NBA daily fantasy is back. There is a two-game slate to begin the season tonight, with the favorites in the East starting things off. The night will end with a few of the biggest stars in the West attempting to prove their teams can bounce back. While this is the first game of the season, remember that this is still that NBA, meaning there is injury news to monitor. Most of the important NBA DFS news looks to be out of the way, but there are a few pieces of news on players from the second game yet to be released. Be sure to check the Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page to see who is in, who is out and who is starting as news breaks, and look at the NBA DFS rankings and projections for both DraftKings and FanDuel lineups tonight.
NBA Daily Fantasy Picks: Awesemo Grades Today | October 19
Power Forward: Giannis Antetokounmpo
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: B
Usage will always be there for Giannis Antetokounmpo, as will the minutes. However, his minutes may be slightly increased tonight, with the Bucks a bit short-handed. Donte DiVincenzo, Bobby Portis, Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye are all out.
Giannis is at his best on DraftKings, where he is underpriced at $10,000 and center eligible. The center position on this slate has a lot of uncertainty, so getting a value with someone as strong as Antetokounmpo looks to be a great place to begin building a lineup. He has put up at least 53 fantasy points on DraftKings in nine of his past 10 matchups against Brooklyn. Look for him to make a statement in the first game of the year in front of a rowdy home crowd. Via Awesemo’s projections, Giannis is projected to play 35.4 minutes tonight, which is the fifth most on the slate.
NBA DFS Ownership Projection: DraftKings 48.7%, FanDuel 55.1%
Shooting Guard: James Harden
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: B
The other star on this slate who looks great to pay up for is James Harden, who is a point guard and shooting guard on both sites. FanDuel is providing a bit more flexibility this season. However, DraftKings is providing the better value on Harden, as he is priced at only $9,300. With no Kyrie Irving, Harden has been fantastic for Brooklyn. When Harden and Kevin Durant share the floor without Irving, Harden has a 27% usage rate and averages around 1.5 fantasy points per minute. Harden is projected to play 37.1 minutes tonight, which is the most on the slate. At his per-minute pace, this would extrapolate to 55.65 fantasy points, though there will be times Harden where will have a higher usage with Durant off the floor. In other words, Harden should be a fantastic play on both sites tonight.
NBA DFS Ownership Projection: DraftKings 57.8%, FanDuel 52.6%
Shooting Guard: Jordan Poole
DraftKings Grades: C, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: C, Values: A
After back-to-back stars, it will be necessary to find some cheaper plays that are also great values. Much like Harden, Jordan Poole is eligible at both point guard and shooting guard on both sites. He also brings a modest price for someone that will likely be a starter, priced at only $4,800 on DraftKings and $4,900 on FanDuel. The Warriors need someone to step up offensively to take a bit of pressure off Stephen Curry. Poole proved last season that he is capable of filling that role, averaging 14.7 points and 2.3 made 3’s over the final 36 games last season. Poole is projected to play 30 minutes tonight, which is the fourth most among the Warriors starters. However, if the Lakers lock down Curry and Andrew Wiggins struggles to create his own shot, Poole could get even more floor time tonight. He seems as safe as it gets at this salary tier.
NBA DFS Ownership Projection: DraftKings 65.8%, FanDuel 71.0%
Power Forward: Draymond Green
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: C
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: B
Make sure to check out Awesemo’s NBA Rankings since the pricing on both sites is drastically different, leading to different players being different values. Draymond Green is clearly a better play on FanDuel, but he is also still a fine play on DraftKings, as he should be expected to tally high rebounding and assist numbers tonight. If he gets matched up with Carmelo Anthony, Green could get a decent number of steals and even some points. He is always a double-double and triple-double threat, which is great for a player priced in the mid-tier.
Green is projected to play 33.1 minutes. He averaged 1.05 NBA DFS points per minute last season when sharing the floor with Curry and Wiggins. However, the entire Warriors team could try a bit harder tonight given it is a game against a Western Conference contender. Plus, the Warriors’ slate is wiped clean, so they would like to start on the right foot.
NBA DFS Ownership Projection: DraftKings 24.8%, FanDuel 40.3%
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Looking for more NBA DFS plays tonight and the best NBA DFS picks today? We also have FanDuel ownership rankings, Yahoo! NBA ownership rankings and DraftKings NBA ownership rankings for today's slate. Our best DFS NBA 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 daily fantasy sports rankings NBA for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DFS projections today.
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