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 players who stand out as key options on Thursday’s three-game slate.
Want to see how your lineup stacked up against yesterday’s winning NBA DFS lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo? Check out our Optimal Lineup Review, which uses Fantasy Cruncher Rewind to analyze the winning plays from the night before.
NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Construction | Dec. 9
Derrick White, PG/SG, San Antonio Spurs
We only have six teams in action on Thursday, and four of them are playing the night before. That means only two teams have yet to file their injury reports for Thursday’s slate.
One of those teams in the Spurs, and they are offering a bit of injury value. Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell are both listed as doubtful, so they should be thinner than usual on the wing.
White is someone who has been playing well recently – he is averaging 0.97 DraftKings points per minute over the past month – and he finished with 44.0 DraftKings points in his last game. He could absorb a few additional minutes if Johnson and Vassell are ruled out, but he is underpriced on DraftKings either way. He is priced at just $6,300 and will have one of the top value marks in our NBA Projections.
For an in-depth breakdown of the Thursday NBA DFS injury report, don’t miss Adam Scherer and Greg Ehrenberg every day as they go over all of the important injury news and updates for the day’s slate.
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Will Barton, SG/SF, Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets are getting a smidge healthier, with Bones Hyland and Bol Bol rejoining the squad on Wednesday, but Barton should continue to serve as the team’s No. 2 option offensively. He is off to a tremendous start on Wednesday, scoring 21.1 FanDuel points over just 9.2 minutes, and he has been a pretty consistent source of value of late. He has not displayed an enormous ceiling, but he has scored at least 27.0 FanDuel points in six of his past nine games (Wednesday’s results pending).
Barton stands out as an excellent value option on FanDuel. He is priced at just $6,000, but he has been priced up to $6,800 on DraftKings.
Every relevant player will carry increased ownership on a three-game slate, but that is where the Boom/Bust Probability Tool comes into play. If Barton’s optimal lineup rate is higher than his projected ownership, he would still stand out as a strong option.
Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies are also playing on Wednesday evening, so they will be on the second leg of a back-to-back Thursday vs. the Lakers. They are still expected to be shorthanded, and they were missing Ja Morant, Kyle Anderson, and Brandon Clarke on Wednesday.
That opens the door for Jackson, who has been one of the best per-minute producers in basketball of late. He is averaging 1.20 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he is capable of taking advantage of a few additional minutes. He is particularly potent on FanDuel given the premium placed on blocks and steals, which Jackson typically excels at. He is averaging a career-high 2.0 blocks per game this season to go along with 0.8 steals per game.
The Lakers will also be on the second leg of a back-to-back, and they have been a decent matchup for big men this season. They rank 15th in defensive efficiency and 16th in team rebound rate, and they have also played at the third-fastest pace.
The increased pace could lead to more scoring and rebound opportunities for Jackson than usual. Make sure to check out Jackson in the Awesemo Player Prop tool, which highlights the most exploitable prop bets each day.
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Our NBA DFS projections today are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. View our DraftKings ownership, our FanDuel NBA ownership and our Yahoo! ownership projections. Check out our NBA DFS rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA projections DFS. Looking for more DFS NBA and the best NBA DFS advice? We also have FanDuel NBA ownership rankings, DraftKings ownership rankings and Yahoo! NBA ownership rankings for today's slate.
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