NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Donovan Mitchell + Victor Webanyama (January 20)

Saturday has a condensed seven-game featured slate with a 7 p.m. ET lock time 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, including some intriguing playing time situations that provide steady value options. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Donovan Mitchell and Victor Wembanyama

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Saturday, January 20

Donovan Mitchell: Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks

This has been a career year for Donovan Mitchell, who has upped his game to another level. That has been crucial for Cleveland as both Darius Garland and Evan Mobley have been out since mid-December. Mitchell has helped propel the Cavaliers to their current six-game winning streak and he just dropped 55 fantasy points on the Milwaukee Bucks in his last outing, taking just under 26 minutes to do so in a 135-95 victory.

Caris LeVert (wrist) is doubtful, and while he does not play the same role or position as Mitchell, his absence means one more contributor and facilitator off the court for Cleveland. This season, when Mitchell is on the court without Garland and Mobley, he is averaging 1.45 fantasy points per minute. When LeVert is also removed, it ticks up to 1.6.

Jarrett Allen has averaged 32.2 minutes and 11.2 field goal attempts with a wicked 66.2% conversion rate in the last 14 games without Mobley. Those rates yield 18.3 points, 13.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.2 combined blocks and steals per game. He should be able to hold his own against the combination of Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, making him a strong fantasy point-per-dollar option, even on a slate with several viable center-only plays.

React App

This is a back-to-back and the third game in four nights for Atlanta. Trae Young was out with an illness on Friday and is currently listed as questionable. Dejounte Murray played heavy minutes last night, posting 40 in Miami as the Hawks were able to defeat the Heat thanks to his game-winning shot. If Young remains out, the former University of Washington stalwart remains in play as a tournament option, but Cleveland has remained stout on defense even with the key contributors missing. Over the last 10 games, the Cavs have allowed just 105.5 points per 100 possessions, which trails only the New York Knicks through that stretch.

Victor Wembanyama: San Antonio Spurs at Washington Wizards

The FanDuel salary algorithm clearly respects rookie Victor Wembanyama, assigning the 19-year-old a five-figure cap hit. That’s despite him playing just over half a game worth of minutes per outing over the last couple of weeks. The first selection of the 2023 NBA Draft did not play last night in an intentional rest day.

Over his last 10 games, Wembanyama is averaging 24.4 minutes and 15.9 field goal attempts, of which he has converted 52.8%. During this stretch, Wembanyama has racked up 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 4 combined blocks and steals in this stretch. FanDuel awards three fantasy points for blocks and steals, which is why his salary on the blue site is far outpacing his DraftKings tag.

This stat line works out to around 1.6 fantasy points per minute and includes four double-doubles and one triple-double. The Washington frontcourt is just not equipped to deal with Wembanyama even if Daniel Gafford (concussion) is cleared to play.

If Gafford is out, Marvin Bagley III should see at least 30 minutes. He got 39 in his first game since coming over from Detroit. His salary is up $1,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel since Thursday, but he would be a borderline core play if he stays in the starting lineup.

Brothers Tyus and Tre Jones will be the starting point guards for their respective squads, which is always fun to see. It would not be a complete surprise if Keldon Johnson or Devin Vassell get a break today, with this being the perfect spot for San Antonio to “lose a close one” to Washington, similar to the Spurs’ 124-120 loss in Charlotte last night. Both teams are just above the Spurs in the race for a bottom-three record, which does come with the highest allocation of lottery balls for the upcoming draft.

Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz

Tonight is the third game in four nights for Utah, though the Jazz last played on Thursday. Houston last took the court on Wednesday, but the Rockets are hosting Boston tomorrow. Alperen Sengun, Fred VanVleet, Jabari Smith and Jalen Green each project to be on between 25% and 40% of all DraftKings rosters. This quartet also stands out on FanDuel, though with less voracity, as they project to be on 16% to 30% of the tournament entries.

Sengun is one of the better center plays tonight. He could become the top option if Joel Embiid sits. VanVleet also is well suited for tournaments as his boom-or-bust nature keeps his salary palatable, and the downswings should keep the casual gamers away.

Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson are neutral options on FanDuel. Over on DraftKings, this duo is joined by Collin Sexton as secondary tournament targets, with Walker Kessler becoming a late-slate tournament differentiator at the center position.

Looking for more NBA DFS picks and advice? You’ve come to the right place. Sign up for our NBA DFS Premium Package for access to our player projections, ownership projections and our state-of-the-art NBA DFS simulation tools.

Additional NBA DFS Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Scottie Barnes is someone to look to in the sports wagering market tonight, with the under on his under 7.5 rebounds prop. The line is currently available at -115, and per the true odds of -129 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a stellar 5% expected ROI as a function of the inefficient line.

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 below — you can see that sharp book Pinnacle has the 7.5 priced at -148, which is just downright punitive.

Tonight the Raptors are facing the Knicks in New York, in what should be a spicy matchup. The teams made a major in-season deal three weeks ago, that sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickey to Toronto, with OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, Malachi Flynn and a second-round selection in the upcoming draft returning to New York.

Since joining the first five in NYC, Anunoby has help the Knicks to a league leading 104.1 defensive efficiency rating and the second best rebounding percentage, plus he is likely to draw the duty of shadowing Barnes on crucial possessions tonight.

NBA Bet Pro currently has the budding superstar projected for 35.4 minutes and 7.74 rebounds. That median projection is a little above the 7.5 rebounds, but there are many ways this can go south for Barnes. Over his last 10 games, Barnes is averaging 5.2 rebounds per game in 34.9 minutes. He has gone over this mark once with 13 caroms, while landing on seven boards two other times. If he plays upwards of 36-37 minutes, there is a good chance he reaches the over – but there is a reason they play the games.

Here is a terrific video from Dave “Loughy” Loughran on OddsShopper breaking down why it is important to consider wagering on unders.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Be sure to get all the latest news and analysis by tuning into the Stokastic Live Before Lock Show at 6:00 p.m. ET on YouTube, 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].

Premium Data

NBA Data Central

NBA DFS Boom/Bust Probability

NBA DFS Projections

FanDuel NBA DFS Ownership

NBA DFS Ownership – Main Slate

Yahoo! NBA Ownership

NBA DFS Ownership: Night Slate

NBA DFS Early Slate Ownership

DFS Winners from the Stokastic Community

Subscribe to the Stokastic newsletter

DFS advice, exciting promos, and the best bets straight to your inbox - Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting Data, Tools, & Analytics

Please play responsibly. Only customers 21 and over are permitted to play. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.