High-Upside NBA DFS Picks: Fade Damian Lillard Against Dallas Mavericks

This Saturday features a six-game NBA slate with every game being started within an hour and a half window, which makes it more likely we get most if not all of the news prior to lock. However, it is good practice to always keep up with the starting lineups page to see who is in and out of the lineup tonight. This article features three boom candidates and one bust/fade option. These plays below are driven by Stokastic’s NBA DFS Boom/Bust Tool. Let’s take a look at some of the best NBA DFS picks for the big slate, prioritizing 76ers Joel Embiid and fading Damian Lillard.

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NBA DFS Boom: Joel Embiid: $11,100 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel

28.9% DraftKings Boom/32.0% FanDuel Boom

Playing in a home-and-home series, the Atlanta Hawks beat the Philadelphia 76ers last game 104-95. The 76ers will get a chance at revenge right away as three-point home favorites tonight. When looking to spend up on this six-game slate, look no further than Joel Embiid who ranks in the top four in boom percentage on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Embiid got into a little bit of foul trouble last game, but still rallied to put up a double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Since returning from an illness, Embiid has back-to-back massive double-doubles and will likely get a third-straight tonight.

This matchup sets up perfectly for Embiid as the Hawks have allowed the 10th most points scored in the paint and rank below average in rebounding percentage. Playing without James Harden boosts Embiid’s ceiling considerably, even if we haven’t seen it quite yet. In the two games Embiid has played without Harden, he is averaging 29.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, and most notably a 38.8% usage rate. In our Stokastic projections, Embiid ranks second barely behind Luka Doncic on both sites, but is a much better value due to his cheaper salary. Embiid is the best pay-up option on the slate.

NBA DFS Boom: Myles Turner: $6,300 DraftKings/$7,100 FanDuel

40.2% DraftKings Boom/33.1% FanDuel Boom

Myles Turner is one of the best players for this article due to his boom or bust tendencies. He leads the slate on DraftKings with the highest boom percentage and has the second highest on FanDuel. There are so many great center options on this relatively small six-game slate but pairing Embiid with Turner on DraftKings is the best route and luckily Turner has power forward eligibility on FanDuel. If Turner can stay out of foul trouble, he is going to crush this price tag. We have already seen it twice since he returned from injury that Turner has scored well over 50 DraftKings points.

Due to only six games played, Turner doesn’t qualify yet, but he would be leading the league in blocks with 3.3 per game. The Raptors have a smaller front court and are playing without Pascal Siakam who led the team with 9.3 rebounds per game. Without Siakam the Raptors are too small in this matchup against Turner. He isn’t a bruiser in the paint but is so long that he can cause havoc all over the floor. The Raptors have allowed the 10th most blocks per game this season. There is so much upside for Turner that it shouldn’t be surprising he is the highest-owned player on both sites tonight.

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NBA DFS Boom: De’Anthony Melton: $6,400 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel

25.7% DraftKings Boom/40.1% FanDuel Boom

Back to the 76ers we go with value piece De’Anthony Melton. He will also benefit greatly without playing alongside James Harden. Melton has a smaller ceiling than Tyrese Maxey, but is much cheaper and is by far the best value play on FanDuel in our Stokastic projections. In three games without Harden this season, Melton is attempting double-digit field goal attempts and is averaging over 30 minutes per game. Our projections have Melton for 33.6 minutes as he leads the slate with the highest boom percentage on FanDuel and rivals Turner in terms of ownership.

In his first season with the 76ers, Melton may not have anticipated being thrown into a starting role, but he has taken the extra opportunity in stride. Three games ago, Melton had 18 field goal attempts. He may be the fourth option in the 76ers starting lineup, but the Hawks play at the fifth-fastest pace in the league which will create more opportunities for everyone. Melton has shot very poorly over the last three games, but if a few more shots fall tonight, he will pay off this price tag on both sites quite easily. However, prioritize Melton on FanDuel at this ridiculously cheap salary.

Bet $5 on the NBA tonight and get $150 if your first pregame moneyline wager wins!

NBA DFS Bust: Damian Lillard: $9,600 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel

75.0% DraftKings Bust/67.5% FanDuel Bust

After missing the last game due to injury management, Damian Lillard is expected back tonight in a tough road matchup against the Mavericks. The 9-3 Trail Blazers are surprisingly 4-1 on their six-game road trip that will come to an end tonight. Lillard may benefit if Jusuf Nurkic is ruled out, but otherwise this Trail Blazers team is fully healthy. Our NBA DFS Rankings has Damian Lillard being the only player with a D value on DraftKings and an E value on FanDuel that is remotely relevant on this slate. He also has a high bust percentage despite being a seemingly good value on FanDuel at $8,500.

Damian Lillard has a career-high 32.1% usage rate and is even shooting a career-best 48% from the field and 40.8% from behind the arc. It is odd that his fantasy scoring is way down though. Over the last three games, Lillard is averaging only 34.9 DraftKings points per game as his peripherals continue to take a hit. This is a very tough spot to target anyone from this game as the Mavericks and Trail Blazers play at the top three slowest paces in the league. This game total is only 216 points with the Trail Blazers implied for 105.25 points, which is the second lowest on the slate. Fade Lillard and arguably everyone in this night game.

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Tyler Schmidt

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