NBA DFS Lineup Advice: Getting Crazy With Hawks Sans Trae Young (January 19)

Hey everyone, it’s Lindy! In this article, I’ll guide you through the crucial aspects of the main NBA DFS slate for Friday, Jan. 19. Keep in mind that unexpected news may shake things up, so consider this as guidance rather than absolute truth. I’ll highlight key decision points for tonight’s slate to help you better anticipate developments and optimize your lineups. Let’s dive into today’s NBA DFS lineup tips! For additional NBA DFS advice, explore our NBA DFS lineup generator or our industry-leading NBA DFS simulation tools.

NBA DFS Lineup Questions: Key Decisions for Today

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NBA DFS Lineup Advice: No Trae, This Is The Way

As the years go by, the field’s ability to differentiate good chalk from bad chalk gets better and better in the NBA DFS streets. Now, that’s not to say it’s perfect, as last night nearly half the field rostered Gary Trent Jr. despite Bruce Brown Jr. being announced as available to play (which surprised the crap out of me), and even more stuck with G.G. Jackson despite a wonky starting lineup that had Jaren Jackson Jr. playing point forward and re-inserted John Konchar into the starting rotation (did not surprise the crap out of me, as Memphis is terrible). I almost binked the DraftKings $4 Four-Point Play due to avoiding those landmines, but you don’t care about that: There’s a reason it’s called DAILY fantasy sports, so let’s move on today and glance over the injury report.

Oh, Trae Young is out. That seems important! Despite his defensive inadequacies, Young has been 94th percentile in estimated win share on DunksAndThrees.com in every season since his rookie year, so his presence will certainly be missed by the Hawks. And even more so for our purposes, his 30.3% usage and 44.6% assist rate need to be picked up somewhere, and that’s what leads us to the mega-chalk of tonight’s slate: Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Now, we’ve gone in depth on some fascinating chalk in the couple weeks this article’s been live, but I’m not sure we’ve seen negative leverage like this in the Stokastic Boom/Bust tool on a single player all year long:

That’s 64.5% ownership! Just a 28.9% chance of landing in the optimal! Considering this is a seven-game NBA DFS slate with plenty of options to get away from a chalky $5,600 option on DraftKings, this feat is even more impressive. Of course, there’s a lot of instances where Bogdanovic doesn’t need to be optimal to still make the winning lineup by simply hitting a score close to his 32.13-fantasy-point projection.

But I’m not sure the field is recognizing the severe downside that a bad shooting outing could have on his eventual box score. Let’s jump back to Dec. 8, the last time the Hawks played without Young in the lineup, courtesy of PopcornMachine.net:

Bogdanovic got the start and played a whopping 39 minutes en route to the 125-114 loss in Philadelphia while posting a nifty 20/9/2 line that would surely work tonight. It’s also important to note that De’Andre Hunter was active and played 37 minutes but won’t be in action tonight. So what exactly is my apprehension here?

It’s three-fold: First, Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu were still splitting center minutes at this point in time, and since then they’ve started to share the floor more and more together. Nothing crazy, but even 4 to 6 minutes of shared court time for the two cuts into Bogdanovic’s minutes projection in this spot. And secondly, Garrison Mathews is getting 13 to 15 minutes a night of late even with Young in. I don’t see that role being diminished by any means, and now you probably see a primary ball-handler in either Trent Forrest or Patty Mills to back-up Dejounte Murray as well. Oh, and lastly: they’re playing the slow-paced, defensively minded Miami Heat. Enough said.

So this could get very, very wonky, but I’m currently planning to slightly undercut the field on Bogdanovic at his current ownership, a sentiment echoed by the top 150 lineups I got in the Stokastic Sims Tool:

I wanted to also give you the note that Murray is showing up nearly double the field’s current exposure (31.4%), making him a clear flag-plant for me on tonight’s slate. And if you’re playing cash, disregard everything I just said, as you’re clearly playing both of these gentlemen in your lineup. But as Ricky Bobby said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last,” and the data is clearly pointing towards a slightly underweight Bogdanovic approach being the optimal play based on astronomical ownership and sub-30% optimal appearance rate. After all, it doesn’t always have to be “all-or-nothing” with chalk on a given slate.

NBA DFS Lineup Advice: Nuke of the Night

We struck gold with Bennedict Mathurin last night, so the pressure’s on to repeat. Fortunately, I got just the low-owned gem for you this fine evening in Pelicans point guard C.J. McCollum.

McCollum has somehow, someway not played over 31 minutes in a single game in the year of our Lord 2024. Part of that is the health of his team has drastically improved, missing precisely zero players on the roster for tonight’s festivities at home against the Suns. But his 1.18 DraftKings points per minute are actually better than teammate Brandon Ingram (1.15), and now the tag has trailed down from $8,100 two games ago to a much more palatable $7,600 tonight.

But back to that lack of minutes thing for a second, as here are McCollum’s usage and minutes in each game of 2024 as listed on Fantasy Cruncher:

Only ONE game decided by single digits out of his eight games? Is that real life? And to take it a step further in that one competitive Dallas spot, McCollum fought extreme foul trouble that limited him to just 29 minutes! So why not take some shots at a 2% McCollum, hope the usage stays in that 25-27% range that we’ve seen of late, and he goes for an unexpected 50 burger?

Well, unexpected by the field, that is. Nuke of the Night: C.J. McCollum.

Eric Lindquist hails from Sioux Falls, South Dakota (yes, that’s the one with Mount Rushmore). A steady diet of three SportsCenters a day at an early age led to his obsession with sports, one that 30 years later is paying dividends for him as a successful DFS player and sports bettor. Despite over half a million dollars in net career earnings, he’s most passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals, an energy you can witness on the daily in his current role as a host and analyst at Stokastic. He’s a former Division I golfer at Iowa State, wishes he was a former Minnesota sports fan, and is a proud father to a 100-pound Bernese Mountain dog named Duke that wishes he could just eat people food instead of the crap he and his wife feed him on the daily.

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