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The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Today | Will Barton 11/10

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.

With so many injuries popping up throughout the day in the NBA, Adam Strangis has all the NBA injury report news in one place, tracking all of the breaking news on who is and who is out for starting lineups today in his Daily NBA Injury Report.

The Deep Dive: NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Strategy

Guard

Zach LaVine ($7,600 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel) is affordably priced tonight against the Dallas Mavericks. He leads Chicago in usage rate and assist rate this season at 30.4% and 21.9%, respectively. The matchup is not the most appealing as Dallas ranks 24th in pace and 15th in defensive rating this season, but LaVine has a massive ceiling for his price tag.

D’Angelo Russell ($7,100 DraftKings/$7,300 FanDuel) has only averaged 29.8 minutes per game this season, but he played 35.8 minutes in regulation against the Grizzlies in his first game back from injury. Russell has averaged 1.08 DraftKings points per minute this season with a 28.5% usage rate and 27.4% assist rate. Golden State has been the most efficient defense in the league this season, but they have also played at the fifth fastest pace. Minnesota is 10th in pace, so there should be plenty of possessions in this game. If Russell is going to continue to play 35 minutes in competitive games moving forward, his salary will not be this low for much longer.

Darius Garland ($6,600 DraftKings/$6,500 FanDuel) is likely to see increased usage with Collin Sexton sidelined. Since the start of last season, Garland has averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute with a 25.7% usage rate and 33.7% assist rate in 815 minutes without Sexton compared to 0.9 DraftKings points per minute with a 24.3% usage rate and 28.1% assist rate alongside Sexton. His rates should decrease a bit this season with the addition of Ricky Rubio, but he will still play 30 to 40% of his minutes without either of Rubio or Sexton on the floor tonight assuming Cleveland staggers his minutes with Rubio’s.

Will Barton ($6,300 DraftKings/$6,000 FanDuel) will need to take on a much bigger role in Denver’s offense with Nikola Jokic suspended for tonight’s game. Barton has played 256 minutes without Jokic or Jamal Murray on the floor since the start of last season. In that sample, he has produced 1.11 DraftKings points per minute with a 26.2% usage rate and 25.2% assist rate. He is likely to play about 35 minutes tonight against the Pacers, who are 24th in defensive rating this season.

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Barton is showing up well in all of the Awesemo models, tools and projections tonight. Alex Hunter has a full breakdown of why Davis is, of course, a top option tonight, as he is popping in the Awesemo Boom/Bust Tool.

Dennis Schroder ($6,100 DraftKings/$6,000 FanDuel) started and played 38.8 minutes against the Mavericks in his last game and he has now averaged 33.9 minutes in regulation in four starts this season. He has averaged 0.96 DraftKings points per minute this season and 0.94 DraftKings points per minute in those starts. He does have an unappealing matchup against the Raptors tonight, who rank 10th in defensive rating and 29th in pace this season.

Cade Cunningham ($5,200 DraftKings/$4,800 FanDuel) has only produced 0.81 DraftKings points per minute through his first four NBA games, but the opportunity is there for so much more. Cunningham leads the Pistons with a 30.2% usage rate, and he is second to Cory Joseph with an 18.3% assist rate. His 11.2 rebounding rate is the best on the team amongst non-centers as well. Cunningham is likely to played at least 30 minutes in a favorable matchup against the Rockets tonight.

Ricky Rubio ($5,200 DraftKings/$5,500 FanDuel) is projected to be one of the most popular players on tonight’s slate — and for good reason. Rubio started the second half against the Knicks after Sexton left with an injury and he played about 18 minutes in the half. It is reasonable to expect Rubio to play 34 to 36 minutes against the Wizards tonight and he has been a strong per-minute producer this season with 1.11 DraftKings points per minute. Rubio’s 23.8% usage rate is the highest among tonight’s projected starters and he leads the team with a 36.9% assist rate. In 120 minutes alongside Garland, Rubio has maintained a 22.4% usage rate and 30.8% assist rate, there should not be much of a decrease in production in his time with the starting unit. The only negative for Rubio tonight is that his opponent, the Washington Wizards, have been a strong defensive team so far this season under new coach Wes Unseld Jr. Washington is fifth in defensive rating and 14th in pace this season after consistently being one of the fastest teams and least efficient defenses in the league in previous seasons.

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Monte Morris ($4,400 DraftKings/$4,300 FanDuel) is the only Nuggets starter who is not projected for much ownership tonight, and it is unclear why. Morris has averaged 0.99 DraftKings points per minute with a 21.5% usage rate and 29.3% assist rate in 381 minutes without Murray or Jokic on the floor since the start of last season. He played 30.5 minutes against Miami in Denver’s last game, and he should play around 30 minutes again tonight.

Forward

Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,100 DraftKings/$6,300 FanDuel) has been relatively disappointing from a fantasy standpoint with 1.05 DraftKings points per minute and tons of foul trouble this season. The foul trouble has plagued him throughout his career and is likely to be an issue going forward. The per-minute production could increase going forward, however, as Taylor Jenkins said after his last game that he is becoming more comfortable using Jackson at center. Jackson has averaged 1.31 DraftKings points per minute in 129 minutes without Steven Adams on the floor this season compared to 0.82 DraftKings points per minute in 139 minutes alongside Adams. For a better comparison, he has averaged 0.81 DraftKings points per minute in 136 minutes alongside Adams and Ja Morant compared to 0.99 DraftKings points per minute in 56 minutes alongside Morant without Adams. These numbers suggest that Jackson is producing at elite levels with the second unit, acceptable levels when he plays center alongside Morant and subpar levels when he plays alongside both of Morant and Adams. Of the 31.8 minutes he played against the Timberwolves in his last game (including overtime), about 19 came without Adams on the floor and about six came without Morant or Adams on the floor. These numbers will fluctuate by game, but it is an overall positive trend for Jackson.

