For Thursday night, we get a value-filled five-game slate, and below are some of my favorite NBA daily fantasy picks for both FanDuel and DraftKings based on Awesemo’s grades and values.
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NBA Daily Fantasy Picks: Awesemo Grades + Ownership | Jan. 14
Center: Kelly Olynyk
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: A
For the second straight game, the Heat will face the 76ers and only have eight healthy players at their disposal. All of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, Udonis Haslem, Maurice Harkless, Avery Bradley, K.Z. Okpala and Kendrick Nunn have been ruled out due to health concerns, while Meyers Leonard is doubtful with a shoulder injury. In this same exact situation on Tuesday, Olynyk drew the start at center and provided 37 DraftKings points in a whopping 45 minutes. That game did go to overtime, but Olynyk was second on the team in playing time and received 40 regulation minutes in the loss.
With no new bodies for Miami to use in their frontcourt, or in general for that matter, Olynyk should handle right around 40 minutes of work again on Thursday, barring a large blowout. In this current predicament, the 29-year-old is the Heat’s second-most important player after Tyler Herro, and it’s hard to imagine keeping the always-productive Olynyk out of your lineups tonight. He is scoring 0.96 DraftKings points per minute this season and 33.2 DraftKings points per game in his last 10 with over 30 minutes. Even after a sizable price increase, Olynyk is still rating as an immense value on DraftKings, and he is an even stronger value on FanDuel at a very low cost of only $5,300.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 26.6% FanDuel 50.9%
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Shooting Guard: Gabe Vincent
DraftKings Grades: C, Values: A
FanDuel Grades: C, Values: A
Vincent was dealing with a knee injury heading into Tuesday night, but the 24-year-old wasn’t limited in anyway, and he flourished in the biggest opportunity of his career. In only his second game of the season, Vincent drew the start at shooting guard for the Heat and recorded 36 DraftKings points across 36 minutes. He only trailed Herro in usage for Miami (25.5%) and Vincent was on the floor for all five minutes of the overtime, showing us Head Coach Erik Spoelstra’s confidence in the second-year guard.
There is no doubt he will start again on Thursday in this rematch with the Sixers, and we can safely projection Vincent for at least 30 minutes. He supplied right at one DraftKings points per minute on Tuesday, and Vincent’s large role with the Heat isn’t reflected at all in his cheap price tags.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 17.5% FanDuel 13.8%
Center: Nikola Jokic
DraftKings Grades: A, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: A, Values: A
With so much value at our fingertips tonight, paying up for Jokic is an easy task. The superstar center erupted for 67 DraftKings points against the Nets on Tuesday and is now generating 58.5 DraftKings points per game in his past five starts. He will be back at home this evening, for a date with the Warriors. Over the last two years, Jokic has scored 4.7 more DraftKings points per game on his home floor compared to when he is traveling on the road, and this Warriors club has been an excellent spot for centers, giving up the most total rebounds per game this season.
This West matchup currently carries an over/under game total of 224.5 points, and in the six Nuggets home games this season that have presented a total of at least 220 points, Jokic is amassing 64 DraftKings points per game. His fourth triple-double of the season is likely coming tonight, and we should be prioritizing Jokic’s ceiling in all formats.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 24.3% FanDuel 30.8%
Center: Chris Boucher
DraftKings Grades: B, Values: B
FanDuel Grades: B, Values: C
Tonight, Boucher should get slept on with a plethora of appealing options at his position. It is a forgone conclusion that he will soon enter the starting five for the Raptors, and maybe tonight is the night against the Hornets. Even if this doesn’t come true, Boucher will still be their primary center and deliver great numbers off the bench. In the Raptors’ last three, the ultra-athletic big man has contributed 42.2 DraftKings points per game with 28.4 minutes per game. During this time, it has essentially only been Boucher and Pascal Siakam seeing minutes at center for Toronto, with Alex Len playing 7.1 minutes per game and Aron Baynes not leaving the bench for a single minute of action.
Boucher is averaging an outstanding 1.4 DraftKings points per minute thus far in 2020-21, and this Hornets interior defense he will be facing is always a matchup to expose. Currently, they are surrendering the ninth-most points in the paint per game and the fourth-most rebounds per game. Boucher brings huge upside against this soft defense, and he is one of the best ways of being contrarian for this smaller slate.
Projected NBA DFS ownership projection: DraftKings 13.1% FanDuel 2.7%
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