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NBA Optimal Lineups Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel Dejounte Murray | Friday, Nov. 26

Terry McBride

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The post-Thanksgiving Friday slate gets NBA DFS back in action in a hurry with 11 games on deck for the evening. This space will always focus on the factors mentioned above, but at times we will call out plays that are over-owned, taking the opportunity to discuss the potential pivots. With 13 games on the slate, the focus is on a few of the top overall plays on the board. As always, the goal is to find players who are under-appreciated for the frequency with which they land in the optimal lineup in DraftKings and FanDuel NBA DFS projections and simulations.

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These picks are made utilizing the Boom/Bust Tool, specifically analyzing the optimal lineup rate, leverage score, and boom probability. The optimal lineup rate represents the frequency at which a player appears in the optimal lineup in Awesemo’s simulated DraftKings NBA and FanDuel NBA slates. The leverage score is the difference between the optimal lineup rate and projected ownership, while the boom probability indicates a player’s likelihood of hitting a ceiling score. It is important to remember that not all of these NBA DFS picks are highlights, at times we will discuss plays that are outright bad or come at such aggressively negative leverage that they are rendered bad in this space, so be sure to read the analysis and not just the headlines.

Harrison Barnes: DraftKings — $6,100 — SF/PF | FanDuel — $6,600 — SF/PF …

… or Buddy Hield: DraftKings — $5,800 — SG/SF | FanDuel — $5,300 — SG/SF

Assuming he plays this evening, Harrison Barnes comes in as an extremely interesting piece across both sites. Barnes is currently questionable after exiting Wednesday’s game with a foot sprain. If he does not play, it seems likely that Buddy Hield would be the first man up to fill Barnes’ typical minutes and usage. Barnes has averaged 33.3 minutes a night over the team’s three most recent games and seems largely safe from any changes in role or playing time with the new regime in Sacramento. Barnes is a capable multi-position contributor who comes in at a fair price on both sites. He is projected for a 34.1-minute night, giving him a clear path to a strong median projection and clear upside at low ownership. Barnes has posted a solid 0.93 fantasy points per minute on 20.4% usage this season, up from the 0.84 on 16.9% that he contributed last year. He has a sturdy 63.5% true shooting percentage with a 10.2% assist rate and 9.8% rebounding percentage, and the field is trailing somewhat significantly early in the day given the questionable status. Hield is averaging 28.7 minutes a night and has contributed 0.91 fantasy points per minute on 57.3% true shooting with an 11.3% assist percentage and 7.0% rebounding share. Either player would make for a strong option against the fast-paced Lakers, depending on how the situation breaks down.

Barnes is currently projected for major minutes which produces a 15.7% optimal lineup rate on the DraftKings slate. He has eligibility across both forward positions and comes in at a fair if not low price. Barnes is blasting through the ceiling in the current projections, pulling in a 29.9% boom score probability that ranks seventh overall on the site and third at both forward positions. Barnes is currently projected for just 7.5% ownership, a number that will likely climb slightly if he is confirmed active but seems unlikely to spike to truly unmanageable levels. As things stand, he is carrying an excellent 8.2 leverage score. Even if the leverage slips slightly negative, the pricing, utility and upside suggest that Barnes would be worth rostering. His teammate would jump in value in his absence, Hield is currently carrying just a 2.9% optimal lineup rate and an 11.8% boom score probability while landing at negative leverage already. Hield seems significantly over-owned for his contribution with no changes, but the projections and ownership projections are likely reflecting different situations. He is worth monitoring in the absence of Barnes, who is the clearly better play.

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On the FanDuel slate, Barnes lands 13th with a 13.2% optimal lineup rate and strong early leverage marks from the questionable status. He is carrying a 31.6-point median projection with a 15.9% boom score probability and he has flexibility between both forward positions. He is a stronger ceiling play on the other site, his boom score ranks 32nd on the FanDuel slate with a number of positional options ahead of him. Barnes stands out for the median projection with a suggestion of upside at what is currently strong positive leverage, though that situation will change slightly if he is confirmed active. Hield is also similar on this site, with no news he will come up as a mediocre over-owned play, currently tracking for a 6.3% optimal lineup appearance rate with a 24.7-point median projection and a 10.1% boom score probability but a -8.0 leverage score against his 14.3% projected ownership that will only climb. Hield would clearly be worthwhile from a point-per-dollar perspective, but the upside could be capped if his overall ownership gets out of hand with the optimal lineup number trailing.


