On the menu for Wednesday is a 10-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 Wednesday, Nov. 16.
NBA DFS Leverage Picks & Optimizer Plays
With 10 games on tap, ownership among high-end players is very spread out in Stokastic’s projections, with no players over $9,000 on either DraftKings or FanDuel expected to crack 20% ownership. This naturally creates some elite ways to gain leverage with some very low owned studs.
Trae Young is also only forecasted for around 10% ownership according to Stokastic’s projections, making him an enticing pay-up option in this slate-high total against the Celtics (235.5 points). Boston has been a mess defensively with Robert Williams (knee) yet to make his season debut, ranking 24th in efficiency, and now, they will also be without Marcus Smart (ankle), the reigning defensive player of the year. The Hawks’ implied team ranks third on the slate tonight (117 points) and Young should have a field day in this gorgeous spot on his home floor. Young ranks fifth in usage rate this season (34%) and is producing 56 DraftKings points per game when competing at home in a total of at least 230 points over the last two seasons, exceeding 50 DraftKings points in 8 of 12 games.
Jaylen Brown is also a great target from this projected shootout between the Celtics and Hawks at less than $9,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel and with a modest ownership projection according to Stokastic’s projections. He has surpassed 40 DraftKings points in 9 of 13 starts and Brown’s fantasy production has increased to 1.2 DraftKings points per minute with Smart off the floor this season, thanks to a 4.9 percentage point boost to his assist rate. Not only is this the highest game total Boston has competed in over the last two seasons, but their implied team total is also the largest on the slate (118.5 points). Brown is contributing 45 DraftKings points per game in his last 10 game totals of at least 225 points, and he is a top-10 option on the slate in leverage score in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool.
With Nikola Jokic (health protocols) missing his first game of the season tonight, the Nuggets are the best source of value for this 10-game slate. First and foremost, DeAndre Jordan is anticipated to be extremely chalky as the replacement starting center for Jokic. While this seems like an easy play, there is plenty of downside to rostering a chalky Jordan. Particularly in this matchup against the Knicks, who are without Mitchell Robinson (ankle), the Nuggets easily could mostly rely on small ball lineups with Aaron Gordon (questionable, illness) at center, resulting in a miniscule role for Jordan. Plus, Jordan was a major disappointment in the 20 starts he made last season, averaging 15.5 DraftKings points per game and only exceeding 20 DraftKings points in eight of those 20 starts.
Jordan doesn’t bring real upside tonight and fading the masses here is the right move. On the contrary, eating the chalk with Jamal Murray has a ton of merit. In the 56 minutes he has played with Jokic off the court this season, Murray’s usage has skyrocketed 9.4 percentage points to a team-high 35.6%, lifting him to 1.1 DraftKings points per minute. New York ranks third in pace, compared to the Nuggets, who rank 18th, and Murray should produce his first performance over 40 fantasy point this evening. Continuing with the Nuggets, Michael Porter Jr. is expected to be a top-three most rostered player on both DraftKings and FanDuel according to Stokastic’s projections but just too cheap to ignore. Porter handles a 20.4% usage rate with Jokic off the court this season and has knocked down three pointers at an outstanding 48.3% clip. New York is allowing the second most made three pointers per game this season (14.1) and Jokic’s absence guarantees Porter a role over 30 minutes. Porter is generating 35 DraftKings points per game when he plays at least 30 minutes this season.
Aleksej Pokusevski is a lower-owned value play that is rating positively as an NBA DFS leverage target in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool. The Thunder will be without Tre Mann (back) and Darius Bazley for the second straight game and with these two players absent Monday, Pokusevski started at center for the Thunder and went off for a season-best 47.5 DraftKings points across 37.1 minutes against the Celtics. Mann and Bazley’s absence’s should leave the Thunder no choice but to play Pokusevski huge minutes again tonight in the third highest total on the slate against the Wizards (229 points) and he isn’t expected to be overly popular, given the Nuggets are soaking up most of the ownership in Pokusevski’s price range. In the 171 minutes he has played with Mann and Bazley off the floor this season, Pokusevski is amassing 1.1 DraftKings points per minute. Furthermore, Pokusevski is averaging 36 DraftKings points per game when he plays at least 25 minutes (five games).
Situations to Monitor
Tyrese Haliburton (questionable, ankle) is in danger of missing his first game of the season tonight, which would leave T.J. McConnell as the Pacers starting point guard. If this situation unfolds, he will gain plenty of attention but will be an example of good chalk. McConnell is scoring 0.9 DraftKings points per minute this season and this matchup with the Hornets carries the second highest total on the slate (233.5 points). In eight starts last season, McConnell was very efficient with 29.1 DraftKings points per game.
Keep a close eye on Chris Paul’s (questionable, heel) status. Given this is the last game of the night to tipoff, there may not be word on Paul until well after roster lock. Combine this factor with the size of the slate and that Cameron Payne disappointed with Paul inactive Monday against the Heat with only 22.25 DraftKings points, and Payne should be very low owned tonight if Paul remains sidelined. In a matchup against the Warriors that presents the fourth highest total on the slate (229 points) and tightest spread of the night (GSW -0.5), Payne would bring a huge ceiling and be an elite GPP play. Before Wednesday’s dud, Payne had supplied 40.4 DraftKings points per game in his first two starts for Paul. Devin Booker would also need to be considered and likely wouldn’t be chalky given his season-high salaries. In these last three without Paul, Booker has scored over 50 DraftKings points twice. He is leading the Suns with a 29.7% usage rate and 1.3 DraftKings points per minute with Paul off the court.
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