The NBA DFS Big Board is a one-stop shop for building your lineups. It gives each player on the slate a Points Rating, Value Rating and Leverage Rating on a scale from 1 to 100, which allows you to easily decipher some of the top options on the slate. It feels like a stars-and-scrubs lineup construction is often the preferred approach in NBA DFS, but Friday appears to favor a more balanced lineup. Let’s dive into some of the midrange options that are popping in the NBA DFS projections and on the Big Board daily fantasy rankings tonight.
NBA Daily Fantasy Rankings & DFS Projections Today
Jonas Valanciunas, C, New Orleans Pelicans
FanDuel Value Rating: 97 | DraftKings Value Rating: 91
Valanciunas was traded to the Pelicans in the offseason, which should be a beneficial move for his fantasy prospects. He had to split time at center with Jaren Jackson Jr. during his time with the Grizzlies, but his path to playing time is much less crowded with the Pelicans. Zion Williamson is currently sidelined with a foot injury, while Jaxson Hayes and Willy Hernangomez are not real threats to Valanciunas’ minutes.
He played 29.6 minutes on opening night, posting a 30.8% usage rate and 29.9 FanDuel points. That said, he has the potential for a much better performance on Friday. Valanciunas was just 3-for-19 from the field in that game, which stands out as a clear outlier. He shot 59.2% from the field last season, so he is a prime candidate for some positive regression. Valanciunas grades extremely favorably in the Awesemo NBA Projections, and he also stands out as one of the top leverage plays on DraftKings in the Boom/Bust Tool.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
DraftKings Value Rating: 98 | FanDuel Value Rating: 90
Gilgeous-Alexander is another player who earns a grade of at least 90 in Awesemo’s points and value ratings for both DraftKings and FanDuel. He opened his season with a tough matchup against the Jazz, and he struggled to find a rhythm offensively. However, he played 32.7 minutes, and he averaged a stout 1.20 DraftKings points per minute last season. That makes him an excellent bounce-back candidate in a much easier matchup with the Rockets. They played at the fourth-fastest pace in the league in their first game this year, and they also allowed 117.4 points per 100 possessions. They were 28th in defensive efficiency last season, so they do not figure to improve much in that department moving forward.
Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to be one of the highest-owned players on the slate, but he still grades out favorably from a leverage perspective. He has the highest optimal lineup percentage on DraftKings and the second-highest mark on FanDuel, so he is chalk worth considering.
Christian Wood, PF/C, Houston Rockets
DraftKings Value Rating: 99 | FanDuel Value Rating: 91
On the other side of that matchup, Wood is popping as one of the best pure values of the day on DraftKings. He is priced at just $7,100, and while he is coming off a subpar performance in his first game, he played more than 32 minutes. Wood averaged 1.24 DraftKings points per minute last season, so he should be able to pay off his current salary with a comparable workload. He is not quite the same value on FanDuel, but he benefits from the additional power forward eligibility. Center is loaded on Friday, so the ability to play Wood at power forward is massive. It allows for pairing him with Valanciunas, Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic, which seems like a smart strategy.
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Check out our NBA fantasy rankings today for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA daily projections. Looking for more DraftKings NBA DFS picks and the top NBA DFS picks tonight? View our FanDuel ownership, our Yahoo! ownership and our DraftKings NBA ownership. We also have Yahoo! NBA rankings, FanDuel ownership rankings and DraftKings NBA ownership rankings for today's slate. Our NBA DFS projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks.
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