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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays: Tyler Herro’s Status May Open Up Opportunities

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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays: Jimmy Butler

Thursday presents a four-game slate, and with the help of Stokastic’s NBA DFS ownership projections, this article will find the best high- and low-owned players that offer leverage for GPPs. Let’s get into the top NBA DFS leverage picks for Thursday, Nov. 10.

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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays

High-End Tier

Ownership up top for this short slate is pretty spread out, with Joel Embiid projected to be the most rostered stud by a slight margin — he’s around 30% for both DraftKings and FanDuel in Stokastic’s NBA DFS projections. Despite his popularity, Embiid is in the best situation among the expensive players and is worth building around. First off, James Harden (foot) will remain sidelined, and in his first start without him Monday, Embiid finished with 55.5 DraftKings points in a difficult matchup against the Suns.

Embiid has seen his usage increase to 37.1%, and he has scored 1.6 DraftKings points per minute with Harden off the floor since the start of last season. Plus, unlike most players tonight, Embiid didn’t play yesterday, and he is in a strong spot against a Hawks club that ranks seventh in pace, whereas the 76ers rank dead last.

Furthermore, Atlanta has given up the seventh-most points in the paint, and this game’s total is the second highest on the slate (222 points). With Luka Doncic on the second leg of a back-to-back and playing in a slow-paced, low-total game, Embiid has a solid chance to lead the slate in fantasy points.

Brandon Ingram is a lower-owned, high-end option in Stokastic’s NBA DFS projections that could be a difference maker in GPPs. He is leading the Pelicans in usage this season (31.2%), resulting in 1.24 DraftKings points per minute. Excluding his third start of the season (he exited after only 10 minutes due to a concussion), Ingram is producing 43.6 DraftKings points this season and has topped 40 DraftKings points in four of six starts.

Matching up with the Trail Blazers tonight, New Orleans boasts the highest implied team total on the slate (115.75 points), and this game’s total is the largest on the board (225 points). Ingram has exceeded 40 DraftKings points 55% of the time when playing in totals of at least 220 points over the last two seasons.

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Value Tier

As the replacement starter for Harden, De’Anthony Melton is expected to be the most owned player on both DraftKings and FanDuel. While Melton was a great value when Harden first went down, his price tags are way too aggressive now, and the inflated cost combined with the hefty ownership makes Melton an easy fade.

With Embiid back in the lineup on Monday, Melton’s usage plummeted to 11.6% after seeing a 28.4% rate in his previous start without him, resulting in only 23.75 DraftKings points. That is well under 5x value at his current price points. Melton is only averaging 0.71 DraftKings points per minute with Embiid on the court this season (88 minutes), which is a major drop off from his 1 DraftKings point per minute for the season.

Spencer Dinwiddie is a much better target in the same price range with slightly lesser ownership. Christian Wood (knee) will miss a second straight game tonight against the Wizards, and with him absent Wednesday, Dinwiddie erupted for a season-high 49 DraftKings points in a team-high 37.3 minutes. He saw a season-high 30.9% usage rate, and tonight he has far better upside than Melton if the Mavericks continue to give him huge minutes tonight sans Wood.

Opposite of Dinwiddie, Jordan Goodwin is a worthwhile risk. He has been outstanding with Bradley Beal (health protocols) missing the last two, generating 33.25 DraftKings points in 23.5 minutes per game off the bench. Goodwin is a versatile guard who can stuff the stat sheet in all categories, and he is averaging 1.2 DraftKings points per minute this season. His floor is shaky as a reserve, but there is clearly upside here for Goodwin with Beal remaining sidelined tonight, and his sub-5% ownership projection for both DraftKings and FanDuel makes him one of the best tournament plays this slate has to offer.

Situations to Monitor

Tyler Herro (ankle) is questionable tonight, and his absence would be notable boosts for Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo in a prime matchup against the Hornets. Charlotte ranks 12th in pace and is playing their second game in two nights.

With Herro off the floor this season, Butler and Adebayo have both seen upgrades to their fantasy production, scoring 1.5 and 1.2 DraftKings points per minute, respectively. Notably, Butler’s usage has risen 3.1 percentage points to a team-best 27% without Herro. Gabe Vincent would also become one of the better values, and he could get overlooked since he is a bench player. With Herro missing his first game of the season Monday, Vincent posted 26.75 DraftKings points in a season-high 35 minutes against the Blazers.

On the other hand, if Herro is active without limitations, he would make sense for GPPs, as his ownership would likely be depressed coming off the injury. Herro is leading the Heat with a 25.7% usage rate this season and has recorded at least 37 DraftKings points in six of nine starts this season, not counting his Nov. 1 outing against Golden State in which he saw only 10 minutes due to injury.

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