Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Joel Bartilotta

FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 1/20/21

Let's call a spade a spade. Tuesday's slate was already ugly when we saw that there were only two games but they ended up being two disgusting blowouts. That's a disaster for DFS and it led to one of my worst nights of the season. Thanks, Jamal Murray! Anyway, we're back to a full 10-game ledger here and we're ready to bounceback. So, let's go ahead and get into it!

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Point Guard

Damian LillardDamian Lillard FD - $10000 DK - $10400
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 50.33 DK - 52.66

Lillard is pretty much a good option on every slate but he's almost impossible to fade here. We say that because Portland is without C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins. That leaves this offense very thin and Lillard will be happy to take on more minutes, shots and usage. In the first game without those three, Lillard has a 39.3 percent usage rate, tallying 35 points, three rebounds and six assists despite getting blown out. One would have to think we're looking at 40 minutes and 25-30 shots in this role and it honestly wouldn't be surprising to see Lillard flirt with a 50-burger in what's expected to be a close game.

Jalen BrunsonJalen Brunson FD - $3900 DK - $4300
Opponent - IND
Proj Pts FD - 26.28 DK - 27.58

If Brunson finds his way into the starting lineup again here, he's one of the best punt plays on the slate. Despite the Mavs being blown out on Monday, Brunson played 27 minutes and provided 20 DK points. That's really all you can ask for from a $4K player he's shown us 50-point upside just last week. The reason we think the minutes and usage will hold is because Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson and Maxi Kleber all remain out. That means we could be looking at a small-ball game here with Myles Turner missing for Indiana and that only adds to Brunson's intrigue.

Ja Morant is averaging over 50 DK points per game in his three healthy games this season and is way too cheap at $7,300.

Shooting Guard

James HardenJames Harden FD - $10700 DK - $10900
Opponent - CLE
Proj Pts FD - 52.87 DK - 56.23

All of the Harden jokes across Twitter are looking awfully silly now. In his first two games with Brooklyn, he's been vintage Beard. In fact, he's got 66 points, 18 rebounds, 26 assists, and four steals in his first two games with the Nets. That equates to an average north of 70 fantasy points and that obviously makes him a great pick no matter the price. What's also nice is that he's playing 40 minutes a night with them. A player who's typically averaging 1.5 DK points per minute for his career is good anytime he takes the floor and it's scary to think that he's going to be doing that sort of damage in 40 minutes a night. We also don't mind the fact that Cleveland is missing half of their backcourt and ranks 16th in OPRK against opposing SGs.

D'Angelo RussellD'Angelo Russell FD - $8400 DK - $8800
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 45.5 DK - 47.53

Russell is in the same boat as Lillard. The guys that are missing for Minnesota include Karl-Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio. That's forcing D'Angelo to do everything for this team and he loves having a role like that. With KAT and Rubio off the floor this season, Russell has a 31 percent usage rate while averaging 1.3 DK points per minute. That's certainly been the case recently, with D-Lo scoring at least 33 DraftKings points in seven-straight en route to a 43-point average. That 33-point floor is even more enticing when you consider that Orlando has a 23rd OPRK against opposing shooting guards this season.

Kevin Huerter is a good play on FanDuel at $5,500 but you can't use him on DK at $9,500.

Small Forward

Cedi OsmanCedi Osman FD - $5900 DK - $6500
Opponent - BKN
Proj Pts FD - 34.09 DK - 35.46

With so many injuries in Cleveland, Osman has found himself a nice little role. Currently, the Cavaliers are missing Kevin Love, Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. That's three of their best players and it's forced Osman into plenty of ball-handling duties. Over his last seven games played, Osman is averaging 14.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game. That equates to 31 fantasy points across 36 minutes a night and those are numbers you can't argue with from a $6K player. There's also some belief that Brooklyn will be one of the worst defenses in the league after their recent trades and that makes Osman even more attractive.

Carmelo AnthonyCarmelo Anthony FD - $4100 DK - $4700
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 26.63 DK - 27.06

We already discussed Lillard's prospects because of all the injuries in Portland and that certainly makes Melo a great choice too. In the first game without McCollum, Melo had 27 DraftKings points across 26 minutes of play. Getting 26 minutes and 14 shots shows just how much his role is going to increase and he did that despite the game being a blowout. It wouldn't be shocking to see him enter the starting lineup and that could get his minutes north of 30 and his shot attempts closer to 20. The Nurkic injury also opens up some rebounds for Melo as well and there's just so much in his favor right now. Not to mention, Memphis surrenders the second-most fantasy points to opposing small forwards this season.

Jerami Grant has scored at least 31 DK points in every game this season and is definitely in play against a weak Atlanta defense.

Power Forward

Domantas SabonisDomantas Sabonis FD - $9600 DK - $9800
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 51.63 DK - 54.71

This kid has been in this article a ton this season and he's going to remain in it. What's most amazing about him is his floor, scoring at least 39 DraftKings points in all 13 games this year. That might be the highest floor of any player in the NBA, leading to a 46-point average. What's scary here is that his role and rebounding will likely increase with Turner dealing with a hand injury. In the first game without him, Sabonis had 51 DK points despite barely playing the fourth quarter in a blowout loss to the Clippers. Facing this Dallas frontcourt without half of their players only makes Sabonis a juicier option.

Xavier Tillman Sr.Xavier Tillman Sr. FD - $4600 DK - $3500
Opponent - POR
Proj Pts FD - 27.65 DK - 26.38

Let's just keep riding players who are benefiting from injuries. That's certainly the case for Tillman, starting for Jonas Valanciunas. In the last two games without JV, Tillman has played at least 28 minutes in each of them while averaging 27 DK points a night. That's even less surprising when you see that Xavier is averaging 25.4 DK points per game across 22 minutes a night over his last five fixtures. That's about 1.2 DK points per minute and if he gets the 30 minutes we anticipate, he could provide 36 DK points at that rate. That makes him one of the best values out there at just $3,500 (10x) and we haven't even discussed that he faces a 27th-ranked Portland defense.

Doug McDermott could be a nice GPP play if Myles Turner is out here.


Enes KanterEnes Kanter FD - $6300 DK - $6300
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 28.79 DK - 28.26

You probably could have seen this coming when you saw Lillard and Anthony earlier on. Kanter is actually the direct beneficiary to Nurkic getting injured, starting at center the last two nights. In those games, Enes is averaging nearly 40 fantasy points a night, crushing his price tag. This has traditionally been a guy who averages 1.3 DK points per minute for his career and if he just keeps playing 30 minutes per game, he'll continue to provide monster fantasy points. Facing a Memphis defense without JV makes Kanter an even better play, with the Grizzlies surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers in the NBA.

Naz ReidNaz Reid FD - $4700 DK - $4800
Opponent - ORL
Proj Pts FD - 28.78 DK - 28.2

It would be weird if our final recommendation wasn't a guy who's starting for an injured player. That injured guy is the aforementioned Towns, and Reid has been really good starting for him this season. In fact, if you look at the 10 games that Reid has played at least 16 minutes, he's averaging 23.4 DK points across 22 minutes a night. That looks even better when you consider that Naz is playing over 25 minutes a night as a starter which would equate to about 30 fantasy points at that rate we mentioned before. His big body is going to be needed for 25-30 minutes too because Minnesota really doesn't have anyone big enough to cover Nikola Vucevic outside of Reid.

Clint Capela has been a double-double machine for Atlanta and is obviously a good play.



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