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Thursday Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups Today | 1/13/22




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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 five-game slate.

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Want to see how your lineup stacked up against yesterday’s winning NBA DFS lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo? Check out Awesemo’s Optimal Lineup Review, which uses Fantasy Cruncher Rewind to analyze the winning plays from the night before.

NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Construction | Jan. 13

Ja Morant, PG, Memphis Grizzlies

Morant and the Grizzlies are red hot, winning each of their past 10 games. That includes an impressive win over the Warriors in their last outing, where Morant finished with 50.75 DraftKings points. The Warriors are one of the toughest matchups in basketball – they rank first in defensive efficiency by a sizable amount – so Morant’s performance was extremely impressive.

Overall, Morant has increased his production to 1.45 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. Only four players on Thursday’s slate have been better over that time frame, and each of them is more expensive.

Morant could have another excellent performance up his sleeves vs. the Timberwolves. The Timberwolves are solid defensively, but they also play at the sixth-fastest pace in the league. That should lead to plenty of possessions for Morant. He should own of the top marks in our NBA Projections.

Dennis Smith Jr., PG/SG, Portland Trail Blazers

The Blazers’ backcourt is absolutely decimated at the moment. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are both out with long-term injuries, while Anfernee Simons is out for personal reasons. Even Norman Powell is out of the lineup.

That leaves Smith Jr. to handle a massive workload. He should draw the start at point guard, and he’s always been an excellent producer on a per-minute basis. He’s averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute with Lillard, McCollum, Simons, and Powell all off the court this season.

The only issue with Smith is his likely ownership. He’s priced at just $4,000 on DraftKings, so expect him to check in with a massive ownership projection. That could give him a negative leverage score in the Boom/Bust Probability tool, but I can’t imagine a situation where I’d actually fade Smith on Thursday.

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Marcus Morris, SF/PF, Los Angeles Clippers

Morris is coming off back-to-back poor games, but his outlook remains positive in DFS. He logged 34.6 minutes in his last contest, and Morris has averaged 1.00 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s had to pick up the slack offensively with Paul George out of the lineup, so he should be able to bounce back moving forward.

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Morris draws a solid matchup Thursday vs. the Pelicans. They rank just 24th in terms of defensive efficiency, so the Clippers have more offensive potential than normal.

If Morris’ scoring prop has become depressed due to his recent performances, he could also provide some value in the player prop market. Make sure to take advantage of the Awesemo Player Prop tool, which highlights the most exploitable player prop bets each day.

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