Friday night delivers a 10-game slate for DFS players to attack. As always, be sure to be watching the Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page closely for updates on each team before making NBA picks today. The team to keep an eye on is the Houston Rockets. Christian Wood (illness) missed shoot-around and is trending towards missing his third straight game, which would instantly make Alperen Sengun one of the best values of the night. In the last three contests Wood has sat out, Sengun has started in his place and has been stellar with 43 DraftKings points per game. Jae’Sean Tate (ankle) is also questionable, after missing Wednesday night and his absence would absolutely make K.J. Martin Jr. worth considering. With Tate inactive Wednesday, Martin started at power forward and finished with 36.3 DraftKings points vs. the Lakers. Below are some NBA daily fantasy basketball picks that stand out for tonight’s slate using Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool and NBA DFS projections.
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Boom: Devonte’ Graham: $4,300 DraftKings/$4,300 FanDuel
56% DraftKings Boom/48% FanDuel Boom
Tonight the Pelicans will be missing Brandon Ingram (hamstring) and C.J. McCollum (health protocols), leaving Graham in a featured role. With New Orleans in desperate need of some offense in their backcourt, he should get the start tonight and play big minutes. With Ingram and McCollum off the court this season, Graham has produced 0.9 DraftKings points per minute, thanks to a 21.3% usage rate and a 25.6% assist percentage, both of which are upgrades from his season averages. Anything less than 30 minutes for Graham would be shocking in this situation and when he has surpassed the 30-minute mark this season, he has generated 28 DraftKings points per game, in a sample size of 35 contests.
To put the icing on the cake, Graham finds himself in a beautiful spot against the Hornets. Charlotte leads the league in pace and ranks 20th in defensive efficiency. This contest’s total is up to a solid 225.5 points Graham spent the first three seasons of his career with the Hornets, so there should definitely be some sense of revenge against his former club. At only $4,300 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Graham has the potential to reach 10-times value tonight and is rating as the No. 1 value on the slate for both sites in Awesemo’s projections.
Boom: Jonas Valanciunas: $7,800 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel
35% DraftKings Boom/35% FanDuel
With just Ingram out of the lineup Wednesday against the Magic, Valanciunas erupted for a season-high 62.3 DraftKings points. Now also remove McCollum from the equation and Valanciunas should have another dominant performance tonight in this prime spot against the Hornets. In the 602 minutes he has played with Ingram and McCollum off the court this season, Valanciunas’ usage has risen 2.6 percentage points to a team-high 27.7%. Plus, his assist rate increases 4.2 percentage points to 17.3%. This results in 1.3 DraftKings points per minute for Valanciunas and on top of their defensive struggles and league-high pace, the Hornets are surrendering the most rebounds in the NBA this season.
In this elite matchup, Valanciunas’ props on BetMGM are set at 22.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Before defensive stats and bonuses are credited, this is already 41.5 fantasy points and over five-times value for Valanciunas on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The big man boasts a top-10 Boom score on the slate for both sites in Awesemo’s Boom Bust Tool and is a core play for all formats.
Boom: Donovan Mitchell: $8,600 DraftKings/$8,200 FanDuel
27% DraftKings Boom/29% FanDuel Boom
Mitchell is vastly underpriced on both DraftKings and FanDuel for life without Bojan Bogdanovic (leg). He has been ruled out for tonight and Mitchell’s usage has jumped 2.8 percentage points to a massive 35.2% with Bogdanovic off the floor this season. To put into perspective how large of a rate this is, if this was Mitchell’s average usage for the season, he would rank top-three in the league, only behind Joel Embiid and Luka Doncic.
With this mammoth usage rate, Mitchell contributes 1.4 DraftKings points per minute and tonight presents an excellent matchup against the Spurs, who rank fifth in pace and 20th in defensive efficiency. This contest’s total is the second-highest on the slate at 229 points and the Jazz’s implied team total is the fourth largest on the board at 117 points. Mitchell is averaging 45.4 DraftKings points per game for the 14 starts he has made in a total of at least 225 points this season and brings a ceiling well over 50 DraftKings points tonight.
Boom: Maxi Kleber: $3,700 DraftKings/$4,400 FanDuel
32% DraftKings Boom/22% FanDuel Boom
Tonight the Mavericks get the best matchup in basketball against the Rockets, who rank dead last in defensive efficiency and fourth in pace. Dallas’ implied team total is the third-highest on the slate in this spot at 118 points and they will be down two starters in Jalen Brunson (thigh) and Dorian Finney-Smith (arm). Starter or not, Kleber should handle roughly 30 minutes of work in this situation, giving him a strong fantasy outlook relative to his cheap price points.
Kleber is averaging 0.81 DraftKings points per minute this season and 25.1 DraftKings points per game for the 26 times he has logged a minimum of 25 minutes. While Kleber is a great punt to consider on both sites, he is a tough value to overlook at only $3,700 on DraftKings. At this low salary, Kleber ranks second only to Graham in terms of point-per-dollar value in Awesemo’s projections.
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Check out our DFS NBA rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DraftKings projections. Our best DFS NBA projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more NBA DFS advice and the best NBA DFS picks today? View our Yahoo! NBA ownership projections, our FanDuel ownership projections and our DraftKings NBA ownership. We also have DraftKings rankings, Yahoo! NBA ownership rankings and FanDuel NBA rankings for today's slate.
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