Tonight features a nine-game NBA slate headlined by the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder game. They tip off two hours after every other game and will be a key part of tonight’s slate. These four players below are driven by Awesemo’s Fantasy Basketball Rankings. There are a few major questionable players on this slate so make sure 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.
PG Theo Maledon — Grades: B, B | Values: A, A
Probably the worst game on the slate is this matchup with the Trail Blazers and Thunder. Both teams are in full tank mode, but with how cheap their player salaries are, exposure to this game is necessary. This game also starts two hours after every other game tips off. What a late-night hammer fans have tonight! Awesemo NBA Fantasy projections have Theo Maledon to be the best value on DraftKings and the second-best on FanDuel tonight. He has averaged 37.5 DraftKings points in the last two games while playing 32 minutes in each contest.
PF Jonathan Kuminga — Grades: B, C | Values: A, A
The Warriors have lost five of their last six games and will more than likely be without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. They are double-digit underdogs on the road against the Grizzlies, who are still playing without Ja Morant. The Warriors have basically conceded the second seed in the Western Conference and may be in danger of sliding lower if they do not figure out a way to win a couple more games. Jonathan Kuminga has been one of the best rookies and thrives when the Warriors are short-handed.
The NBA projections have Kuminga slated to play 31.6 minutes and be the best value on FanDuel and the second-best on DraftKings. This is a tough spot to get carried away with the Warriors, but Kuminga is still at a cheap salary where exposure here seems valuable. The Warriors are implied to score 105.75 points, as the Grizzlies rank in the top 10 of many defensive categories. Kuminga is also in the top three on both sites for highest boom percentage in Awesemo’s NBA Fantasy Boom/Bust Tool. He is a very good leverage play, as his ownership is coming in lower than it should be.
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C Nikola Jokic — Grades: A, A | Values: B, A
There is enough value on this slate that paying up for Nikola Jokic should not be a problem at all. Awesemo projects Jokic to have the most fantasy points on both DraftKings and FanDuel and it is not particularly close. His salary on FanDuel is flat-out ridiculous. He has dropped below $11,000 for the first time in a while, despite scoring over 70 FanDuel points in his last game. He had 35 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists against the Thunder. Jokic has another dream matchup against the Hornets where he should feast.
The Hornets rank in the top five of pace, allowing 114.4 points per game. They are coming off a game where they allowed 60 points in the paint against the Nets. They have no one who can slow down Jokic, who is keeping the Nuggets from the play-in game in the Western Conference. Jokic ranks second on FanDuel in both Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool with the highest boom percentage and Awesemo’s NBA DFS ownership projections, where he is coming in at 37.6%. Prioritize Jokic on FanDuel, but he is a tough fade on DraftKings as well given the value.
SF Jaylen Brown — Grades: B, B | Values: C, A
Jaylen Brown is already a good play tonight but will likely be even better with Jayson Tatum implying that he may sit out. Not only is Tatum potentially out, but so are Al Horford and Robert Williams. The Celtics will be extremely short-handed as they travel to the Raptors for an island road game. The total for this game has plummeted to the lowest on the slate at 213 points, as the Celtics are only implied to score 104.25 points. Brown will be heavily involved in this game, especially if Tatum is unable to play tonight.
The main NBA news to monitor is obviously Tatum with his knee soreness. In four games without Tatum this season, Brown is averaging 32.5 points, 10 rebounds, 51.9 DraftKings points and has attempted 27.3 field goals per game. His usage rate also climbs from 29.8% to 38.5%. Over the last five games, Brown is scoring 28.4 points per game while shooting 59.1% from the field. Brown is not showing up in Awesemo’s tools as a great play yet, but if Tatum is officially ruled out, he will be one of the best plays on the slate.
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Looking for more NBA DFS help and the best NBA DFS tools? View our DraftKings NBA ownership projections, our FanDuel NBA ownership and our Yahoo! NBA ownership projections. Our NBA projections DraftKings are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. Check out our DFS NBA rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DFS projections DraftKings. We also have DraftKings NBA ownership rankings, FanDuel NBA rankings and Yahoo! NBA ownership rankings for today's slate.
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