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High-Upside NBA DFS Picks: Joel Embiid Worth Spending Up For Against Atlanta Hawks

Tyler Schmidt

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High-Upside NBA DFS Picks: Joel Embiid Worth Spending Up For Against Atlanta Hawks

Thursday features a four-game NBA slate with few appealing matchups. There also isn’t a lot of injury news to monitor at the moment, but make sure to check the starting lineups page if anything out of the ordinary pops up. It is the NBA after all. This article features two 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 big man Joel Embiid.

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NBA DFS Boom: Joel Embiid: $10,900 DraftKings/$10,500 FanDuel

36.2% DraftKings Boom/31.9% FanDuel Boom

Luka Doncic may be priced much higher than Joel Embiid, but Embiid rates out much better in our Boom/Bust tool tonight. He has the highest boom percentage on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel making him the preferred pay-up option. After missing three-straight games, Embiid returned and poured in his fourth double-double of the season scoring 33 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He made all 16 of his free throws on his way to a 55-point DraftKings performance. With James Harden out it will be the Joel Embiid show as he’ll get fed early and often against this Hawks defense.

This is an island road game for the 76ers, so we may need to monitor the status on Embiid to make sure he is in the lineup. The 76ers always toy with his games played, which makes it a little scary, but we should know his status before lock. If he is good to go, Embiid should have no trouble with this Hawks frontcourt that has allowed 52.4 points per game in the paint this season, which ranks 24th in the league. Clint Capela has caused some problems with Embiid throughout his career, but with such a small slate fading Joel Embiid sounds like a recipe for disaster.

NBA DFS Boom: Terry Rozier: $8,600 DraftKings/$8,000 FanDuel

20.5% DraftKings Boom/21.0% FanDuel Boom

Since returning from injury, Terry Rozier has had three-straight games where he has attempted 20 or more field goals. With LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward out for tonight, the Hornets offense will continue to run through Rozier. He leads the team in scoring, averaging a career-high 21.8 points and six assists per game. With a usage rate of 30.9%, Rozier will be doing whatever he can to keep the Hornets competitive as double-digit road underdogs. They may be in a tough spot, but Rozier has never seen a shot he hasn’t liked, which bodes well for his upside.

Finding a mid-range player that has a high boom percentage on both DraftKings and FanDuel was a little tough, but Rozier is definitely the best choice. On sheer volume alone, Rozier is worth a flier in tournaments. The Heat haven’t been as good defensively as recent years. They rank 17th in defensive rating this season as they allow opponents to shoot 47.1% from the field and 38.1% from behind the arc. Not having PJ Tucker on this Heat defense has really hurt them. He may be priced up due to the small slate, but Rozier will look to be aggressive to try and keep the Hornets within reach.


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NBA DFS Boom: De’Anthony Melton: $6,000 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel

28.2% DraftKings Boom/35.7% FanDuel Boom

Back to the 76ers, De’Anthony Melton isn’t quite the value he used to be, but with James Harden out due to injury Melton is still worth getting exposure to in tournaments. In four games as a starter this season, Melton is averaging double-digit field goal attempts and over 30 DraftKings points per game. His salary has risen, but Melton is still a strong play on this four-game slate. He has the highest boom percentage on FanDuel where he is currently in the optimal lineup over half of the time. Melton has the fourth-highest boom percentage on DraftKings, making him a strong value option there as well.

There are plenty of guards to play on this slate, but Melton has by far the best value in our Stokastic projections. Melton is playing more than 30 minutes per game recently and can get it cooking from the perimeter. Over half of Melton’s field goal attempts have come from behind the arc this season, which bodes well for this up-tempo game. In his first season with the 76ers, Melton has found himself playing a much larger role in this offense now that Harden is out. Melton may be more popular than he should be on this four-game slate, but it is hard to ignore the upside that he can provide.

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NBA DFS Bust: Damian Lillard: $9,700 DraftKings/$8,500 FanDuel

76.0% DraftKings Bust/65.2% FanDuel Bust

Normally priced this low on a four-game slate, Damian Lillard would be highly recommended as a great option. However, despite the Trail Blazers starting out with an 8-3 record, Lillard has one of the highest boom percentages on the slate, especially on DraftKings. Getting exposure to Lillard on FanDuel at $8,500 makes sense, but he also provides hardly anything in the steals and blocks department. At $9,700 on DraftKings it will be tough to stomach when he hasn’t topped 45 points since returning from injury. It is tough to fade a player on a four-game slate, but Lillard is the best option.

The Trail Blazers are seven-point road underdogs against the Pelicans tonight with an implied total of 109.5 points. They are on a six-game road and have won three of their first four games. However, this spot is a little tougher playing the Pelicans who rank 12th in defensive rating this season as they are finally fully healthy. In our NBA DFS Rankings, Lillard is the only player with an E value on DraftKings and a D value on FanDuel. Our Stokastic projections also have Lillard as a very poor value at his salary for both DraftKings and FanDuel. Take the fade approach with Dame Time tonight.

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