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 & Optimal Lineup Picks Tonight
Boom: Kevin Durant: $12,300 DraftKings/$12,000 FanDuel
22.8% DraftKings Boom/21.6% FanDuel Boom
Even at new career high price tags on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Durant is a core play for this short slate. Due to health protocols, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Bruce Brown, Deandre Bembry, James Johnson, Jevon Carter and Paul Millsap were all out Tuesday. Additionally, Joe Harris (ankle) and Kyrie Irving (personal) remained inactive. With the Nets down to the league-minimum eight players, Durant recorded a massive triple-double worth 72.25 DraftKings points in the overtime win over the Raptors. He saw 43 regulation minutes and should be forced to log north of 40 again tonight with all those players ruled out for the second straight game.
Obviously, there is not much data for this exact situation, but in the 603 minutes Durant has played with Harden and Irving off the floor since the start of last season, he has seen his usage increase 4.2 percentage points to a team-high 35.9%. Furthermore, his assist rate skyrockets 12.5 percentage points, lifting Durant to an elite 1.64 DraftKings points per minute. Tonight he will be facing a 76ers club that ranks 20th in defensive efficiency and is on the second night of a back-to-back. Durant is a strong bet for another triple-double of over 70 fantasy points, and by a huge gap he brings the highest ceiling on the slate according to Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool.
Boom: Alperen Sengun: $5,500 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel
42.8% DraftKings Boom/$0.8% FanDuel Boom
With Christian Wood (knee) missing his first game of the season last night, Sengun posted 46.75 DraftKings points in 27.3 minutes against the Cavaliers, both of which set new career highs for the rookie. Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh) and Jalen Green (hamstring) also missed this game, and the two guards and Wood will remain sidelined for tonight’s matchup against the Knicks, bringing the Rockets down to only 10 available players. Awesemo is projecting Sengun for 24.4 minutes, which is more than enough time for him to beat his price tags on both sites. He is averaging 1.2 DraftKings points per minute and 29 DraftKings points per game when he has logged at least 20 minutes this season.
The Knicks rank 22nd in defensive efficiency, and Sengun is projecting as a top-five value for both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Update: Wood has surprisingly been upgraded to questionable for tonight, after Head Coach Stephen Silas said he expected Wood to miss multiple games. Despite the questionable tag, he still feels unlikely to play tonight, but if Wood does end up playing, Sengun would not be worth considering at his current price points.
Boom: Derrick Rose: $6,300 DraftKings/$6,200 FanDuel
30.5% DraftKings Boom/33.1% FanDuel Boom
With Kemba Walker out of the rotation and R.J. Barrett (health protocols) unavailable, Rose has started in the last two games and responded with 34.25 DraftKings points in 35.5 minutes per game. In addition to Barrett, Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox and Quentin Grimes have been ruled out for today’s matchup against the Rockets due to health protocols. New York should use a very tight rotation, and Awesemo is projecting Rose for 33.3 minutes against a Rockets team that ranks third in pace and 24th in defensive efficiency. New York has the third-highest implied team total on the slate (109.5 points).
This season Rose has a 23% usage rate and a team-high 26.9% assist percentage, resulting in 1 DraftKings point per minute. Furthermore, in the six games he has cracked the 30-minute mark, Rose has produced 32.9 DraftKings points per game. He has a top-five boom score on the slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel.
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Bust: Cade Cunningham: $8,600 DraftKings/$7,900 FanDuel
72.6% DraftKings Bust/65.1% FanDuel Bust
Cunningham is a tough pill to swallow at career-high salaries on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Yes, he is coming off a 52-DraftKings-point game against the Nets, but in his previous 10 Cunningham only contributed 35.6 DraftKings points per game. Plus, he will be on the road, where he is scoring 5.9 DraftKings points per game less than at home, and he is going against a Pacers team that ranks 20th in pace. The Pistons have the lowest implied team total on the slate in this spot (99.75 points), and this game’s total is also the lowest of the night (209.5 points).
Lastly, Cunningham’s props for this evening are not very encouraging, at 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists on BetMGM, which is only 30.25 DraftKings points before defensive stats and bonuses are credited. At his current $8,600 salary on DraftKings, Cunningham would need 43 DraftKings to reach 5x value, which is something he has only accomplished in six of 21 starts this season.
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We also have Yahoo! NBA rankings, FanDuel NBA ownership rankings and DraftKings rankings for today's slate. Our NBA DFS projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Check out our NBA FanDuel rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DFS projections. View our Yahoo! NBA ownership, our FanDuel ownership and our DraftKings ownership. Looking for more DFS NBA picks and the best NBA DFS picks?
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