The second three-game NBA DFS slate this week features an interesting mix of options for NBA DFS lineup building. A number of key players are questionable, although a major piece of news broke late this morning. Pascal Siakam is confirmed to be taking the night off after his initial two-game return. With his absence, several players on the Raptors become more relevant pieces of the day’s puzzle. There are several other spots of intrigue, including the status of Jimmy Butler, who will have a major impact on the upside of players on his team and the opposing Clippers. Major value could emerge in Philadelphia once again, depending on the status of several pieces of their rotation. The game between the Pacers and Jazz carries the highest total (216) but also the largest point spread, with Utah favored by 10. The other two games settle in 5 or 6 points lower but with the same amount reduced from the spread. A three-game slate dictates getting different with more frequency, but it is important to continue building with a good foundation of highly probable plays in each lineup.
This space will always focus on the factors mentioned above, but at times we will call out plays that are over-owned, taking the opportunity to discuss the potential pivots. With 3 games on the slate, the focus is on the top overall plays on the board. As always, the goal is to find players who are under-appreciated for the frequency with which they land in the optimal lineup in DraftKings and FanDuel NBA DFS projections and simulations.
NBA DFS Optimizer Leverage Leaders Today
These picks are made utilizing the Boom/Bust Tool, specifically analyzing the optimal lineup rate, leverage score and boom probability. Check out Alex Hunter’s Boom/Bust Tool article, where he breaks down some of the top boom and bust candidates from Awesemo’s expert projections. The optimal lineup rate represents the frequency at which a player appears in Awesemo’s simulated DraftKings NBA and FanDuel NBA slates. The leverage score is the difference between the optimal lineup rate and projected ownership, while the boom probability indicates a player’s likelihood of hitting a ceiling score. It is important to remember that not all of these NBA DFS picks are highlights, at times we will discuss plays that are outright bad or come at such aggressively negative leverage that they are rendered bad in this space, so be sure to read the analysis and not just the headlines.
Precious Achiuwa: DraftKings — $4,200 — C | FanDuel — $4,900 — PF/C
With Siakam confirmed out, Precious Achiuwa vaults to the top of the board as a firm value play across the NBA DFS industry tonight. He has gotten an average of 23.7 minutes this season. He is projected for 28.2 this evening and is severely discounted for the potential production with that much run. Achiuwa averages 0.94 fantasy points per minute on just 40.2% true shooting this season. He has a 17.7% rebounding percentage to boost counting stats. Achiuwa is more expensive on FanDuel than DraftKings, but he offers multi-position eligibility, which is important given a number of strong center plays on the site. He is also coming up under-owned across the industry, which makes him a very appealing play in sample constructions, though it seems likely that his popularity will climb throughout the day.
Achiuwa is the leading option by optimal lineup appearance rate across both major sites. He comes in with a 38.6% rate on DraftKings, where he outpaces Paul George by less than a percentage point. Both players are under-owned on the site despite ownership projections in the low-30% range. Achiuwa is currently the sixth-most positively leveraged play on the board, and the second-highest among eligible centers. He is carrying a 27.7-point DraftKings projection for just $4,200, with a slate-leading 44.9% boom score probability. Achiuwa is looking like a foundational play on this slate, his public popularity projection should be exceeded in lineup building, this is very good chalk on a slate with limited options.
Achiuwa also stands atop the FanDuel slate. Despite a higher relative salary at $4,900. He is in the optimal lineup more frequently than he was across town, Achiuwa lands in 47.5% of optimal lineups in simulated slates for the blue site. He is more frequently optimal in part due to positional flexibility to the power forward spot on this site, but he has a standout 26.9-point projection for the low salary and he also carries a 25.8% boom score probability that just add to the appeal. Achiuwa is currently sitting third among players at any position with an 11.3 score in the category. Even if the public catches up in later updates, it should pay to get ahead of the field on Achiuwa on FanDuel tonight.
The second-year Raptors big man is one of the players atop the Awesemo Boom/Bust tool, and Alex Hunter is loving Achiuwa as a top NBA DFS pick tonight, which he wrote about in his Top NBA Daily Fantasy Boom/Bust Plays article today.
