NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays: Buy Chris Paul, Fade Russell Westbrook? (January 30)

Monday features an eight-game NBA DFS slate, and with Stokastic’s NBA DFS ownership projections, players can examine leverage data from Stokastic’s Boom/Bust Tool to find the best high- and low-owned players to help build lineups capable of shooting to the top of the GPP leaderboards. These are the top NBA DFS picks for leverage on Monday, including Chris Paul.

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NBA DFS Picks Leverage & Optimizer Plays | Jan. 30

High-End Tier

With both LeBron James (ankle) and Anthony Davis (foot) out tonight, Stokastic projects Russell Westbrook for top 10 rostership at both DraftKings and FanDuel. The guard should attract around 30% ownership on both sites, which makes him a logical fade. Westbrook has seen his role decrease significantly of late — he has logged fewer than 30 minutes in four straight games. During this stretch, the veteran has also shot an abysmal 32.7% from the field.

While Westbrook will obviously handle a large usage rate with both James and Davis out, the team’s recent lack of confidence in him is concerning. Westbrook will almost certainly still come off the bench tonight, and he may not even see a large uptick in playing time. Westbrook rates as a bottom-10 option on the slate in terms of leverage score in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool. Attacking cheaper players from the depleted Lakers makes more sense than a volatile, chalky Westbrook.

Chris Paul makes for an attractive alternative. The veteran point guard only costs slightly more than Westbrook on both DraftKings and FanDuel but should come with a third of the ownership, per Stokastic’s projections. In his first four starts back from a seven-game absence due to a hip injury, Paul played excellently and is averaging 51.6 DraftKings points per game. Devin Booker (groin), Cameron Payne (foot) and Landry Shamet (foot) have missed all four of these games and will remain sidelined Monday. With all three of these players off the court this season, Paul has generated 1.2 DraftKings points per minute, which stems from a 3.3 percentage-point increase in his usage rate. In a game that features a tight 1.5-point spread, Paul has 50-fantasy point upside and makes a terrific leverage target for GPPs.


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Some other low-owned players that stand out include Damian Lillard and Rudy Gobert. Lillard will play the speedy Atlanta Hawks, who rank seventh in pace. This contest carries the fourth-highest total on the slate (237 points), and the sportsbooks favor Portland by only two points. Lillard averages 55.2 DraftKings points per game when playing in games with totals of at least 235 points this season (seven games) and should come in at around 10% ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, per Stokastic’s projections.

As for Gobert (groin), the center carries a questionable tag but has played through it in four straight games. He has averaged 39 DraftKings points per game during this time. Gobert finds himself in an incredible spot against the Kings. This tilt’s total slots in at the third highest on the slate (237.5 points) and features the board’s tightest spread, with Sacramento only favored by a single point. Gobert averages 39.2 DraftKings points per game when playing in games with totals of 235 points or more this season (five games) and is a steal at only $6,600 on DraftKings. Even at this very reasonable price, the big man should draw only around 10% ownership, according to Stokastic’s projections.

Value Tier

In the absence of James and Davis, Thomas Bryant should draw plenty of ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, per Stokastic’s projections. The big man is way underpriced for his role as the Lakers’ starting center tonight and makes for good chalk, especially at only $5,000 on DraftKings. Bryant has supplied 32 DraftKings points in 28.4 minutes per game when James and Davis sit (four games).

While overpriced on FanDuel, Dennis Schroeder must draw significant ownership on DraftKings at only $5,400, even though Stokastic also projects him for top-10 ownership. Schroder provides 36.3 DraftKings points per game with James and Davis out this season (four games) and scores 1.0 DraftKings points per minute with the two stars off the court on a 23.8% usage rate — a significant 6.4-percentage point jump from his season average.

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Aaron Wiggins should also draw plenty of ownership. He projects as a top-five most-owned player on both DraftKings and FanDuel, according to Stokastic’s projections — but makes for a difficult fade at his low salary. Luguentz Dort (hamstring) will miss his second straight tonight, and with him unavailable last Friday, Wiggins got the spot start and delivered 24.75 DraftKings points across 30.5 minutes in the upset over the Cavs. The wing is averages 22 DraftKings points per game when given at least 25 minutes this season (11 games) and is an excellent, affordable way to attack this slate-high total against the Warriors (242.5 points) — assuming he sticks in the starting lineup.

As for contrarian value plays, Delon Wright is an intriguing target with Stokastic slating the guard for less than 5% ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Wright has collected 1.0 DraftKings points per minute this season and has flashed solid upside recently, producing 26 DraftKings points per game in his last six. Facing a league-worst San Antonio defense and playing in the game with the slate’s second-highest total (239 points), Wright’s ceiling is over 30 fantasy points. making him worth gamble for GPPs.

Situations to Monitor

Luka Doncic (questionable, ankle) is the most important name to monitor tonight, as his absence would make Spencer Dinwiddie a worthwhile spend against a Detroit defense that ranks second-to-last in efficiency. Christian Wood (thumb) is also out, and with him and Doncic absent Saturday, Dinwiddie erupted for 57.5 DraftKings points in a whopping 41.3 minutes against the Jazz. With both Doncic and Wood off the floor this season, Dinwiddie leads the Mavs with 1.3 DraftKings points per minutes and a 34.5% usage rate — a massive 12.8 percentage point lift from his season average.

Now, if Doncic suits up, he immediate enters the conversation for GPPs, especially when factoring in the potential for him getting overlooked due to the injury. The Mavs will play at home tonight and boast an implied team total of 119 points. Doncic has been nearly 5.0 DraftKings points per game better at home than when on the road this season and averages 65 DraftKings points per game when playing behind an implied team total of at least 115 points.

The Hawks have listed Trae Young (ankle) as questionable tonight, and his absence could alter the slate as well. As noted above, the Hawks-Blazers game owns the slate’s fourth-highest total (237 points), and if Young misses this tilt, Dejounte Murray makes for an incredible target. Portland ranks 25th in defensive efficiency, and Murray has recorded at least 49 DraftKings points in three of the four starts he has made without Young this season. Overall, with the guard off the floor, Murray’s usage and assist rates rise by 1.9 and 9.7 percentage points, respectively.

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