After last night’s slate shaped up largely to expectations despite a few surprises here and there with players in and out of lineups, we can only cross our fingers and hope for more of the same reliability from the NBA DFS gods on the Tuesday main slate. The action features two games with extremely high totals, a third in the 220s and the remaining contests below a 220 point total. This leaves us with a few obvious spots for star caliber production and potential value, with the opportunity to mine for underappreciated value in the lesser matchups. With seven games on the slate, this article will focus on the top overall plays on the board while minding the leverage scores. As always, the goal is to find under-appreciated players for the frequency with which they land in the optimal lineup in DraftKings and FanDuel NBA simulations.
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NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball: Optimal + Leverage Leaders
These picks are made utilizing the Boom/Bust tool, specifically analyzing the optimized-lineup rate, leverage score, and boom probability. The optimized-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, and bad chalk and shaky investments will be discussed in this space, so be sure to read the analysis and not just the headlines.
Delon Wright — Sacramento Kings
DraftKings — $5,100 — PG/SG | FanDuel — $5,200 — PG
Wright has bounced in and out of NBA DFS relevance seemingly more than most through the season. Finding himself in an ideal spot for production in the Sacramento, taking the wheel in the absence of De’Aaron Fox and, now, Tyrese Haliburton who will miss Tuesday with his ailing knee. In a 61-minute sample since arriving with the Kings with this configuration of teammates out – Harrison Barnes will miss the game as well – Wright has a 23.4% usage rate and has put up 1.19 fantasy points per minute, more than enough production to pay off his low prices across the industry. If the 0.94 fantasy points per minute he has put up across all situations with both teams this season jump to that level, Wright is a steal on this slate and will be a key component for success.
On the DraftKings slate, Wright is second among players at any position with a 52.0% optimal-lineup rate. Put another way, more than half the time that Awesemo simulates the slate, Wright is in the winning lineup. He has a massive 62.4% boom-score probability and multi-position eligibility between both guard spots. Wright will be owned, the public is getting to him at a 55% clip, leaving him with a -3.0 leverage score, but this seems like chalk that we can eat, grin and ask for more.
On FanDuel, somehow, Wright is going significantly under-owned. He has a slate-leading 45.1% optimal-lineup rate and he is very underpriced for just $5,200. Wright helps unlock the top-end of standings and other important plays in our lineup constructions, while providing a 72.7% boom-score probability for the small investment. He is an elite option in this spot, but the field is trailing the play by some distance, getting to him just 37.2% of the time and leaving a 7.9 leverage score on the table. This is an exploitable spot on the blue site if the numbers hold leading into lock.
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Kevin Durant — Brooklyn Nets
DraftKings — $9,300 — PF | FanDuel — $10,300 — SF
With the Nets and Bucks playing one another, we have a wealth of stars in one spot for this slate. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kyrie Irving and Durant will all be on the court, but it is Durant who stands out as the most interesting. He is projected for 35.9 minutes, slightly over the 34.3 he has averaged in playing four of the team’s five most recent games. In that stretch, Durant has been excellent, putting up 33.5 real points per game to go with 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists, 22.0% and 23.3% rates respectively. Durant has consumed 32.2% of the team’s usage, leading the way for his squad. He is underpriced for this level of production in the highest totaled game on the board.
Durant costs $10,200 on the FanDuel slate, where we roster him as a small forward. At his low price, Durant comes in as an optimal play in 29.7% of simulated slates, landing seventh overall, one spot ahead of the superstar on the opposing team. Durant has a 21.8% boom-score probability which helps the case that his price is too low, there is upside for days on one of the best players on the planet at that number. He has room for more ownership as well, the public is rostering him at a 24.2% clip but that leaves a quality 5.5 leverage score that can absolutely be smashed again and again.
On the DraftKings slate, Durant will be more popular. He lands in 31.6% of the public’s lineups, squeezing him down to a -2.1 leverage score, but at only $9,300 he seems both extremely inexpensive and extremely playable despite the ownership. Durant has a 28.9% boom-score probability at that salary, making him an excellent play on this slate, and he lands in the optimal lineup 29.5% of the time, a number equal to the far more expensive Antetokounmpo. Durant is a strong pivot at the star level, he helps offset both salary and popularity from the other choice in this game.
Jalen McDaniels — Charlotte Hornets
DraftKings — $4,600 — SF/PF | FanDuel — $3,800 — PF
Next man up for the ailing Hornets frontcourt, McDaniels is extremely slate-relevant on both sites tonight despite a fairly significant price discrepancy across the industry. McDaniels will be filling in for a combination of P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges and Gordon Hayward, all of whom are, or remain, out for the Hornets tonight. In the team’s last game, which was played with Washington, McDaniels saw 26.6 minutes, scoring 12 real points and adding nine rebounds and two assists. In an extremely small 27-minute sample with Washington also out since the trade deadline, McDaniels produced 0.89 fantasy points per minute, up from the 0.79 he has produced across all situations this year.
McDaniels is a strong play on the DraftKings slate. McDaniels has eligibility at both forward spots on the site, adding utility to his upside. He is a $4,600 option on the slate, but that is not cutting his relative upside in the boom-score probability, which stands at 37.1%, among the top-10 on the slate. McDaniels has a 28.1% optimal-lineup rate, but the public appears reluctant to roster him frequently, leaving a 3.7 leverage score that sharp players will try to take advantage of.
On the FanDuel slate, McDaniels costs a laughably cheap $3,800 at power forward. For this opportunity, the price is simply far too low; McDaniels will not have to do much to produce an upside game. He carries a 64.5% boom-score probability into the evening, coming in with just 29.2% public popularity against his 34.9% optimal-lineup rate. That leaves a healthy 5.7 leverage score that is even more appealing that the mark we had on McDaniels across town on DraftKings. This is an excellent option across sites tonight, he is very much a potential building block even if ownership climbs, particularly where he is on inexpensive on FanDuel.
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