Eric Bledsoe: DraftKings — $4,700 — PG/SG | FanDuel — $4,900 — SG/PG
It seems that no one enjoys rostering Eric Bledsoe, which means that most of the public has missed that Bledsoe is trending in positive directions in both minutes and NBA DFS scoring. After a down season last year that saw him produce just 0.80 fantasy points per minute on 22% usage, Bledsoe has thus far bounced back to a 0.92 per-minute rate on 19.4% usage with a 22.6% assist percentage. The uptick in production on less usage and a true shooting percentage of just 43.6% is extremely encouraging for Bledsoe, and he has seen an uptick in minutes, reaching 31 in his last outing. Bledsoe is a player who has disappointed the public in the past, which is always an appealing trait when hunting for underappreciated values.
On FanDuel, Bledsoe lands as the second-most frequently optimal play among all options, and he slots in at both guard positions. The $4,900 price tag is a discount for the potential production reflected in a solid 25.7 median projection and a 20% boom score probability. The public is trailing, however. Bledsoe lands at a 28.2% ownership projection, but he is in the optimal lineup in 45.3% of simulated slates, leaving him second overall by leverage with a 17.1. Getting to additional shares of Bledsoe is both easy and advisable. He is a strong value play who will help buy scoring at other positions while also providing a strong foundation of under-owned upside himself.
Bledsoe is a very similar play across town on DraftKings for $4,700. He slots in at both guard spots on this slate as well, and he ranks seventh overall by optimal lineup appearance rate. That mark comes in at a 31.8%. The DraftKings slate is slightly tighter on the board than things are across town, and the top mark is roughly 10 percentage points lower. Bledsoe has a 23.6% boom score probability on the DraftKings slate, which is more than enough reason to get to him considering he also comes with a 9.4 leverage score that sits first among point guards, second among shooting guards and third among all eligible players. This is a good example of trusting numbers rather than reputation or perception. Let the public make the bias mistake and take advantage when they do.
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Andre Drummond: DraftKings — $8,600 — C | FanDuel — $9,100 — C
Even with his price beginning to approach double where it was before his teammate Joel Embiid’s absence, backup 76ers center Andre Drummond looks like an excellent play from site to site tonight. Drummond is a monster producer for NBA DFS points, regardless of his quality in the modern NBA when it comes to value on the actual hardwood. He has a ridiculous 1.40 fantasy points per minute, the same as superstar Paul George. Drummond has a 54.6% true shooting percentage with a 15.1% assist rate and a 26% rebounding percentage, and he is projected for nearly 33 minutes tonight after averaging 35.5 over the team’s last two games. Drummond stands a chance to put up another ceiling game, with the sites leaving a bit of value meat on the bone once again.
Drummond ranks fourth overall and second among eligible centers with a 35.1% optimal lineup appearance rate on the DraftKings slate. It is important to note that the next player on the list is also a center, Bam Adebayo lands at a 34.8% rate for a $7,400 salary, but the public is getting to him more frequently. Adebayo has a -5.2 leverage score with 40% popularity compared to the -1.6 and 36.7% popularity projected for Drummond. Either play will be popular and both players seem likely to produce. Playing the pair together is an option with the utility spot available, but that would require leaving Achiuwa on the shelf, as it is not possible to roster three centers on the site, which is not a problem across town. Drummond is projected for a 44.3 median score, outpacing Adebayo by nearly five DraftKings points and Achiuwa by 17, and he has a 35.4% boom score probability that ranks second overall on the slate. That mark was twice as high two games ago, but it is still very appealing to include in DraftKings lineups, Drummond looks like a key piece for accessing the top of standings once again tonight.
Drummond comes in as only a center on FanDuel and he costs $9,100, a significant uptick in comparison to several other options on the site. Still, he has appeal for inclusion in lineups. The two centers who are ahead of his 12th-ranked 32.3% optimal lineup appearance rate, Adebayo and Achiuwa, both have power forward eligibility, meaning all three players can be in a lineup with ease. With every other player in the top-10 in the category landing at a wing position, building a highly optimal lineup from a foundation of all three big men seems like an easy approach to this slate. Drummond has a 26.9% boom score probability and a 44.3 median projection on the FanDuel slate. H is a terrific option for reliability and upside despite a slightly negative leverage mark at -3.5.
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Our NBA DFS projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more NBA DFS tips today and the best free NBA DFS tools? View our Yahoo! ownership projections, our DraftKings ownership projections and our FanDuel NBA ownership projections. We also have FanDuel NBA ownership rankings, DraftKings rankings and Yahoo! rankings for today's slate. Check out our NBA FanDuel rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own best NBA DFS projections.
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