Happy Friday, everybody. Tonight, we have a nine-game slate on tap, and below are some of my favorite NBA daily fantasy picks for both FanDuel and DraftKings based on Awesemo’s grades and values.
NBA Daily Fantasy Picks: Awesemo Grades | Feb. 19
Center: Willy Hernangomez
DraftKings Grades: D, Values: D
FanDuel Grades: D, Values: E
Steven Adams (ankle/back) has exited two straight contests early and seems unlikely to play tonight. If he is inactive, Hernangomez should draw the start at center and will instantly become the top value play on the slate. Hernangomez is a huge liability on the defensive end, but he is an excellent interior scorer and a very efficient rebounder that is a double-double threat every time he sees decent minutes. Essentially, Hernangomez is Enes Kanter lite. With Adams’ night cut short in each of these past two, Hernangomez has filled his void with 30.4 DraftKings points per game. In 2020-21 the center has collected 1.1 DraftKings points per minute and is averaging 32.6 DraftKings points per game when he has surpassed 20 minutes.
Friday night, Hernangomez will face a top-10 defense in the Suns, but they have been susceptible to centers as of late, giving up the fourth-most DraftKings points per game to the position over their last five. Nevertheless, once Adams is ruled out, we should be firing up Hernangomez in both cash-games and GPPs at these soft price tags, no matter the matchup.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 30.5%, FanDuel 7.8%
Point Guard: Ja Morant
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: A
Wednesday night, Morant recorded the 3rd triple-double of his young career, tallying 51.75 DraftKings against the Thunder. After a slow start since returning from an ankle injury that costed the point guard eight games, Morant has exceeded 40 fantasy points in three of his last four. His salaries on both DraftKings and FanDuel have yet to fully adjust to his resurgence, and Morant is an excellent value that brings safety and upside tonight in this home matchup against the Pistons.
Though only 16 games into the season, Morant is providing 11.8 more DraftKings points per game on his home floor in 2020-21, and this Detroit defense is allowing the sixth-most DraftKings points per game to opposing point guards. In this prime matchup, Vegas has Morant’s props at 21 points, 9 assists and 4 rebounds, which is already 39.5 DraftKings points before bonuses and defensive stats are credited.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 10.5%, FanDuel 21.3%
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Power Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: A
I know I sound like a broken record with Antetokounmpo, but his $10,800 price tag on DraftKings tonight is just ridiculous. The Bucks have lost five in a row, and with them in a serious rut, Antetokounmpo’s playing time has skyrocketed to 37.2 minutes per game during this stretch. At 1.69 DraftKings points per minute, he is the most productive player in the entire NBA, and the elevated minutes have lifted him to 67.25 DraftKings points per game.
The Bucks are the biggest favorites of Friday’s slate at 10.5 points over the Thunder, but it’s hard to imagine this struggling team will blow out out Oklahoma City in the second night of back-to-back. Antetokounmpo should log roughly 35 minutes in desperation mode, and not only does he hold the top overall raw projection, he is also rating as a top-10 value on DraftKings tonight based on Awesemo’s projections.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 25.1%, FanDuel 33.9%
Small Forward: Norman Powell
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: A
Currently, Kyle Lowry (ankle/thumb) is listed as questionable, but he was out last night, and Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse said he expected the point guard to also miss Friday’s meeting against the Timberwolves. It’s a gamble, but this creates a great opportunity to possibly get Powell at a low ownerships given that this contest is the second-to-last of the night to tip-off. We most likely won’t have word on Lowry till well after lock, and most casual DFS players should look somewhere other than Toronto for value due to the uncertainty.
If Lowry does indeed sit, Powell will be an outstanding play against this Wolves defense that ranks 24th in efficiency and has yielded the second-most DraftKings points per game to opposing small forwards this season. With Lowry missing Thursday, Powell posted 44 DraftKings points in the Raptors’ second consecutive victory over the Bucks. Powell is having an excellent season, and he has seized the opportunity every time a Raptors starter has been out. Lowry, O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam have all missed time this season, and in the 14 contests Powell has been active for without one of these three, he is contributing 32.5 DraftKings points per game. Late-swapping to reflect late news has been pivotal to winning GPPs this season, and I recommend building some lineups that give you the chance to pivot Powell if Lowry is inactive this evening.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 4.0%, FanDuel 12.8%
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