NBA DFS action bounces back Friday evening with an excellent nine-game slate. The Vegas board looks loaded, it includes not only a pair of games totaled at 227 but also a rare – this year – total above 230 points. The first game to tip this evening is between the Kings and Hornets in Charlotte, it is currently carrying a 231.5-point game total with the road team favored by just 1.5. There are sure to be numerous options who will all be popular in a game with that profile, but with two other highly totaled contests, as well as an NBA DFS slate filled with strong options at a variety of price ranges, getting overloaded to any one situation, may not be the correct move. Parsing the leverage scores for players on a slate such as this is an important focus in lineup building. We want a strong base of highly optimal players without caring about the overall exposure to a point, after which we must focus on lineup differentiation. It is in those key changes that tournaments are won and lost
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 nine games on the board, this article will focus on the top interesting leverage plays from three salary tiers on the Boom/Bust Tool. 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.
DraftKings & FanDuel NBA DFS Lineup Optimizer Picks
These picks are made utilizing the Boom/Bust Tool, specifically analyzing the optimal lineup rate, leverage score and boom probability. The optimal lineup rate represents the frequency at which a player appears in the optimal lineup 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.
Miles Bridges: DraftKings — $7,700 — SF/PF | FanDuel — $8,400 — SF
One of the standouts on both sites tonight is a player who has been in that category for most of the season. Miles Bridges is still priced at a reasonable salary, though his FanDuel number has begun to creep up to levels more in-line with his production this season. Bridges has turned in 1.03 fantasy points per minute on 22.1% usage, up from a 0.89 on 17% usage last year. He is putting up a 13% assist rate and a 9.2% rebounding share in his 36.9 minutes per game. Bridges’ Hornets will be short-handed again this evening. He is projected for a massive 42.1-minute night and has seen more than 40 minutes in three straight games, giving him extreme upside even at elevated prices. All of the Hornets are looking strong in early projections, inflated minutes and one of the highest game totals of the season will do that to a team, but Bridges comes in with strong leverage across the industry. He is under-owned and NBA DFS gamers can capitalize on the opportunity.
On the FanDuel slate, Bridges price has bounced to $8,400, making him either one of the priciest pieces in the mid-range or the least expensive in the upper tier. He has a 47.9-point median projection on the site, which essentially would deliver value for the money already. He is posting a 50.4% blue site boom score probability, the second highest on the slate behind teammate Cody Martin. Martin is the highest-ranked player in both boom score, at 69.7%, and optimal lineup rate, at 61.2%, but he comes with 77.3% ownership and a -16.1 leverage score on the FanDuel slate. By comparison, Bridges has a 36.8% optimal lineup rate but comes at positive leverage with a 5.7 score that is one of the top marks on the board. For less than half the raw ownership mark and positive leverage, it is worth paying up for shares of Bridges at the three spot.
With Martin priced up to $5,700 on the DraftKings slate, it is Bridges who draws the top spot with a glimmering 46.3% optimal lineup rate. He offers eligibility at both forward positions on the site and his price is still relatively low at $7,700 for excellent production. Bridges is projected for a median 49.8-point night on DraftKings. He will have a gigantic workload on the floor, and he is projected to be playing essentially the entire game. He is projected to be in 40.1% of the field’s lineups, but with a 64.7% boom score probability and a 6.2 leverage score, Bridges seems like a no-brainer of a first option on the DraftKings slate. He should be included in lineups again and again.
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Cam Reddish: DraftKings — $3,200 — SG/SF | FanDuel — $4,700 — SG/SF
Apologies to fellow FanDuel gamers, but this one is far more relevant to the DraftKings slate, given the significant price differential from site to site. Reporting in the early afternoon is that Reddish is ready to return to action tonight, after the team upgraded him to Probable status on the injury report. Reddish returns and is projected for 27.5 minutes in a game carrying the second-highest total of the evening with the Hawks taking on the Nets. Reddish is primarily a value play at his price on DraftKings, it is not impossible that he would return value on the FanDuel slate, but at best he is a mix and match option for around his median projection at 0.83 fantasy points per minute for the season. Reddish does see 22% usage under normal circumstances, but he has provided just limited production in counting stats, posting just a 6.7% assist percentage and 5.6% rebounding mark.
