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NBA DFS Picks and Fantasy Basketball Building Blocks for Today

Eric MacPherson

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NBA DFS Building Blocks: Luka Doncic Tops the Player Pool

Friday, November 18, brings 22 teams in action with the featured slate tipping off 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: Friday, November 18

Core Play of the Day — Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks-Denver Nuggets

  • Stokastic’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 58.38 | FanDuel: 55.68
  • Stokastic’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: DraftKings: 5.9% | FanDuel: 13.7%
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $12,700 | FanDuel: $12,000

There are 11 games tonight, which means there will be no shortage of value options. Looking at the top of the projections, Luka Doncic leads a group of five players boasting 50 fantasy points or more as their median outcome. This season, Doncic has failed to reach the 50-fantasy-point plateau only once in 13 games.

Dallas will be hosting the Nuggets, who are missing both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray due to the health and safety protocol. Aaron Gordon is also dealing with an illness, and a positive COVID test would not be a surprise. Doncic leads the league with 34.4 points per game, and he is producing a career-high 62 fantasy points per game. After getting a break on Tuesday, when the Mavericks lost at home 101-92 to the Rockets, Doncic should be ready to resume his heavy workload.

From the Denver side, Bones Hyland and Michael Porter Jr. stand out as core options, and if he is healthy, Gordon should be on the shortlist for the evening sub-slate. If Gordon misses another game, then Bruce Brown Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope become secondary value options on the main slate. Let other gamers roster DeAndre Jordan, as he no longer has much upside beyond 25 fantasy points at this stage of his career.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Oklahoma City Thunder-Memphis Grizzlies

  • Stokastic’s Preliminary Point Projections: DraftKings: 49.49 | FanDuel: 50.03
  • Stokastic’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: DraftKings: 13.3% | FanDuel: 9.1%
  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $9,900 | FanDuel: $10,800

Tonight the Thunder are wrapping up a four-game road trip in Memphis. They do not play again until Monday, when they host the New York Knicks. The Grizzlies have been average at best on defense this season, allowing 110.0 points per 100 possessions and 113.4 points per game.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is in the midst of another breakout campaign, and he has taken a MASSIVE leap from last season by averaging 10 more fantasy points per game, with barely one more minute of court time per tilt. There will be some regression with his 54.6% field goal rate closer to his 47.9% career average, but even so, he could finish the season converting over half of his field goal attempts.

The biggest improvement has been in his scoring, where he is averaging 32.3 points per game, compared to his previously career-high 24.5 from last season. The 24-year-old is also delivering 10.5 combined rebounds and assists per outing, which help give him a high fantasy floor. Do not let the lofty salary dissuade you from rolling with SGA, as he has more than earned it with his play thus far.


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Additional NBA DFS Picks Today – Sports Wagering Opportunities

Tonight Bol Bol has a lofty 9.5 over/under line on his rebound prop for his matchup against in Chicago against the Bulls. The Stokastic NBA player projections have him for 8.1 rebounds and a 70% likelihood that he falls below this threshold tonight. Wendell Carter Jr. is slated to return, and while Paolo Banchero remains out, this brings another above-average rebounder onto the court as well as someone who can curb Bol’s minutes potential.

Since moving into the starting lineup, Bol has produced double-digit rebounds on four occasions. Though Carter did play in three of these matchups, Chicago is an above-average rebounding team, which means Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond will be competing for boards as well.

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Miami Heat-Washington Wizards

Jimmy Butler is out with knee soreness, and Tyler Herro will be missing his sixth consecutive game with a sprained ankle. Bam Adebayo received a midday downgrade from questionable to doubtful with a bruised knee, which has Miami looking rather thin as they take on the Wizards tonight in our nation’s capital. Dewayne Dedmon (foot) and Caleb Martin (knee) are also game-time decisions with their respective ailments.

Kyle Lowry, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent look to be the biggest recipients of extra playing time and opportunities, though they have seen their salaries inching up in the absence of Herro, so they are by no means slam dunk options. Each has different utility depending across the different DFS sites, depending on your budgetary and positional constraints. If both Adebayo and Dedmon are out, Nikola Jovic should draw another start, and he is intriguing on sites that have granted him power forward eligibility.

Washington may be without reserve guard Jordan Goodwin, though that will not have any fantasy implications on a slate this large. Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis are all viable tournament options, particularly since the shorthanded Heat defense is bestowing a 115 implied point total for the Wizards, which is nearly 7 more points than their season average.

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Charlotte Hornets-Cleveland Cavaliers

LaMelo Ball is back on the shelf with an ankle injury, and both Gordon Hayward (shoulder) and Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle) are doubtful. This means big minutes and production are available for Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre Jr., Mason Plumlee and PJ Washington. Theo Maledon is in play if Smith is out, and he can be targeted with impunity, even if he is coming off the bench, as the Hornets are woefully thin in the backcourt.

Jarrett Allen missed a couple of games with an ankle injury, and now he is battling an illness. Even if he draws a start tonight, he may be a little rusty after being out for a full week. Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland are intriguing tournament options, as they should be able to lead the Cavaliers to a decisive victory tonight in front of the hometown fans. If Allen is out, then Kevin Love and Evan Mobley become viable tournament options against the questionable Charlotte frontcourt.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks Today

There are 22 teams in action tonight, which could lead to a lot of moving parts. 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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