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: R.J. Hampton: $3,900 DraftKings/$5,300 FanDuel
57.3% DraftKings Boom/19.1% FanDuel Boom
Hampton is a core play for this short slate at only $3,900 on DraftKings. For the third straight game, the Magic will be without a large group of players, most notably, Cole Anthony (ankle), Jalen Suggs (thumb) and Terrence Ross (conditioning). Missing these three ball handlers puts Hampton in a much larger role, and in these last two he has responded with 27.25 DraftKings points in 29.8 minutes per game.
Since the start of last season, Hampton has generated 1 DraftKings points per minute when Anthony, Ross and Suggs have been off the floor, mostly attributed to a 6.8-percentage-point increase to his assist rate. Awesemo is projecting Hampton for 30 minutes of work tonight against the Bucks, and this game’s total is the second highest on the slate (218 points). In the last 10 games he has received a minimum of 25 minutes, Hampton is averaging 30.7 DraftKings points per game. On top of rating as the No. 1 value on the slate, no player has a higher boom score than Hampton for DraftKings tonight in Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool.
Boom: Daniel Gafford: $5,000 DraftKings/$5,200 FanDuel
33.8% DraftKings Boom/33.7% FanDuel Boom
With Montrezl Harrell (health protocols) missing his first game of the season Tuesday, Gafford recorded a double-double worth 36.25 DraftKings points against the Heat. Harrell and Gafford have essentially split all the center minutes for the Wizards this season, and with the former inactive, Gafford logged a season-high 36.3 minutes Tuesday night. He is scoring 1 DraftKings points per minute this season and should play over 30 minutes tonight against the Cavaliers with Harrell remaining unavailable. While Cleveland is second in defensive efficiency, they are also down a slew of key players and are especially thin up front.
Gafford should have no issues tallying another double-double, and his role as the Wizards’ primary center simply is not reflected in his current price tags. For both DraftKings and FanDuel, Gafford has a top-five boom score on the slate.
Boom: Nikola Jokic: $11,900 DraftKings/$11,700 FanDuel
33% DraftKings Boom/22.4% FanDuel Boom
Even facing the Warriors, who lead the league in defensive efficiency, Jokic is the top overall play on the slate. On Tuesday Jokic exposed this same Golden State defense for 59.25 DraftKings points. Handling career highs in usage (32.8%), assist rate (41.9%) and rebound percentage this season (23.6%), Jokic is contributing a league-best 1.84 DraftKings points per minute. After playing four of his last five on the road, Jokic will be back on his home floor tonight. He has topped 60 DraftKings points in six of his 11 home starts this season and has been nearly 4 DraftKings points per game better on his home floor than when on the road over the last two seasons.
For this rematch with the Warriors, Jokic’s props on BetMGM are set at 28.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists. Including the DraftKings bonus for a double-double, this is already 56.25 DraftKings points before defensive stats and additional bonuses are credited. No player brings a higher ceiling than Jokic tonight according to Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool, making him without question the most optimal stud to build around.
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Bust: Khris Middleton: $8,000 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel
60.7% DraftKings Bust/70.8% FanDuel Bust
With the Bucks presenting the cleanest injury report on the slate as 14-point favorites over the Magic, Middleton is hard to justify at his current price tags. When he and Giannis Antetokounmpo have both been active this season, Middleton has supplied only 33.7 DraftKings points per game. Plus, the Bucks have been favored by double digits five times this season, and Middleton has provided 29.2 DraftKings points per game on those occasions.
With Awesemo projecting Middleton to come with decent ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel tonight, he is an easy fade.
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View our FanDuel NBA ownership projections, 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 NBA projections FanDuel. Our NBA daily projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more NBA DFS news and the best free NBA DFS tools? We also have FanDuel NBA rankings, DraftKings NBA ownership rankings and Yahoo! ownership rankings for today's slate.
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