The NBA Deep Dive is our most in-depth NBA DFS article, offering analysis of some of the top picks and optimal strategy for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups on the slate today. Used in conjunction with Awesemo’s NBA DFS projections, ownership projections and Boom/Bust Tool, it should help you to improve the quality of your lineups. With news breaking throughout the day and the NBA injury reports being released, the best place to find all of today’s starters is our Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page.
The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Strategy
Note: Paul George was ruled out minutes after publication. Also, Bam Adebayo is out tonight. Jimmy Butler remains questionable, while Tyler Herro is listed as probable. If Butler is able to play, expect increased production, as he has averaged 1.67 DraftKings points per minute with a 30.4% usage rate and 47% assist rate in six games without Adebayo since last season. There should also be more opportunities for Herro and Kyle Lowry to produce fantasy points. Dewayne Dedmon, who is also questionable, should slide into the starting lineup as long as he is cleared to play. He has averaged 0.89 DraftKings points per minute and 24 minutes per game in three starts without Adebayo this season, but that number is somewhat misleading since he dealt with massive foul trouble and was limited to 17 minutes in his first start. He has played 29 and 25 minutes in his two most recent starts.
Malcolm Brogdon ($7,700 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) stands out as one of the better mid-range options on a slate that, at the moment, is not providing a lot of value to work with. Brogdon played 40.2 minutes against Minnesota on Monday. His salary is relatively low because of a three-game stretch where the Pacers benched their starters early in the third quarter and then played back-to-back blowouts. Excluding that stretch of games, Brogdon has averaged 37.1 minutes per game over his last ten games (so seven games total). Brogdon has averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute with a 22.6% usage rate and 25.5% assist rate in 11 games played alongside Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis this season.
Alex Hunter wrote at length about Borgdon and why he’s such a great play tonight in his NBA DFS Boom/Bust Picks article. See who else Alex has pegged as great targets tonight.
Kevin Porter, Jr. ($7,400 DraftKings/$6,800 FanDuel) played 33.4 minutes against Oklahoma City in his last game and he gets a rematch tonight. Porter has averaged 0.96 DraftKings points per minute with a 24.8% usage rate and 28.9% assist rate this season. His 46.1% true shooting rate keeps his per-minute production relatively low, but the combination of usage and assist opportunities gives him a massive ceiling for his salary.
Jrue Holiday ($6,900 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) has a fantastic matchup against the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte has played at the third fastest pace this season and is 26th in defensive rating. Holiday has averaged 1.07 DraftKings points per minute and 30 minutes per game in nine games alongside Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo this season. The average playing time is a bit misleading, however, as Holiday was limited when he returned from an injury earlier in the season. He has averaged 32.7 minutes per game over his last ten.
Reggie Jackson ($6,000 DraftKings/$6,300 FanDuel) has averaged 33.6 minutes per game and 0.88 DraftKings points per minute this season. He has a favorable matchup against the Sacramento Kings, who are 10th in pace and 28th in defensive rating this season. Jackson’s relatively value will decrease if more value opens up throughout the day but he projects as a strong mid-range option compared to many of the alternatives.
Caris LeVert ($5,400 DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel) looks like one of the top values tonight against the Hawks. LeVert was limited earlier in the season, but his playing time has increased recently. He played about 34 minutes three games ago and then played 27 minutes in three quarters of a blowout loss to Milwaukee two games ago. He followed that up with 34 minutes against the Timberwolves in his last game. LeVert’s production leaves something to be desired as he has only averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute in the 11 games that he has played with Brogdon and Sabonis this season, but he will project as a strong value as long as he continues to be priced for 28 minutes a night.
Jalen Brunson ($5,000 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel) returned to action on Monday and played 22 minutes against the Cavaliers. Dallas lost by 18 points, so Brunson did not get to be in the closing lineup. Typically, he has been a closer this season, however, and he should get more than 22 minutes tonight against New Orleans. Brunson has averaged 0.9 DraftKings points per minute and 26.8 minutes per game in 10 games played alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis this season.
Chris Duarte ($4,000 DraftKings/$4,800 FanDuel) is likely to be one of the highest owned value options tonight with Justin Holiday sidelined. Duarte has averaged 0.83 DraftKings points per minute and 24.9 minutes per game in nine games played alongside Brogdon, LeVert and Sabonis this season. In three starts with all three players active, he averaged 0.7 DraftKings points per minute. It is likely that he plays 30-plus minutes tonight if he starts so he projects as a strong value even if accounting for a decrease in per-minute production. Be sure to keep an eye on the starting lineup, however. The Pacers do have alternatives that they could elect to start instead of Duarte. His playing time will become less secure if he comes off the bench, but his ownership will also decrease while his per-minute projection increases.
Cam Reddish ($3,400 DraftKings/$4,700 FanDuel) is questionable tonight after leaving Atlanta’s last game early. If he is able to play, he projects as a top value option on DraftKings. Bogdan Bogdanovic is out tonight for Atlanta, so there are plenty of wing minutes available. Solomon Hill should replace Bogdanovic in the starting lineup, regardless of Reddish’s status, but Reddish would be likely to play 26 to 28 minutes off the bench. He has produced 0.85 DraftKings points per minute this season. If he is unable to play, expect more minutes from a combination of Hill, Danilo Gallinari and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,100 DraftKings/$11,200 FanDuel) is extremely expensive, but he also has a great matchup against Charlotte. Not only are the Hornets one of the fastest teams and least efficient overall defenses in the league, but they have also allowed the third most points in the paint per game this season. Antetokounmpo has averaged 1.85 DraftKings points per minute in the nine games he has played with Holiday and Middleton this season and 1.69 DraftKings points per minute in 59 games played alongside that duo since the start of last season.
