NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Chicago or Bust?! (January 31)

Wednesday keeps the week moving with a nine-game featured slate locking at 7 p.m. ET on 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. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic — as well as the key injury stories to monitor.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Wednesday, January 31

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

DeMar DeRozan: Bulls at Hornets

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 42.51 | FanDuel: 42.3
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 11.7% | FanDuel: 27.2%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $7,900 | FanDuel: $8,100

The Chicago Bulls dropped a very winnable game last night at home to the Toronto Raptors, and now they are heading out on a one-game trip to Charlotte to battle the depleted Hornets. The Bulls have lost three of the last four games, but they are 4.5-point road favorites tonight in the Queen City.

DeMar DeRozan continues to reinvent himself, and the 34-year-old has made the All-Star Game each of the last two seasons. He has picked up some of the offensive facilitation role with Zach LaVine sidelined, which is nice.

Even an old dog can learn new tricks, as DeRozan is attempting 2.9 three-point attempts per game, which is his highest since the 2017-18 season. That hasn’t come with a dramatic impact on his overall production, but his continually evolving game has enabled him to consistently produce 38-to-40 fantasy points for the last six years.

Nikola Vucevic is a strong secondary option at the center position, especially if Nikola Jokic (back) ends up sitting. However, the news for Jokic and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (illness) may not be available before tipoff for the Chicago game. Coby White is also popping up on the main DFS sites at point guard, especially with Luka Doncic (ankle) and Kyrie Irving (thumb) already ruled out and LaMelo Ball (ankle) doubtful.

Ayo Dosunmu ($4,600) is one of the better value options on FanDuel he is the fifth most popular play on the blue site. Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, Cody Martin, Nick Richards and Brandon Miller each stand out across the DFS landscape, with Charlotte running shorthanded after trading Terry Rozier and keeping Kyle Lowry in bubble wrap to see if they can move him before the deadline — and also missing Mark Williams and Gordon Hayward.

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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games

Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves

Dallas is running thin with Doncic and Irving ruled out. Reserves Dante Exum, Dereck Lively II and Derrick Jones Jr. will miss this game as well. That means major minutes and opportunities for the likes of Jaden Hardy, Tim Hardaway Jr, Grant Williams and Josh Green. However, we need to remember that the Timberwolves have one of the best defenses in the league. We have already seen what happens when both Doncic and Irving sit — it’s not pretty.

Hardaway Jr. will likely see something north of 20 field goal attempts, but this is his 11th year in the league, and he isn’t known for creating his own shots. Hardy also seems like a potential source of heartbreak as he did not start in the last three games without Doncic, averaging 20.5 minutes and just over 14 fantasy points. He started alongside Doncic on Saturday but played only 19 minutes and scored only 19 fantasy points. He did have starts on either side of Christmas when both of the Dallas guards were out, but he was pretty mediocre with an average of 27.5 minutes and 22 fantasy points. The second game was actually in Minnesota and was his better showing with 26.5 fantasy points.

Williams and Green are similar to Hardy in that they aren’t really capable of creating their own offense. It seems like a stretch to play more than two Mavericks per roster.

Minnesota is trading as a 13-point home favorite, but this lopsided game still seems to have enough fantasy goodness that Rudy Gobert, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns are trending to be on between 10% and 20% of all DraftKings lineups. The latter two are joined by Mike Conley (hamstring) in the same range on FanDuel. For the evening sub-slate, Naz Reid and Jaden McDaniels are tournament-friendly on DraftKings, but they can be eschewed elsewhere.

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Other Situations to Monitor

Paul George or Kawhi Leonard could get a night off with the Clippers in Washington taking on the Wizards. Los Angeles is favored by 11 points and is coming off a tough 118-108 loss in Cleveland on Monday that saw the end of a five-game winning streak. The Clips have another bunny on Friday in Detroit, so an alternating set of rest days for the star duo would not be a shock. If either misses, the other becomes a desirable option, along with James Harden or Russell Westbrook, who is the franchise leader with 38 triple-doubles in his 65 games with the Wizards.

Jokic and Gilgeous-Alexander are top-tier plays if available. If Jokic is out, then Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. should see a 15-20% bump in their baseline projections, with Reggie Jackson also getting a boost as he will be the backup facilitator. DeAndre Jordan would only be intriguing if he sees a spot start. Keep in mind that Jokic has only missed one game this season.

Gilgeous-Alexander has not missed a game since early November, but Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren (ankle), Luguentz Dort (ankle) and Kenrich Williams would become viable tournament options. Keep in mind that Jalen Williams (ankle) is already ruled out and yes, he is the preferred DFS option over Jaylin Williams.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Bam Adebayo does a nice job of filling up the stats across the box score, but with Miami mostly healthy at this time (particularly Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro), we should be looking at the under on Adebayo’s 35.5 points, rebounds and assists (PRA) prop, which is currently available at odds of +100.

Per the true odds of -111 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a decent 5% expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

NBA Bet Pro takes into account all of the applicable information, and has projected Adebayo for 34.9 minutes, 20.37 points, 10.95 rebounds and 4.32 assists for 35.64 PRA. That median projection is right in line with the threshold target, but keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different than one specific projection.

It is crucial to take advantage of OddsShopper to look at all the available lines since that can easily be worth another 2% to 3% for your ROI, even on perfectly neutral bets, based on how the different books value things. To demonstrate this very concept, look to the left — you can see that Pinnacle, a sharp book, is at -125, or even FanDuel, which is at -108 while dropping the PRA down to 34.5.

In the last eight games with Butler, Adebayo is averaging 36.2 minutes with 31 PRA, topping 36 PRA three times and landing on 35 once. Butler and Herro tend to impact both scoring and assist opportunities for Adebayo. He will also take on league-leading rebound king Domantas Sabonis, wich isn’t favorable for that category.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock Shows starting at 5 p.m. ET on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate. Brought to you by BetMGM– new users, use this link to receive $158 in Bonus Bets when you bet $5 ahead of Super Bowl 58! Full details here.

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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