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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Bobby Portis




NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

With a 12-game NBA slate today, this article will analyze Stokastic’s ownership projections for the slate to see how to handle the high and low-owned players in order to gain leverage in GPPs. Let’s get into the top NBA DFS leverage picks for Wednesday, Nov. 9.

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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays

High-End Tier

With Stokastic projecting him for low ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is an enticing way to gain leverage in GPPs tonight. The guard ranks inside the top 10 in usage rate this season (30.9%) and is amassing 1.44 DraftKings PPM. He has topped 50 DraftKings points in four of his last seven starts. While he just posted a season-worst 26.75 DraftKings points against the Bucks on Saturday, Jrue Holiday (out, ankle) was available for that contest and he is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Not having to deal with Holiday as the primary defender is a huge deal for Gilgeous-Alexander and he brings a huge ceiling near 60 fantasy points tonight.

With Stokastic projecting Tyrese Haliburton for single-digit ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, the guard is a tremendous tournament target tonight. Handling career highs in usage (24.4%) and assist percentage (45.3%), Haliburton is amassing 1.4 DraftKings PPM and has exceeded 50 DraftKings points in six of 10 starts this season. On the menu for tonight is a projected shootout with the Nuggets, who rank 22nd in defensive efficiency. The Pacers have been even worse on defense, ranking 26th in efficiency and this game’s total is the highest on the slate at 235 points. Additionally, Indiana being at home bodes well for Haliburton, who has been 3.6 DraftKings PPG better on his home floor than when on the road over the last two seasons. Haliburton is likely to hit over 50 fantasy points in this gorgeous spot and he is a steal at less than $9,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

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Value Tier

Bobby Portis is expected to be a popular play tonight with the Bucks shorthanded but is a strong example of good chalk at his reasonable price points. With Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo (out, knee) missing, Portis will likely be promoted to Milwaukee’s starting lineup and see around 30 minutes of action, which is plenty of time to beat his price tags. Portis is in the midst of an outstanding season and has benefited greatly with Holiday and Antetokounmp off the court, producing 1.5 DraftKings PPM, thanks to a 32.6% usage rate, which is a massive 11.4 percentage point upgrade from his season average. Portis is rating as a top-three value on the slate for both DraftKings and FanDuel in Stokastic’s projections and is also rating as a positive leverage target for both sites in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool, meaning he is far too cheap and isn’t seeing enough ownership for his potential ceiling.

A high-owned value play we should be staying away from is Royce O’Neale. Coming off a season-high 40.5 DraftKings point showing against the Mavericks on Monday, the forward is projected to be a top-10 most-owned player on DraftKings and FanDuel. While this was impressive, a repeat performance for O’Neale is extremely unlikely tonight versus the Knicks. In his second game back from a four-game absence, Ben Simmons should see more than 16 minutes tonight and will likely be rejoining the Nets’ starting lineup, which should hurt O’Neale’s already low usage rate. Even with Kyrie Irving (suspended) off the court, O’Neale’s usage has been at an underwhelming 13.4% this season. Chasing an outlier performance from a low-usage player is never smart and with the hefty ownership coming in his direction, O’Neale unsurprisingly owns a bottom-10 leverage score on the slate in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool.

On the other side of this New York matchup, Obi Toppin is an outstanding pivot off O’Neale. With Mitchell Robinson (ankle) inactive Monday, Toppin logged 26 minutes off the bench, en route to 36.75 DraftKings points versus the Wolves, both of which set new season highs for the forward. While Toppin didn’t start, he ranked fifth on the team in playing time and closed the game with the starters, with the Knicks primarily using small ball lineups. Considering New York walked away with a road win using this strategy and will be going against an undersized Nets team that only uses one natural big man in Nicholas Claxton, the Knicks should continue to rely on small ball lineups featuring Toppin again tonight with Robinson remaining sidelined. With a 23.4% usage rate, Toppin is contributing 1.1 DraftKings PPM this season and this is a strong spot, with Brooklyn ranking 21st in efficiency. The 24-year-old could easily destroy his sub $4,000 price tags tonight and is expected to go essentially unowned on both DraftKings and FanDuel according to Stokastic’s projections.

Situations to Monitor

Just like on Monday, we need to monitor the status of Trae Young (shin) closely tonight because if the guard misses his second straight game, Dejounte Murray will be a terrific high-end spend. With Young absent on Monday, Murray erupted for a near triple-double of 59 DraftKings in a win over the Bucks. In 134 minutes the ex-Spur has played with Young off the court this season, Murray has responded with 1.4 DraftKings PPM. In this situation, his usage has jumped 5.6 percentage points to 32.3% and his assist rate has risen 14.6 percentage points to 47.5%. Murray will likely be popular if Young sits, but would be worth investing in regardless.

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