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The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Today | Nikola Jokic 11/1

Adam Scherer



The NBA Deep Dive is our most in-depth NBA DFS article, offering analysis of some of the top picks and optimal strategy for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups on the slate today. Used in conjunction with Awesemo’s NBA DFS projections, ownership projections and Boom/Bust tool, it should help you to improve the quality of your lineups. With news breaking throughout the day and the NBA injury reports being released, the best place to find all of today’s starters is our Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page.

The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Strategy


Damian Lillard ($9,600 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel) is a luxury pay-up option on DraftKings, but he stands out as a priority at an extremely inexpensive FanDuel salary. Lillard has struggled so far this season with only 1.03 FanDuel points per minute, but he has shot extremely poorly with only 46.2% true shooting. Lillard has made just 23.2% of his three-pointers this season compared to 39.1% last season. He still has a healthy 28.3% usage rate this season and is playing 38 to 40 minutes in competitive games. He will snap out of his shooting slump sooner than later.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,800 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) always carries some risk because he is on a horrible team that is going to be blown out frequently. The blowout risk is factored into his price, however, as he has averaged 1.19 DraftKings points per minute with a 28.6% usage rate since the start of last season. His production has fallen a bit this season with only 1.06 DraftKings points per minute, but he still has a 27.3% usage rate. The only minor concern is that it is likely that Josh Giddey continues to eat into his assist numbers a bit going forward. Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 33.3 minutes per game this season, which is in line with last year’s average and accounts for the blowout risk since he will play 36-plus minutes in competitive games.

Reggie Jackson ($6,000 DraftKings/$5,700 FanDuel) is not the most exciting name on the board but he leads the Clippers with 34 minutes per game this season and he is affordably priced. Jackson has offered modest production with 0.79 DraftKings points per minute, but he has a respectable 21% usage rate, and his 41.2% true shooting has nowhere to go but up.

Collin Sexton ($5,900 DraftKings/$6,400 FanDuel) only played 18.7 minutes in his last game, but there is no reason to read into that as the Cavaliers allowed a 19-2 run to close the first half and then a 27-6 run to open the second half. All five of Cleveland’s starters were benched at that point and three of them, including Sexton, never returned. There is reason for optimism with Sexton’s minutes as Isaac Okoro will be sidelined once again. His absence opens up more minutes for Sexton, as evidenced by the 37.5 minutes he played against the Clippers two games ago. Kevin Love is also out tonight, and while he does not play the same position as Sexton, his absence further thins out Cleveland’s rotation.

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Jalen Suggs ($5,300 DraftKings/$5,100 FanDuel) continues to be priced closer to his floor than his ceiling. He has struggled to produce at a high level out of the gate, but he is getting plenty of opportunities. Suggs has averaged 29.4 minutes per game so far this season and he leads Orlando with a 26.3% usage rate. He is also second to Cole Anthony, who is playing excellent basketball and is also a reasonable option tonight, with a 20.7% assist rate. Suggs’ true shooting is just 43.2%, so even if he is not a great shooter, it is likely to increase going forward. He has averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute despite his poor shooting, so he appears to be a high floor option who probably has a higher ceiling than he is getting credit for.

Eric Bledsoe ($4,700 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel) is another inexpensive option from the Clippers. Bledsoe has averaged 26.6 minutes per game and 0.91 DraftKings points per minute this season. His opponent, Oklahoma City, is one of the worst teams in the league and they have allowed the third most points per 100 possessions so far this season.

Alex Caruso ($4,100 DraftKings/$4,900 FanDuel) is a weird name to mention on a full slate when all four of the Bulls’ best offensive players are active, but he has been a solid DFS option this season and his price remains inexpensive. Caruso has averaged 28 minutes per game through Chicago’s first six games and he is frequently in the closing lineup. The chances of him closing in the future are even higher since the Bulls will be without Patrick Williams for the rest of the season. Caruso has produced 0.78 DraftKings points per minute so far this season.

Delano Banton ($3,000 DraftKings/$3,700 FanDuel) has secured a spot as one of the primary bench options for Toronto and he has a chance for increased playing time tonight with Scottie Barnes doubtful. Banton has produced 0.91 DraftKings points per minute with season with an 18.4% usage rate, 9.6% rebounding rate and 18.5% assist rate. The Raptors have a number of players who are capable of playing multiple positions, which means that there are a number of ways that Nick Nurse can use his roster to soak up Barnes’ vacated minutes. Banton should be one of the players that benefits, and he makes for a strong value option at minimum salary (or close to it).