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Dejounte Murray: DraftKings — $9,400 — PG | FanDuel — $9,700 — PG/SG

One of the players who has appeared in this space with frequency to this point in the season, San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray looks like an excellent option from an uncomfortably high salary tier once again this evening. The public seems to still not be used to Murray coming in at salaries in the mid-to-high $9,000 tier, instead choosing to remember the 1.11 fantasy points per minute that Murray averaged last season. This year Murray is averaging 1.32 fantasy points per minute on 25.1% usage that is up by 2 percentage points from last year’s mark. Murray has an excellent 33.4% assist percentage and a very strong 11.2% rebounding rate. Most impressively, he is accruing his per-minute scoring while putting in just a 49.4% true shooting percentage, suggesting that there could be slightly more upside as time goes on. Murray is a top option who is getting flat-out ignored by the public in early projections once again. His teammate and backcourt running mate Derrick White is similarly well projected and under-owned on the slate.

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On the FanDuel slate Murray comes in as a $9,700 option who fits into both guard spots, giving him heroic flexibility and making him an excellent piece for differentiation of lineup constructions on the blue site tonight. Murray lands in the optimal lineup in 14.2% of Awesemo’s simulated slates for this evening, tying him with Bobby Portis for seventh overall and landing him as the fourth-highest option at both guard positions in the category. Murray has a 20.2% boom score probability that trails the options above him when ranked by optimal rate, but his 45.3-point median FanDuel projection is already the highest among that group, and he comes in at a massive 9.3 leverage score, significantly outpacing the rest of the group. Murray is projected for just 4.9% public ownership on the site, and the field is far behind on him.

On the DraftKings slate Murray is restricted to just one position and he is pricey at $9,400. Murray has a 13.7% optimal lineup appearance rate that ranks him seventh among players at any position and first at the point guard spot. He comes in with a targetable 3.2 leverage score, projected for just 10.5% public popularity. Murray has a 46.1-point median projection and a 26.7% boom score probability. The raw NBA DFS scoring projection already has Murray sixth overall at any position, in the company of Karl-Anthony Towns, LaMelo Ball, and the three most expensive superstars on the slate. Murray is a strong option, his boom score probability is the second highest in that group and he is the most affordable name on the list. He is one of the top options across the industry once again, we are just going to have to accept that this is a $9,500 player in 2021-22.

Mo Bamba: DraftKings — $6,400 — C | FanDuel — $6,800 — C

After spending the early part of the season as a go-to value option, Magic center Mo Bamba has been more of a forgotten man on larger NBA DFS slates, despite continuing to carry salary-driven value. Bamba is averaging 1.08 fantasy points per minute this season, soaking up just 16.4% usage, last year he posted a 1.27 mark on a far higher 21% usage rate in his time on the court, if he is taking more field goal opportunities there is upside available. Currently, Bamba is posting a 54.5% true shooting percentage with a 9.6% assist rate and 13.9% rebounding share. He also averages three stocks in his 30-minutes per game (3.6 per 36). Bamba is a strong counting stat contributor with upside for more in a depleted and relevant Orlando rotation once again.

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On the DraftKings slate Bamba ranks eighth overall with a 13.5% optimal lineup appearance rate, though he slips slightly into negative leverage territory with a 14.7% popularity projection. Bamba is projected for a 34.2-point median night and he has an excellent 30.1% boom score probability that sits sixth overall and second to only the currently questionable Nikola Jokic at the position for far less salary. Bamba has a -1.2 leverage score in current projections, given the changing nature of the slate we could see him further into negative territory later in the day, but he would remain a sturdy option to mix and match lineup shares at worst, and he seems likely to maintain his upside.

On the FanDuel slate Bamba lands in the top lineup in a thinner eight percent of simulated slates. The field is getting to him with efficiency, leaving a -0.9 leverage score that can still be targeted for the $6,800 at the center spot. Bamba has a 25.5% boom score probability for the still-low salary, ranking him eighth overall but sixth among center options on the site. With a number of center-only plays that will be relevant to this slate, Bamba becomes more of a mix-and-match option on the blue site tonight. He has a strong 34.7-point median projection and should not be left entirely on the shelf, making a decision to go slightly over or slightly under the field’s projected ownership is a fine approach, Bamba is a playable part this evening, not an integral one.

Fellow NBA DFS expert Eric MacPherson is high on another Orlando Magic player tonight. Find out who that player is in his NBA DFS Building Blocks article today.

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Check out our DFS rankings NBA for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA daily projections. Looking for more NBA DFS help and the top NBA DFS picks tonight? Our NBA DFS projections DraftKings are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. We also have FanDuel rankings, Yahoo! ownership rankings and DraftKings rankings for today's slate. View our Yahoo! ownership projections, our DraftKings NBA ownership projections and our FanDuel NBA ownership projections.

Terry used to do other things, now he writes words on the internet. He hopes his more than 20 years’ experience in season-long and daily fantasy sports and his custom models for MLB, NBA, and NFL don't steer you too wrong when he writes columns and makes picks on Awesemo.com. A lifetime of experience keeping odd hours make Terry ideal to cover KBO baseball overnight until the world returns to normal. Most of those late night hours have been spent on the couch watching sports, T.V., and movies; just try to shut him up about any of the above. You can find his pop-culture ramblings and more on Sideaction.

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