The weekend is here and Saturday night brings a midsized 6-game NBA DFS slate. While you always have to be vigilant about late news and injury situations with NBA gambling, the weekend news cycle can be even trickier. There are less eyes on team beats and more distractions with other sports running concurrently. The lack of information can be a source of edge as long as you stay up on things.
Stokastic’s NBA DFS Boom/Bust Tool will have you ready to pounce on any lineups news with up date ceiling projections to go along with baseline projections and ownership. There are already some strong plays as of 2 p.m. ET.
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Boom/Bust NBA DFS Picks & Projections | Jan. 21
NBA DFS Play: Saben Lee $3,700 DraftKings/$4,500 FanDuel
66.04% DraftKings Boom/52.35% FanDuel Boom
As it stands, the points of differentiation on tonight’s slate are at PG and C. There are several good plays at those positions but a dearth of options at SG and SF. The top option in the Boom/Bust tool is Saben Lee. Lee has been a staple on this list as of late while he soaks up the Phoenix Suns rotational minutes in the absence of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
Saben Lee’s is actually coming in over owned compared to his optimal rates on DraftKings and Fanduel. He is optimal in 4.7% and 7.8% of lineups respectively. That doesn’t mean he can be ignored. Lee’s strong boom scores and high floor make him easily rosterable despite the field getting to him at a high rate. You can consider fading Lee in large field GPPs where you’ll need to be closer to the optimal lineup in order to win. However, Lee is a fine option for most other contest sizes. He’ll lock in a solid floor projection and low bust percentage (2.0/6.41) while providing salary relief and roster flexibility.
NBA DFS Play: Dennis Smith Jr. $4,000 DraftKings/$5,700 FanDuel
57.89% DraftKings Boom/25.01% FanDuel Boom
Dennis Smith Jr. ranks one spot below Saben Lee in our Boom/Bust tool on DraftKings and just five after him on FanDuel. The Hornet’s guard is only $300 more on DraftKings making him a strong pivot off Lee or as a candidate to roster alongside him in a double PG build. His ownership is 53.8% and 34.4% on DraftKings and FanDuel respectively. He is optimal at 60.4% and 41.6% rate on the two sites, which is creating significant leverage.
Those numbers look better than Saben Lee’s on the surface, but there are two downsides to using Dennis Smith that NBA DFS players should consider. The Hornets tip off against the Atlanta Hawks at 7 p.m. ET which means that Smith will lock in a spot prior to any late game news. He also is starting alongside other strong boom candidates Terry Rozier and Mason Plumlee. There is nothing inherently wrong with rostering multiple players from the Hornets, but you will want to manage that carefully depending on how many lineups you play, price ranges and contest size. Otherwise, our strong leverage scores on Dennis Smith Jr. (6.6/7.2) can’t be ignored.
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NBA DFS Play: Mason Plumlee $6,500 DraftKings/$7,300 FanDuel
29.72% DraftKings Boom/18.75% FanDuel Boom
The Charlotte Hornets lack depth in their front court. The organization drafted C Mark Williams out of Duke with their first round pick last year. Williams has earned a rotational role coming off the Hornets bench, replacing Nick Richards who was their main backup big man for most of this season. As Williams and Richards grow, the team has given Mason Plumlee even more time with the first unit. Plumlee saw 29 minutes in their last game against the Houston Rockets. He had not seen less than 30 minutes since January 4th.
The solid playing time makes Plumlee a boom candidate, especially on DraftKings. He is expected to be owned in 323% of lineups compared to a 26.2% optimal rate. That is creating a negative leverage score, but still has to be considered because he tops the list at his position. There are some pivot points to think about, but if you want to lock in the top option, Plumlee is the way to go. Likewise, he brings similar risks in game time and roster construction to Dennis Smith Jr. Be aware of those as you build your lineups tonight.
NBA DFS Fade: Damion Lee $4,800 DraftKings/$5,200 FanDuel
20% DraftKings Boom/19% FanDuel Boom
Damion Lee is optimal in 5% of DraftKings lineups and 4.4% on FanDuel. Stokastic is currently projecting 20% and 19% ownership on him, creating more negative leverage than any other player at the top of our tool. The reason Lee is projecting to get so much ownership is his position. He is eligible at SG/SF on DraftKings and SG on FanDuel, which are scarce positions in terms of value on tonight’s slate.
The opportunity cost to fading Lee is high. However, if you use the boom candidates above to find value, you will have enough flexibility to avoid this chalky option that will be rostered on too many rosters. There is nothing bad about having some shares of Damion Lee on Saturday night’s slate, but if you do you will want to be creative with your roster given how many other strong plays are available at the PG and C spots. Be mindful not to get bunched into similar roster combinations as the rest of the field, especially if you are hand building.
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