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The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel | Wednesday, 6/9

Adam Scherer



NBA DFS Picks Deep Dive DraftKings FanDuel Daily Fantasy Basketball Optimal lIneups

This is our primary in-depth NBA DFS strategy and picks 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 NBA daily fantasy basketball picks for any type of contest on DraftKings and FanDuel. With just Game 2 of the Nuggets vs. Suns series on the slate tonight, it’ll be all Showdown and Single-Game strategy for tonight.

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NBA DFS Deep Dive: DraftKings + FanDuel Picks | June 9

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Nikola Jokic is in a tier by himself, as he costs $2,000 more than anyone else on DraftKings. On FanDuel, he is not much more expensive than several other players, which makes him an even better option. Nobody in this game has the same ceiling or range of outcomes as Jokic, which is exemplified by his fantasy point projections being double-digits more than the next-closest player. He has averaged 1.69 DraftKings points per minute, a 32.9 percent usage rate, 17.6 percent rebounding rate and 38.5 percent assist rate in 31 games without Jamal Murray between the regular season and the postseason. In the postseason specifically, Jokic has averaged 1.54 DraftKings points per minute, a 36 percent usage rate, 16.7 percent rebounding rate and 23 percent assist rate. He should play 36 to 38 minutes tonight if the game is competitive.


Devin Booker led the Suns with 38.4 minutes in the first game of the series, which isn’t surprising since he averaged more than 40 minutes per game in the first round against the Lakers. Had the first game come down to the wire, Booker would have finished with about 41 minutes. He should play another 40 to 41 minutes tonight, as Booker has averaged 1.11 DraftKings points per minute, a 30.2 percent usage rate and 23.6 percent assist rate in the postseason.

Chris Paul appeared healthy in the series opener, as he played 35.6 minutes and lost a couple of minutes to garbage time. The Suns limited his playing time in the final games against the Lakers, so it is good to see that he is back to normal. He also produced at a high rate with 49 DraftKings points in his nearly 36 minutes of play. In the postseason, Paul has averaged 1.02 DraftKings points per minute. He averaged 1.24 DraftKings points per minute during the regular season, however, and he should produce similarly to that rate going forward since his year-to-date postseason production was hampered by his shoulder injury.

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Deandre Ayton averaged about 37 minutes in three meetings against Jokic during the regular season, and he played 36.4 minutes in the first game of this series. Ayton averaged 36 to 37 minutes per game against the Lakers in the first round, and that should be the case in this series as well. Ayton averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute during the regular season but has only averaged 0.92 DraftKings points per minute in the postseason. There is a good chance that his production will increase moving forward, however, because the Nuggets aren’t as strong defensively as the Lakers are.

Michael Porter Jr. is questionable tonight with lower back tightness. If he is able to play, he is one of the higher-upside options in the mid-range. Porter has averaged 34.1 minutes per game and 0.94 DraftKings points per minute in seven games this postseason, but he showed off his ceiling in the final two games against the Trail Blazers. He also produced 1.12 DraftKings points per minute in 33.8 minutes per game without Murray during the regular season. Porter’s defensive issues keep him from being likely to play the 36-plus minutes that many starters get in the regular season, but he is inexpensive enough to settle for 33 or 34 minutes. If he sits, minutes will be distributed between a combination of JaMychal Green, Paul Millsap and Aaron Gordon, among others.


Jae Crowder has averaged 0.81 DraftKings points per minute and 31.4 minutes per game in seven games this postseason. He isn’t a particularly reliable option from game to game since he is a relatively low -sage player who doesn’t contribute a lot in the way of assists or rebounds, but his inconsistency keeps his salary deflated. Crowder has averaged 7.9 3-point attempts per game this postseason, and if his shot is falling, he has the ability to be one of the best point-per-dollar plays on the slate.

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Cameron Johnson played 13.8 minutes in the first game of the series, and about two of those minutes came in garbage time. Johnson will not get a ton of time, but he has averaged 19.1 minutes per game this postseason — though that is skewed upward somewhat by Crowder’s foul trouble early in the series against the Lakers. Johnson has averaged 0.76 DraftKings points per minute in the postseason and the regular season alike. There is not much use for Johnson on FanDuel, but he could be a useful piece on DraftKings that will allow for getting the more expensive players into lineups without sacrificing at Captain.

Torrey Craig is another DraftKings-specific value, as it is unlikely he will serve much of a purpose on FanDuel. Craig is only $2,200 on DraftKings, however, and played about 17 minutes in the first game of the series. While he isn’t known as a great fantasy option, Craig actually produced at a respectable rate this season, with 0.89 DraftKings points per minute in 50 total games. So far in the postseason, he has averaged 1.06 DraftKings points per minute in 11.3 minutes per game.

Be sure to check out today’s NBA Strategy Show with Loughy and Josh!

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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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