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The NBA Slate Starter: NBA DFS Picks for DraftKings + FanDuel | Thursday, January 28

Eric Lindquist



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Wednesday was wild, as I thought my abundance of Bam Adebayo on DraftKings and Aaron Gordon on FanDuel would ruin the day. But after some fortuitous pivots to Jordan Bell and Anthony Edwards as the news rolled in for the late slate, I was able to salvage. Sometimes stopping the bleeding when things go haywire can actually be a successful day, so I’m chalking it up as a win (even though it most certainly wasn’t). Let’s see if we can’t do a little better this Thursday and find a few NBA DFS picks that can take us to the top.

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NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | Jan. 28

Four Games, Four Headaches on DraftKings

Thursday’s four-game slate has more than few predicaments to navigate over on DraftKings. The Rockets will have Christian Wood rejoining the rotation just in time to make everyone around him (and himself) feel way overpriced, which hurts because the matchup against the Blazers is as good as it gets. The Lakers then tip off against a brutally bad Pistons squad, yet we haven’t seen an upside from someone not named LeBron James or Anthony Davis in what feels like forever. The other game going at 8 p.m. EST features a team on the mend (Heat) against a team in the muck (Clippers), with inflated salaries all over the place. And lastly, the Suns value that mostly busted all over the place also got a price hike, which makes them indefensible plays should Devin Booker come back from his two-game absence.

In other words, I think pricing is going to be super tough over on DraftKings unless we get an influx of info that comes out of nowhere. There are a few pieces of value I’ve plucked out for you that might make life somewhat manageable — Mason Plumlee ($4,800) and Anfernee Simons ($4,200), for instance — but otherwise it’s going to be rough. Be ready to stomach some really thin sub-$4,000 on this slate, and may the optimizer be ever in your favor. That is, unless the NewzGod can bring us good tidings of great joy (follow him at the @AwesemoNBA account to stay up to date with injury alerts, starting lineups and anything else that might arise in the news department).

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It might have sounded like I was complaining about DraftKings’ tight pricing, when in reality I enjoy slates where building lineups isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. Plus, condensed chalk like we saw on Wednesday’s 12-game NBA DFS slate with the Jazz value is not nearly as fun as when ownership gets spread around due to proper pricing. So at least over there, we have our work cutout for us.

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Which brings me to FanDuel. Reggie Jackson, somehow and someway, stayed at $5,000 despite a 39-minute, 47.4-FanDuel-point outburst on Tuesday. In fact, zero Clippers besides Terance Mann (up $1,000 to $4,500) saw any meaningful change to their salaries despite their newfound roles, which simply is simply ridiculous considering this:

nba dfs picks for DraftKings and FanDuel daily fantasy basketball

Courtesy of, this was Tuesday’s entire rotation for the Clippers against the Hawks. Mann received an absurd 34 minutes despite averaging less than 10 per game on the year, finishing with 34.3 FanDuel points on the night. Serge Ibaka only saw a $4,000 spike despite 29 minutes and a 28.4% usage rating. And it bears repeating that the failure to change Jackson’s price is so mind-numbingly bad that I have no words. But hey, it’s the slate we’ve been given, so be sure to check out the Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock shows to hear some more viable Clippers pivots on FanDuel leading up to the first game of the night.

Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups

  • Of all people, I’m guessing Derrick Jones Jr. will come in as one of the chalkiest pieces of value on the slate. Expected to be a primary beneficiary of the C.J. McCollum injury, his results have been mixed to say the least. At just $4,400 on DraftKings, he might be an important piece to make anything resembling a viable stars-and-scrubs lineup.
  • There are a number of players who just got done torching lineups the past two days: Deandre Ayton, Stephen Curry and Nicolas Batum, to name a few of my favorites. Recency bias should be in full effect, which means being overweight on each sounds like a just peachy approach to me.
  • Just play Anthony Davis.

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