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The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Today | Paul George 11/5

Adam Scherer

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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.

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The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Strategy

Guard

De’Aaron Fox ($8,400 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) has struggled to start the season, producing only 0.95 DraftKings points per minute. There are reasons to be concerned. His usage rate has decreased from 30.7% last season to 27.5% this season. His assist rate has also decreased from 32.6% to 25.8%. The decrease in assist rate is also backed up by a decrease in potential assists from 13.9 per 36 minutes last season to 10.4 per 36 minutes this season. One “positive” for Fox going forward is that he has shot extremely poorly this season. He has a 41.3% effective field goal percentage and 19% three-point rate this season compared to a 52.3% effective field goal percentage and 32.2% three-point rate last season. The reason that this is a positive is that shooting slumps are typically short-term issues and he is likely to return to his previous averages as the season goes on. When his shot starts falling, there is also a good chance that his usage rate increases. Fox’s salary is falling quickly to account for his mediocre production, and he has an excellent matchup tonight against the Hornets, who are 27th in defensive rating and fourth in pace so far this season.

Caris LeVert ($6,800 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) played 31.1 minutes in his last game and appears to be back at full strength after missing the beginning of the season. Through his first 70 minutes played this year, LeVert has averaged 1.30 DraftKings points per minute with a 35.8% usage rate and 30.4% assist rate. While those rates should decrease over a larger sample, he has averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute in 16 games alongside Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis since the start of last season. He has a 25.5% usage rate and 16.9% assist rate in those games. There is plenty of upside for him tonight at a mid-range price tag.

Darius Garland ($6,500 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel) is one of several Cleveland players who is a strong mid-range option tonight thanks to their eight-man rotation. Garland played 36.4 minute against the Blazers on Wednesday, and he should get another 34 to 36 minutes tonight against Toronto. Garland has averaged 0.96 DraftKings points per minute this season with a 23.2% usage rate and 35.3% assist rate. The matchup against Toronto does leave a lot to be desired, however, as they are sixth in defensive rating and 29th in pace so far this season.

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Cade Cunningham ($4,600 DraftKings/$4,200 FanDuel) remains one of the top value options across the industry tonight as he faces the Brooklyn Nets. Cunningham has yet to have an efficient game in the NBA, but he has played 29.2 and 31.8 minutes in two games since the Pistons announced that he would no longer be on a minutes restriction. He leads the Pistons with a 28.6% usage rate through his first three games and he is also third on the team in potential rebounds per game and second in potential assists per game. Regardless of how you view Cunningham as an NBA prospect, there is no debate that his 29.5% true shooting will get better over time. He remains the most mispriced player on the slate tonight; look no further than his 39.5 DraftKings points on 4-for-17 shooting last night to understand why.

Patrick Beverley ($4,000 DraftKings/$5,000), somewhat surprisingly, returned to action and played about 31 minutes in place of D’Angelo Russell in his last game. Russell is out again tonight, and Beverley should remain in the starting lineup. While it is not a lock that he plays north of 30 minutes again, it is reasonable to expect 28 to 30 minutes based on the rotation that Minnesota used in their first game without Russell. Beverley has produced 0.86 DraftKings points per minute in 85 starts over the last three seasons and 1.10 DraftKings points per minute in 62 minutes alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards this season.

Forward

Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,800 DraftKings/$11,300 FanDuel) has a relatively unappealing matchup against the New York Knicks, who are 27th in pace this season and have allowed the fifth fewest points in the paint this season, and he is expensive. Still, he looks like one of the top pay-up options tonight as he is the most productive per-minute players in NBA DFS. Antetokounmpo has averaged 1.76 DraftKings points per minute this season, and while Jrue Holiday is scheduled to return to action, he will still be playing without Khris Middleton. Antetokounmpo has averaged 1.68 DraftKings points per minute with a 33.8% usage rate, 16.5% rebounding rate and 42% assist rate in 798 minutes without Middleton on the floor since last season.

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Paul George ($10,400 DraftKings/$10,800 FanDuel) has been difficult to roster at times this season because his salary was too close to the next level of star options like Antetokounmpo. That is not the case tonight, particularly on DraftKings. There is a $1,400 gap in salary between George and Antetokounmpo and pricing is relatively tight across the board so that could make a big difference in roster construction. George has been excellent without Kawhi Leonard this season, averaging 1.52 DraftKings points per minute with a 33.2% usage rate, 12% rebounding rate and 25.4% assist rate.

