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NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Look to the Los Angeles Teams for Tournament Upside Tonight (January 31)

Eric MacPherson



NBA DFS Picks: Look to the Los Angeles Teams for Tournament Upside Tonight (January 31)

Tuesday’s NBA action wraps up January with a five-game featured slate beginning at 7 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups, including Paul George, who produces across all statistical categories.

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NBA DFS Picks: Tuesday, Jan. 31

Core Play of the Day — Paul George: Los Angeles Clippers-Chicago Bulls

Paul George and Kawhi Leonard were both held out of Sunday’s game against the Cavaliers in Cleveland. This was not particularly surprising, as that was the second leg of a back-to-back. Both stars are in play tonight, though George has the edge with the more appealing salary on both DraftKings and FanDuel. In 421 minutes alongside each other this season, the Clippers dynamic duo is averaging 1.15 fantasy points per minute.

Chicago has been solid defensively, and over the last 10 games the Bulls have allowed 110.1 points per 100 possessions, which is the second-best defensive efficiency in the league during this period. George has been a steady producer, and this year he is posting the second-best fantasy production of his four seasons in Los Angeles. The ability to produce across all statistical categories means we rarely see “bad” games from George, and with a 46.4% success rate from the field, he is a tick shy of his career-high field goal conversion rate.

Despite having good defensive efficiency, the Bulls play at an above-average pace, which has resulted in allowing 114.5 points per game to the opposition. George carries both shooting guard and small forward eligibility on FanDuel and DraftKings, making him the core building block for Tuesday.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks-Charlotte Hornets

Tonight we have a choice between the two most recent NBA MVPs to anchor our fantasy lineups. Nikola Jokic is the two-time reigning NBA MVP, though he falls slightly behind fellow two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who can be rostered as a power forward.

Antetokounmpo has been dealing with knee soreness, but he has played in the Bucks last four games and is expected to suit up tonight. In these games, he has averaged 30.3 minutes and an insanely efficient 62.4% conversion rate on 21.3 field goal attempts per game. This has culminated in 38.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.3 combined blocks and steals. Charlotte has been a mess on defense, and the Hornets are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. Like most teams, they simply do not have an answer for Antetokounmpo and can only hope to mitigate the damage as 11.5-point road dogs.

Additional NBA DFS Building Blocks Pick – Sports Betting Opportunities

Ivica Zubac looks like someone to consider tonight with a 0.5 total for his assist prop. This season he is averaging just one assist per game, though he still has a 1.3 per-36-minute rate. Yes, he has no assists in three of his last four outings, but he did record at least one helper in 9 of his last 13 (69%) games, and for the season he has surpassed this milestone 65% of the time.

The NBA Bet Pro projections have Zubac slated for 1.1 assists and 26.7 minutes of action. This wager has an expected win rate of 62%, which gives it a 3% expected ROI relative to the odds at BetMGM. Work this wager into a parlay for a higher payout potential.

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Los Angeles Lakers-New York Knickerbockers

Last night LeBron James and Anthony Davis received the night off in anticipation of Tuesday’s matchup against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. After a 20-game absence due to a foot issue, Davis has made two appearances and looks to be rounding back into form after the long layoff. Though he carries a hefty five-figure salary, he is likely to be on less than 2% of all tournament lineups. The rebounding, steals and blocks combination provides a solid baseline, along with access to the 50-fantasy-point plateau if things are going his way.

James is closing in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most career points, and he is just 117 points away from making NBA history. Even more impressive, since turning 38 on Dec. 30, James has played 13 games and scored more than 40 points five times. Though this duo produces closer to 1.5 fantasy points per minute when they are not sharing the court, they still dominate the usage for the Lakers and should be able to get theirs tonight against New York.

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Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson stand out as the best fantasy options from the Knicks tonight. The Lakers are a fantasy-friendly matchup, and with New York favored by only a bucket, this should be a spirited affair with the 231.5 projected point total.

Mitchell Robinson will be out for a sixth consecutive game and likely will give Randle some minutes at center. In the last five games without Robinson, Randle has averaged 36.7 minutes, 29.4 points 12.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists. The main knock against the 28-year-old is that he does not contribute many blocks or steals. To his credit, Randle ranks third this season with 31 double-doubles, behind only Jokic (33) and Domantas Sabonis (38).

Brunson has been a solid producer in his first season away from Luka Doncic, and over his last 15 games he is averaging 43 fantasy points in nearly 39 minutes of playing time. Most of his fantasy production comes from scoring, but he does enough other things that we can count on a baseline of 10 or 11 combined rebounds and assists along with a steal or two in this matchup. RJ Barrett and Quinten Grimes are secondary options, with the former having the higher ceiling and the latter the better point-per-dollar ratio.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks Building Blocks Today

Tonight is a frontloaded slate with four of the five games tipping off in the first hour and a two-hour respite until the 10 p.m. ET nightcap. Get all the latest analysis and information by tuning in to the Stokastic Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock shows at 5 p.m. ET on YouTube, courtesy of No House Advantage.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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