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Friday Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Today | 11/12/21




The Slate Starter is a daily first look at to get your daily fantasy basketball lineup-building process started before lock tonight. Each day, we will go through some of the best NBA DFS picks, top stacks and optimal lineup construction for DraftKings and FanDuel. Be sure to check Awesemo’s NBA Starting Lineups page, as it will be updated throughout the day as the NBA injury reports are released and breaking news surfaces. Let’s dive into some of the key players on Friday’s 11-game slate.

NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Construction | Nov. 12

DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF/PF, Chicago Bulls

It all depends on the site as far as what position DeRozan slots in. Regardless, the Bulls are going to be short center Nikola Vucevic for at least a bit as he is in the health and safety protocols. That loss will benefit DeRozan and Zach LaVine, and both could be very popular so make sure to utilize the Boom/Bust Probability tool. For DeRozan, he has the second-most minutes without Vucevic, so his sample of 116 minutes is more trustworthy than LaVine’s 32 minutes. DeRozan has a usage rate of just under 38% and 1.38 fantasy points per minute and those metrics are way above the salary that DeRozan finds himself at. LaVine is higher in both metrics at 42% and 1.43 but the sample is noteworthy.

Golden State has the best defensive rating in the league, and the Bulls are sixth, but the metrics are too high to ignore. Furthermore, DeRozan is seventh in points scored from driving to the basket and Golden State is 19th in points allowed in the paint. He is shooting 57.1% in the paint so far this year and without Vucevic, even more offensive responsibility is on his shoulders.

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Ricky Rubio, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

The last slate saw Rubio upwards of 50% rostered even in GPP settings so there is a strong argument that such a player is not needed in that setting. However, the salary simply did not rise enough on either site for a player that has a 27.7% usage rate and 1.25 fantasy points per minute when Collin Sexton is off the floor. Rubio could provide some value in the prop market so make sure to utilize the Awesemo Player Prop tool to take advantage of the most exploitable player props each day. Rubio should be expected to play 28 to 30 minutes, and he leads the team in assist rate at 33.3% without Sexton. Both teams do play slow (which is another argument against his ceiling), but since he is under $6,000 on both sites, Rubio could be one of the most stable options on this large slate.

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Cade Cunningham, PG/SG, Detroit Pistons

When the NBA Injury Report includes forward Kelly Olynyk, the logic does not exactly flow to “Cade Cunningham sees a boost and could be a better play” but that is what the metrics say. Since it is not the first thought, some digging is required and it comes to light that Olynyk and Cunningham share the floor a good bit, almost a 40-minute sample size in five games. When they have shared the floor, Olynyk has a 24.6% usage rate and 1.09 fantasy points per minute. Taking Olynyk off the floor leaves Cunningham at 30.6% for the usage rate and 0.88 fantasy points per minute with a putrid 35.3% true shooting rate. The struggles in that aspect of the game are well documented at this point but in his past three games, he has scored at least 17 real points. The minutes are at 30 or so per game and a player with a 30% usage rate that runs with the second unit at times is appealing at Cunningham’s salary.

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