NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Luka Doncic, Pascal Siakam & Suns Stars (January 26)

Friday brings a compact seven-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 Luka Doncic, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Pascal Siakam.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Friday, January 26

Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks

Kyrie Irving (thumb) missed Wednesday’s game, and he did not participate in the last practice. Currently he is listed as questionable, but there is a decent chance he will be out again tonight. Trae Young is in the concussion protocol, and he did not join the Hawks on their two-game, California road trip. It is always fun when Luka Doncic and Young meet up on the court, as this duo was traded for each other in the 2018 NBA Draft. Dallas moved up from the fifth slot to the third pick, enticing Atlanta to slide down with an extra first-round selection in the 2019 Draft, which was later used to pick Cam Reddish at the No. 10 slot.

In the eight games that Doncic and Young have done battle, each player has led his team to victory four times. These teams have been around league average on defense over the last 10 games, while each plays at a top-10 pace. That has led to a lofty 244.0 projected game total, which should provide ample fantasy goodness for the participants.

This season, in 15 games without Irving, Doncic is averaging 39.3 minutes and 24.3 field goal attempts, culminating in 35.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 10.9 assists, and 2.4 combined blocks and steals, along with four of his eight triple-doubles. If Irving remains out, then Tim Hardaway Jr. is a tournament dart throw against one of his former teams and Jaden Hardy will be a potential discount dandy, depending on how the rest of the board shapes up.

If Young is out, Dejounte Murray is a strong option across the DFS sites, along with Jalen Johnson. Regardless, Clint Capela is a wild card option on DraftKings, though there are better center-only options on FanDuel.

React App

Phoenix Suns at Indiana Pacers

These two teams faced off in Phoenix on Sunday, and while the Suns won 117-110 in relatively sedate fashion considering the projected game total, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant combined for just over 110 fantasy points. While Durant had the better night, we know that this duo each has 60-fantasy point upside, as both have gotten there twice in the last four games. While it is highly unlikely that they both will reach that plateau in the same game, either could get there tonight and each has a median fantasy point projection in the upper-40s. Only $100 separates this duo on DraftKings and FanDuel, though Durant is seeing four times the popularity in the early runs.

Eric Gordon (wrist) is questionable, and if he is out, then Bradley Booker will move from a neutral option to a tertiary target and Grayson Allen will get a slight boost as well. Jusuf Nurkic went off on Sunday for 13 rebounds (all on the defensive end), but he fouled out in just 19 minutes, making both of his field goal attempts.

Tyrese Haliburton (hamstring) is out, and while this is a back-to-back, the Pacers demolished Philadelphia last night, with the visitors so thoroughly crushed that not a single 76er starter set foot on the floor after the third quarter. Heck, even create-a-players Ricky Council IV and Terquavion Smith played a dozen minutes, as did oft-forgotten Furkan Korkmaz.

Pascal Siakam was the only starter to play more than 28.8 minutes, and he capped out at 30 and recorded 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists — not bad for just his fourth game since leaving Toronto. The Cameroonian makes for a solid tournament target, along with Andrew Nembhard (41.7%) on FanDuel, where he is currently the most popular player on the blue site.

T.J. McConnell is the second-most popular option on FanDuel (38.1%), though his upside is questionable as he will need to get there on efficiency. Even with Haliburton sidelined, the Pacers have been content to mostly keep McConnell in his bench role, giving him a couple extra minutes to play alongside the starters in his staggered rotations. Haliburton has missed eight of the last nine games, during which McConnell has averaged 21.8 minutes with a solid 1.2 fantasy points per minute. Sadly, the team does not seem inclined to give him more, as he has played more than 23 minutes on just three occasions in this stretch. Caveat Emptor!

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

Max Strus is a player that pops up from time-to-time in the DFS world, but he is not typically someone to look at in the sports wagering market. However, tonight he has an under 3.5 assists prop. which is currently available at -105, and per the true odds of -118 (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager), this opportunity has a fantastic 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 -133 and even bet365 is at a punitive -145, both of which are well below the other available offerings.

In his last 10 games where he has played at least 20-plus minutes, Strus has had four or more assists on four occasions, with only one outing (7) higher than four. He also had four games with three, so while he will be right around the number and this wager is likely to go down to the wire, it is still a savvy wager. Strus has seen his minutes all over the place in this stretch, which is crazy considering he is a full-time starter and the team is missing Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. He has played more than 28 minutes only once in the last four games, failing to crack 22 minutes of run twice.

NBA Bet Pro currently has Strus projected for 30.8 minutes and 3.46 assists. Though he has played Milwaukee three times in this 10-game window and failed to reach four assists in any game, that is not the main driving force for making this wager. Instead, the expectation is that he is more likely to be the one taking shots from the perimeter than dishing the ball to cutters or off of drives to the hoop. The three matchups against the Bucks are also games where Strus tallied three of his four highest field goal attempts in this sample size.

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.