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NBA DFS Leverage Picks and Optimizer Plays: LeBron James, Jayson Tatum and Theo Maledon

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NBA DFS Leverage Picks, Optimizer Plays: Scottie Barnes, Monte Morris

Friday features an 11-game NBA slate, and 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 tournaments. Let’s get into the top NBA DFS leverage picks for Friday, Nov. 18, including LeBron James and Jayson Tatum.

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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays

High-End Tier

With 11 games on tap, ownership is expected to be pretty spread out, mostly leaving it up to the DFS player to determine who they want to use. First and foremost, LeBron James is in a great spot against Detroit and looks to be severely under owned, with only 5.50% of rosters expected to have him on DraftKings.

Averaging a respectable 49.6 DraftKings points per game, James is questionable tonight after missing the past two contests with a thigh injury. Despite being questionable, LeBron has participated in non-contact drills both Wednesday and Thursday, signaling that he will likely retake the court sooner rather than later. Projected to be optimal 10.20% of the time on DraftKings and 18.80% of the time on FanDuel, LeBron is an elite play in all formats, and he offers nice leverage across both sites.


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Jayson Tatum also finds himself in a great spot tonight, priced at $10,800 on DraftKings and $10,500 FanDuel. He is averaging 52.3 DraftKings points through Boston’s first 15 games, and despite being expensive, he’s not getting nearly enough love across either site. Tatum is projected for only 4.30% ownership on DraftKings and 8.00% on FanDuel, making him severely under owned across both sites as he’s projected to be optimal 7.00% of the time on DraftKings and 10.70% of the time on FanDuel.

One player that is rating poorly from a leverage perspective on DraftKings in Stokastic’s Boom/Bust Tool is Bones Hyland. Only $5,000 on DraftKings, Hyland continues to pick up steam with both Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray out tonight for Denver. Projected to be optimal 26.20% of the time on DraftKings, Hyland is currently projected for 44.60% ownership, and with other value plays like Isaiah Jackson and Theo Maledon in better spots, it might be wise to stay away from him in tournaments.

Value Tier

There is no shortage of good value plays tonight, but Theo Maledon stands out as the best of the bunch at $3,900. With LaMelo Ball out and Dennis Smith Jr. doubtful for the Hornets, Maledon stands to see a big uptick in both minutes and usage. Projected for only 5.60% ownership on DraftKings, Maledon has an optimal percentage of 16.30%, making him the highest leveraged player on the entire slate. Already playing decent minutes for Charlotte, Maledon looks like an elite value play in all formats, with the masses seemingly slow to catch on.

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Situations to Monitor

Tonight, is a typical Friday night slate, with a bunch of injury situations to monitor as we get closer to lock. After missing the past two games with a right foot injury, Zion Williamson remains questionable for the Pelicans. Jrue Holiday also remains questionable for the Bucks, as he looks to make his return after missing the Bucks past four games. Like Zion and Holiday, Chris Paul is still questionable for the Suns after also missing the past four games. Kevin Porter Jr. is a new addition to this list, as he is in danger of missing his first game of the season due to lower back soreness. Gordon Hayward and Jarrett Allen are also both questionable as the Hornets meet the Cavs in Cleveland. Marcus Smart wasn’t at shoot around ahead of tonight’s game versus the Pelicans and the former Oklahoma State star is questionable to miss his second-consecutive game. Last, but certainly not least, Aaron Gordon is questionable for a Nuggets team already without Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray tonight.

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