Paul George ($10,200 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) has averaged 1.32 DraftKings points per minute and 35.5 minutes per game in 21 games this season. He has a 34.8% usage rate, 10.8% rebounding rate and 26.8% assist rate. He is a strong option on DraftKings but stands out as one of the best plays on the slate at his FanDuel salary.
John Collins ($6,900 DraftKings/$7,700 FanDuel) is affordably priced and has played at least 31 minutes in nine of his last ten games, including 39.5 minutes against New York in his last game. Collins has averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute this season.
Bobby Portis ($6,800 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) has averaged 1.23 DraftKings points per minute and 29.4 minutes per game in 11 starts alongside Antetokounmpo this season. He has a 22.2% usage rate and 16.4% rebounding rate in those games and should be able to have success against the Hornets’ frontcourt tonight.
Josh Giddey ($6,600 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) disappointed against Houston on Monday with 23.75 DraftKings points in about 25 minutes of action. He gets to run it back tonight, however, and is likely to have more success. The Rockets have played at the league’s fastest pace this season so there should be plenty of possessions to go around in this game. Giddey leads Oklahoma City with a 32.1% assist rate this season and he has averaged 1.03 DraftKings points per minute.
P.J. Washington ($5,100 DraftKings/$4,900 FanDuel) moved from the starting lineup to the bench in Charlotte’s last game as Nick Richards drew the start. Richards only played 6.8 minutes, however, while Washington played 31.8 minutes and closed the game. It remains to be seen if he comes off the bench again tonight, but expect him to play 30 to 32 minutes regardless. Washington has averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute so far this season.
Marcus Morris ($4,400 DraftKings/$4,500 FanDuel) was a late scratch for rest in his last game, in a very annoying move that was obviously going to happen yet was not announced for most of the day. Regardless, he should be back in the lineup tonight against Sacramento. Morris played 34.3 minutes against Golden State in his last game and missed the final four minutes due to garbage time, so do not expect any sort of restrictions tonight against the Kings. Morris has averaged 0.80 DraftKings points per minute in 781 minutes alongside George without Kawhi Leonard on the floor since the beginning of last season.
Chimezie Metu ($3,800 DraftKings/$4,400 FanDuel) had an excellent game in 35.8 minutes last night against the Lakers and he could end up being one of the best values on the slate again tonight. Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III and Moe Harkless were all out last night and all three of them need to miss again tonight for Metu to play 30-plus minutes again. Even if a couple of them return, however, Metu could play enough minutes to justify his salary. He has produced 0.95 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he only needs to play into the low to mid-20s to be a reasonable value.
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Nikola Jokic ($11,800 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel) finally returned to action and played 32.6 minutes against Miami on Monday. Do not expect any sort of limit tonight, and he has an excellent matchup against Orlando. The Magic are 15th in pace this season and have allowed the fourth most points per 100 possessions. Jokic has averaged 1.92 DraftKings points per minute with a 33.8% usage rate, 24.9% rebounding rate and 38.1% assist rate in 266 minutes without Michael Porter, Jr. on the floor this season. The only issue for Jokic is that there is always a ton of upside at the center position so there is a high opportunity cost and there is not much margin for error.
Awesemo betting expert Adam Strangis loves THIS JOKIC PROP BET tonight. Check out what he’s betting on Jokic, and a few of his other favorite NBA player props in today’s NBA Player Props Picks & Parlays article.
Christian Wood ($8,900 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) is getting more expensive in a hurry, but he has played 36-plus minutes in competitive games this season. He has produced 1.16 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he has a high ceiling at his rising price tag. The biggest concern for Wood is that he only played 30.9 minutes against Oklahoma City on Monday. He lost about two minutes to garbage time, but he has not played a minute alongside Alperen Sengun in any of his last four games. The new rotation is not ideal for Wood because it gives him a young back-up who presumably is going to maintain a somewhat consistent role. It makes it more likely that Wood will play 32 or 33 minutes tonight 36 or 37 minutes like when he was getting minutes alongside Sengun.
Myles Turner ($5,900 DraftKings/$6,700 FanDuel) is questionable tonight after missing Indiana’s last game. Turner offers upside in tournaments if he is able to go, as he would be likely to play 30 to 32 minutes and he has averaged 1.07 DraftKings points per minute this season. He has also averaged 4.8 blocks per 100 possessions, which justifies the elevated price tag on FanDuel. If Turner sits, it is likely to mean more minutes for T.J. McConnell and more production for Sabonis since he will get most, or possibly all, of his minutes at center.
Richaun Holmes ($5,800 DraftKings/$6,700 FanDuel) played 33.4 minutes last night in his first game under new coach Alvin Gentry. That could have been a product of the Kings’ injuries, but it is also possible that Gentry wants to play Holmes a few more minutes than Luke Walton was. Even assuming that Holmes continues to play 28 to 30 minutes a night, he is a strong option at his price as he has produced 1.12 DraftKings points per minute this season.
Fellow Awesemo NBA writer Terry McBride has a full breakdown of the best Raptors players who are showing up in the lineup optimizer today. Check out his NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Plays tonight.
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Check out our NBA DraftKings rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DraftKings projections. View our DraftKings NBA ownership, our Yahoo! NBA ownership and our FanDuel ownership projections. Our basketball DFS projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. We also have DraftKings ownership rankings, Yahoo! rankings and FanDuel ownership rankings for today's slate. Looking for more NBA DFS picks today and the best free NBA DFS tools?
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