NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: LaMelo Ball and Alperen Sengun Stand Out Tonight! (January 24)

Wednesday marks the middle of the workweek with the biggest NBA DFS contests 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 LaMelo Ball and Alperen Sengun.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Wednesday, January 24

LaMelo Ball: Charlotte Hornets at Detroit Pistons

This will be the first time the Charlotte Hornets take the court without Terry Rozier, who was moved to Miami, with the Heat sending back a first-round pick and Kyle Lowry, who is unlikely to play until after the trade deadline occurs. If Charlotte is not able to move him as part of another package, he will likely be a buyout candidate, since the soon-to-be 38-year-old does not have much value to the Hornets, who will be looking to grant younger players court time.

It is hard to envision LaMelo ball regularly topping 32-to-33 minutes, in yet another lost season for the Hornets. However, he has continued to improve his fantasy efficiency and the oft-injured 22-year-old has increased his production in each of his four seasons. To date, he has posted a career best 1.4 fantasy points per minute and tonight he has a favorable matchup against the Pistons, who have the second worst defensive efficiency rating over the last 10 games, allowing 124.9 points per 100 possessions.

Charlotte has won two of the last three games, though with 10 wins on the year, it would not be a surprise for them to “lose” this one, as the organization enters the tanking phase of the season, holding a two game cushion over the San Antonio Spurs for the worst record in the league and of course a chance for the most ping pong balls in the lottery. Detroit (4 wins) and the Washington Wizards (7 wins) are the next “best” teams in this reverse race to the bottom of the cellar.

Rozier leaves behind 35.5 minutes and 18.3 field goal attempts. Miles Bridges and PJ Washington will likely help with the scoring duties. Rookie Brandon Miller will chip in as well and he should be secure in his role with 32-to-34 minutes most nights as he gains valuable experience.

Nick Richards (ankle) is probable after missing three games and while his return will impact Washington, there should still be enough opportunities to go around, keeping in mind that Gordon Hayward and Mark Williams are still out. Cody Martin (knee) is questionable after having missed the last game and considering he also missed the first two months of the season, the team is not likely to rush him back, unless he is healthy. If he starts, he is another discount dandy, if he is out – then that is more for the remaining ambulatory Hornets.

React App

This is a winnable game for the Pistons, who will be in front of their fans tonight. They are so bad, that they want to win in order to avoid having the worst NBA season in history. That is very much in play and as such, it is hard to see them having any chance of “winning” their way out of the bottom-three records, so they are all but assured of that equal share of the best lottery odds.

Cade Cunningham has been out for the last two weeks, missing seven games with a strained knee. Prior to his injury, he had 55-plus fantasy points in six of 10 games, while playing major minutes. Conditioning could be an issue, but he should be good for 30 minutes tonight, barring any additional news from the team and considered a full-go.

Jalen Duren is one of many center options, but of course Bigs against Charlotte remains a thing. Isaiah Stewart is less consistent, but he has 33 or more fantasy points in two of his last three games and he is cheaper, along with power-forward eligibility. He is more of a DraftKings play, with the FanDuel salary algorithm being tighter on the Detroit roster than DraftKings.

Finally, keep in mind that Rozier still needs to clear the trade hurdles, so there is a chance he will not suit up for the Heat tonight. That would keep Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro with their usual rates and responsibilities in a favorable matchup against Memphis.

Quickly touching on the Grizzlies, Santi Aldama joins an entire eight-man rotation that is not available, so John Konchar, David Roddy and Luke Kennard (thigh) look good on FanDuel, with Jaren Jackson Jr., Xavier Tillman and Vince Williams joining them on DraftKings.

Alperen Sengun: Houston Rockets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

This has been the season that fantasy gamers have been waiting for and Alperen Sengun has not disappointed. He has moved from mid-20s fantasy points in his rookie campaign, to mid-30s last year and this season he has produced in the mid-40s, with 1.35 fantasy points per minute. He has personal-bests with 22.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 combined blocks and steals. The 22-year-old played 39.7, 41.6 and 36.5 minutes in a four-day span, so the three day break should have him recovered for tonight’s action. Currently he is the most popular play overall on DraftKings, though that will likely shift as more injury news in unveiled and he is the most popular center option on FanDuel.

Portland played last night and this will be the fourth game in six days for the Trail Blazers. The team has been dealing with fluctuating rotations, as various players have dealt with injuries and illness. Deandre Ayton has played three games, since missing 12, though he has been rusty on defense and not particularly impressive on the glass with just 19 rebounds in these outings, while averaging just over 26 minutes. That means Sengun should have around 10 minutes against the likes of Duop Reath, who is just not equipped to handle Sengun.

Fred VanVleet (back) and Jabari Smith Jr. (ankle) missed the last game, but both are probable for tonight and look like fine tournament options across the DFS sites.

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

Giannis Antetokounmpo is never someone we want to wager against, however, when the math works out we have to consider it. Tonight he has a 52.5 points+rebounds + assists (PRA) prop with the line is currently available at -116 in a tough matchup against Cleveland. Per the true odds of -121 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a positive 2% 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 at -145, with FanDuel dropping down to a 51.5 PRA at -106, both of these are below the -117 line at unibet, SugarHouse and BetRivers, while also below the more accessible books of DraftKings and BetMGM which are at -120.

Over the last 15 games, Cleveland has tied the New York Knicks with the best defensive efficiency rating (108.6) and they trail them by just under 2% with the second-best rebounding rate.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Antetokounmpo projected for 36.8 minutes, 32.52 points, 11.67 rebounds and 6.27 assists for a 50.46 PRA. There of course is a difference between a median projection and the range of potential outcomes, but it is comforting to see that even with heavy minutes, the two-time MVP is not quite projected to surpass the 53 PRA threshold needed to dash the hopes of those betting on the under. Giannis did not play against the Cavaliers in Cleveland last week, but he did in late December, posting a stat line of 34 points, 16 rebounds and five assists for a 55 PRA.

Over his last 20 games, Antetokounmpo has posted a 53-plus PRA 7 (35) times, though as demonstrated against New York and Orlando, he can get there in unfavorable matchups. Milwaukee just fired first-year coach Adrian Griffin, announcing that Glenn Rivers will be taking over the helm. That could be a motivation or a distraction, who knows, but we do know this is a tough matchup and there are many things that could easily go wrong, and we don’t need much for the under in this opportunity to come to fruition.

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

React App

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

Be sure to get all the latest news and analysis by tuning into the Stokastic Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock Shows at 5:00 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.