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NBA DFS Optimizer Picks Tonight for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups LaMelo Ball | Sunday 3/27/22

Terry McBride



NBA DFS DraftKings FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Optimal lIneups

A six-game Sunday slate of NBA DFS tips at 6 ET with three games in the early window and another three starting between 7 and 7:30. With four targetable game scores among the six contests, an abundance of star power, and several extreme values already on the board, tonight has all the makings of a stars and scrubs slate. The night’s low points are the Warriors vs Wizards game that offers just a 216.5 total but does feature several interesting mid-range options with injury-based opportunities to shine, and the slate-low 214-point total between the Jazz and Mavericks. Every other game on the slate is totaled above the 227 points at which the interesting 76ers vs Suns game lands, with the highwater mark coming at a whopping 238.5 in the final game of the night that sees the Hornets in Brooklyn to face the Nets. With several stars and values occupying roster spots, it makes sense to zero in on the leverage column among the midrange options who come up frequently optimal, to parse which are the potentially difference-making plays.

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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, this article will focus on the top probability plays on the NBA DFS 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.

NBA DFS Optimizer Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups

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 optimizer 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.

Robert Williams: DK $6,000 — C | FD $6,800 — PF/C

The Celtics will be at home hosting the Timberwolves in a game with a sharp 229.5-point total and the home team favored by six. The Celtics will be without big man Al Horford, and both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on the injury report but trending toward playing. Regardless of the situation with the two stars, the situation should benefit Robert Williams immensely tonight. Williams checks in for a fair midrange price and significant popularity on both sites, but he is likely to be worth the weight of public ownership. The productive center puts up a 1.11 fantasy points per minute rate on average this season while seeing just 11.2% usage. Williams is a hyper-efficient player when he contributes on offense, he has a 74.2% true shooting percentage to go with his 9.6% assist rate and his 15.4% rebounding percentage. In more than 1,000 minutes without Horford on the floor this season, Williams has been at a 1.15 fantasy points per minute rate, and he has climbed to 1.26 per minute in 158 minutes without Horford since the February trade deadline. Williams is a premium contributor in this situation, but he is not priced like one, which is leading to his massive popularity. Regardless, the big man is seeing popularity that can be described as efficient at worst, his probability metrics are nearly outpacing the shares of public lineups that are utilizing him.

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As the most frequently optimal player at any position on DraftKings, Williams stands nearly 11 percentage points above Brown and Tatum, who each appear in the top lineup in 25% of Awesemo’s simulated slates. Wiliams’ 36.1% mark leaves him at a slightly negative leverage score, he will be extremely popular for the $6,000 salary at the center position, but not in a way that disqualifies him from consideration. Williams’ -2.6 leverage score can largely be ignored, he will be in a fair 38.7% of public rosters but his raw production and probability of hitting a salary-adjusted ceiling score are well worth the effort in getting different elsewhere in a lineup. Williams is carrying a 38.7-point median projection for the low price, and he reaches his required ceiling score 54.93% of the time, again leading the slate. In this case, Williams’ lead over the nearest competition is nearly 20 percentage points. Tatum lands second overall with a 35.56% probability of hitting his ceiling, while the next-highest center after Williams is Philadelphia superstar Joel Embiid, who costs almost twice as much and hit his ceiling just 28.39% of the time. Williams’ value outpaces the upside in Embiid’s raw scoring when evaluating the players in a head-to-head, though the 76ers star is undeniably the more likely to hit a massive raw point total, both centers can be rostered together in many DraftKings NBA DFS lineups tonight.

Williams gets an $800 raise against the higher salary cap on the blue site, but $6,800 does nothing to slow him down. In fact, Williams gains ground by virtue of adding power forward eligibility. The extremely productive center lands in the optimal lineup in 44.2% of Awesemo’s simulated slates, leading the slate by about seven percentage points over Brown and Tatum on this site. The less expensive Celtics option will be owned by 45.9% of the field, but that leaves him at negligibly negative leverage, he remains a target for FanDuel lineup construction and a variety of combinations. Williams is carrying a 40.78-point median projection and he leads the slate with a 50.77% probability of hitting his salary-adjusted required ceiling score. At that rate, Williams is more than 17 percentage points more likely to hit his ceiling than second-ranked center Joel Embiid, and 19 percentage points more likely to get there than Tatum, the second-ranked power forward option. With the ability to play all three of those options in the same lineup with relative ease, the targets are fairly clear on the FanDuel slate. Williams should be rostered in the majority of lineups on the blue site, the situation is more appealing than his popularity is discouraging.

