NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: In Jalen Brunson We Trust (January 30)

Tuesday brings a frontloaded five-game featured slate with a 7:30 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. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays like Jalen Brunson and Jayson Tatum — as well as the key injury stories to monitor.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Tuesday, January 30

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks

Jalen Brunson: New York Knicks vs. Utah Jazz

Stokastic’s Fantasy Point Projections
DraftKings: 52.27 | FanDuel: 50.04
Stokastic’s Rostership Projections
DraftKings: 27.2% | FanDuel: 34.1%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,300 | FanDuel: $9,600

Despite playing shorthanded last night with Julius Randle (shoulder) lost for the next month at least, Evan Fournier (personal) out and OG Anunoby (elbow) a last-minute scratch, the Knicks still ran a tight eight-man rotation.

That in itself is not a surprise, but seeing coach Tom Thibodeau bring his starters back for a mid-fourth quarter rotation against a depleted Charlotte squad, well, he just can’t help but give his starters some heavy run.

Tonight will be the third game in four days for the Knickerbockers, but it is a winnable one against the Utah Jazz. New York will need to bank some easier wins, particularly with the schedule toughening up next month heading into the All-Star Break. Jalen Brunson has built on his breakout campaign last year with career highs of 35.6 minutes, 26.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.1 combined blocks and steals this season. Brunson gets a slight uptick in his fantasy points per minute to 1.25 when Randle is off the court. He will shoulder more of the scoring load but lost a key recipient of his passes.

Regardless of Anunoby’s status, Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart are strong plays across the DFS sites as their salaries have not fully adjusted for Randle’s absence. Quentin Grimes is a tertiary target for fantasy purposes since he can disappear for long stretches of the game, as evidenced last night with 13 fantasy points in 32 minutes.

If Anunoby is out, then Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, Keyonte George and Collin Sexton would elevate to secondary tournament targets. Since acquiring Anunoby from the Raptors, New York leads the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing just 105.6 per 100 possessions. Anunoby joining Randle on the sidelines would mean that it will be two backups with the first five with Isaiah Hartenstein still working back to full health.

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NBA DFS Picks: Key Games

Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers

This game has unanswered questions on both sides with Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) potentially missing a third consecutive game for Boston. On the Indiana side, Tyrese Haliburton (hamstring) may be ready to return to action, but he sat out five games, returned to play 34.9 minutes and then missed five more. The expectation is that the team won’t rush him back, but we thought that was the case last time. Bennedict Mathurin, Jalen Smith and Myles Turner are all questionable, with Turner missing the last game.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown look like strong options with Al Horford out and the expectation that Porzingis sits as well. If the Unicorn remains in hiding, then Derrick White, Jrue Holiday and Payton Pritchard each get a boost via trickledown minutes. This is the third game in four days and a back-to-back for Boston, but they are still 7.5-point home favorites.

The Pacers would get a boost if Haliburton returns, but it also would help Tatum and Brown as the game should be more competitive. There is no salary discount for Haliburton, but depending on who else is available for Indiana, they would get a bit of a bump, and we are still looking at a 10-team player pool.

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.

Los Angeles Lakers at Atlanta Hawks

This is a back-to-back, three-in-four and the fourth game in six days for the Lakers. Anthony Davis left in the third quarter of last night’s game with a groin strain and is questionable for tonight. LeBron James played 37 minutes last night and 48 on Saturday in the double-overtime thriller, and head coach Darvin Ham was non-committal about the availability of his future hall of famers. If they start, great — this is a less than daunting Atlanta defense; if one or both are out, then there will be ample frontcourt minutes, plus extra offensive opportunities for the likes of D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves.

Atlanta also has some variables with De’Andre Hunter (knee) getting close to returning after missing six weeks. A sore hamstring kept Dejounte Murray out of the last game. Hunter is not someone to target just yet, but if he is back, that takes 20-to-25 minutes away from the rest of the wings. If Murray is in, he can be considered a full-go as there is no real reason for the Hawks to push him, particularly if they view him as a trade asset. If he is out, then Trae Young moves from a good to a great tournament option. If Davis is out, then Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu would have one less rebounder to compete with in the paint.

Today’s Top Sports Betting Pick

Gary Trent Jr. can certainly put the biscuit in the basket, especially via a flurry of long-range triples. However, if he isn’t on the mark, he doesn’t add many other stats — making the under on his 18.5 points, rebounds and assists (PRA) prop, which is currently available at -115 a value.

Per the true odds of -125 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a decent 4% 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 to the left — you can see that Pinnacle, a sharp book, is at -147, which is downright punitive.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Trent projected for 29.8 minutes, 15.7 points, 2.42 rebounds and 2.12 assists for 20.23 PRA. That median projection is slightly above the threshold target, but keep in mind a range of outcomes is far different.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock Shows starting at 5:30 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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