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NBA DFS Building Blocks

NBA DFS Picks and Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks for Today

Eric MacPherson



NBA DFS Building Blocks: Luka Doncic Tops the Player Pool

Wednesday, November 16, marks the middle of the work week with a tremendous 10-game main slate locking at 7:00 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s look at the player pool to discuss the top NBA DFS building blocks today for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups. Be sure to check out the Stokastic NBA DFS & Fantasy Basketball home page, where you can find fantasy basketball picks and analysis for each slate of games.

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NBA DFS Building Blocks Today: Wednesday, November 16

Core Play of the Day — Jayson Tatum: Boston Celtics-Atlanta Hawks

  • Stokastic’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 52.98 | FanDuel: 50.82
  • Stokastic’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: DraftKings: 5.9% | FanDuel: 8.9%
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $10,900 | FanDuel: $10,600

Boston is playing in Atlanta tonight in a matchup with a stellar 235.5 projected point total. The Hawks have a decent defensive efficiency rating of 107.7, though that is offset by their frenetic pace where they are averaging 104.4 possessions per 48 minutes, which is the fourth most in the league. The addition of Dejounte Murray, along with the combination of Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, has been solid. However, they should not impede the inside-out game of Jayson Tatum.

While this is Tatum’s sixth NBA campaign, the three-time All-Star will not turn 25 until later this spring. Through 14 games this season, he is averaging career highs of 37.5 minutes and 20.9 field goal attempts with a 49.1% conversion rate, along with 31.9 points per game. This has culminated in an average fantasy output of 51 points per game, which is stellar. More importantly, Tatum is also eligible at both forward positions on DraftKings and FanDuel, which grants him the flexibility we need with so many desirable point guards and centers in the player pool tonight.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Oklahoma City Thunder-Washington Wizards

  • Stokastic’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 47.72 | FanDuel: 48.33
  • Stokastic’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: DraftKings: 15.3% | FanDuel: 11.1%
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $9,400 | FanDuel: $10,400

It can be a little nerve-wracking to divine whatever the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to do with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the midst of another tanking season. On a positive note, even though this game is on the road in Washington, Gilgeous-Alexander has played at least 34 minutes in all but two games he has started this season, and in his seven road games, he has averaged 36.3 minutes.

In his road games, has been stellar with a 52% success rate on an average of 23.0 field goal attempts, culminating in 31.9 points 4.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 3.4 combined blocks and steals for just over 53 fantasy points. Gilgeous-Alexander could get lost in the mix as new discount dandies reveal themselves throughout the day, facilitating the coveted stars-and-scrubs roster construction.

Tonight, looking at the other superstars: Luka Doncic is a little dinged up, and there is the potential he gets the night off after logging nearly 40 minutes on Tuesday after averaging 38.1 minutes per game over his last 10 appearances. Even the backups have a strong chance at besting a tanking Houston squad tonight.

Update: Doncic is out tonight.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has seen his minutes dialed back to the low-30s over the last fortnight, and Jrue Holiday (ankle) is close to returning to action, as is Khris Middleton. Plus, if the Bucks get to play the Cavaliers without Jarrett Allen and Donovan Mitchell, they should be able to win without putting undo stress on Antetokounmpo.

Just food for thought, but as we can see, there are little things against each of the top options tonight. This is the second-level thinking that is needed to find consistent success in today’s NBA DFS landscape.

Additional NBA DFS Picks Today – Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tonight Mason Plumlee has a 3.5 over/under line on assists for his matchup against the Pacers. The Stokastic NBA player projections have him for 4.5 assists and a 65% expected win rate. Though some of his career-high 5.5 assists per game this season can be attributed to LaMelo Ball’s injury, Plumlee has always been an adept passer.

In his four prior seasons, including time with Denver, Detroit and Charlotte, Plumlee played in 272 games, starting 147 times. During this stretch, he recorded 4.9 assists per 36 minutes, which indicates he can collect helpers in all sorts of different scenarios. The Pacers play at a top-five pace with a bottom-five defensive, which bodes well for Plumlee tonight.

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New York Knickerbockers-Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets will be without Nikola Jokic, who is in the health and safety protocol, along with Bones Hyland. Separately Ish Smith (calf) is likely to miss yet another game, and Aaron Gordon is dealing with a non-COVID illness. Though with two of his teammates already in the health and safety protocol, a positive test today would not be surprising for Gordon.

Jokic being out leaves a major void just by himself, which will only be compounded if Gordon is unavailable. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are core building blocks in all formats tonight, and journeyman DeAndre Jordan is the center punt du jour. If Gordon is out, then Bruce Brown Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will also be additional players to target.

Keep in mind that this is the “altitude” back-to-back for the Knicks, who did top the Jazz in Salt Lake City. Additionally, New York is playing at a top-10 pace with a bottom-10 defensive efficiency rating, which has resulted in opponents averaging 116.4 points per game.

New York has been running a deep rotation; even with Mitchell Robinson likely out for another game, it is hard to look below the “main” options for DFS purposes. Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein are the key starters, along with Immanuel Quickley off the bench. Each of these players carries a relatively neutral tournament projection on DraftKings and FanDuel when accounting for their salaries. Quickley looks to be the only player with double-digit popularity on DraftKings, while Cam Reddish has those honors on FanDuel at the minimum salary and eligible as a shooting guard and small forward.

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Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks Today

Tonight the West Coast games have pending news, with Chris Paul questionable after missing the last week with a sore heel and the aforementioned question marks in the Knicks at Nuggets game unlikely to be known prior to main slate lock.

Keep abreast of late-breaking news by turning on notifications for the Stokastic NBA Twitter handle and let them do the heavy lifting. Plus, if you are a premium member, be sure to check out the Stokastic Discord for all up-to-the-minute analyses.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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