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
Bradley Beal ($9,400 DraftKings/$8,700 FanDuel) has a difficult matchup against Miami, but he is in line for an increased workload with Spencer Dinwiddie taking the night off. Beal has averaged 1.24 DraftKings points per minute with a 34.1% usage rate and 31.7% assist rate in 207 minutes without Dinwiddie on the floor this season, compared to 1.02 DraftKings points per minute with a 30.2% usage rate and 25% assist rate in 187 minutes alongside him
D’Angelo Russell ($7,400 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) played 34.4 minutes against Sacramento last night as he continues to see increased playing time since returning from injury. Russell’s production can be inconsistent since he has to share the ball with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns, but he still has averaged 1.08 DraftKings points per minute with a 27.3% usage rate and 29.1% assist rate this season.
Monte Morris ($4,700 DraftKings/$5,100 FanDuel) benefits from the absences of Michael Porter Jr. and Will Barton because they are replaced by low usage players in Jeff Green and Austin Rivers. While Nikola Jokic dominates Denver’s offensive possessions, there are still more opportunities available for Morris with Barton and Porter sidelined. Morris has averaged 0.77 DraftKings points per minute with an 18% usage rate and 19.4% assist rate in 416 total minutes this season, but he has produced 1.04 DraftKings points per minute with a 21.7% usage rate and 21.8% assist rate in 79 minutes without Porter or Barton on the floor.
Note: Will Barton has been updated to questionable. If he plays, Morris’s production would likely take a hit. Bones Hyland (mentioned below) would also become a weaker play.
Patrick Beverley ($4,200 DraftKings/$4,700 FanDuel) has remained in the Timberwolves starting lineup even after the return of D’Angelo Russell. In six starts alongside Russell, Beverley has averaged 0.82 DraftKings points per minute in 29.9 minutes per game. In competitive games, Beverley is typically playing 32 to 34 minutes. He projects as one of the top point-per-dollar values tonight.
Beverley is one of the most popular value options tonight, and he was popping in our lineup optimizer when running optimals. Our DraftKings NBA cheat sheets and FanDuel NBA cheat sheets are free and give you an inside look at how our premium tools and projections are optimizing lineups tonight.
Bones Hyland ($3,400 DraftKings/$4,500 FanDuel) is a risky option tonight, but he also offers plenty of upside. Hyland only played 10.6 minutes against the Mavericks on Monday, but he suffered an ankle injury during the game, and it was also a game where Monte Morris played several minutes more than he normally does. In Denver’s previous game, Hyland played 22.9 minutes against the Blazers. His minutes are volatile, but he has produced 1.01 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he is likely to exceed his salary if he lands on the right side of playing time variance. Other wings like Austin Rivers and P.J. Dozier offer similar playing time volatility, but Rivers has only produced 0.41 DraftKings points per minute this season, while Dozier has averaged 0.75 DraftKings points per minute, so Hyland is my preferred option.
Paul George ($11,000 DraftKings/$10,100 FanDuel) has been excellent without Kawhi Leonard this season. George has averaged 35 minutes per game this season and he has produced 1.41 DraftKings points per minute in 490 total minutes. He leads the Clippers with a 34.2 usage rate and a 25.6% assist rate this season. His 12.4% rebounding rate is also the best among non-centers.
Tobias Harris ($8,800 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) stands out as a top option on FanDuel, and he offers a high ceiling on DraftKings as well. He has a difficult matchup in Denver tonight, but he has increased opportunities for production with Joel Embiid still sidelined. Harris has averaged 1.20 DraftKings points per minute with a 29.2% usage rate, 10.3% rebounding rate and 29% assist rate in 127 minutes without Embiid on the floor this season. His assist rate decreases alongside Tyrese Maxey and his rebounding rate decreases alongside Andre Drummond, but he has maintained an increased usage rate regardless of who is on the floor.
Anthony Edwards ($7,700 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel) is still a work in progress as far as efficiency goes, but he is playing huge minutes for the Timberwolves, and he is certainly not afraid to shoot the ball. Edwards has averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute and 36.8 minutes per game in 12 games played alongside Russell this season.
Zach Brunner is loving Edwards’ outlook for tonight’s matchup and elaborates on how he is one of the top values in his NBA DFS Grades & Values article.
Draymond Green ($6,700 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) takes on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a significant pace-down spot tonight. Still, he is affordably priced as a mid-range forward option. Green has averaged 29.7 minutes per game this season and typically plays about 32 minutes in competitive games. It is also possible that he picks up an extra minute or two with Andre Iguodala sidelined tonight. Green has produced 1.07 DraftKings points per minute so far this season.
Aaron Gordon ($5,300 DraftKings/$5,100 FanDuel) has benefited from an increase in playing time thanks to the absences of Porter and Barton. While his production and rates have not increased, he is affordable against a short-handed 76ers team tonight. For the season, Gordon has produced 0.82 DraftKings points per minute, and he is likely to play about 36 minutes tonight if the game is competitive.
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Nikola Jokic ($12,000 DraftKings/$11,600 FanDuel) is expensive, but he has been on a different level than just about every other player in the NBA this season. Overall, Jokic has produced 1.76 DraftKings points per minute with a 31.9% usage rate, 22.6% rebounding rate and 33.5% assist rate this season. In 103 minutes without Porter or Barton, he has averaged 1.91 DraftKings points per minute with a 38.6% usage rate, 25.3% rebounding rate and 40% assist rate. Jokic typically plays about 35 minutes in competitive games and is my preferred pay-up option tonight against Philadelphia.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,500 DraftKings/$9,800 FanDuel) does not offer the same production as Jokic, but he is also considerably less expensive. Towns has a high ceiling based on his talent level, but he has to contend with two other high usage options in Russell and Edwards. Towns has averaged 1.31 DraftKings points per minute and 35.6 minutes per game in the 12 games that he has played alongside Russell this season.
Bam Adebayo ($8,400 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel) is listed as probable for tonight’s game against the Wizards after missing the last two games. Adebayo has been excellent this season, averaging 1.21 DraftKings points per minute with a 27% usage rate, 17.4% rebounding rate and 14% assist rate. In the games that he has played alongside Jimmy Butler, Adebayo has averaged 1.27 DraftKings points per minute and 32 minutes per game. He has a difficult matchup against the Wizards, but his price tag is reasonable.
Ivica Zubac ($5,100 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) could be one of the beneficiaries of Nicolas Batum’s likely absence. Zubac played 31.3 minutes against San Antonio in the Clippers’ last game where Batum was limited to 14 minutes and Terance Mann was out. Mann is questionable tonight. If he returns, Zubac’s minutes become riskier. If he misses the game, however, it becomes more likely that the Clippers close big since they would be without all of Mann, Batum, Justise Winslow and Marcus Morris.
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