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
D’Angelo Russell ($7,400 DraftKings/$7,400 FanDuel) has averaged 1.14 DraftKings points per minute and 33.4 minutes per game in 10 games since returning from injury on Nov. 8. He has a 26.7% usage rate and 30.6% assist rate in those games. He has an excellent matchup tonight against the Charlotte Hornets, who are third in pace and 21st in defensive rating so far this season.
Terry Rozier ($6,000 DraftKings/$6,300 FanDuel) had a huge fantasy performance against Orlando in his last game. And though that came largely from six steals and a block, there were a couple of positive takeaways. First, Rozier played about 37 minutes, marking the second straight game that he played more than 34 minutes. He has averaged 32 to 33 minutes per game this season, so it is possible that he is going to see a bit more playing time moving forward. Rozier has averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute this season with a 23.5% usage rate.
Jalen Suggs ($5,200 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel) will be playing without Cole Anthony again tonight as Orlando takes on the Chicago Bulls. Suggs has only averaged 24.2 minutes per game in three games without Anthony this season, but that is skewed by 17 minutes in a massive blowout loss to the Bucks two games ago. In the other two games without Anthony, Suggs has played 25.4 minutes in a blowout and about 30 minutes in a competitive game. Suggs has averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute with a 27.5% usage rate and 23.3% assist rate in 256 minutes without Anthony on the floor this season. In the three games that Anthony has missed, Suggs has produced 1.01 DraftKings points per minute with a 31.7% usage rate and 27.3% assist rate.
Malik Beasley ($3,900 DraftKings/$4,500 FanDuel) started the second half in place of the injured Patrick Beverley and played a total of 37.5 minutes against Miami on Wednesday. It remains to be seen whether Beasley will start or come off the bench tonight, but there should be more minutes available either way. He has only produced 0.75 DraftKings points per minute this season, but his salary is cheap enough that the increased playing time is enough to make him one of the better values on the slate.
Anthony Edwards ($7,500 DraftKings/$7,900 FanDuel) erupted for 69.5 DraftKings points against Miami on Wednesday and he gets a great matchup tonight against the Hornets. Edwards has averaged 1.13 DraftKings points per minute with a 27% usage rate in 36.5 minutes per game in the 10 games since Russell returned from injury.
EMac is also extremely high on Edwards in this matchup tonight. Find all of EMac’s top plays in his NBA DFS Building Blocks article today.
Harrison Barnes ($6,100 DraftKings/$6,600 FanDuel) is questionable for tonight’s game against the Lakers. If he is able to play, he is underpriced for the big role that he will play in a favorable matchup. Los Angeles is 2nd in pace and 19th in defensive rating this season. Barnes has averaged 35 minutes per game and 0.96 DraftKings points per minute. If he does not play, it will be easy enough to swap to Buddy Hield or one of the other Sacramento wings.
Wendell Carter Jr. ($5,600 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) should be one of the most popular options on tonight’s slate as he has multi-position eligibility, and his price tag does not make much sense. Carter has averaged 1.08 DraftKings points per minute and is likely to play 28-plus minutes tonight against his former team as long as the Magic are able to hang in the game.
Franz Wagner ($4,300 DraftKings/$5,100 FanDuel) had a strong bounce-back effort in his last game after a horrendous performance against Milwaukee two games ago. Wagner played about 33 minutes against Charlotte last game, and he should get similar playing time tonight if the game is competitive. Wagner has averaged 0.78 DraftKings points per minute so far this season.
Nikola Jokic ($11,500 DraftKings/$11,300 FanDuel) is listed as questionable for tonight’s game and he has not played since Nov. 18. However, he was seemingly very close to playing on Wednesday. Assuming Jokic is able to play, he should not be limited since he only missed about a week, and it was a wrist injury. Jokic is the best point-per-minute producer in the NBA right now as he has averaged 1.95 DraftKings points per minute without Michael Porter Jr. on the floor this season.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,500 DraftKings/$8,800 FanDuel) is another top option from Minnesota tonight in their matchup against the Hornets. Towns has produced 1.25 DraftKings points per minute in 34.5 minutes per game since Russell’s return, and 1.31 DraftKings points per minute in 34.5 minutes per game in the 16 games that he has played with Russell active this season.
Mo Bamba ($6,400 DraftKings/$6,800 FanDuel) offers plenty of volatility in GPPs thanks to his ability to rack up defensive stats. Bamba has averaged 3.3 blocks and 1.5 steals per 100 possessions this season. He is also second on Orlando, to Wendell Carter Jr., with a 15.8% rebounding rate. Overall, he has averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute this season.
Terry McBride is loving Bamba as a leverage play on tonight’s slate. Check out all of his best leverage plays in the NBA DFS Optimal Lineup Picks today.
Jakob Poeltl ($5,700 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel) played about 31 minutes two games ago in his first start since returning from the COVID list. Last game, he played about 29 minutes and lost four to five minutes to garbage time. As a result, it is clear that he is underpriced now that he should get starter’s minutes. Poeltl has averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute this season.
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We also have Yahoo! ownership rankings, DraftKings NBA ownership rankings and FanDuel ownership rankings for today's slate. Check out our NBA daily fantasy sports rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own daily fantasy basketball projections. Our NBA daily projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more NBA DFS picks today DraftKings and the best NBA DFS picks today? View our DraftKings ownership, our Yahoo! NBA ownership and our FanDuel ownership.
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