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NBA Optimal Lineups Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel Nikola Jokic | Sunday, Nov. 14

Terry McBride

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Awesemo's free NBA fantasy projections for DraftKings & FanDuel lineups today with expert Boom/Bust DFS optimizer picks tonight 12/1/21

The Sunday NBA DFS slate kicks off early on FanDuel with a 6 p.m. start accommodating the Milwaukee – Atlanta game, in the middle of a football afternoon, because the blue site consistently makes terrible decisions. A typical 7 pm start on the DraftKings slate features five games, so there are slightly different looks from site to site today. As always, we will be looking for the top plays from the primary categories on the Boom/Bust Tool, namely boom score probability, optimal lineup rate and leverage.

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 six games on the slate, the focus is on the most positively leveraged of the highly optimal plays. 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.

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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.

Nikola Jokic: DraftKings — $11,600 — C | FanDuel — $11,000 — C

After serving a one game suspension that was well earned and well deserved, the reigning MVP returned to play 35 minutes in the team’s last game, and he is slated for a 33.3-minute night in Awesemo’s projections in what look like an excellent spot tonight. Jokic is popping to the top of the board in the categories we care about, despite coming in at the highest salary on both sites. The superstar center does everything on the basketball court. Across his first 11 games this season, Jokic is averaging 25.1 points, 14.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists on 66.3% true shooting and a 29.5% usage rate. The counting stats represent a 31.8% assist percentage and a 20.9% rebounding share, Jokic is a major contributor. The big man is averaging a slate-leading 1.71 fantasy points per minute, up from his MVP mark of 1.58 last year on slightly less usage, he is well worth the salary.

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On the FanDuel slate, Jokic lands in the optimal lineup with the second-most frequency, trailing only Portland guard C.J. McCollum. Jokic lands in the best lineup 33% of the time but he is coming in at a massive positive leverage mark that makes him look like the best pay-up option and one of the best overall plays available. The center has a 52.9 median projection with a 28% boom score probability despite the hefty price tag. He will be rostered by slightly more than 20% of the public, but that leaves a fantastic 11.2 leverage score on the play. It makes sense to find the money to pay up to the big center tonight, there are several plays in the mid-range that can help, though the blue site is lacking in early value.

The Nuggets center looks like a similar play regardless of coming in at a price that lands $600 higher against a lower cap. Jokic has a 55.6 median DraftKings points projection with a 21.7% boom score probability. He lands in the optimal lineup in 27.8% of Awesemo’s simulated slates and comes at positive leverage on this site as well. Jokic is a bit less optimal, and he carries less positive leverage against a higher raw ownership number, but there is still room in the 2.4 leverage score. Getting to additional shares of one of the best players in the world is always a good idea when the public is leaving them on the table. Making sure not to sacrifice too much scoring upside to get to Jokic is critical, but the DraftKings slate seems slightly more cooperative with value plays.

LaMarcus Aldridge: DraftKings — $4,300 — C | FanDuel — $5,200 — PF/C

One of the common value plays from site to site, albeit at different relative salary points, Brooklyn’s LaMarcus Aldridge is looking like a strong play for NBA DFS lineup building tonight. The veteran big man has averaged 22.3 minutes over the team’s last three and sees 20.3 overall on the season. He has a 22.3% usage rate and a 64.8% true shooting percentage to this point in the season, though he contributes just a 6.8% assist percentage and a reasonable 12.6% rebounding rate. Aldridge comes in at an affordable salary on both sites, he fits into lineup constructions and helps to land the bigger fish with the possibility of still reaching unique constructions. The forward is averaging 1.19 fantasy points per minute this season, so the low pricing is probably incorrect at this point. He was just a 0.98 point-per-minute contributor across all situations last season, so the public is not necessarily p to speed on the play either, ownership is not where it should be.

