NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Saturday, January 14

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Lineup Plays and Strategy for Saturday, January 14

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We're set for a six-game slate Saturday night, one highlighted by Grizzlies-Pacers and Mavericks-Trail Blazers matchups. There are some big names populating the injury report for a second straight night, however, so keeping tabs on news leading up to tip-off and being prepared to pivot to value options that could benefit if absences come to pass will be important.

Slate Overview

For the latest spreads and over-unders, visit RotoWire's NBA Odds page. There, you can also find player props, futures, picks articles and sportsbook bonus codes.

As of Saturday morning, five of the six games on the ledger notably carry spreads of five points or greater, a relatively rare development that could portend a night where some big names perhaps play a tick below their usual minutes due to lopsided scores.

On that subject, plenty of offense is expected, as there are four games with projected totals exceeding 230 points as of early Saturday as well.

Injury Situations to Monitor  

For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report.

Damian Lillard, POR (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Lillard also carried a questionable designation into a Thursday night tilt against the Cavaliers and scored 50 points, but if he were to be held out of Saturday's first installment of a back-to-back set for Portland, Shadeon Sharpe and Anfernee Simons could be primary beneficiaries.

Tyrese Haliburton, IND (knee/elbow): OUT

In Haliburton's ongoing absence, Chris Duarte and Bennedict Mathurin could remain in the starting five, while T.J. McConnell is likely due for a bump in minutes off the bench.

Jaylen Brown, BOS (groin): OUT

In Brown's absence, Grant Williams is expected to remain in the starting five, while Jayson Tatum should particularly see his already sky-high usage bump up even further.

Christian Wood, DAL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

If Wood can't suit up, Dwight Powell and JaVale McGee will be in line to handle center duties.

Myles Turner, IND (back): GTD

If Turner sits out a third straight game, Isaiah Jackson could draw a third consecutive start at center, and Jalen Smith could enjoy ample opportunity off the bench.

Tobias Harris, PHI (knee): QUESTIONABLE

If Harris is forced to sit out, Matisse Thybulle would be set to handle starting small forward duties. 

Other notable injuries:

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (calf): OUT

Clint Capela, ATL (calf): OUT

Dillon Brooks, MEM (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

Malcolm Brogdon, BOS (personal): QUESTIONABLE

Elite Players

We have five players with five-figure salaries on Saturday's slate – Luka Doncic ($12,500), Joel Embiid ($11,600), Jayson Tatum ($10,800), James Harden ($10,600) and Ja Morant ($10,200).

Doncic has four triple-doubles in his last eight games alone, and he's scored 64.4 to 105.2 FD points in six of his last eight games alone. He's also put up 49.7 and 79.6 in his two prior games against Portland.

Embiid has four straight double-doubles, scoring 45 to 64.7 FD points in that span, and he draws a premium matchup versus a Jazz squad that's struggled to contain centers all season and against which he posted 103.2 FD points back on Nov. 13 on the strength of a 59-point, 11-rebound double-double.

Tatum scored just 40.7 FD points against the Nets on Thursday night in the first game of Jaylen Brown's absence with a groin injury, but he sports a 35.7 percent usage rate and averages 48.7 FD points per 36 minutes with his teammate off the floor this season.

Harden has at least a double-double in four consecutive contests and is shooting 42.1 percent from three-point range in his last 10 games while also averaging 52.3 FD points per contest in that span.

Morant has scored 41.2 to 53.9 FD points in his last eight games and is shooting 52.2 percent over that span, and he draws a matchup Saturday against a depleted Pacers backcourt missing Tyrese Haliburton.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Pascal Siakam, TOR ($9,800)

Siakam has scored over 45 FD points in three straight and draws a highly favorable matchup versus the Hawks, which should keep him very popular.

LaMelo Ball, CHA ($9,700)

Ball scored between 47.8 and 58.5 FD points in seven of his last eight games, offering the ceiling of a higher-salaried player and making him especially appealing Saturday.

Trae Young, ATL ($9,600)

Young posted 42.9 FD points in 37 minutes during his Friday return from a one-game absence due to illness and has a pair of 50-plus FD-point tallies in his last five games alone, which should keep him in plenty of lineups.

Donovan Mitchell, CLE ($9,400)

Mitchell's 96.1- and 70-FD-point performances within the last five games are undoubtedly fresh in DFS players' minds, which should keep his rostering rate elevated Saturday.

Jaren Jackson, MEM ($8,100)

Jackson has a pair of tallies of greater than 50 FD points in his last four games and is averaging 44 FD points over his last eight contests overall, giving him impressive upside for his salary.

Key Values 

Onyeka Okongwu, ATL at TOR ($6,200)

Okongwu went off for 65 FD points Friday night on the strength of an 18-point, 20-rebound double-double across 39 minutes, but his salary remains unchanged Saturday. While there could certainly be some risk of fatigue on the second night of the back-to-back set, Okongwu is certainly young enough to withstand the rigors of the compact schedule and draws a matchup against a Raptors squad allowing 59.9 percent shooting to centers, along with 50 FD points per game to the position in the last 15. Toronto has also yielded the second-most rebounds per contest to fives in that span (17.3), boosting Okongwu's prospects further.

Bennedict Mathurin, IND vs. MEM ($5,600)

Mathurin netted 36.5 FD points across 39 minutes against the Hawks on Friday on the strength of a 26-point effort, and he's sporting a team-high 30.2 percent usage rate while averaging 34.3 FD points per 36 minutes with Tyrese Haliburton off the floor thus far this season. Mathurin should therefore be in for another busy night against the Grizzlies on Saturday with another start likely, and the visiting Grizzlies are surrendering the 12th-highest offensive efficiency rating to two-guards (22.5), along with the sixth-most FD points per game to two-guards in the last seven (46.5). Memphis has notably also been much more susceptible to three-point shooting on the road, giving up the fourth-highest success rate from behind the arc (38.3 percent) in that split.

Al Horford, BOS at CHA ($5,100)

Horford is expected back on the floor Saturday after a one-game absence due to rest, and he'll walk back into a premium matchup. The Hornets are tied for the highest offensive efficiency rating surrendered to centers (35.8) and have conceded an NBA-high 60.5 FD points per game to the position on the campaign. Charlotte also ranks league-worst or in the bottom five in points (25.9), rebounds (16.8), assists (4.1), made threes (1.4) and blocks (2.8) per game given up to fives, affording Horford no shortage of paths to fantasy production. Additionally, the floor-spacing big man comes in on a strong stretch of play, shooting 41.7 percent from behind the arc in the last 10 games while exceeding 25 FD points on four occasions in that span, including one tally of 48.2. Horford is also averaging 34.2 FD points per 36 minutes with Jaylen Brown off the floor, further cementing his case.

ALSO CONSIDER: Tim Hardaway, DAL at POR ($5,800); Andrew Nembhard, IND vs. MEM ($5,700)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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