Tonight features a six-game NBA slate that has a few really good value plays, but nothing like last night. This article is driven by Awesemo’s Fantasy Basketball Rankings as there are four players who stand out among the rest. There is not a lot of big news right now, but it is the NBA so it is always important to stay up to date with our 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.
PG Cameron Payne — Grades: A, B | Values: A, A
Cameron Payne has seen a significant salary increase on both DraftKings and FanDuel, but he is still arguably the best play on the slate. The minutes restriction is gone as Payne has played 32 and 36 minutes the last two games. During that increased time on the court, Payne is averaging 20 points, 12 assists and 42.9 DraftKings points per game. He leads the way in our Boom/Bust Tool with the highest boom percentage on both sites. Chris Paul and Devin Booker remain out, which solidifies the playing time for Payne tonight.
The Suns are only 5.5-point road favorites against the Magic, who have won three of their last five games. The Magic still are tied for the worst record in the league and rank 21st in defensive rating. Where they really struggle is defending the perimeter, as they allow opponents to shoot 36.4% from behind the arc, which ranks tied for the third-highest in the league. Payne is not shy to launch from deep, as he made three 3-pointers in his last game. He is simply too cheap for what he has done lately. Payne is projected to have the highest ownership of anyone on both sites in our ownership projections. Payne’s DraftKings ownership is nearing 80%. Lock him in.
PG LaMelo Ball — Grades: A, A | Values: B, A
Another point guard who is in a great spot tonight is Hornets star LaMelo Ball. His boom/bust nature keeps his salary at a great price to target in matchups like these. The Hornets host the Nets as this game has by far the highest total on the slate at 239.5 points, 8 points above the next closest game total. Both teams rank 20th or below in defensive rating and in the top 10 of points allowed per game. Ball is the highest-rated player in our NBA DFS Rankings tonight. He pops more on FanDuel, where he has the fourth-highest boom percentage. Ball also comes in third in our ownership projections for FanDuel. He has incredible upside tonight.
The minutes for Ball fluctuate so much, especially when he cannot keep his hands to himself. Ball has a tendency to get too aggressive on defense, which results in foul trouble. He may have that problem with Kyrie Irving tonight. Ball got into foul trouble in their blowout win over the Cavaliers and finished with a season-low eight minutes. He bounced back and played 29 minutes in their most recent game and Awesemo projects Ball to play 32.1 minutes tonight. This game environment is perfect for Ball if he stays out of foul trouble.
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PF Jordan Nwora — Grades: C, C | Values: A, A
With Grayson Allen out for tonight, the Bucks will likely move Jordan Nwora back into the starting lineup. In 10 games as a starter this season, Nwora is averaging 14.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He has had 13.3 field goal attempts while also averaging 28.9 DraftKings points per game. Awesemo projects Nwora to play 34.1 minutes tonight and be the best value on FanDuel and the second-best on DraftKings. His salary on both sites is barely over the minimum as he will be one of the best salary savers on the slate.
The Bucks are looking to make it five-straight victories tonight as they host the Thunder. They are 13-point favorites implied for a slate-high 122 points. Over the last six games, the Thunder have allowed 123.5 points per game. This is a great spot to target Nwora for a cheap way to get exposure to this Bucks massive total. Behind Payne, Nwora comes in with the second-highest boom percentage in our Boom/Bust Tool. He will likely be very popular, but he is tough to ignore when he allows lineups that can get to the studs on this slate.
PF Kevin Love — Grades: B, B | Values: A, A
The Cavaliers have been struggling lately, losing six of their last eight games, and now have to deal with another injury. This time it was Jarrett Allen who suffered a fractured finger. That will open the door for likely more minutes given to Kevin Love. Monitor what the Cavaliers do with the starting lineup, but Love will still likely come off the bench. He has only started two games this season and did not start the second half of their last game when Allen left early. However in seven games without Allen in the lineup this season, Love is averaging nearly a double-double with 19.4 points and nine rebounds per game, while shooting 46% from behind the arc.
According to our ownership projections, Love is the second-highest owned player on DraftKings due to his cheap salary. The Pacers rank 26th in defensive rating this season, as they have allowed the fifth-most points in the paint. Not only can Love score in the paint, but he has been a sniper from the perimeter. Love leads the Cavaliers shooting 39.2% from behind the arc. It is his third-best percentage from downtown in his career. He also has the third-best projection and the third-highest boom percentage on DraftKings tonight. The Pacers’ inexperienced bigs will have a tough time with the veteran. Prioritize Love on DraftKings, where he is a great source of value.
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Looking for more NBA DFS and the best NBA DFS advice? View our DraftKings ownership projections, our Yahoo! ownership and our FanDuel ownership. Check out our NBA fantasy rankings today for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own best DFS NBA projections. We also have DraftKings NBA rankings, Yahoo! NBA rankings and FanDuel NBA rankings for today's slate. Our DFS basketball projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks.
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