The Slate Starter is a daily first look at to get your daily fantasy basketball lineup-building process started before lock tonight. Each day, we will go through some of the best NBA DFS picks, top stacks and optimal lineup construction for DraftKings and FanDuel. Be sure to check Awesemo’s NBA Starting Lineups page, as it will be updated throughout the day as the NBA injury reports are released and breaking news surfaces. Let’s dive into some players who stand out as key options on Friday’s nine-game main slate.
Want to see how your lineup stacked up against yesterday’s winning NBA DFS lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo? Check out Awesemo’s Optimal Lineup Review, which uses Fantasy Cruncher Rewind to analyze the winning plays from the night before.
DraftKings & FanDuel NBA DFS Lineup Advice Today
Caris LeVert, PG/SG, Indiana Pacers
The injuries continue to pile up for the Pacers. Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner all remain out of the lineup, and Isaiah Jackson will join them on Friday. Goga Bitadze and Oshae Brissett are also listed as questionable.
With that in mind, LeVert is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting for this squad vs. the Bulls. He’s increased his usage rate to 28.5% in games with Sabonis, Brogdon, and Turner this season, and he’s averaged 1.11 DraftKings points per minute in that situation. LeVert has racked up at least 34.5 minutes in three of his past four games, and that should be enough paying time to pay off his current salary.
Overall, LeVert stands out with one of the best value scores among the stud tier in our NBA Projections.
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Rudy Gay, SF/PF, Utah Jazz
The Pacers aren’t the only team struggling with injuries at the moment. The Jazz are also down a host of key contributors at the moment. The team is particularly thin in the frontcourt. Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles, and Danuel House are all out, while Hassan Whiteside is questionable.
That should open up a few additional minutes for Gay. He logged 26.3 minutes with all four players out of the lineup in their last gay, and he posted a strong 32.1% usage rate. Gay has averaged 0.95 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he can easily pay off a $4,400 price tag with a few additional minutes.
It will be interesting to see what Gay’s projected ownership looks like vs. the Nets. If he’s flying under the radar, he should grade out well from a leverage perspective in our Boom/Bust Probability tool.
Brandon Goodwin, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers have one of the best matchups of the day on Friday. They’re taking on the Hornets, who rank second in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency this season.
The Cavaliers are also going to be without Darius Garland for the third straight game. That opens up some additional playing time for Goodwin. He’s been fantastic when given the chance to play this season. He’s averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s increased that figure to 1.00 over the past month.
Goodwin has racked up at least 26.9 minutes in each of his past two games, and he’s responded with at least 25.75 DraftKings points in both. His playing time also increased to 32.4 minutes in his last outing, so his minutes are trending in the right direction.
Goodwin’s additional playing time could also make him worth considering in the player prop market. Make sure to take advantage of the Awesemo Player Prop tool, which highlights the most exploitable player prop bets each day.
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