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
Stephen Curry ($11,900 DraftKings/$10,800 FanDuel) faces the Suns in what should be a fast-paced game. Golden State has played at the sixth fastest pace this season while the Suns have played at the fourth fastest. Curry has been excellent this season, averaging 1.47 DraftKings points and 1.40 FanDuel points per minute with a 30.8% usage rate and 30.6% assist rate.
EMac has Curry written up as his favorite play of the day in his NBA DFS Building Blocks article. Check it out to see who else EMac is building his NBA DraftKings and FanDuel lineups around.
Luka Doncic ($11,800 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel) takes on one of the least efficient defenses in the NBA in the New Orleans Pelicans. He will most likely be doing so without Kristaps Porzingis as well. Doncic has averaged 1.31 DraftKings points per minute in five games without Porzingis this season and 1.48 DraftKings points per minute in 31 games without him since the start of last season. By comparison, he has averaged 1.61 DraftKings points per minute in 52 games without Porzingis over that time. Doncic’s average production has not improved without Porzingis, but he is still a top option tonight in a great matchup.
James Harden ($11,500 DraftKings/$10,400 FanDuel) has played better recently, averaging 1.50 DraftKings points per minute and 36.8 minutes per game over his last ten games. He has a 29.5% usage rate and 40.7% assist rate over that time compared to a 27.9% usage rate and 39.8% assist rate over the entire season. He has also averaged 9.5 free throw attempts per game over his last ten games compared to 7 per game overall this season. It is likely that Harden has figured out how to play within the new rules and that officials have found a middle ground between the old rules and the new rules. Harden should continue to produce at a high level going forward.
Chris Paul ($8,400 DraftKings/$8,700 FanDuel) faces the Warriors without Devin Booker tonight. He has played 1,053 minutes without Booker on the floor since the start of last season and he has averaged 1.29 DraftKings points per minute with a 23.6% usage rate and 48.2% assist rate over that time. He is likely to play about 36 minutes tonight against Golden State.
Cole Anthony ($8,200 DraftKings/$8,300 FanDuel) played about 37 minutes in his return to Orlando’s lineup last game and he has a great matchup tonight against the Houston Rockets, who lead the league in pace. Anthony has been one of the few bright spots for Orlando this season and he has performed at a high level from a DFS perspective as well. Anthony has averaged 1.16 DraftKings points per minute with a 26.5% usage rate, 10.6% rebounding rate and 28.3% assist rate in 582 total minutes played. He has played 342 minutes without Jalen Suggs on the floor and has averaged 1.25 DraftKings points per minute with a 28.7% usage rate and a 33.3% assist rate.
Adam Strangis loves Anthony tonight in the NBA player props betting market — especially this RIDICULOUS NBA PROP BET. Check out all the rest of his favorite bets in his NBA Picks & Parlays article today.
Tyler Herro ($7,500 DraftKings/$7,000 FanDuel) will need to take on an even bigger workload for Miami with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo sidelined. Herro has averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute with a 29.3% usage rate and 19.3% assist rate in 640 minutes played this season. He has played 173 minutes without Butler or Adebayo on the floor and has averaged 1.11 DraftKings points per minute with a 32.3% usage rate and 20.0% assist rate.
Caris LeVert ($5,700 DraftKings/$4,800 FanDuel) has only produced 0.84 DraftKings points per minute in 12 games played alongside Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis this season. He has only averaged 26.9 minutes per game in those games, however, and his salary reflects that. LeVert’s playing time has increased recently and it is likely that he plays 32 to 34 minutes tonight against a depleted Miami team.
Jalen Brunson ($4,900 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel) looked like a strong option tonight before Kristaps Porzingis became unlikely to play and he looks even better now. Brunson is likely to play 28 to 30 minutes off the bench and he will probably be on the floor for every minute that Doncic is not. If we assume that Doncic plays about 36 minutes and Brunson plays about 28, that would mean about 43% of Brunson’s minutes should be without Doncic or Porzingis and 57% should be alongside Doncic without Porzingis. He has averaged 0.83 DraftKings points per minute in 185 minutes alongside Doncic without Porzingis this season and 1.25 DraftKings points per minute without either player on the floor.
Chris Duarte ($4,400 DraftKings/$4,800 FanDuel) started and played 35 minutes against Atlanta in Indiana’s last game. He should get similar playing time with Justin Holiday and T.J. McConnell sidelined. Duarte’s fantasy production takes a hit with all of Brogdon, Sabonis and LeVert healthy as he has averaged just 0.63 DraftKings points per minute with a 16.8% usage rate, 6.7% rebounding rate and 8.4% assist rate in four starts with that trio active this season. In 93 minutes with them all on the floor, Duarte has averaged 0.67 DraftKings points per minute with an 18.3% usage rate, 4.2% rebounding rate and 5.9% assist rate. He projects as a strong point-per-dollar value based on his playing time, but he is unlikely to be a large part of the Pacers offense.
