This is our primary in-depth NBA daily fantasy article, and it will be free this season. The goal of this article isn’t just to give you a few plays to plug into your lineup, but to dig a little bit deeper into why projections may (or may not) like certain players. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a better feel for the slate as a whole. Combining the context from this article with the raw data that is available in our Boom/Bust tool, Projections and Ownership Projections should allow you to build strong lineups and make optimal DFS NBA picks today for any type of contest on DraftKings and FanDuel.
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I plan to update this article with notes at the top until about 5 p.m. EST each day. After that, be sure to check out the Deeper Dive show with Loughy and me from 5 to 6 every weekday and Live Before Lock in the hour leading up until lock each day on the Awesemo YouTube channel.
NBA DFS Deep Dive: DraftKings + FanDuel Picks | June 11
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Trae Young ($9,300 DraftKings/$9,700 FanDuel) struggled last game as he shot just 1-for-7 from 3-point territory and 6-for-16 from the field overall. He still managed to contribute 43.25 DraftKings points in about 38 minutes thanks to 11 assists and nine free-throw attempts. While the Sixers’ change in defensive strategy (using Ben Simmons as Young’s primary defender) made life difficult for Young, he reinforced that he has a high floor thanks to his ability to create for others and to get to the line. He has averaged 1.34 DraftKings points per minute and 37 minutes per game in seven games this postseason.
Ben Simmons ($7,700 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) played an excellent game on the defensive end but struggled mightily from a DFS standpoint in his last game. Simmons only had three field goal attempts and two free throw-attempts in the game. While Simmons has averaged 1.15 DraftKings points per minute in 48 games with Joel Embiid this season, including the postseason, there is reason for concern since his offensive production could decrease as he expends more energy on the defensive end. Still, there is a lot of upside at a $7,700 price point on DraftKings where he can get a double-double or triple-double bonus. Simmons is the No. 3 point guard in the Awesemo daily fantasy basketball projections with a 39.18 point projection tonight.
Chris Paul ($7,100 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) has played excellent basketball in the first two games of the series against Denver and he appears to be fully healthy. Paul has scored 38 points with 26 assists and one turnover through the first two games of the series. While he will not continue producing 1.50 DraftKings points per minute like he has in the first two games of the series, there is no reason that he should not at least produce the 1.24 DraftKings points per minute that he did during the regular season. Paul should also play 36-plus minutes per game as long as the game is competitive. He stands out as a top mid-range value.
Facundo Campazzo ($5,200 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel) is available at a price point where it can be difficult to find players worth rostering. While Campazzo has a relatively low floor since he can lose playing time to a variety of players and he isn’t a high usage option, he does offer a high assist rate and has a path to minutes in the mid-thirties if he is playing well. Campazzo has averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute and 28.9 minutes per game in eight total games this postseason. In the two games against Phoenix, Campazzo has produced 0.69 DraftKings points per minute in 32.6 minutes per game.
Top DraftKings Picks: Trae Young, Ben Simmons, Chris Paul
Top FanDuel Picks: Trae Young, Chris Paul
Devin Booker ($8,400 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) played 33.1 minutes in three quarters of Phoenix’s blowout win last game after playing 38.4 minutes in the series opener (and losing about two minutes to garbage time). Booker has been one of the postseason leaders in minutes per game with 39.6. He has averaged 1.10 DraftKings points per minute with a 29.3 percent usage rate and 21.3 percent assist rate in those games.
Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,400 DraftKings/$6,800 FanDuel) struggled with only 27.75 DraftKings points in about 41 minutes of action last game. The playing time is very encouraging, however, as he has produced 0.91 DraftKings points per minute this postseason. De’Andre Hunter is out for the rest of the postseason, so he could play a few extra minutes for Bogdanovic as a result. He is also a candidate to take on a bigger scoring role if the Sixers continue to use Ben Simmons to make life difficult on Young. Bogdanovic led the Hawks with 5.9 catch-and-shoot field goal attempts per game during the regular season and he leads the team with 6.4 catch-and-shoot attempts per game during the postseason. Bogdanovic is a top value play in the Awesemo daily fantasy basketball projections, having a 35.48-point projection tonight.
