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 two-game main slate.
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Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid has arguably been the best player in basketball over the past month. He’s been a scoring machine, racking up at least 31 points in 14 of his past 15 games, and he’s averaged 34.7 points per game over that time frame. Overall, he’s averaged a remarkable 1.84 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Embiid has been even more dominant recently. He’s taken his already sky-high usage rate and supercharged it, posting a mark of at least 42.1% in each of his past five games. He’s averaged a usage rate of 47.0% over that time frame, and he’s averaged 40.4 points in those contests.
Embiid is also a dominant rebounder – he’s averaged 10.8 rebounds per game this season – and he’s improved as a distributor. He’s handed out an average of 4.3 assists per game this season, which is the best mark of his career.
Embiid stands out as easily the top stud on Thursday’s small slate. No one should be able to match his upside in our NBA Projections.
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Furkan Korkmaz, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers
Embiid isn’t the only viable target for the 76ers on Thursday. They’re still dealing with a few injuries, with Seth Curry out and Danny Green questionable. Korkmaz has logged at least 36.5 minutes in three straight games, and he should be looking at another increased workload vs. the Lakers.
Korkmaz has averaged 0.76 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s been an excellent source of value when he plays consistent minutes. He’s logged at least 30 minutes in 11 previous games this season, and he’s averaged 26.43 DraftKings points in those contests. You’ll take that kind of production at his current price tag across the industry.
The only potential stumbling block with Korkmaz is his likely ownership. He figures to garner one of the highest ownership projections among the value options, but he hasn’t offered much of a ceiling recently. If his ownership projection is too high, he’ll own a negative leverage score in the Boom/Bust Probability tool.
Damion Lee, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors
The Warriors stand out as a preferred team to target on Thursday. They’re taking on the Timberwolves, who have played at the fourth-fastest pace in the league this season. The Warriors are implied for 116.75 points, which is the top mark on the slate.
The Warriors are also dealing with some absences. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala are both sidelined, which opens up a few minutes for the rest of the roster. Lee has seen a slight boost in playing time in their absence, logging at least 23.9 minutes in back-to-back games. Lee racked up at least 17.5 DraftKings points in both contests, and that’s passable at just $3,300.
It will be interesting to see what Lee’s scoring prop looks like on Thursday. Make sure to take advantage of the Awesemo Player Prop tool, which highlights the most exploitable prop bets each day.
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We also have Yahoo! NBA ownership rankings, FanDuel NBA rankings and DraftKings NBA rankings for today's slate. Looking for more NBA DFS strategy and the best NBA DFS picks today? Check out our NBA daily fantasy rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own best NBA DFS projections. Our NBA FanDuel projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. View our Yahoo! ownership, our DraftKings NBA ownership projections and our FanDuel ownership.
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