Paul George ($10,300 DraftKings/$9,200 FanDuel) has a favorable matchup against the Lakers, who have played at the third fastest pace this season. George is having a strong season without Kawhi Leonard, averaging 1.32 DraftKings points per minute with a 34.7% usage rate and 26.4% assist rate in 35.5 minutes per game.
John Collins ($7,000 DraftKings/$7,700 FanDuel) has averaged 1.06 DraftKings points per minute in 32.2 minutes per game this season. He has averaged 33.5 minutes per game in his last ten and is likely to see around 34 minutes again tonight against Philadelphia. He is a strong mid-range option at power forward.
Wendell Carter, Jr. ($6,500 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) leads the Magic with a 17.5% rebounding rate this season and he has averaged 1.08 DraftKings points per minute. He is likely to play about 32 minutes in a great spot against the Rockets tonight.
Jarred Vanderbilt ($4,800 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel) is expensive on FanDuel, but he is reasonably priced on DraftKings. He played 33.5 minutes against Washington on Wednesday and Jaden McDaniels is out again tonight for the Timberwolves so there are plenty of minutes available for Vanderbilt as long as he can avoid foul trouble. He leads the team with a 19% rebounding rate this season and he has averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute in 14 games started.
Maxi Kleber ($4,100 DraftKings/$4,700 FanDuel) only played 16.4 minutes against New Orleans on Wednesday, but he should see plenty more minutes tonight as long as Porzingis misses the game. Prior to his last game, Kleber had played 25, 30 and 36 minutes in his last three games. It is likely that he plays at least 26 to 28 minutes tonight, if not more. He has produced 0.78 DraftKings points per minute in 24 games without Porzingis since the start of last season.
Danilo Gallinari ($4,100 DraftKings/$4,600 FanDuel) played 29.3 minutes off the bench against the Pacers on Wednesday and Cam Reddish is out again tonight so Gallinari is likely to get extended run. He has averaged 0.79 DraftKings points per minute this season and projects as a strong value option as long as he approaches 30 minutes again.
Terrence Ross ($3,100 DraftKings/$3,800 FanDuel) is difficult to trust, but he offers plenty of upside at close to minimum salary. Ross has averaged 23.9 minutes per game over his last 10 games. In those games, he has produced 0.70 DraftKings points per minute with a 21.2% usage rate and 15.2% assist rate.
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Deandre Ayton ($7,400 DraftKings/$7,800 FanDuel) played 34.3 minutes against Golden State a couple of games ago and played 33 minutes against Detroit last night. He has now averaged 1.16 DraftKings points per minute and 31.5 minutes per game in 10 games since returning from injury.
Mo Bamba ($6,400 DraftKings/$7,200 FanDuel) has averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute this season with a 16.4% usage rate and a 16.0% rebounding rate that is the second highest on the team. He has also contributed 3.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per 100 possessions. Houston has allowed the third most blocks per game and the most steals per game this season, so this sets up as an excellent spot for Bamba.
LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,000 DraftKings/$5,700 FanDuel) had a disappointing game against the Knicks his last time out, but he did play about 32 minutes which is an encouraging sign going forward. Aldridge has averaged 1.07 DraftKings points per minute in 189 minutes alongside Harden and Durant this season. One possible negative for Aldridge is that Nicolas Claxton appears set to return from injury, but it is likely that his return takes minutes from Paul Millsap and does not cut into Aldridge’s playing time too much.
Dewayne Dedmon ($4,800 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) has played 29, 25 and 31 minutes in his last three starts after being limited to 17 minutes by foul trouble in his first start. Adebayo is out for the foreseeable future, so we should continue to see Dedmon in the starting lineup. He has averaged 1.02 DraftKings points per minute in 169 minutes without Butler or Adebayo on the floor this season and he is likely to play around 30 minutes tonight as long as he can avoid foul trouble.
Dwight Howard ($3,600 DraftKings/$5,200 FanDuel) played 35.1 minutes against the Kings on Tuesday and he is now the Lakers’ starting center. LeBron James is probable tonight and, if he plays, it is unlikely that the Lakers will need Howard to play anywhere close to 35 minutes. Still, he is near minimum salary on DraftKings and has averaged 1.02 DraftKings points per minute this season. The most likely outcome is that he plays 18 to 20 minutes and is a reasonable point-per-dollar value. There is certainly a chance, however, that he plays quite a bit more than that- particularly if he is playing well so there is a lot of upside here with limited downside.
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View our FanDuel ownership, our Yahoo! ownership and our DraftKings NBA ownership. Check out our NBA FanDuel rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DFS projections FanDuel. Our NBA daily fantasy projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. We also have DraftKings rankings, Yahoo! NBA ownership rankings and FanDuel NBA rankings for today's slate. Looking for more DFS NBA today and the top NBA DFS picks for today?
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