NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic, Who Do You Pick? (January 27)

Saturday provides a six-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, including some intriguing playing time situations that provide steady value options. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Draymond Green

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Saturday, January 27

Funny things tend to happen in the NBA on Saturdays when it comes to random news popping up. Six of the 12 teams on the featured slate are on back-to-backs (Charlotte, Dallas, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Sacramento and San Antonio). That also means the top three and seven of the top 12 most highly projected players saw action last night. Fortunately, the games will go off in waves, so there will be ample pivots available if anything unforeseen happens. The slate’s final contest will start just 30 minutes after the penultimate contest.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks vs. New Orleans Pelicans

The Bucks ran a tight rotation last night, with just nine players seeing action. Khris Middleton and Jae Crowder are likely to get a rest night, with both managing injury situations. Middleton has been ruled out but Crowder does not currently appear on the injury report. That news shouldn’t have a major impact on Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is essentially averaging just over 1.6 fantasy points per minute regardless of the teammates on the court.

While Doc Rivers has been hired to be the new head coach in Milwaukee, interim coach Joe Prunty should continue to lead the bench until Monday’s game against the Nuggets in Denver. The Bucks lost to Cleveland last night, and the Cavaliers also got them last Wednesday. That makes two losses in the last five games, although Giannis sat out the game in The ‘Land last week.

Last night, Antetokounmpo recorded six turnovers and five fouls, but he just missed a triple-double by one assist in his 36 minutes of action. The key decision point tonight comes down to Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic, though the latter would fall a notch if Kyrie Irving is able to return to action after missing three games with a sore thumb. That is the final game of the slate, which will tip off one hour after the Bucks and Pelicans, so that key piece of news may not be available in a timely fashion.

On DraftKings, playing both players on the same roster is within two fantasy points of the top median-projected lineup. FanDuel is a different story, where playing both drops the “best” lineup down 13 fantasy points. Be sure to understand the salary constraints and scoring formats for your DFS site of choice as the specifics can dramatically change the various paths to success.

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The absence of Middleton and possibly Crowder would leave behind around 50-to-55 minutes in the rotation while vacating just over 20 field goal attempts. The minutes will likely be absorbed by a combination of Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton, with a decent chance that Marjonn Beauchamp and Andre Jackson Jr. reenter the rotation. This will be a key situation to monitor, particularly if nothing is settled on the Dallas front.

Speaking of the Mavericks, in addition to Irving being questionable, the status for Maxi Kleber (toe), Dwight Powell (eye abrasion) and Derrick Jones Jr. (wrist) are up in the air. Expect Kleber to play as he likely got the night off last night as he works his way back from a toe injury, but Powell is likely to miss another game. Jones is a true wild card as there have not been any Dallas injury report updates as of 2 p.m. ET this afternoon.

Check out the Stokastic Live Before Lock Show at 6 p.m. ET on YouTube tonight for all of the updates and revised strategies.

Draymond Green: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Draymond Green has played three games off the bench but could be returning to the starting lineup tonight. The soon-to-be 34-year-old has played in just 18 games this season after serving two different suspensions. Though his fantasy production has been in decline for the last four seasons, he is still a strong defender, and the Warriors will need him to contribute on both ends of the court if they want another postseason run.

On Thursday, Green played 31.3 minutes and managed to score 33 fantasy points, despite missing all three of his field goal attempts. Despite all of his foibles, he is still regularly producing a fantasy point per minute and is undervalued on both sites, particularly if he moves back into the starting lineup.

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Utah Jazz at Charlotte Hornets

The Jazz are continuing to run a 10-man rotation, though only starter Lauri Markkanen and sixth-man Jordan Clarkson are regularly getting more than 30 minutes, and they tend to top out at around 32 outside of close games. Both are fine options against the dreadful Charlotte defense, with John Collins, Collin Sexton, Simone Fontecchio and Keyonte George tertiary tournament targets at salaries that are artificially depressed by inconsistent playing time. Walker Kessler, Kris Dunn and Kelly Olynyk are lottery tickets, and it makes sense to limit Utah players to one forward and one guard other than Markkanen or Clarkson.

Last night, the Hornets fell to the visiting Houston Rockets, 138-104. Miles Bridges was the only starter to see more than 27 minutes. That means the rest of the first five should be relatively fresh, but it also underscores the tenuous nature of the playing time on a team going nowhere and looking to protect the young players.

LaMelo Ball is likely to play 30-to-32 minutes o most nights, but that is a soft cap, and he could get more in a close game or if he is having a strong performance. Conversely, it would not be a surprise for him to fall below that range if the team is getting crushed by the competition. Utah has a mediocre defense, but the team does play at a faster pace, which should help the Hornets gain a few extra possessions over their typical baseline.

Bridges and Ball are the only interesting players on the blue site, though Nick Richards, PJ Washington and Brandon Miller are viable differentiation plays on DraftKings. This trio could easily be supplanted by various Dallas players and with any other unexpected news popping up.

Additional NBA DFS Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Damian Lillard has been inconsistent in his first season outside of Portland, which has us considering the under on his 29.5 points prop. That bet is currently available at -117, and per the true odds of -130 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a tasty 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 is at -143, so be a savvy shopper!

Looking at the player pool for the Saturday slate, the best NBA DFS picks tonight and building blocks include Giannis and ...

This season, Lillard has scored 30 or more points in 13 of his 42 (30.9%) games. Even with the good matchup and Middleton’s absence opening up additional field goal attempts, NBA Bet Pro currently has Lillard projected for 36.8 minutes and 25.71 points. It is never fun going against Dame Time, particularly when he is dialed in from the logo, but the numbers indicate that this is the sort of wagering opportunity we look to take advantage of, and, on a long time horizon, it rates out as a very positive play.

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

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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].

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