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 11-game main slate.
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.
DraftKings & FanDuel NBA DFS Lineup Advice Today
LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Charlotte Hornets
Ball entered Wednesday’s contest vs. the Pacers in the midst of a massive slump, but he broke out in a big way. He finished with a triple-double, racking up 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists, resulting in 69.0 DraftKings points.
Despite his big performance, Ball also remains priced at a discount. He’s down to just $8,400 on DraftKings and $8,600 on FanDuel, both of which represent sizable decreases from his peak.
He should be able to deliver another strong performance Friday vs. the Lakers. They’ve played at the third-fastest pace this season, and they’ve also been below average in defensive efficiency. The Hornets are also catching the Lakers on the second leg of a back-to-back after losing to the 76ers on Thursday.
Ball is priced much more reasonably than the biggest studs on Friday’s slate – Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic – so he could be the stronger option from a value perspective in our NBA Projections.
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Jimmy Butler, SF/PF, Miami Heat
Butler is another lower-priced stud on Friday, and he’s currently questionable with a toe injury. That said, he has plenty working in his favor if he’s able to suit up. Kyle Lowry will miss another game due to personal reasons, and Butler should be asked to carry a larger role in his absence. Butler has increased his usage, assist, and rebound rates with Lowry off the court this season.
Like Ball, Butler is also underpriced at the moment. He owns a salary of $8,700 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, both of which are significantly lower than usual for Butler. Butler has played well in two straight games, including 61.0 DraftKings points two games ago, so there’s no reason his price should be as low as it is.
It will be interesting to see what Butler’s ownership projection checks in at. This game between the Heat and Clippers doesn’t stand out from a fantasy perspective given the minimal 210.0 total. That could result in Butler being overlooked, which would give him a solid leverage rating in the Boom/Bust Probability tool.
Cameron Johnson, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns
The Suns stand out as one of the best teams to target on Friday. They own an excellent matchup vs. the Timberwolves, who have played at the fourth-fastest pace this season. They’ll also be on the second leg of a back-to-back, and the Suns lead the slate with an implied team total of 120.25 points.
The Suns are also dealing with some key absences at the moment, particularly in the frontcourt. Deandre Ayton, JaVale McGee, and Jae Crowder all remain out of the lineup, which should result in a few additional minutes for Johnson. He’s racked up at least 36.4 minutes in back-to-back games, and Johnson has averaged a strong 0.85 DraftKings points per minute this season.
Johnson could also be worth some consideration 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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Check out our NBA FanDuel rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA daily projections. Our NBA DFS projections FanDuel are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more NBA DFS lineups and the best NBA DFS picks today? View our FanDuel ownership projections, our Yahoo! NBA ownership and our DraftKings NBA ownership projections. We also have Yahoo! rankings, DraftKings rankings and FanDuel NBA rankings for today's slate.
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