Seth Curry ($5,300 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) isn’t a great fantasy producer, but he offers a useful combination of an inexpensive salary and relatively consistent playing time. Curry has averaged 29.6 minutes per game in the postseason with 0.85 DraftKings points per minute. He has played about 36 and 29 minutes in the first two games of the series against the Hawks. In 48 total games with Joel Embiid active this season, including the postseason, Curry has averaged 0.77 DraftKings points per minute and 29.4 minutes per game.
Kevin Huerter ($4,700 DraftKings/$5,300 FanDuel) is one of the primary beneficiaries of Hunter’s absence. Huerter has played 28.9 and 35.6 minutes in the first two games of the series against the Sixers. Huerter has averaged 0.88 DraftKings points per minute and 25.9 minutes per game overall this postseason and there is a very good chance that he increases his average playing time again tonight.
Top DraftKings Picks: Devin Booker, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter
Top FanDuel Picks: Devin Booker, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter
Michael Porter Jr. ($6,900 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) carries plenty of risk tonight as he was clearly hampered by his back injury in his last game. He is listed as probable for tonight’s game so hopefully that is a sign that he is feeling better. While he is a risky option because of the injury (in addition to his normal volatility), there isn’t really a “safe” option at this position. Porter offers obvious upside at a reduced price point. He has averaged 1.07 DraftKings points per minute and 33.7 minutes per game in 31 total games without Jamal Murray this season, including the postseason. In the postseason specifically, Porter has produced 0.92 DraftKings points per minute in 33.3 minutes per game.
Mikal Bridges ($4,900 DraftKings/$6,100 FanDuel) is underpriced on DraftKings in particular. Bridges played 28.6 minutes last game, but likely lost about six minutes to garbage time. In the first game of the series, Bridges played 34.2 minutes and lost about two minutes to garbage time. Bridges has averaged 0.75 DraftKings points per minute and 32.9 minutes per game in eight total games this postseason.
Danilo Gallinari ($4,800 PF DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel) is only a power forward on DraftKings, but he is small forward eligible on FanDuel. Small forward is a difficult position to find two strong options at, so Gallinari’s presence is welcome. Gallinari was awful in the first game against the Sixers and only played about 18 minutes. He followed it up with a strong second game, however. There are plenty of minutes available for Gallinari again tonight with Hunter out. Gallinari should play 24 to 26 minutes, and he has produced 0.86 DraftKings points per minute this postseason and 0.94 DraftKings points per minute overall this season.
Top DraftKings Picks: Michael Porter, Mikal Bridges
Top FanDuel Picks: Michael Porter, Danilo Gallinari
Tobias Harris ($8,000 DraftKings/$8,800 FanDuel) is relatively expensive, but he is likely to be the second scorer for the Sixers tonight. Harris had 19 field goal attempts last game, which could be related to Simmons’ defensive assignment. Harris has played 36 and 37 minutes in the first two games of this series, and he should continue playing 36 to 38 minutes in competitive games. Harris has averaged 1.10 DraftKings points per minute with a 23 percent usage rate, 11.8 percent rebounding rate and 16.4 percent assist rate in 49 total games alongside Embiid this season, including the postseason.
John Collins ($5,800 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) is difficult to trust as he has struggled this postseason. In five games against the Knicks and two games against the Sixers, Collins has averaged 0.82 DraftKings points per minute. He has just a 15.6 percent usage rate in the postseason, so his decrease in production is more concerning than it would be if he were simply shooting poorly. On the positive side, Collins has averaged 30.4 minutes per game, and he has played 34 and 35 minutes in the two games against Philadelphia. His average postseason playing time would be even higher had he not fouled out of one of the games against the Knicks in about 16 minutes. Collins averaged more than 1 fantasy point per minute during the regular season, so there is certainly upside for more production than he has had so far this postseason as well. There is more upside than downside at his current price point, but keep in mind that the floor is still relatively low given the decreased usage rate this postseason.
