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 Friday’s nine-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. 10
Cody Martin, G/SF, Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets have been playing extremely shorthanded recently, which has allowed Martin to take on a prominent role in their rotation. He has logged at least 42 minutes in back-to-back games, and the Hornets are going to be thin in the backcourt again on Friday. LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Ish Smith have all been ruled out, so Martin should be looking at another monster workload.
Martin has been a solid fantasy producer this season, averaging 0.84 FanDuel points per minute, so he stands out as an elite value option at just $5,000 on FanDuel. He figures to own one of the best value ratings in our NBA Projections.
Marvin Bagley, PF/C, Sacramento Kings
Friday’s game between the Kings and Hornets figures to be one of the best of the day from a fantasy perspective. Both of these teams rank in the top eight in terms of pace, and both rank in the bottom five in defensive efficiency. That should lead to a high-scoring contest.
Additionally, both of these teams will be shorthanded. Things are not quite as rough for the Kings from an injury perspective, but they will be without Richaun Holmes. His absence will open up some additional playing time in the frontcourt.
Chimezie Metu should see the biggest boost in value, but do not forget about Bagley. People love to hate on the former No. 2 overall pick, but he is a capable fantasy producer when given a chance to play. He is averaging 0.91 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he has played at least 19.5 minutes in back-to-back games. He responded with at least 22.5 DraftKings points in each of those contests.
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Armoni Brooks, PG/SG, Houston Rockets
Brooks earned a spot start for the Rockets on Wednesday, and he responded with 30.25 DraftKings points. That does not seem like a crazy outlier either: Brooks has averaged 0.84 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he played just under 30 minutes.
The Rockets also won their seventh straight game in that contest, beating the Nets at home by 10 points. The Nets were without Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge in that contest, but it was still a very impressive win for the Rockets. With that in mind, it would not be surprising if Brooks earns another start on Friday. He is a young player, and getting as many minutes as possible for young players should be a priority for the Rockets. Brooks deserves an extended look with Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. out of the lineup.
If he does earn another start, he is almost certainly underpriced across the industry. He would be worth some consideration in DFS, and he would also be worth exploring in the player prop market. Make sure to advantage of the Awesemo Player Prop tool, which identifies the most exploitable prop bets each day.
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Our NBA DFS projections DraftKings are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. View our FanDuel NBA ownership projections, our Yahoo! NBA ownership projections and our DraftKings ownership projections. We also have DraftKings rankings, Yahoo! rankings and FanDuel ownership rankings for today's slate. Check out our NBA DraftKings rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own daily fantasy basketball projections. Looking for more DFS NBA advice and the best NBA DFS tools?
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