiar to their fans, as they are now three games below .500 after coming out of the gate hot to start the season with a 10-3 record.
Kyle Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie see the largest impact when Beal is off the court, as they become more responsible for scoring and facilitating. Deni Avdija may get a spot start, or it could be Raul Neto, though both should see 20 to 22 minutes, with the starter likely getting to 26 minutes. This duo has also spent a fair amount of time playing together off the bench, so depending on what type of lineup the Bucks are running, both could hit the 26-minute mark. Now that Washington has most everyone back, the frontcourt is crowded, and they do not benefit from the absence of Beal. Similarly, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope does not have a direct path to additional run, but he could be in the mix with Avdija and Neto, depending on the whims of coach Wes Unseld Jr.
Milwaukee is favored by 11 points tonight, and it seems that the Wizards have lost their fire. In addition to their losing streak, in two of their last three games they have lost two by an average of 24.5 points. In between those outings they suffered a 1-point loss to the Clippers, who overcame a 35-point second quarter deficit to win. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a fine option in tournaments, as he can rack up 50 fantasy points in just 25 to 27 minutes, but counting on Washington to keep this game close is asking a lot. Bobby Portis is an interesting option where he still has power forward eligibility and on Yahoo as a center for a reasonable $22 salary. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are neutral options, though on a points-per-dollar basis they have a slight edge over Antetokounmpo with their lower salaries.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Tuesday, Feb. 1 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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