Tonight features a small four-game NBA slate that is headlined by one game that is far more enticing than the rest. The pay-up options are limited on this short slate, so the mid-range may be the preferred NBA DFS lineup build. These four players are driven by Awesemo’s Fantasy Basketball Rankings. The injury report is rather small, but it is still important to stay up to date on Awesemo’s NBA Starting Lineups page to see who is in and out of the lineup tonight.
DraftKings & FanDuel NBA Fantasy Basketball Rankings
*Grades are ordered DraftKings, FanDuel. The initial grade indicates a player’s strength of output, with the value grade indicating their strength as a play in relation to their salary.
SF DeMar DeRozan — Grades: A, A | Values: B, A
DeMar DeRozan has dropped off from his ridiculous run of 30-plus point games back in February, but his salary has come down across the industry to a point where he needs to be considered as a top option again. The minutes are still very high and the production is starting to creep back up. DeRozan is coming off of a 26-point outing where he shot 11-of-14 from the field to score over 41 DraftKings NBA points for the first time in five games. DeRozan is one of the clear best options, according to our Fantasy Basketball Rankings.
This matchup between the Bulls and Bucks is, by far, the most intriguing on the slate, as the total has risen to 234 points. The Bulls have lost eight of their last 11 games and are 1-10 against the Eastern Conference teams that are ahead of them in the standings. They are 0-2 against the Bucks while DeRozan has had a mixed bag of results. In the first game, he had 35 points, as he shot a ridiculous 17-of-18 from the charity stripe. In his most recent game, he shot 30 field goal attempts and finished with 29 points. He provides a decent amount of upside, especially on FanDuel where he is coming in as the second-highest in ownership according to our NBA DFS ownership projections.
PF Obi Toppin — Grades: C, C | Values: A, A
There is no player on this slate that provides as much value as Obi Toppin. The numbers that he is providing in our NBA projections are insane. Toppin is projected to return double-digit value on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He is also popping massively in our NBA Boom/Bust Tool, returning the highest boom percentage on both sites with over 60%. No one is even close to his upside at his salary, which is close to minimum price. In his last four games since returning, Toppin has averaged a 28.1% usage rate while only playing 11 minutes per game.
The main reason that Toppin is showing so well in the tools is Julius Randle being out due to injury. In the two games that Toppin has played without Randle in the lineup, he has averaged 12 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 27.9 DraftKings points per game. He has also averaged a lofty 36.3 minutes per game while our projections have him at 30.6 tonight. This game between the Hawks features the smallest spread on the slate, as the Knicks are slight home underdogs. It is impossible to stay away from Toppin tonight.
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PG Jrue Holiday — Grades: A, A | Values: B, B
After diving into the numbers, it is pretty obvious that Jrue Holiday has a better increase in production than Giannis Antetokounmpo when Khris Middleton is out. It is hard to ignore Giannis, who ranks second in our NBA Boom/Bust Tool, but his numbers without Middleton are concerning. His points and usage rate per game both drop significantly. Holiday, on the other hand, averages 19.2 points and 7.2 assists per game in nine games without Middleton. His usage rate increases from 22.7% to 29.9% without Middleton.
The Bucks are seven-point favorites implied for a slate-high 120.5 points, which is over five points more than any other team on this slate. You can pair both Holiday and Giannis to get nearly all of the Bucks scoring since this game is clearly the one to target. The salary on Holiday feels so inviting in this matchup. Despite having a record well over .500, the Bulls rank 21st in defensive rating this season. They allow opponents to shoot 46.9% from the field, which is the eighth-highest in the league. Take the savings with Holiday.
Plugging Holiday into your DraftKings and FanDuel NBA lineups seems like a must today based on the value he is providing. To see all of our other free NBA DFS picks today, be sure to check out the DraftKings NBA Fantasy Cheat Sheet and FanDuel NBA Fantasy Cheat Sheet.
PG Reggie Jackson — Grades: B, B | Values: B, B
Another mid-range player that seems to be in a really good spot is Reggie Jackson. Finding a player to target in the nightcap on this four-game slate is critical for roster flexibility. With Paul George and Kawhi Leonard out, it has been Jackson who is leading the Clippers to their rather impressive 36-37 record. Jackson is leading the team in points with 17 per game, which is the most he has averaged since the 2015-16 season with the Pistons. Jackson is averaging a career-high 16.3 field goal attempts and 6.9 3-point attempts per game.
The Clippers are coming off of a blowout loss to the Jazz by 29 points, where Jackson only played 15 minutes. However, in his previous four games, Jackson averaged 23.3 points, 7.5 assists and 43.4 DraftKings points per game. He has also played 38.5 minutes per game while making at least three 3-pointers in each game, shooting 46.9% from behind the arc. The Clippers are implied to score only 107.75 points tonight, which is the second-lowest on the slate. Jackson will be heavily involved, especially if this game is close.
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View our Yahoo! ownership projections, our DraftKings NBA ownership projections and our FanDuel ownership. We also have Yahoo! rankings, DraftKings NBA ownership rankings and FanDuel NBA ownership rankings for today's slate. Check out our daily fantasy basketball rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA projections DFS. Our NBA projections FanDuel are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Looking for more DFS NBA advice and the best free NBA DFS tools?
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