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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays: Luka Doncic Getting High-Flying Matchup With Celtics

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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays: Luka Doncic, Paul Reed

For this Thanksgiving Eve slate, there are 12 games on the schedule tonight, 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 Wednesday, Nov. 23.

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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays

High-End Tier

In Stokastic’s projections, Trae Young is slated to be the most owned stud for this 12-game slate, with an ownership projection around 20% for both DraftKings and FanDuel. While Young is in a great spot, playing behind the largest implied team total of the night against the Kings (123 points), he hasn’t been a great fantasy asset as of late by his standards. Since missing one game with a shin injury, Young has only surpassed 50 DraftKings points once in his last seven starts and that performance was inflated due to the contest going to overtime. With so many other lower owned studs to consider for this huge slate, rostering Young with the heavy ownership isn’t a wise strategy for GPPs.

Paying a little more for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who Stokastic is projecting for single-digit ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, is a sharp move. Ranking sixth in the league in usage rate (31.9%), Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 1.4 DraftKings points per minute and 51.1 DraftKings points per game this season. Tonight, Gilgeous-Alexander will be at home and facing a Nuggets squad that ranks 27th in defensive efficiency and that is on the second night of a back-to-back. This game’s total is the fourth highest on the slate (232.5 points) and Denver is only favorited by 4 points. This is the largest total Gilgeous-Alexander has competed in this season and he is producing 54.1 DraftKings points per game when he has played in a spread under 5 points this season (four games).

Another strategy that is surely to be contrarian tonight is paying all the way up for Luka Doncic, who ranks second in usage this season at a whopping 37.3%. He is in a great spot to reach his ceiling tonight against the Celtics. Boston sits atop the NBA standings this season, but it hasn’t been because of their defense that ranks 23rd in efficiency; it has been due to their elite offense that leads the league in efficiency. Combine the Celtics’ potent offense and weak defense, and they have been one of the best matchups to attack for fantasy this season. This contest’s total is up to 218.5 points, which is high for Dallas, and Doncic has exceeded 60 DraftKings points at a 70% clip when playing in totals of at least 215. Also, keep an eye on the status of Spencer Dinwiddie (questionable, shoulder), as his absence would be a large boost for Doncic. In the 211 minutes he has played with Dinwiddie off the court this season, Doncic has destroyed his opponents for an absurd 1.9 DraftKings points per minute, thanks to a jaw dropping 44% usage rate.

Value Tier

With Joel Embiid (foot) missing his second in a row, Paul Reed is projected to be the most owned player on DraftKings tonight according to Stokastic’s projections. However, at only $3,700, he is essentially a free square and chalk to embrace on DraftKings. With Embiid out of the lineup last night, Reed didn’t get the start but operated as the 76ers’ primary big man, logging a career-high 31 minutes, en route to a double-double worth 42 DraftKings points in the win over the Nets, also setting a career high. After leading Philadelphia in plus/minus in the victory (21), it’s hard to imagine Reed not seeing a large role again tonight, starter or not, in a spot that is perfect for him against the Hornets. Charlotte ranks sixth in pace, and they are allowing the third-most rebounds and eighth-most points in the paint. This season, 84% of Reed’s shots have come in the paint and he is contributing 1 DraftKings points per minute. By a sizeable gap, Reed is the No.1 value on the slate in Stokastic’s projections for DraftKings. As for FanDuel, Reed is priced more appropriately at $5,400, but he still has the potential to easily beat this type of salary and Stokastic is forecasting him for single-digit ownership given the higher price tag, making Reed an incredible GPP target.

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With the Clippers missing Kawhi Leonard (knee) and Paul George (hamstring) tonight, Marcus Morris is expected to be very chalky on both DraftKings and FanDuel according to Stokastic’s projections. While he saw high usage in this situation last season, that hasn’t been the case this season, with Morris’ usage actually dropping 4.1 percentage points in the 39 minutes he has played without both Leonard and George, resulting in a low 0.6 DraftKings points per minute. While this is a limited sample, there is clearly downside here and with massive ownership coming Morris’ direction, he is a tough value play to consider for large tournaments. On the contrary, taking a chance on a far lesser owned John Wall is a better way to attack the shorthanded Clippers. He has flashed upside recently, scoring over 30 DraftKings points in four of his past six games, and has been the primary beneficiary sans Leonard and George this season. In the 121 minutes Wall has played without these two stars, he has led Los Angeles in usage (32.2%), assist rate (45.7%) and DraftKings points per minute (1.2). Going against a Warriors club that ranks second in pace, Wall has a ceiling north of 40 fantasy points and boasts a top-five leverage score on the slate in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool.


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Situations to Monitor

Jayson Tatum (ankle) headlines Wednesday’s list of questionable players. He has yet to miss a game this season and is leading the Celtics with a 30.7% usage rate, so there would be a huge void to fill if Tatum sits. First and Foremost, Jaylen Brown would be an excellent high-end target. In the 128 minutes he has played with Tatum off the court this season, Brown’s usage has risen 6.1 percentage points to a huge 36.1%, lifting him to a team-best 1.3 DraftKings points per minute. Plus, Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White would both become appealing values. At 27.2%, Brogdon only trails Brown in usage with Tatum off the court this season, and White would likely enter the first unit and see big minutes if Tatum were unavailable. White is shooting 43% from the beyond the arc this season and is generating 35.7 DraftKings points per game for the five occasions he has logged over 30 minutes.

Tyler Herro (questionable, ankle) could miss his ninth game in a row tonight, while Jimmy Butler (knee) has been ruled out. If Herro joins Butler on the sidelines, Bam Adebayo would be a terrific target for GPPs, that could get overlooked, given the size of this slate. Adebayo posted 47 DraftKings points with Butler and Herro out Monday and is leading the Heat with a 28.9% usage rate and 1.3 DraftKings points per minute with the two starters off the floor this season, in a sample of 179 minutes.

Lastly, Scottie Barnes (questionable, knee) is a name to watch closely. Pascal Siakam (groin) remains out and if Barnes is also unable to suit up, Fred VanVleet would become an awesome option. That could come with low ownership given his recent shooting struggles. VanVleet is going against a Nets club that ranks 20th in defensive efficiency and is playing their second game in two nights, and with Barnes and Siakam off the court this season, VanVleet’s usage has skyrocketed 10.9 percentage points to a team-high 32.9%, resulting in 1.1 DraftKings points per minute, in a sample size of 60 minutes.

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