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The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | Tuesday, 7/6

Adam Scherer

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NBA best bets betting picks player props today tonight free expert odds lines predictions optimal advice tips strategy Warriors vs. Suns Stephen Curry Devin Booker Chris Paul over/under moneyline assists parlays rebounds points steals

This is Awesemo’s primary in-depth NBA DFS article, and it will be free this season. The goal of this article is not 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 will have a better feel for the slate. 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 NBA DFS picks for any type of contest on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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Tune into our NBA Fantasy Basketball Live Before Lock show at 8 p.m. ET for the best expert advice and picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups for tonight’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals with the Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks.


NBA DFS Deep Dive: DraftKings + FanDuel Picks | July 6

Note: Giannis Antetokounmpo was upgraded from “doubtful” to “questionable” on the 1:30 injury report. For the sake of this article, the assumption is he will not play tonight. If he does play, it is a downgrade to every player on the Bucks.

Studs

Khris Middleton has played 10 games alongside Jrue Holiday and without Antetokounmpo this season, including the final two games of the series against Atlanta. In those 10 games, Middleton has produced 1.27 DraftKings points per minute, a 29.5% usage rate and 25.4% assist rate. He averaged 43 minutes per game in the two games against Atlanta will likely get 40-plus minutes tonight. In the 65 games, including the postseason, that Middleton has played alongside Antetokounmpo and Holiday this season, he has averaged 1.14 DraftKings points per minute, a 24.8% usage rate and 21.8% assist rate. He projects as the top scorer on tonight’s slate if Antetokounmpo is unable to play.

Chris Paul has been excellent in the postseason, aside from the stretch of games against the Lakers where he was dealing with a shoulder injury. He has averaged 1.19 DraftKings points per minute, 32.8 minutes per game, a 24.4% usage rate and a 41.4% assist rate. Those numbers include the series against Los Angeles, however. In the four-game series against Denver, Paul produced 1.44 DraftKings points per minute in 35.7 minutes per game, and in the four games that Paul played against the Clippers, he averaged 1.23 DraftKings points per minute and 36.7 minutes per game. Paul’s relative value will increase if Antetokounmpo is able to play tonight because it would cause him to compare favorably to Middleton and Holiday, but he is a top option regardless.


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Devin Booker is a bit more difficult to trust than Paul since he is more one dimensional, but he still has an extremely high ceiling. In the 14 games that Booker has played alongside Paul this postseason, he has averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute and 40.2 minutes per game. He has a 31% usage rate and 17.6% assist rate. His per-minute production does not compare favorably to any of the other top-priced options tonight, but that could keep his ownership relatively low in tournaments, and Booker can take over any individual game offensively.

Jrue Holiday has produced 1.31 DraftKings points per minute, a 26.8% usage rate and a 33.8% assist rate in the 10 games that he has played without Antetokounmpo and with Middleton this season. In those games Holiday averaged 33.8 minutes. In the two postseason games that he has played without Antetokounmpo Holiday has averaged 42.1 minutes per game. Like Middleton, he can be expected to play 40-plus minutes again tonight.

In the 65 games that Holiday played alongside Antetokounmpo and Middleton this season, including the postseason, he has produced 1.09 DraftKings points per minute, a 21.3% usage rate and a 26.3% assist rate.

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Mid-Range

Deandre Ayton has taken a huge leap forward this postseason, though it has not necessarily translated into fantasy production. Ayton has only produced 0.97 DraftKings points per minute in 14 games played alongside Paul this postseason, compared to 1.08 DraftKings points per minute during the regular season. His playing time has increased substantially, however, as he has averaged 36.1 minutes per game in those postseason games compared to 30.6 minutes per game in the regular season.

Brook Lopez sees a modest increase in production when Antetokounmpo is sidelined, and he is also likely to play more minutes. Lopez has produced 0.97 DraftKings points per minute in 10 games without Antetokounmpo this season compared to 0.86 DraftKings points per minute when all three of Milwaukee’s stars are active. Lopez played 38.1 minutes per game in the two games that Antetokounmpo sat against Atlanta, compared to an average of 29.6 minutes per game in 15 games played alongside Antetokounmpo this postseason. If Antetokounmpo is out and Milwaukee continues to start Bobby Portis alongside Lopez, Lopez should continue to approach 40 minutes per game since his primary backup is now playing a different position.

Bobby Portis will not have any value at his current price if Antetokounmpo is active, but he currently has the highest chance of success relative to his DraftKings’ salary if Antetokounmpo is out tonight. Portis started both games that Antetokounmpo missed against Atlanta and averaged 1.02 DraftKings points per minute and 34.1 minutes per game. In 10 total games without Antetokounmpo and with Middleton and Holiday this season, including the postseason, Portis has produced 1.28 DraftKings points per minute in 28.7 minutes per game. He started seven of those games and averaged 1.23 DraftKings points per minute in 31.1 minutes per game.

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Value

Pat Connaughton could continue to see an increased role if Antetokounmpo is out, though it is not guaranteed. In the two games that Antetokounmpo missed against Atlanta,  Connaughton showed his floor and his ceiling. He played 21.1 minutes off the bench in the first game but followed it up with 30.1 minutes in the second game. His playing time is volatile and his salary has increased, but he still offers value if he happens to play about 30 minutes again tonight. He has produced 0.86 DraftKings points per minute in 24 minutes per game in the 10 games that he has played without Antetokounmpo this season, but Donte DiVincenzo’s absence opens the door for more potential Connaughton minutes as well. Pay attention to Connaughton’s ownership in tournaments because he is at a point where he is clearly overpriced if he plays the bottom of his minutes range and underpriced if he reaches the top of his range.

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Cameron Johnson was ruled out late prior to Phoenix’s final game against the Clippers, but he is healthy for tonight’s opener against Milwaukee. Johnson has averaged 0.76 DraftKings points per minute in 19.9 minutes per game in the 13 games that he has played alongside Paul this postseason. One potential threat to Johnson’s minutes tonight is that Torrey Craig played extremely well in his absence, but assuming Craig returns to a non-rotation role, Johnson should get about 20 minutes.

Dario Saric has only averaged 10.9 minutes per game this postseason since Ayton has played a ton of minutes as the starting center. Saric has been relatively productive when he is on the floor, however, producing 0.91 DraftKings points per minute. He is far from a safe option since 10 to 11 minutes of playing time is not much, but he is also one of the least expensive rotation options on tonight’s slate.


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View our FanDuel ownership, our Yahoo! NBA ownership and our DraftKings ownership. Check out our daily fantasy basketball rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own best NBA DFS projections. We also have Yahoo! ownership rankings, FanDuel NBA rankings and DraftKings ownership rankings for today's slate. Our DFS NBA projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more NBA DFS and the best NBA DFS tools?

Adam "ShipMyMoney" Scherer has been playing and analyzing DFS full-time since quitting law school in 2016. He has qualified for the 2016 FanDuel MLB Playboy Championship, the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship (3x) and the 2019 DraftKings Fantasy Basketball World Championship. You can find him on Twitter at @ShipMyMoneyDFS or by emailing [email protected].

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