Reddish is an uninteresting option on the FanDuel slate. His price is at best appropriate, perhaps even inflated at $4,700. He does offer flexibility between the shooting guard and small forward positions while landing in the optimal lineup in 4.0% of simulated slates. He will be essentially unowned in this situation, but he is projected for just a 22-point median night and a 9.3% boom score probability, both marks are borderline unplayable on a nine-game slate. Reddish can be used for differentiation in a limited number of lineups, but he is not the standout play that he is across town.
A 22.3-point median projection is enough for the $3,200 that DraftKings is asking for Reddish this evening. That salary has Reddish all the way up to a 34.6% boom score probability on the site, the seventh highest on the entire slate. He has eligibility at both shooting guard and small forward, giving him terrific flexibility for a variety of lineup constructions. Reddish lands in the optimal lineup in 15.4% of simulated DraftKings slates, the ninth-highest rate at any position and the most frequent for any player within $1,800 of his salary. Reddish is the clear bargain play on the slate tonight, assuming he takes the court. It will be worth checking later updates to see where Reddish’s ownership lands. If his status is confirmed as active while a lot of time remains before the slate locks, he is likely to get more popular, which could lead to significant negative leverage. For now, Reddish is a plus play at a 3.3 leverage score.
Patrick Beverley: DraftKings — $4,500 — PG | FanDuel — $5,500 — PG
After playing 23 minutes in his return from a six-game absence earlier this week, Timberwolves point guard Patrick Beverley appears to be a neglected value play across the NBA DFS industry this evening. Assuming he approaches his projected minutes, with the potential to see a bit more, Beverley would make a fine play for the required salaries. He posted 0.96 fantasy points per minute this season on just 13.8% usage. He has a steady 23.7% assist rate and a 7.8% rebounding percentage, and he adds 2.5 stocks per-36 minutes. Beverley has upside at his price, but his median projection is below 30 on both sites. Be sure to include ceiling score upside and a firm base of projected raw fantasy point scoring in lineup builds as well.
For $4,500 on the DraftKings slate, Beverley lands as a top-shelf value play. He has a 14.2% optimal lineup rate that ranks 11th overall on the site and he is projected for just 9.5% ownership at the bargain-basement price. He has a 26.7-point median projection and the low cost inflates his boom score probability to a 28.3% mark that is one of the higher overall numbers on a nine-game slate and the second-best value boom score behind Reddish on the slate. Beverley has a targetable 4.7 leverage score on the slate, only news about a minutes limitation or, of course, a change in status would limit this play. If his projected minutes drop, the quality will as well, but for the low price, Beverley would remain a mix-and-match piece even at a 24-minute projection.
For $5,500 and with only point guard eligibility on the FanDuel slate, Beverley is slightly less valuable but still comes as a high-end leverage play. The field is projected for just 2% ownership in the early afternoon, while he is landing in the optimal lineup in 10.8% of Awesemo’s simulated slates. He is carrying a 27-point median projection and a good-not-great 15.8% boom score probability. Beverley is priced more appropriately on the blue site, despite the higher salary cap. Beverley is bumping his head on his ceiling slightly, but there should be room for upside and the 8.8 leverage score is extremely appealing. Additional shares of Beverley are easy enough to get to despite his positional limitations. Most of the interesting guards on the slate are flexible to multiple positions, making it easy to roster him
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Check out our daily fantasy rankings NBA for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DraftKings projections. We also have DraftKings NBA rankings, Yahoo! rankings and FanDuel NBA ownership rankings for today's slate. Our DFS NBA projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. View our DraftKings ownership, our Yahoo! NBA ownership and our FanDuel ownership projections. Looking for more NBA DFS picks today DraftKings and the best NBA DFS tools?
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