Thursday presents a four-game slate, and even with only eight clubs 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 & Lineup Optimizer Picks Tonight
Boom: Jordan Poole: $5,800 DraftKings/$5,700 FanDuel
44.1% DraftKings Boom/34.1% FanDuel Boom
With Stephen Curry (quad) expected to sit tonight, Poole is a core play for this short slate. In the lone start he made with Curry inactive this season, Poole lit up the Pistons for 43.75 DraftKings points across 37.3 minutes. Take Curry off the floor this season, and Poole’s usage jumps 5.7 percentage points to a team-high 30.7%. Plus, his assist rate skyrockets 7.1 percentage points to 25.2%. Thanks to these elite rates, Poole scores 1.1 DraftKings points per minute. He should receive 35 to 40 minutes tonight against the Pelicans, who rank 25th in defensive efficiency.
Poole has a ceiling well over 40 fantasy points and the highest boom score on the slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel in Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool.
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Boom: R.J. Barrett: $6,000 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel
21.2% DraftKings Boom/14.5% FanDuel Boom
On both DraftKings and FanDuel, Barrett is underpriced with Derrick Rose (ankle) and Kemba Walker (knee) sidelined. In the four games the Knicks have been without these two guards this season, Barrett has produced 36.4 DraftKings points in 34.3 minutes per game. In the 270 minutes he has played with Rose and Walker off the court, Barrett’s usage and assist rates have increased 2.3 and 2.7 percentage points, respectively. With the expanded role, he contributes 1.02 DraftKings points per minute.
Tonight the Knicks will be hosting a Celtics team that is on the second night of a back-to-back. Furthermore, this is a nice pace upgrade for New York, with Boston ranking 12th in pace, compared to the Knicks, who rank 28th. On BetMGM Barrett’s props are set at 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, which is 28.5 DraftKings points before defensive stats and bonuses are credited. For both DraftKings and FanDuel, Barrett is an appealing mid-tier target for all formats.
Boom: Josh Hart: $6,400 DraftKings/$7,600 FanDuel
25.4% DraftKings Boom/6.8% FanDuel Boom
Hart is overpriced on FanDuel but is far too cheap at only $6,400 on DraftKings. In his last 10 games, Hart has produced 37.6 DraftKings points per game. With 36.8 minutes a night, he leads the Pelicans in playing time during this stretch. Hart supplies 1 DraftKings points per minute this season and should see huge volume in this tight 2.5-point spread against the Warriors. Hart has been terrific in his six games with spreads under 3 this season, with 37.7 DraftKings points per game. His DraftKings salary is soon going to surpass $7,000, so take advantage while Hart is still underpriced.
Bust: Cade Cunningham: $7,900 DraftKings/$6,800 FanDuel
54.3% DraftKings Bust/40.9% FanDuel Bust
Since returning from a four-game absence due to health protocols, Cunningham has only provided 34.25 DraftKings points per game in his last two starts. Now he will be in Memphis tonight, taking on a Grizzlies defense that ranks 12th in efficiency and could be getting back their best wing defender in Dillon Brooks (questionable, conditioning). Nonetheless, the Pistons’ implied team total is the lowest on the board (102.75 points), and this game has blowout written all over it with Memphis favored by 13 points. When he has been active and the Pistons have been double-digit underdogs this season, Cunningham has only generated 31.5 DraftKings points per game.
He cannot be considered at his inflated price tag on DraftKings, and while Cunningham is more reasonably priced on FanDuel, Awesemo is projecting him to be the most owned player on the slate, making him an easy fade in large tournaments.
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Looking for more NBA DFS plays today and the best NBA DFS tools? Our daily fantasy basketball projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. View our FanDuel ownership, our Yahoo! NBA ownership and our DraftKings ownership projections. Check out our NBA DFS rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own DFS basketball projections. We also have Yahoo! ownership rankings, FanDuel rankings and DraftKings rankings for today's slate.
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