Thursday night delivers a six-game slate. With 12 teams competing, NBA fantasy lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel will be flush with high-level talent and value plays. The Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page will provide breaking news when starters are announced as well as a full injury report on players who might be missing in action. Below are some NBA daily fantasy options that stand out for tonight’s slate using Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool and NBA DFS projections.
NBA Fantasy Projections & Optimal Lineup Picks Tonight
Boom: Nikola Jokic: $12,000 DraftKings/$11,600 FanDuel
34.7% DraftKings Boom/31.1% FanDuel Boom
With the Nuggets extremely beat up, Jokic is the stud to build around tonight. On top of Michael Porter Jr. (back) and Jamal Murray (knee) remaining out, Will Barton (back) is doubtful. With these three players sidelined Monday, Jokic destroyed the Mavericks for 69 DraftKings points in 36.5 minutes. In the 343 minutes he has played with these three players off the floor since the start of last season, Jokic has seen his usage rise 6.3 percentage points and he has averaged a godly 1.75 DraftKings points per minute.
As for his matchup, Jokic is facing a 76ers team that will once again be without Joel Embiid (health protocols). With Embiid inactive for their last five games, Philadelphia has ranked second-to-last in defensive rating. Furthermore, they have surrendered the second-most points in the paint and the fifth-most rebounds in the league. To put a cherry on top, the Nuggets will be at home tonight. For his career, Jokic is averaging 4.4 more DraftKings points per game on his home floor and 60.6 DraftKings points per game at home this season. In this eruption spot, Jokic’s ceiling is far and away the highest on the slate according to Awesemo’s Boom Bust Tool.
Jokic was one of the most popular players showing up in our optimal lineups when utilizing the NBA DFS lineup optimizer today. For all of our NBA DFS lineup picks tonight, we have free DraftKings NBA cheat sheets, FanDuel NBA cheat sheet and Yahoo NBA cheat sheets every day.
Update: Will Barton has been upgraded to questionable. Even if he suits up, Jokic will remain the top overall play on the slate in this beautiful matchup.
Boom: Patrick Beverley: $4,200 DraftKings/$4,700 FanDuel
47.3% DraftKings Boom/37% FanDuel Boom
Last night Beverley finished with a season-best 38.5 DraftKings points against the Kings. He is providing a solid 0.84 DraftKings points per minute this season, and since he was inserted into the starting lineup eight games ago, Beverley has received 30 minutes a night. On the menu for Thursday is an up-tempo matchup with the Spurs. Both the Timberwolves and Spurs rank inside the top 10 in pace this season. As a result, this game’s total is the second highest on the slate (219.5 points). Additionally, the Wolves are only 2.5-point favorites, and their implied team total is the second largest of the night (111 points).
Beverley is a very appealing cheap way to gain access to this elite setting and is rating as the No. 1 value on the board for both DraftKings and FanDuel, per Awesemo’s projections. For an even deeper look at some of the best value plays on tonight’s slate, check out Zach Brunner’s NBA DFS Grades & Values article.
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Boom: Ivica Zubac: $5,100 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel
33.7% DraftKings Boom/26.7% FanDuel Boom
After a quiet start to his season, Zubac has looked great recently, scoring 28 DraftKings points per game in his last eight starts and posting four double-doubles. Tonight he will be going against a putrid Grizzlies defense that ranks second-to-last in defensive efficiency and has given up the sixth-most points in the paint. This matchup’s total is the highest on the board (221 points), and Zubac should be forced into a significant role with the Clippers short-handed. Marcus Morris (knee) and Serge Ibaka (G-League) have been ruled out, while Nicholas Batum (Achilles) is doubtful and Terrance Mann (ankle) is questionable.
Zubac has generated 1.13 DraftKings points per minute when Morris, Ibaka and Batum have been off the floor this season, and Awesemo him for 29.6 minutes tonight. All things considered, Zubac is way underpriced right now and is rating as a top-five value for both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Bust: Stephen Curry: $11,800 DraftKings/$11,100 FanDuel
64.3% DraftKings Bust/60.5% FanDuel Bust
While it is definitely risky, Curry is worth a fade tonight. His price tags on both DraftKings and FanDuel have reached new season highs, and his matchup with the Cavaliers is far from ideal. Both teams are top 10 in defensive efficiency, and Cleveland ranks fourth-to-last in pace. Unsurprisingly, this clash between two of the best defenses in the NBA presents the second lowest on the slate (208.5 points). Curry could absolutely have a productive night and lead his team to victory, but expecting him to outperform these lucrative salaries is unreasonable in this environment.
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Looking for more NBA DFS news and the best free NBA DFS tools? Our NBA projections DFS are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Check out our daily fantasy basketball rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA projections FanDuel. View our DraftKings NBA ownership projections, our Yahoo! NBA ownership and our FanDuel ownership projections. We also have DraftKings NBA rankings, FanDuel ownership rankings and Yahoo! ownership rankings for today's slate.
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