Aldridge comes in as the sixth-most positively leveraged player at any position on the DraftKings slate. From the top of the board, he lands third in terms of value, with two plays from the mid-$3,000 range that are topping optimal lineup rates. One of those slots into the same center eligibility as Aldridge, but Alize Johnson also fits the power forward position, so he can be rostered alongside the Brooklyn big body. Aldridge has a 24% optimal lineup rate and a 20.3% ownership projection, leaving him at a 3.7 leverage score that ranks eighth among players at all positions. The center is carrying a 27.9-point median projection and a sharp 38.6% boom score probability for his cheap $4,300 salary, there is solid upside in adding shares of Aldridge at positive leverage on this slate.

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With added eligibility at power forward on the blue site, Aldridge slightly makes up for a big bump in salary and has him looking like one of the top plays at any position on the site. Aldridge lands fifth overall with a 28% optimal lineup appearance rate. The public is well below the rate at which the player appears in the optimal lineup in simulations, currently, ownership is tracking for just 17.9%, leaving Aldridge with a 10.1 leverage score that is second at any position on the site. He has a 29-point median projection and a 29.9% boom score probability that ranks sixth overall, second among power forwards and third among centers. Aldridge is a go-to play for both value and leverage across the industry tonight. Despite a higher overall price tag, he is a stronger play on FanDuel than on DraftKings, but he should be rostered well ahead of the public on both sites.


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Frank Kaminsky: DraftKings — $5,200 — PF/C | FanDuel — $5,700 — PF/C

Another play from the mid-range, the Suns’ Frank Kaminsky is likely to see a major role in the frontcourt with Deandre Ayton out once again. Kaminsky has averaged 27 minutes over the team’s last three games, seeing 32 and 27 in the team’s two most recent outings. Kaminsky sees more opportunity than fellow backup big man JaVale McGee, and he is the one who stands out on the board today. He has significantly outperformed his 1.01 fantasy point per minute mark from last season, coming in at a 1.14 rate across all situations in seven games this season. Kaminsky has a 67.5% true shooting percentage, a 10% assist percentage and a 9.9% rebounding rate in 22 minutes per game this year. Assuming a 27-minute night, this looks like a strong mix and match play across the industry again tonight.

Kaminsky is the fifth-most optimal play on the DraftKings slate, landing in the top lineup in Awesemo’s simulations 24.5% of the time. He costs $5,200 on the site but carries power forward eligibility that helps him edge out the lower-priced Aldridge. Including both is certainly viable for value. The Suns big man has a 27.9 median projection with a strong 29.4% boom score probability on the DraftKings slate, he should be rostered beyond the field’s projected 19.5% ownership. That lack of popularity is leaving Kaminsky with an appealing 5.0 leverage score that demands roster shares.

The play looks even better on FanDuel. Kaminsky is both a power forward and a center on the site, for a $5,700 price tag. He lands in the optimal lineup 25.8% of the time in simulated contests, the 10th best mark among players at any position on the blue site, fourth among both power forwards and centers. Kaminsky has a 30.8-point median projection on the site, he is carrying a 27.7% boom score probability that also sits 10th overall, and he is one of the top plays for leverage on this site. The Suns’ center has a 9.4 leverage score, the public is projected for just 16.4% ownership on the slate, which is not enough for the quality that the play is returning in early lineup configurations.


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Check out our NBA FanDuel rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own best NBA DFS projections. Looking for more DFS NBA and the best NBA DFS tools? Our NBA DFS projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. We also have Yahoo! NBA ownership rankings, DraftKings NBA ownership rankings and FanDuel NBA rankings for today's slate. View our FanDuel NBA ownership, our Yahoo! NBA ownership and our DraftKings ownership projections.

Terry used to do other things, now he writes words on the internet. He hopes his more than 20 years’ experience in season-long and daily fantasy sports and his custom models for MLB, NBA, and NFL don't steer you too wrong when he writes columns and makes picks on Awesemo.com. A lifetime of experience keeping odd hours make Terry ideal to cover KBO baseball overnight until the world returns to normal. Most of those late night hours have been spent on the couch watching sports, T.V., and movies; just try to shut him up about any of the above. You can find his pop-culture ramblings and more on Sideaction.

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