Aaron Gordon ($5,400 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel) played only about 20 minutes in Denver’s blowout loss last game, but he has averaged 28.8 minutes per game in eight games this postseason. In those games, Gordon has produced 0.85 DraftKings points per minute, which is in line with his regular season production as a member of the Nuggets as well. Gordon’s playing time in competitive games typically ranges from 28 to 33 minutes, so he projects as a reasonable value at his current salary.
Jae Crowder ($5,100 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) only needed to play 25.5 minutes last game, but he has played 32 to 34 minutes in competitive games where he is able to avoid foul trouble. Crowder can be inconsistent since he is a relatively low usage player with a 16 percent usage rate this postseason, but his salary hasn’t increased much so he still projects as a strong value as long as he is able to play north of 30 minutes. He has produced 0.82 DraftKings points per minute so far this postseason.
JaMychal Green ($3,500 DraftKings/$4,200 FanDuel) is a risky option but he is also a cheap option. He is coming off the bench for a deep Denver team, and it is unclear exactly how the rotations will change as Will Barton plays more minutes. For example, if Barton plays more minutes at the three, Michael Porter and Aaron Gordon could play more minutes at the four at the expense of Green. Green has played at least 20 minutes in five straight games, however, and he has averaged 20.8 minutes per game and 0.82 DraftKings points per minute this postseason. There isn’t much cheap value to be excited about on this slate, which makes Green stand out as a valuable salary saver. Keep in mind in tournaments, however, that optimizers will most likely point people in this direction, and it could lead to Green being drastically over-owned for a player who is likely to score less than 20 fantasy points.
Top DraftKings Picks: Tobias Harris, John Collins, Jae Crowder, JaMychal Green
Top FanDuel Picks: Tobias Harris, John Collins, Jae Crowder
Nikola Jokic ($10,700 DraftKings/$10,600 FanDuel) is always one of the top options and tonight is no different. Jokic was relatively disappointing in the first game of the series, but he followed it up with 24 points and 13 rebounds in just 30 minutes last game. Jokic has now averaged 1.56 DraftKings points per minute and 35.4 minutes per game in five games against Deandre Ayton this season. Jokic has a 35.4 percent usage rate, 17.3 percent rebounding rate and 25.2 percent assist rate in eight games this postseason, averaging 1.57 DraftKings points per minute.
Joel Embiid ($10,300 DraftKings/$11,000 FanDuel) is questionable tonight, but based on his playing time and performance in the first two games, he should play. Embiid has averaged 36.4 minutes per game in the first two games of this series and he has been extremely productive with 1.77 DraftKings points per minute. He has a 40 percent usage rate and 18.4 percent rebounding rate through the first two games. Overall this season, Embiid has averaged 1.63 DraftKings points per minute. He is neck and neck with Jokic for the top play on the slate.
Clint Capela ($7,300 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) is another member of the Hawks’ frontcourt that is playing more minutes per game in the postseason than he did during the regular season, but who is also producing at a much lower rate. Capela has averaged 32.9 minutes per game this postseason compared to 30.1 minutes per game in the regular season. His usage rate has decreased from 19.9 percent to 12.3 percent, however, and his rebounding rate has decreased from 26.1 percent to 20.3 percent. As a result, he has gone from averaging 1.34 DraftKings points per minute to 0.94 DraftKings points per minute. His regular season numbers are a reminder that he has a massive ceiling, but we can’t overlook his role change in the postseason — especially in a difficult matchup against Joel Embiid where he is going to have his hands full on the defensive end of the floor.
Deandre Ayton ($6,800 DraftKings/$7,400 FanDuel) has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the postseason as he has played excellent basketball. While it hasn’t necessarily translated to fantasy production — Ayton is averaging 0.93 DraftKings points per minute in the postseason compared to 1.09 DraftKings points per minute during the regular season — it has led to increased playing time. Ayton played 30.7 minutes per game in the regular season and has played 35 minutes per game this postseason. He only played 25.7 minutes last game, but he didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter. In five meetings with Jokic this season, Ayton has averaged 1.10 DraftKings points per minute and 34.9 minutes per game.
Top DraftKings Picks: Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Deandre Ayton
Top FanDuel Picks: Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Deandre Ayton
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