NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Lineup Strategy for Saturday, January 28

NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Lineup Strategy for Saturday, January 28

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We have a big nine-game slate Saturday night, one that has plenty of intriguing matchups on tap that should yield some notable individual performances. Oddsmakers appear to be envisioning a very competitive night, as there aren't any games with a spread higher than eight points, and five contests have lines of 4.5 points or less.

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.

In addition to the encouragingly narrow spreads Saturday, we also have the very rare instance of all nine games sporting projected totals of greater than 230 points. Three of those contests have figures of 235 points or higher, with the Kings-Timberwolves showdown topping out the ledger at 240 points.  

Injury Situations to Monitor 

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

Luka Doncic, DAL (ankle): OUT

Doncic's absence will naturally lead to a massive bump in usage for the remainder of the Mavericks' starting five and could lead to primary ball-handling duties for Spencer Dinwiddie.

LeBron James, LAL (ankle): QUESTIONABLE

If James were to sit out, Anthony Davis, who's expected to play through his foot injury, would likely be a primary beneficiary, as would the likes of Dennis Schroder and Russell Westbrook.

Anthony Davis, LAL (foot): PROBABLE

Davis, who returned from his extended absence against the Spurs on Thursday night and scored 48.9 FD points in 26 minutes, is expected to take the floor and likely log close to a normal allotment of minutes.

Kristaps Porzingis, WAS (ankle): DOUBTFUL

In Porzingis' likely absence, Deni Avdija should remain in the starting five, while Kyle Kuzma and Daniel Gafford could see more rebounding opportunities down low.

Jalen Green, HOU (calf): OUT

In Green's absence, Garrison Mathews may draw a start at shooting guard, while Eric Gordon and Jabari Smith could see big bumps in usage, considering Kevin Porter (foot) also remains out.

Other notable injuries:

Zion Williamson, NOP (hamstring): OUT

Devin Booker, PHO (groin): OUT

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (calf): OUT

Christian Wood, DAL (thumb): OUT

Kevin Porter, HOU (foot): OUT

Devin Vassell, SAN (knee): OUT

Marcus Smart, BOS (ankle): OUT

OG Anunoby, TOR (wrist): GTD

Elite Players

We have four players with five-figure salaries that have a chance to play on Saturday's slate – Jayson Tatum ($11,200), LeBron James ($10,800), Anthony Davis ($10,700) and Damian Lillard ($10,400).

Tatum can't be assigned much blame for the Celtics' current three-game losing streak, as he's scored 43.7 to 60.8 FD points in those contests while averaging 30.7 points and 11.3 rebounds. He also notably provided 62.8 FD points across 44 minutes in his one prior meeting versus the Lakers.

If James overcomes his questionable designation, he'll look to build on a nine-game stretch where he's averaged 59.6 FD points and eclipsed 60 FD points on four occasions along the way. He also posted 62.3 FD points in 43 minutes versus the Celtics in the prior game this season.

Davis scored 48.9 FD points in 26 minutes in his return to action Thursday, and in the event James sits out, it's worth noting AD is averaging 66.8 FD points per 36 minutes without his teammate on the floor.

Lillard went off for 60 points against the Jazz on Wednesday night on blistering 21-for-29 shooting, pushing his average to 58.6 FD points over his last eight contests.

Expected Chalk

Other likely chalk plays include:

Pascal Siakam, TOR ($9,900)

Siakam was down to 33.9 FD points against the Warriors on Friday, but he'd scored 46.4 to 60.7 FD points in his three prior contests.

Trae Young, ATL ($9,600)

Young has scored over 40 FD points in six of the last eight games and is in one of the marquee matchups of the night, which should help keep him popular.

Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($9,500)

Leonard will also be an integral part of the Clippers-Hawks clash and comes in having averaged 48.4 FD points on 56.3 percent shooting in his last nine games, a stretch that started with a 49.4 FD-point effort against Atlanta.

Anthony Edwards, MIN ($9,300)

Edwards continues to log particularly elevated usage in the ongoing absence of Karl-Anthony Towns, as he's averaging 47.9 FD points over his last eight games. 

Spencer Dinwiddie, DAL ($8,000)

Dinwiddie carries a 29.3 percent usage rate and averages 41.9 FD points per 36 minutes with Doncic off the floor, which should certainly help keep his roster rate high Saturday.

Key Values 

Cameron Johnson, PHO at SAN ($6,000)

Johnson has shown little rust in his return from his extended absence due to a knee injury, posting 32.1 to 36.2 FD points in three of his first four games. The floor-spacing big man is shooting a stellar 57.1 percent, including 54.2 percent from three-point range, over that span, and he boasts an average of 39.5 FD points per 36 minutes with Devin Booker (groin) off the floor. Saturday, Johnson gets a crack at a Spurs team that's allowing a co-NBA-high 29.1 offensive efficiency rating to power forwards and an NBA-high 48.5 FD points per game to the position, including 50.5 in the last 15 games. San Antonio also concedes a league-high 40.1 percent three-point shooting, yet another metric that bodes well for Johnson.

Eric Gordon, HOU at DET ($5,100)

Gordon sports a 27.2 percent usage rate and averages 34.1 FD points per 36 minutes without both Kevin Porter and Jalen Green on the floor this season, which makes the veteran one of the best potential fantasy-point-per-dollar plays Saturday night. Gordon, who's already averaging 26.5 FD points across his last six games, also might be catching the Pistons at a good time, as Detroit has allowed 42 FD points per game to small forwards in the last seven and has conceded Eastern Conference-high 38.9 percent three-point shooting at home overall this season.

Dorian Finney-Smith, DAL at UTA ($4,900)

Finney-Smith is one player whose salary isn't commensurate to his expected role Saturday. The big man should be in line to shoulder more offensive responsibility than usual with both Luka Doncic and Christian Wood sidelined. Finney-Smith already comes in averaging 24.5 FD points over his last five games, a sample highlighted by the 38.9 he put up versus the Suns on Thursday night. He'll now face a Jazz team giving up 41.9 FD points to power forwards on the season and surrendering the fourth-most points in the paint per game (54.7).

ALSO CONSIDER: Kyle Anderson, MIN vs. SAC ($6,500); Kenyon Martin, HOU at DET ($5,600); Tim Hardaway, DAL at UTA ($5,300)

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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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