Anthony Edwards: DK $6,900 — SG/SF | FD $6,900 — SG/SF

Several strong midrange contenders for lineup shares on both sites come from the Timberwolves side of the game from which the three Celtics in the previous section are drawn. The early contest seems primed to be extremely important for NBA DFS outcomes on both sites tonight. In addition to guards Patrick Beverley and Jaylen Nowell, burgeoning star Anthony Edwards stands out as a high-caliber play across the industry tonight. The Timberwolves will be without at least Jaden McDaniels and Malik Beasley, while Jordan McLaughlin is questionable to play, leading to more time and opportunity for the key rotation pieces, as well as obvious star center Karl-Anthony Towns and guard D’Angelo Russell. At 1.05 fantasy points per minute on average, Edwards should not be ignored when rotating through Timberwolves options. The young wing has a 55.1% true shooting percentage on 26.1% usage, with a 16.6% assist percentage and a 6.5% rebounding rate. Edwards is a quality contributor in most situations, but he has slipped to just 0.81 fantasy points per minute over the team’s three most recent games while seeing 35 minutes a night. With a 34.6-minute projection and plenty of opportunities available tonight, Edwards looks like a strong option despite the lackluster recent run. The public is not getting to him with enough urgency for the potential upside, making him an interesting tournament consideration across the industry.

Both Beverley and Edwards are among the most frequently optimal players on the DraftKings slate. As a $4,600 point guard, Beverley is in the top lineup in 23.1% of Awesemo’s simulated slates, making him a fairly strong value consideration despite being projected to land in a quarter of all DraftKings lineups tonight at a -2.6 leverage score. At $6,900 and with five-position eligibility from his shooting guard and small forward positioning, Edwards seems like he should be more popular than his currently projected 14.9% public ownership mark. The probability metrics support that thinking, the talented wing lands in the optimal lineup in 17.3% of Awesemo’s simulated slates and he has a strong 35-point median projection. His 21.93% boom score probability sits 18th overall on the board, but it compares favorably with everyone at or below fifth-ranked Joel Embiid’s 28.39% mark. Edwards is very much in play at a 2.4 leverage score, he should be rostered ahead of the field’s relatively low ownership in DraftKings NBA DFS lineups of a variety of combinations; his flexibility and salary-based upside are an asset.

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On FanDuel, Edwards checks in at a 16.3% optimal lineup appearance rate that ranks 17th overall. With seventh-ranked Draymond Green landing in the optimal lineup just 22.8% of the time, Edwards’ mark is easily playable and compares well with most of the favorable options on the board. The Minnesota wing has a 34.13-point median projection for a $6,900 salary, and he has multi-position eligibility on the blue site as well. Edwards slots into the small forward or shooting guard positions and provides a cheap raw point total and a 21.01% probability of hitting his salary-adjusted required ceiling score. Edwards is projected for slightly negative leverage, he lands at a -0.7, but his public popularity projection is just 17%, leaving plenty of room for additional shares or, at a minimum, ownership in line with the field. Edwards is a better play than it may seem on the FanDuel NBA DFS slate tonight.

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LaMelo Ball: DK $8,700 — PG | FD $8,700 — PG

One of the top options in the night’s most highly totaled game, Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball is a strong probability play that is going overlooked on both sites. Ball has fully lived up to his potential in his short NBA career so far, he averages 1.30 fantasy points per minute on 26.9% usage while contributing a 54.7% true shooting percentage and an excellent 33.3% assist rate. Ball is a sturdy rebounder for his position as well, he checks in with a 9.8% rebounding percentage for this season, and he pads fantasy production with 2.2 stocks per-36. Ball is an excellent option and he is relatively inexpensive for the potential scoring upside, but the public is behind the curve on his quality on both sites. the point guard seems like a prime target for tournament play across the NBA DFS industry on the Sunday slate.

On FanDuel, Ball ranks 16th overall with a 16.5% optimal lineup appearance rate. While he is somewhat limited by eligibility at only the point guard spot, most of the options above him at that spot have flexibility between both guard positions, with only Chris Paul and Patrick Beverley outpacing him as pure point guard plays. The quality that Ball provides is revealed in his 41.72-point median projection and strong 21.87% boom score probability. On pure raw fantasy point-scoring, Ball’s projection ranks third at the position, behind only superstar Luka Doncic and under-owned Kyrie Irving, who makes for an interesting target on the other side of the Hornets vs Nets game at low ownership but also low probability marks. Ball is more than twice as likely to hit his salary-adjusted ceiling score and he comes with a 1.6 leverage score at just 14.9% popularity. The slate is trailing the quality of the play, getting to additional shares of Ball in a rotation with more flexible guard options, seems like a quality approach to FanDuel lineup construction on this slate.

At the same price against the lower salary cap on DraftKings, Ball loses a bit of his appeal, but he still lands in the optimal lineup in 15.1% of simulated slates, and the public is even further behind the curve on this side of town. Ball has eligibility at only the point guard position, but with the flexibility inherent in DraftKings lineups, he finds his way into the optimal lineup at a pace greater than the rate at which the public is rostering him, leaving the star at a targetable 1.2 leverage score. Ball is projected for a 43.7-point median DraftKings score and he hits his salary-adjusted required ceiling score 25.81% of the time. Ball has both the third-highest point guard projection and third-highest probability of hitting his boom score. By raw scoring, only Doncic and Irving rate higher, while only Beverley and Marcus Smart reach their ceiling more frequently. Both of those players come at lower prices but with heavier popularity and negative leverage, Ball is a strong target from the upper midrange of salary on this slate, he provides the unique ability to add both differentiation and scoring potential to a DraftKings NBA DFS lineup construction.

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