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 Monday’s 11 game slate.
NBA DFS Picks & Optimal Lineup Construction | Nov. 15
Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets
There are a plethora of injury situations that need clarity before lock, and they have ripple effects through the entire slate. Examples include Damian Lillard for the Trail Blazers, Jimmy Butler for the Heat, and Fred VanVleet for the Raptors. What is known is Michael Porter Jr. will continue to be out of action for the Nuggets and that leaves Jokic with over 2.10 fantasy point per minute this season. What is not known is the status of Will Barton, who was scratched after the Denver game locked last night with a back issue. Those typically are not fully healed within 24 hours, so it is possible Denver is without him again tonight.
The sample is small at only about 35 minutes but the fantasy points per minute stay stagnant around 2.10 but the usage creeps up over 38%. Jokic only played 28 minutes last night so that is not a concern, and he already is averaging over 95 touches per game to lead the league. Dallas is 26th in points in the paint allowed and 24th in rebounds in the paint. That is a big boost for Jokic, and he would have likely hit a triple-double last night had he played his normal minutes, falling just one rebound and one assist short. Dallas is also tied for the ninth-most field goals allowed in the post-up game while Jokic is second in the league in points per game in that play type. Even if Barton does make it back, Jokic is well worth his salary.
Spencer Dinwiddie, PG, Washington Wizards
Another facet of this slate that is known is that Bradley Beal will continue to be away from the Wizards on bereavement leave and Dinwiddie did not see enough of a salary increase on DraftKings or FanDuel. Not only does he have a 31.1% usage rate and 1.37 fantasy points per minute, but the Wizards are taking on the New Orleans Pelicans. They have been a constant team to attack, especially with guards as the backcourt duo of Nickell Alexander-Walker and Devonte’ Graham continue to have a defensive rating below the league average.
Dinwiddie can attack from various play types, as he averages 5.3 field goal attempts as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll, and New Orleans allows the most points per game to that play type. He is also 15th in points per game in isolation and Beal is eighth. Not only does Dinwiddie have potential in the play type on his own, he’ll likely handle a few more opportunities. The Pelicans are tied for 22nd in points per game allowed in that play type as well so this could be an excellent spot to look at Dinwiddie’s points prop in the Awesomo NBA DFS Player Props Tool. Dinwiddie looks to be an elite play on both sites since New Orleans is 29th in defensive rating on top of everything else.
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JaVale McGee, C, Phoenix Suns
The live shows before lock are always chock full of information but one thing staff member Greg Ehrenberg has said on multiple occasions is very valuable. When a player has missed multiple games, it is usually best to start the day assuming he will not play until he proves otherwise. That is the case for Deandre Ayton, who has now missed five straight games. McGee has been starting in his stead, but it has been slightly difficult choosing between he and Frank Kaminsky, who has gotten extra minutes off the bench. For tonight, McGee is $1,400 cheaper than Kaminsky on DraftKings and he has more paint touches per game.
That part could be important because the Timberwolves are 16th in points allowed in the paint and 29th in rebounds allowed in the paint. McGee is not the best rebounding big man in the league at just 6.4 per game, but he also does not cost the salary of an elite player. McGee averages the higher fantasy points per minute at 1.17, and he is also coming off a monster game last night of 19/14 against the Rockets. He also played 25 minutes, which were his second-highest total while Ayton has been out. McGee also has the 11th highest field goal percentage as the roll man in the pick-and-roll to go along with a frequency rate of 32%. That is 12th in the league and Minnesota has the third-worst points per possession defending the roll man.
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Looking for more NBA DFS picks FanDuel and the best NBA DFS tools? View our Yahoo! NBA ownership projections, our DraftKings ownership and our FanDuel ownership. Check out our NBA DFS rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA daily projections. We also have DraftKings rankings, Yahoo! ownership rankings and FanDuel NBA rankings for today's slate. Our most accurate NBA DFS projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks.
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