Miles Bridges ($8,200 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) is second on the Hornets with a 25.3% usage rate this season, and he has also contributed an 11.4% rebounding rate and 13.6% assist rate. He leads the team with 35.7 minutes per game and he has produced 1.25 DraftKings points per minute. Concerns with Bridges have been that Gordon Hayward may not continue to only command a 20.6% usage rate, and Terry Rozier missed several games, which opened up more usage for Bridges. Still, in 105 minutes alongside Rozier, Bridges has maintained a 24% usage rate and he has averaged 1.34 DraftKings points per minute. Bridges could also benefit from the expected absence of P.J. Washington tonight as it could result in more minutes with the second unit.

Jaren Jackson, Jr. ($5,600 DraftKings/$6,300 FanDuel) remains mispriced in his matchup against the Wizards. While Jackson has been somewhat disappointing this season with 1.03 DraftKings points per minute in 26.5 minutes per game, his reduced salary is more in line with his floor than his median production or his ceiling. Jackson is likely to play 30 minutes whenever he can avoid foul trouble and he has a healthy 23.9% usage rate this season.


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Center

Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,700 DraftKings/$10,200 DraftKings) is similar to Paul George in that it has been difficult to roster him at times this season because of the similarly priced alternatives around him. That is less the case tonight as there is a bigger gap in salary between Towns and the very top options on the slate. He has been an excellent fantasy producer so far this season with 1.37 DraftKings points per minute in 34.7 minutes per game. He also is likely to see an increased usage rate as D’Angelo Russell’s 28.6% usage rate is replaced in the starting lineup by Patrick Beverley’s 14.1% usage rate. Towns has a 29.2% usage rate without Russell on the floor this season compared to 27.8% alongside him, and he has a 30.3% usage rate without him on the floor since the start of last season.

Jonas Valanciunas ($8,700 DraftKings/$8,600 FanDuel) finally got a bit of an in-game breather as he only played 29.2 minutes against the Kings last game, but that should not be the case going forward based on how he has been utilized so far this season. Through the Pelicans’ first nine games, Valanciunas has averaged 33.8 minutes per game with 1.30 DraftKings points per minute. He has a difficult matchup tonight against the Golden State Warriors, who boast the league’s best defensive rating this season, but Valanciunas is one of the best rebounders in the NBA, so his fantasy production is not overly reliant on putting the ball in the basket. He also will have a size advantage against Golden State’s small frontcourt and is athletic enough that he is likely to be able to stay on the floor.

Richaun Holmes ($6,500 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) was ejected after picking up his fourth foul a few minutes into the second half of his last game. Assuming that he can avoid foul trouble, and refrain from throwing his headband into the fifth row, he projects as a top center option tonight against Charlotte. Holmes has typically played 30 to 32 minutes in competitive games this season and he has averaged 1.23 DraftKings points per minute with a strong 18.8% rebounding rate.

Mason Plumlee ($5,700 DraftKings/$5,700 FanDuel) will be matching up against Holmes and he projects as a strong value tonight as well. Plumlee’s production has been down this season as he is on a team with several high usage players and strong rebounders. Still, he has produced 0.88 DraftKings points per minute, and he is in line for increased playing time tonight with P.J. Washington expected to miss the game. Plumlee played about 32 minutes in regulation in both games that he has played without Washington this season, compared to 24.9 minutes per game in seven games with Washington active.

Steven Adams ($4,700 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel) is underpriced for his average role and production as a member of the Grizzlies. Adams has averaged 26.4 minutes per game this season, but that number is skewed by a three game stretch where he played 18 minutes against Portland, 21 minutes against Golden State and 19 minutes against Miami. Adams dealt with foul trouble and a blowout in the game against Portland. He lost playing time against Golden State as Memphis used small lineups for most of the second half. He did not play in the fourth quarter of a blowout against Miami. Foul trouble or blowout could be in play tonight, but the Wizards use Montrezl Harrell and Daniel Gafford for 48 minutes, so it is unlikely that Adams loses playing time for matchup reasons. It is likely that he plays about 30 minutes tonight and he has averaged 1.03 DraftKings points per minute this season.

Ivica Zubac ($4,000 DraftKings/$4,600 FanDuel) finally played a full allotment of minutes against the Timberwolves in his last game, finishing with 34.4 minutes in the Clippers’ win. There is certainly no guarantee that he duplicates those minutes tonight, but it is the same matchup, and it makes sense for the Clippers to want him on the floor for as many of Towns’ minutes as possible. There have been other games this season where it seemed likely that Zubac would play extended minutes and it did not happen, but at his price point there is plenty of margin for error. In seven starts this season, Zubac has averaged 22.2 minutes per game. In five starts without Marcus Morris, he has averaged 23.7 minutes per game. He has produced 0.89 DraftKings points per minute. He projects as a strong value in 24 to 26 minutes and knowing that there is the potential for more playing time gives him a nice ceiling as well.


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

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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