It should come as no surprise to NBA DFS players that the injury report is absolutely loaded for tonight’s 10-game slate. There are over a dozen key players listed as questionable at the time that I am writing this article so there is a ton of uncertainty. The top NBA DFS picks on FanDuel and DraftKings are likely to change a ton by the time this slate locks.
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Luka Doncic ($10,900 DraftKings/$10,800 FanDuel) – Picking between Doncic, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry tonight is nearly an impossible task. On DraftKings, my preference is to go with Luka. All three are in the same price range and I have Doncic projected for the most fantasy points. He’s playing at home and draws a great matchup against the Wizards who are playing on the road for the tail end of a back-to-back. Dallas can move into a tie with the Lakers for the three seed in the Western Conference with a win so I expect a full workload for Doncic in a game where Kristaps Porzingis is out.
Stephen Curry ($10,600 DraftKings/$9,700 FanDuel) – Steph is a significantly different play on FanDuel as compared to DraftKings. He’s $900 cheaper on FanDuel which makes him my priority point guard play on that site. The discount he offers compared to Westbrook and Doncic makes him the strongest play of the trio on a points-per-dollar basis. Golden State is in a funk right now but we can’t blame Curry. He is putting this offense on his shoulders and regularly playing over 35 minutes with a usage rate of 37.9% over the last two weeks.
Kevin Porter Jr. ($7,400 DraftKings/$6,100 FanDuel) – I wasn’t exactly where to include Porter because of his positional difference on FanDuel and DraftKings. He is a point guard on DraftKings and a small forward on FanDuel. No matter where we are slotting him, he’s great for fantasy. KPJ is coming off one of the best fantasy outings of the season. Against the Bucks, he exploded for 78.25 DraftKings points in a game with 50 points and 11 assists. With John Wall out for the season, Porter is going to continue to play a massive role for the Rockets.
Malachi Flynn ($4,300 DraftKings/$4,700 FanDuel) – I am not sure what the Raptors’ objective is right now. They are still in the playoff mix but don’t appear intent on trying to make the playoffs. Instead, they are regularly resting core players and today isn’t much different. Kyle Lowry is resting since this is a back-to-back situation. With him out, Malachi Flynn is likely to draw another start. As a starter, Flynn is playing 34.2 minutes per game and averaging 33.86 DraftKings points so he’s one of the better value play on the slate.
Jordan Clarkson ($7,500 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) – Clarkson is a strong play on FanDuel and a fringe play on DraftKings. With Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell out, Clarkson figures to play a big role even though this didn’t lead to many fantasy points the last couple of games. The issue has less to do with his performance and more to do with the outcome of games. Utah’s last two games were decided by 49 and 21 points which limited his minutes. Clarkson still has a usage rate over 30% in the last five games so his production should look great when the Jazz play a game that is remotely competitive.
Josh Jackson ($6,000 DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel) – As per usual, the injury list for the Pistons is long. They are tanking to the max at this point in the season which means that Jerami Grant, Rodney McGruder, Hamidou Diallo, Wayne Ellington, Cory Joseph, Dennis Smith Jr., Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor are all expected to sit tonight. Playing time and minutes are up for grabs and Jackson is the main benefactor. He averages over a fantasy point per minute as a starter and should get back to over 30 minutes tonight with so many players sitting.
Saben Lee ($3,000 DraftKings/$3,500 FanDuel) – Lee is min price on both sites. It’s tough to rely on him for big minutes but, looking at who Detroit has available, I have to imagine he will play a significant role. Above, I listed all the players that are out for the Pistons and it leaves them with just nine active players for tonight. Lee is my favorite punt play of the group since he’s proven that he’s a good per-minute fantasy producer when he gets on the court.
Top DraftKings NBA DFS Picks: Luka Doncic, Kevin Porter Jr, Malachi Flynn, Saben Lee
Top FanDuel NBA DFS Picks: Steph Curry, Jordan Clarkson, Kevin Porter Jr, Malachi Flynn
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Brandon Ingram ($8,300 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) – Life is easier when the plays are uniform across both sites. This is unfortunately not the case tonight. Small forward is a tough position to fill on FanDuel outside of Kevin Porter Jr. and Ingram is $800 cheaper there than he is on DraftKings. Ingram isn’t offering a ton of ceiling but he’s scored at least 33 FanDuel points in 12 of his last 13 games so he’s a prime target for cash games.
