Wednesday, Nov. 17, has a giant 11-game main slate meandering between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the player pool and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Do not forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content.
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Wednesday, Nov. 17
Yahoo Play of the Day — Jayson Tatum: Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.86 | DraftKings: 43.22
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 9% | FanDuel 17.9% | DraftKings 7.2%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $9,300 | DraftKings $10,200
This season Atlanta has been a disaster on defense, allowing 109.3 points per 100 possessions, which is the third worst in the league. Jaylen Brown (hamstring) will be sidelined yet again tonight, which means that Jayson Tatum will be the unquestioned No. 1 option on offense. Since the beginning of last season, in 1,528 minutes without Brown on the floor, Tatum has a 34.1% usage rate while averaging 1.29 Yahoo points per minute. In his last five games, Tatum has played at least 35 minutes, and in four he has tallied 44-plus fantasy points.
Kristaps Porzingis: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 37.79 | DraftKings: 38.95
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 29.4% | FanDuel 6.1% | DraftKings 27.3%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $31 | FanDuel $8,800 | DraftKings $7,400
Kristaps Porzingis has let the DFS world down time and time again when he has been placed in some amazing “on-paper” matchups. Tonight gamers are once again left with deciding whether or not to roll with the masses or take a stand and look elsewhere with 22 teams in action. Yahoo and DraftKings did not make any dramatic changes to Porzingis’ salary to account for the absence of Luka Doncic, who is going to miss the next week.
Over the last two seasons, Porzingis has averaged 1.17 Yahoo points per minute. He is averaging 1.16 fantasy points in this timeframe when sharing the court with Doncic, and without him that figure is 1.19 fantasy points per minute. The main point in this is to demonstrate that, although his fantasy production should not be dramatically different, Porzingis theoretically has a safer floor given the more available rebounds and field goal attempts, and he has access to a higher upside.
It is also important to note that Porzingis has played more than 29 minutes only three times this season while dealing with his own injuries. Fortunately, those games have been his three most recent outings, with 32, 34 and 33 minutes.
Bradley Beal: Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 38.55 | DraftKings: 39.76
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 8.8% | FanDuel 9.3% | DraftKings 1.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $37 | FanDuel $8,700 | DraftKings $9,800
Bradley Beal (bereavement) has been away from the team for the last two games, though he is expected to be in the starting lineup tonight. Ironically, Charlotte has been in the bottom five from a defensive efficiency perspective all season while playing at a top-three pace. Washington has had a dramatic overhaul since last year, turning over most of their regulars via the Russell Westbrook trade as well as bringing in Spencer Dinwiddie.
New coach Wes Unsend Jr. has done an excellent job turning around the Wizards defense, which has improved from one of the worst in the league the last two seasons into one that is in the middle of the pack. He did the same for Denver in his time as an assistant coach there, so this is something that should stick. That means the Wizards do not need to play at a frenetic pace in order to outscore their opponents. Beal is still an excellent option tonight, particularly on Yahoo and FanDuel, but his absence led to an increase in the fantasy salaries for the rest of the team, which makes them afterthoughts on the large slate.
Jalen Brunson: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 40.43 | DraftKings: 42.31
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 61.2% | FanDuel 38.7% | DraftKings 49.4%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $20 | FanDuel $6,500 | DraftKings $5,700
Jalen Brunson should move into the starting lineup with Doncic out of action. There is a strong possibility he will score 40 to 45 fantasy points, and with his projected popularity it makes sense to join the masses and roll him out in a majority of lineups. Phoenix has been playing at a faster pace, and its defense has slipped from last season. However, even with Deandre Ayton returning, they are not a team to shy away from like they were last year. Without Doncic on the court this year, Brunson is averaging 1.21 fantasy points per minute.
According to the Awesemo expert projections and rankings, Brunson is one of the top value plays tonight. Zach Brunner wrote about Brunson’s outlook at length in his NBA DFS Grades & Values articles using the Awesemo premium data and tools.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
Chimezie Metu: Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 22.35 | DraftKings: 22.77
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 15.4% | FanDuel 15% | DraftKings 17.6%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $12 | FanDuel $4,100 | DraftKings $3,800
If Chimezie Metu draws a third straight start as expected, he is an excellent source of salary flexibility on Wednesday. Metu was a second-round selection of the Spurs back in the 2018 NBA Draft and appeared in 47 games for them prior to being released. This is his second season with Sacramento, and he has made noticeable improvements in his time with the Kings. It looks like they are going to be taking a look at him to see if he will be part of their future plans, which will also include moving away from Marvin Bagley. In Metu’s two starts he has averaged 28.1 minutes, 15 points, 7.5 rebounds and two combined blocks/steals, culminating in 29 fantasy points.
Miami Heat vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are questionable, and it would not be a shock if one or both are out tonight in what would still be a winnable matchup against New Orleans. If Adebayo is out, then Dewayne Dedmon (groin) or whoever starts in the frontcourt would be an intriguing salary saver. if Butler misses a third consecutive game, then a clear boost would go to Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro. Keep an eye on the news leading up to tip-off for more clues.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Brooklyn Nets
Colin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Jarrett Allen are out for Cleveland, which represents three of their best six players. Kevin Love may be returning from his bout with COVID, and even if he is going to play 22 to 25 minutes, he could be a fantasy factor. Ricky Rubio and Darius Garland have seen their salaries move up in the absence of Sexton, but they are still in play with their increased usage and opportunities. Depending on who rounds out the starting lineup, Cedi Osman, Isaac Okoro, Dean Wade and Denzel Valentine are all secondary bargain plays.
Final Thoughts on NBA DFS picks for the Wednesday, Nov. 17 Slate
Once again there will be a ton of moving parts tonight, and then there is a wild card window of two hours between the ninth game of the slate and the twin-bill nightcap. Damian Lillard and Norman Powell are questionable for Portland, and news is still to come for the Dallas starting lineup and rotation without Doncic. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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