Thursday night has a seven-game slate to attack, and below are some of the best NBA daily fantasy picks for both FanDuel and DraftKings based on Awesemo’s grades and values.
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Power Forward: Bobby Portis
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: A
With Giannis Antetokounmpo out Tuesday against the Warriors, Portis took his spot in the Bucks’ starting five and notched a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double in 28.2 minutes (33.75 DraftKings points). Antetokounmpo’s knee injury is expected to keep him sidelined for Thursday night, and Portis should remain the interim starting power forward against the Mavericks.
At a strong 1.14 DraftKings points per minute this season, Portis rarely disappoints when given ample playing time, averaging 33.9 DraftKings points per game for the 11 instances he has exceeded 25 minutes in 2020-21. Dallas has been a strong defense as a whole, but their main weakness this season has been containing power forwards, with them yielding the fourth-most DraftKings points per game to the position. Portis is a plug-and-play for all formats tonight, and based on Awesemo’s projections, he is the No. 1 point-per-dollar value for DraftKings and a top-six value on FanDuel.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 32.8%, FanDuel 24.4%
Point Guard: Jrue Holiday
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: C
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: C
Gamers should build around Holiday and Portis in both cash games and GPPs with Antetokounmpo absent. Holiday is playing his best basketball of the season, shooting 61.9% from the field and 48.6% from 3-point range in his last six starts, helping him score 25.5 points per game. Antetokounmpo has missed three of these six, and in the four games Holiday has played Giannis this season, he has generated a team-high 48.8 DraftKings points per game.
In those starts, Holiday’s usage has increased to 27.2% and his assist rate has been a team-best 36.2%. Tonight’s matchup rates poorly, taking on a Mavericks defense that ranks sixth in rating since the start of March, but Dallas just played last night. Quite frankly, there really isn’t any matchup in the NBA that should stop anyone from aggressively attacking Holiday without Antetokounmpo given Holiday’s price points.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 21.4%, FanDuel 19.6%
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Point Guard: Malachi Flynn
DraftKings Grades: C, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: C, Values: B
Earlier today, the news broke that the altercation in Tuesday’s Lakers – Raptors game will result in one-game suspensions for Fred VanVleet, DeAndre’ Bembry and Talen Horton-Tucker. Along with Kyle Lowry, VanVleet was already confirmed out for Thursday, and losing Bembry should mean that Flynn will start at point guard tonight for Toronto. Bembry has started at point and played over 30 minutes in each of the past two with Lowry and VanVleet unavailable. Despite coming off the bench, Flynn has seen 33.3 minutes per game in these two, scoring 38 DraftKings points per game, and his playing time should get near the 40-minute mark with his club so short on ball handlers.
Albeit in a small sample size, Flynn has amassed 1.2 DraftKings points per minute when he has been on the floor without Lowry, Bembry, VanVleet, Rodney Hood, Norman Powell and Terence Davis this season. Against a Bulls defense that ranks 19th in rating over their past five, Flynn is an elite value play tonight, and his low projected ownership on FanDuel is very enticing.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 21.0%, FanDuel 8.6%
Point Guard: De’Aaron Fox
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: C
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: B
With Luka Doncic and Donovan Mitchell gaining all the attention, Fox is slated for modest ownership on DraftKings tonight, via Awesemo’s projections. This makes Fox an optimal leverage play in GPPs, going against a soft Pistons’ defense. In their last five, Detroit has slipped to 25th in defensive rating, and the Kings carry the second-highest implied total of the 14 clubs in action Thursday at 116 points.
Since the All-Star break, Sacramento has sported an implied team total of at least 115 points eight times. In those tilts, Fox has been a monster 52.4 DraftKings points per game.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 13.2%, FanDuel 17.2%
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