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🏀 Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings + FanDuel | Thursday, February 11th

Eric Lindquist



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Wednesday was one of those days that made me yearn for simpler times. Isaiah Roby was legitimately the highest-owned play on DraftKings, and while being slightly underweight to his late scratch might seem like something I should be happy about, I still had more than enough to make it hurt. Should I have been more observant to the signs? Sure. Would I have still rolled with a little at $3,700? Absolutely. I suppose it’s one of those licks we just have to take, so let’s regroup and come back stronger. Which brings me to my NBA DFS picks and strategy for Thursday’s five-game slate on DraftKings and FanDuel for Thursday, Feb. 11. Let’s get down to work.

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NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | Feb. 11

Free Boucher Today

As recently as this summer, I lauded Raptors head coach Nick Nurse as one of my favorites in the Association. I enjoyed his play calling and demeanor during the Kawhi Leonard-led NBA Finals run. I liked how predictable his rotations were throughout the bubble playoffs. And I absolutely loved his desire to give every starter in said bubble playoffs an enormous amount of run.

Well, those days feel like a distant memory, as I cannot tell you the headache/pain/anxiety/sadness this man has caused me every time the Raptors are on a slate. And it has nothing to do with anyone besides the one and only Chris Boucher. Boucher is quite literally one of my favorite players in the NBA, an offensive juggernaut with size (6-foot-9), range (43.8% from 3 so far this season) and athleticism (just look what he did to Giannis Antetokounmpo last year right here). But for some reason, Boucher can’t get the consistent court time he desperately deserves this season:

The fluctuation of minutes has been hard to handle for Boucher truthers such as myself, as his talents and abilities are undeniable if you watch even a minute of him on a basketball floor. His rates back that up too, as he’s now averaging 1.31 FanDuel points per minute, with a 21.1% usage rate on the season. But the inconsistency of playing time has led to some insane salary swings; on DraftKings he’s been as low as $4,400 and as high as $7,300, while his range on FanDuel has been even more extreme ($4,500 to a whopping $8,100).

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For Thursday’s date with the Celtics, Boucher enters with a price tag of $6,000 at center on DraftKings and $6,400 on FanDuel at power forward. Most importantly, he seems to have found favor with one Nick Nurse once again, as we’ve seen just north of 28 minutes per game in Boucher’s past four. And while this is obviously a back-to-back, the blowout win against the Wizards on Wednesday might have prevented Boucher’s ownership from getting completely out of control today (although box score watchers will astutely notice he still got to 44 DraftKings points in those minimal 24 minutes). So for however long this good favor lasts with Nurse, let’s be sure to take advantage and jam him in our NBA DFS lineups.

Shooting Guard is the New Small Forward

The more I look into FanDuel, the more I’m blown away by how abysmal the shooting guard position looks on Thursday’s slate. Trying to roster a $9,300 Fred VanVleet coming off a 25.3-fantasy-point outing sounds a lot like torture, as does rostering an $8,000 Victor Oladipo with an entirely healthy/active Rockets backcourt. But if you want to roster the raw points, they seem like the only two options besides Andrew Wiggins at $6,600, who will project for more than 30.

Which makes shooting guard drastically-less appealing to me than small forward, the typical punt position for us on FanDuel. I’m hoping we get some news to open up some more viable options, but be prepared to fire up the likes of Seth Curry, Tyler Herro and even Justin Holiday (who was mercifully moved to the position for us) if nothing changes. Sounds gross to say, but Curry would certainly be my highest-owned player there if the slate started now. That’s why it’s imperative you keep close track of all the news at the @AwesemoNBA Twitter handle. As soon something happens where I can viably jam in more of someone else, I will.

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Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups

  • Another day, another slate with DeMarcus Cousins projecting massively well on FanDuel at the same $6,000 tag. While Nikola Vucevic and Joel Embiid are my preferred options, we play a salary cap game where it will be hard to avoid a good deal of Cousins exposure on this slate. Hopefully the third time’s the charm.
  • T.J. McConnell is $5,200 on both sites. If you see him in a lineup of mine, I’m being held hostage and send help.
  • The Cole Anthony news will be huge on this slate. If he’s out, I could have more Frank Mason III and these ancillary Magic pieces than I’m comfortable saying out loud. I know he burned a lot of you on Tuesday (including me), but trust me — him giving it a go would save us all from a huge headache.
  • Just play Jimmy Butler.

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