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Tobias Harris ($9,100 DraftKings/$7,400 FanDuel) is a much better play on FanDuel than he is on DraftKings, but the absence of Joel Embiid makes him a viable option on DraftKings as well. Harris has played 450 minutes without Embiid or Ben Simmons on the floor since the start of last season and he has produced 1.26 DraftKings points per minute with a 31% usage rate, 12.3% rebounding rate and 25.1% assist rate. It is important to keep in mind that Andre Drummond is a higher usage player than last year’s back-up center, Dwight Howard, so Harris’s usage could decrease from the numbers that he posted without Embiid last season. Still, he is going to need to carry the Sixers’ offense and that makes him an appealing option.

John Collins ($6,800 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) has averaged 29.1 minutes per game so far this season and he has frequently lost playing time because of foul trouble. Expect at least 30 minutes from Collins tonight if he can avoid foul trouble and there is certainly the potential for more. Collins has produced at a high level this season with 1.21 DraftKings points per minute.

Al Horford ($6,500 DraftKings/$7,600 FanDuel) found a time machine and/or a competent team and is producing at a high level this season. He leads the Celtics with 1.32 DraftKings points per minute and has averaged 30.3 minutes per game through his first four games. His per-minute production is likely to decrease as the sample size grows, but he did produce 1.13 DraftKings points per minute with Oklahoma City last year as well so there was never any reason to think he was washed from a DFS standpoint.

Jaren Jackson Jr. ($5,400 DraftKings/$6,300 FanDuel) has not been as good as expected so far this season with only 0.95 DraftKings points per minute in 27.3 minutes per game. His salary on DraftKings decreased way too much, however, so he is a glaring value tonight. Ja Morant is also questionable, and if he misses the game, Jackson will become even more valuable, as he has averaged 1.21 DraftKings points per minute with a 28.3% usage rate in 722 minutes without Morant on the floor since Jackson entered the league in 2018.

Josh Giddey ($5,200 DraftKings/$6,000 FanDuel) has only averaged 28.2 minutes per game this season but he has produced 1.05 DraftKings points per minute, which is second best on Oklahoma City just behind Gilgeous-Alexander. Luguentz Dort is out tonight, so Giddey could soak up a few extra minutes as well.

Chris Boucher ($4,000 DraftKings/$4,500 FanDuel) projects as one of the most popular value options tonight. He is a strong value, as he has averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute this season. Even if Barnes were active, Boucher would have upside in tournaments assuming he would play about 18 minutes. With Barnes unlikely to play, there is a path to more minutes for Boucher. However, the mistake is assuming Boucher has to take on a much larger role. The Raptors have plenty of depth and their rotation could go a variety of ways. Khem Birch could play more minutes alongside Precious Achiuwa instead of just backing him up. O.G. Anunoby could defend the four with Svi Mykhailiuk getting more minutes on the wing. Isaac Bonga could be inserted into the rotation. Anunoby could defend the four, with Delano Banton getting more minutes alongside Fred VanVleet in the backcourt. It is likely that Boucher gets enough of an uptick in minutes to be a strong value, but the industry appears to think that he is going to push 30 minutes of action.

If he starts alongside Achiuwa, his playing time outlook is much stronger as it would signal that Nurse is looking to play a big frontcourt with Boucher alongside Achiuwa. If he comes off the bench, he still looks like a strong value. He just would be a bit riskier.


Nikola Jokic ($11,000 DraftKings/$11,200 FanDuel) is a top pay-up option on a slate that is quickly producing a lot of value. Jokic has been excellent this season, as expected, with 1.81 DraftKings points per minute. Jokic can be expected to play at least 34 or 35 minutes as long as tonight’s game against Memphis is competitive. He once again leads the Nuggets in usage rate, rebounding rate and assist rate at 31.9, 25.1 and 30.0%, respectively.

Wendell Carter Jr. ($5,700 DraftKings/$6,400 FanDuel) has only averaged 27.2 minutes per game this season but he leads the Magic with 1.11 DraftKings points per minute. He has an excellent 19.2% rebounding rate and has averaged 0.9 more rebound chances per game than Mo Bamba in almost five less minutes per game. The playing time is obviously a concern, but Carter’s upside is coming at a discount in the games that he does play about 30 minutes.

Andre Drummond ($4,400 DraftKings/$5,400 FanDuel) will be the most popular player on tonight’s slate with Embiid sidelined, and he deserves it. He is likely to approach 30 minutes at a very inexpensive price tag. He has produced 1.41 DraftKings points per minute so far this season and 1.41 DraftKings points per minute over the last three seasons.

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

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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