Christian Wood ($8,700 DraftKings/$8,700 FanDuel) – Even though this is the tail end of a back-to-back, I expect Wood to play for the Rockets. He sat out the last time they played on consecutive games but he was dealing with ankle soreness. He played in the three previous back-to-backs so he shouldn’t have any issues tonight. Wood is on a tear now that he is healthy. He’s scored over 50 DraftKings points in each of the last three games and it’s encouraging for his upside that Houston is allowing him to play upwards of 40 minutes.
Thaddeus Young ($5,400 DraftKings/$5,100 FanDuel) – I had to add Young to this list because of injury reasons. Although he only played 19 minutes last night, the Bulls could wind up shorthanded tonight. Both Lauri Markkanen and Nikola Vucevic were late additions to the injury report and are listed as questionable. If either or both of them sit out then we can anticipate Young playing extended minutes against the Hawks.
Kent Bazemore ($4,600 DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel) – Due to salary difference, Bazemore is more of a DraftKings option than a play on FanDuel. He returned from a COVID absence last game and showed no ill effects of time off the court. Bazemore immediately got into the action and scored 34.5 DraftKings points in 33 minutes. For tonight, both Kelly Oubre and Draymond Green are questionable which could force Bazemore into playing even bigger minutes than normal. As is, he’s expected to start even if everybody is healthy.
Moritz Wagner ($3,300 DraftKings/$3,500 FanDuel) – I was on the wrong side of Wagner last night but I’m going right back to the well. Starting for the Magic for the first time last night, he looked like a strong value option. With Chuma Okeke still out and only nine players active for Orlando, I expect Wagner to draw another start. I oddly am more encouraged about Wagner for tonight after his outing from yesterday. Even though he sucked, Wagner played 28 minutes and he remains cheap. This is a guy who scores about a fantasy point per minute for his career so I have to project him well on a points per dollar basis if he gets the same playing time he had last night.
Top DraftKings NBA DFS Picks: Kent Bazemore, Mo Wagner
Top FanDuel NBA DFS Picks: Brandon Ingram, Christian Wood, Mo Wagner
Nikola Jokic ($10,900 DraftKings/$10,700 FanDuel) – I prefer paying up positions other than center, but if you have the salary, Jokic is the best pay-up option at the position. Priced as a near-lock to win MVP at sportsbooks, Jokic is seeing an uptick in usage rate since Jamal Murray tore his ACL. Jokic’s usage is north of 30% across the Nuggets’ last seven games. Despite this, his salary has actually dropped a bit recently. This is because three of the Nuggets’ last four games were decided by double-digits and led to Jokic playing reduced minutes. His playing time should increase in an expected close game against the Clippers.
Guillermo Hernangomez ($4,800 DraftKings/$4,700 FanDuel) – Hernangomez is currently my highest priority play at center. Steven Adams is out again which means Hernangomez moves back into the starting. This is a role he has thrived in as of late. He scored over 30 fantasy points in each of his last two starts and his salary has barely moved. The cheap salary for Hernangomez doesn’t make much sense when considering his recent success, his history as a guy who scores over a fantasy point per minute, and when also weighing that he is averaging over 30 DraftKings as a starter this season.
Daniel Theis ($4,400 DraftKings/$5,300 FanDuel) – Theis makes this list for the same reason that Thad Young is listed. With Vucevic and Markkanen both questionable to play, there could end up with a ton of minutes to fill in the Bulls’ frontcourt. Theis is a fade if they both end up playing but a starting center role would instantly make him one of the top values on DraftKings.
Top DraftKings NBA DFS Picks: Nikola Jokic, Guillermo Hernangomez
Top FanDuel NBA DFS Picks: Nikola Jokic, Guillermo Hernangomez
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