Bobby Portis ($5,500 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel) started his second consecutive game last night and played 35.4 minutes against Philadelphia. That is the most that Portis has played this season and is a clear sign that he is no longer on any sort of restriction. He should play 30-plus minutes again tonight against the Knicks. Portis has averaged 1.12 DraftKings points per minute this season and 1.07 DraftKings points per minute alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo since the start of last season.

Aaron Gordon ($5,200 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel) has averaged 0.81 DraftKings points per minute and 29.8 minutes per game so far this season. Gordon is inexpensive and is likely to see more playing time tonight as the Nuggets need to fill about 35 minutes that have been vacated by Jokic. One concern for Gordon is that over a large sample in Orlando, his fantasy production did not change much with or without Nikola Vucevic on the floor. Vucevic is not as good as Jokic, obviously, but he is a similar center in that he is highly involved in every stat category when he is on the floor. In 834 minutes without Vucevic on the floor from the start of the 2019-2020 season until he was traded to Denver, Gordon averaged 1.01 DraftKings points per minute without Vucevic on the floor. In 2,752 minutes alongside Vucevic over that time, Gordon also produced 1.01 DraftKings points per minute. While Gordon will play four to six minutes more than usual this season, which means he is underpriced, be cautious about expecting much of an increase in his per-minute production.

Jeff Green ($3,400 DraftKings/$3,700 FanDuel) started Denver’s last game in place of Michael Porter Jr. and he played 33.5 minutes. Green has only produced 0.70 DraftKings points per minute in 114 minutes without Jokic on the floor this season, but he is close to minimum salary and likely to play more than 30 minutes again tonight.

JaMychal Green ($3,200 DraftKings/$3,800 FanDuel) has been Jokic’s back-up this season, playing just seven possessions alongside him. Green should replace him in the starting lineup, though P.J. Dozier could slide into the starting lineup as well. If Green starts, he should get 30-plus minutes as long as he can avoid foul trouble. Green started five games last season and played 28 to 32 minutes in all of them except one where he was injured in the first two minutes of the game. Those starts were not in place of Jokic, but it gives an idea of how Michael Malone used Green as a starter. Green has averaged 0.88 DraftKings points per minute this season.


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Center

Jonas Valanciunas ($9,100 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel) is getting expensive, but he is having an excellent fantasy season with the Pelicans. Valanciunas has averaged 33.5 minutes per game in 11 games and 1.30 DraftKings points per minute. To some extent, my interest level depends on the status of Brandon Ingram. Valanciunas has averaged 1.22 DraftKings points per minute with a 21.3% usage rate, 19.4% rebounding rate and 9.4% assist rate in 158 minutes alongside Ingram compared to 1.36 DraftKings points per minute with a 27.6% usage rate, 23.6% rebounding rate and 16.9% assist rate in 210 minutes without Ingram. He is a viable option in tournaments if Ingram plays and one of the best plays on the slate if Ingram sits.

Bam Adebayo ($7,900 DraftKings/$8,400 FanDuel) is questionable for tonight’s game against the Lakers. He played 31.1 minutes against Denver two nights ago, and he should be available tonight. He has averaged 1.19 DraftKings points per minute this season with a 27% usage rate, 19.1% rebounding rate and 12.6% assist rate. The Lakers have played at the second fastest pace this season, so his per-minute production should increase. If he sits, Dewayne Dedmon becomes a top value option and Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro (also questionable) and Kyle Lowry become more appealing fantasy options as well.

Jarrett Allen ($7,500 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel) has now played four games without Kevin Love. He has played at least 34 minutes in all of those games. Allen has averaged 1.09 DraftKings points per minute with a 17.7% usage rate and 18.9% rebounding rate this season. In 130 minutes without Love or Lauri Markkanen on the floor, Allen has averaged 1.24 DraftKings points per minute with a 21.3% usage rate and 26.9% rebounding rate.

Isaiah Stewart ($4,500 DraftKings/$4,800 FanDuel) is a risky option as his playing time has been inconsistent this season. He played 31.1 minutes against Philadelphia two games ago, however, which was the most he has played this season. He followed that up with 22.6 minutes against the Nets, but he was in foul trouble throughout the first half. While Kelly Olynyk will steal minutes from Stewart at times, it would make sense for Stewart to be the preferred option for the Pistons since he has a chance of being a member of their next good team and Olynyk does not. As long as Stewart’s playing time remains inconsistent, he will be a low floor/high ceiling DFS option because it will keep his salary low, and he will be able to easily outperform it in the games that he manages to play 30 minutes.

JaVale McGee ($4,200 DraftKings/$4,200 FanDuel) played 26 minutes in the Suns’ last game. That does not mean he will get 26 minutes tonight, but it does at least show that he is physically capable of playing that many minutes and the Suns are willing to use him for that many minutes. His actual playing time is going to be extremely volatile from game to game as he essentially splits minutes with Frank Kaminsky in Deandre Ayton’s absence. McGee has a massive ceiling for his price point thanks to 1.13 DraftKings points per minute this season. If he can stay out of foul trouble, this is a matchup where Phoenix should want McGee to stay on the floor against a big center in Jusuf Nurkic and two driving guards in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.


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

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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