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Optimal Leverage

NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays: Tobias Harris Among Best Contrarian Choices




Free No House Advantage picks today and props for the Thursday NBA DFS slate using expert projections & Awesemo's rankings tonight.

On tap for Tuesday is 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 Tuesday, Nov. 22.

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NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays

High-End Tier

Among the studs for this four-game slate, Stokastic is projecting Devin Booker to be the most owned on both DraftKings and FanDuel, with Chris Paul (heel) missing his seventh game in a row. Still, Booker’s ownership projection is only hovering around 25% and when you factor in his very reasonable price tags, holding strong and making Booker a core play is the right call. Over the last two seasons, the shooting guard has produced 50.1 DraftKings PPG in the 17 starts he has made without Paul. Furthermore, Booker has provided 1.3 DraftKings PPM, mostly attributed to a 5.9 percentage point increase to his assist rate. As for his matchup, Booker is playing the Lakers, who rank fifth in pace, compared to the Suns, who rank 26th. In this up-tempo spot, the Suns implied team total is the highest on the slate (117 points). For both DraftKings and FanDuel, Booker is easily rating as the best value above $9K in Stokastic’s projections.

With the 76ers missing Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey due to foot injuries tonight, De’Anthony Melton is anticipated to be very chalky on both DraftKings and FanDuel according to Stokastic’s projections. In addition to the heavy ownership, the guard’s salaries have skyrocketed to new career highs on both sites, after Melton went off for 49 DraftKings points this past Saturday, with Embiid active, but Maxey and Harden inactive. While this was a great showing for the veteran, expecting a similar output is difficult, which is the type of result we need from Melton for him to beat his new price tags. First off, his fantasy score was seriously inflated with him recording five steals, which matched a career high for Melton. Also, while Embiid is out now, both Tobias Harris (hip) and Furkan Korkmaz (knee) will be back tonight. Specifically, Harris should be one of the primary offensive weapon for the 76ers tonight and his presence without a doubt will hurt Melton’s usage. Especially on DraftKings, where Harris and Melton are similarly priced, opting to a lesser owned Harris makes sense from a contrarian standpoint. With Embiid, Harden and Maxey off the court over the last two seasons, Harris has led the 76ers with a 29.1% usage rate, which is a 8.4 percentage point jump from his average, resulting 1.3 DraftKings PPM.

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Value Tier

Continuing with the 76ers, Shake Milton is unavoidable tonight, despite being one of the most heavily owned players on the slate. The guard is significantly cheaper than Melton and brings similar upside, assuming he remains a starter. With a starting role Saturday, Milton delivered 36 DraftKings points across a team-high 38 minutes, with a 26.4% usage rate, that ranked second only to Embiid in the win. Over the last two seasons, Milton has posted a 23.7% usage rate and amassed one DraftKings PPM with Embiid, Harden and Maxey off the floor. Plus, Milton is generating 34 DraftKings PPG for the last five occasions he has logged at least 25 minutes. For comparison, Melton has been less productive with this type of role, averaging 31 DraftKings PPG for the last five contests he has cracked the 25-minute mark.

A lower owned value play that could be a real difference maker tonight is Ben Simmons. The ex-76er is finally starting to look like his former All-Star self, scoring 42 DraftKings points in 33.5 minutes per game in the last two. The difference has been the Nets’ willingness to let Simmons play as a small ball center, boosting his rebounding numbers and getting him easier looks in the paint. With Nicholas Claxton (questionable, illness) missing the last game, Simmons started at center and he has already been confirmed to remain a starter tonight, regardless if Claxton is available or not. Given that the Nets have won back-to-back games with Simmons thriving in this role, he and Claxton shouldn’t share the floor much at all going forward, which is great news for Simmons, whose fantasy production upgrades to one DraftKings PPM with Claxton off the floor. Simmons also finds himself in a revenge situation against the 76ers tonight, who should be a mess on defense sans Embiid. In terms of ownership, Simmons isn’t getting the respect he deserves in Stokastic’s projections and is a great way to gain leverage in GPPs.

Situations to Monitor

This short four-game slate has two uncertain situations that require close attention. Firstly, Ja Morant (ankle) has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable and is now expected to be a game-time decision. The point guard is certainly trending towards a return tonight and if Morant didn’t face any limitations, he would be an elite GPP play vs. the Kings, who rank third to last in defensive efficiency. Desmond Bane (toe) is out tonight and with the shooting guard off the floor this season, Morant has received an absurd 42.9% usage rate and scored 1.6 DraftKings PPM. Now, on the other hand, if the point guard is unable to make his return, Tyus Jones and Jaren Jackson Jr. would both be nice mid-tier targets, that could get lost in the mix with this short slate having a plethora of value plays. Jones is supplying 35.3 DraftKings PPG in the three starts he has made for Morant this season and Jackson Jr. has seen a 31.1% usage rate and led the Grizzlies with 1.2 DraftKings PPM with Morant and Bane off the floor over the last two seasons.

Next, Bones Hyland (illness) has been downgraded to questionable, which is very important news with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray both doubtful due to health protocols in this beautiful matchup vs. the Pistons, who rank second to last in defensive efficiency. If Hyland plays, he will be a great target, that could get overlooked, given the changes to his status throughout the day. With Jokic and Murray out Sunday, Hyland erupted for 46.75 DraftKings points across 35 minutes with a team-high 32.5% usage rate in a brutal matchup vs. the Mavs, who rank dead last in pace and fifth in defensive efficiency. Now, in the event Hyland sits, Bruce Brown will see a notable upgrade to his already strong fantasy stock. As the Nuggets starting point guard with Murray out for the last two, Brown has provided 34 DraftKings points in 32.4 minutes per game with a 20% usage rate. If Hyland isn’t available, both Brown’s usage and playing time would rise to points that would make beating his current price points an easy task in this prime matchup with Detroit. In the 50 minutes Brown has played with Jokic, Murray and Hyland off the court this season, he has scored 1.1 DraftKings PPM with a 25.5% usage rate.

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