On tap for Thursday night is a three-game slate, and even with only six clubs in action, NBA fantasy lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel will be flush with high-level talent and value plays. The Awesemo NBA Starting Lineups page will provide breaking news when starters are announced as well as a full injury report on players who might be missing in action. Below are some NBA daily fantasy options that stand out for tonight’s slate using Awesemo’s Boom/Bust Tool and NBA DFS projections.
Boom/Bust NBA Daily Fantasy Projections & Picks
Boom: Jonathan Kuminga: $4,300 DraftKings/$5,900 FanDuel
24.9% DraftKings Boom/4.4% FanDuel Boom
With Draymond Green (calf) on the shelf, Kuminga has been very effective, scoring 31.6 DraftKings points per game across his last four. He was inserted into the starting lineup for Tuesday’s blowout win over the Pistons and should remain a starter tonight against the Pacers, especially with Otto Porter Jr. (foot) joining Green on the inactive list. With these two forwards absent, Awesemo is projecting Kuminga for 29.7 minutes of work. In the 226 minutes he has played with Green and Porter Jr. off the court, Kuminga’s usage has risen 1.9 percentage points to 26.5%, which ranks third on the team for this situation. This results in 1 DraftKings points per minute, and this Indiana team Kuminga is going against ranks 21st in defensive efficiency and is on the second night of a back-to-back. Additionally, Myles Turner (foot) has been ruled out and Domantas Sabonis (ankle) is unlikely to suit up. The Pacers should be a complete mess on the defensive end and in this spot, the Warriors carry the highest implied team total on the slate (114.5 points).
At only $4,300 on DraftKings, Kuminga should effortlessly exceed five-times value and is rating as a top-three value on the slate in Awesemo’s projections. On FanDuel Kuminga is far more expensive at a season-high $5,900, but this has Kuminga slated for low ownership, making him a great target for GPPs.
Boom: Goga Bitadze: $3,700 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel
31.1% DraftKings Boom/14.2% FanDuel Boom
As noted above, Turner has been confirmed out and Sabonis also is not expected to play, after suffering a sprained ankle last night against the Lakers, that Pacers’ head coach Rick Carlisle called “significant” following the win. With these two starters unavailable, Bitadze is the next man up and should start at center against the Warriors. He is producing one DraftKings points per minute this season and in the three games Bitadze was active for with both Sabonis and Turner sidelined last season, he started on all three occasions and supplied 28.9 DraftKings points in 25.7 minutes per game.
Tonight’s matchup with the Warriors is ugly given they lead the league in defensive efficiency, but Bitadze is a tough value to ignore at only $3,700 on DraftKings. He is contributing 26.8 DraftKings points per game when he has cracked the 20-minute mark over the last two seasons, and Awesemo is projecting Bitadze to come with only 9.7% ownership, which is eye popping for a three-game slate.
Boom: Devin Booker: $8,300 DraftKings/$9,000 FanDuel
26.1% DraftKings Boom/12.8% FanDuel Boom
Deandre Ayton (ankle) will be out tonight and in the 12 starts Booker has made without Ayton this season, he has responded with 44.7 DraftKings points per game. Furthermore, in the 605 minutes Booker has played with Ayton off the floor this season, his usage and assist rates have increased 1 and 1.8 percentage points, respectively. Booker scores 1.3 DraftKings points per minute with these upgrades, and tonight the Suns sport the second-highest implied team total on the slate (109.5 points).
Booker is a worthy investment on both sites, but at only $8,300 on DraftKings, he is rating as the best value above $7,000 in Awesemo’s projections.
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Bust: Jonas Valanciunas: $7,700 DraftKings/$7,300 FanDuel
41.5% DraftKings Bust/38.6% FanDuel Bust
Valanciunas is coming off a 46.5 DraftKings points effort against the Celtics on Monday, but prior to this, he had recorded less than 40 DraftKings points in seven of his previous 10 starts. Plus, Thursday night delivers a very poor matchup for Valanciunas. He will be going against the Knicks, who rank 13th in defensive efficiency and dead last in pace. To make matters worse, they are allowing the second0-fewest points in the paint this season. The Pelicans’ implied team total is the lowest on the slate in this spot (102.75 points) and this game’s total is also the lowest on the board (209.5 points)
With the center position delivering far better values and Awesemo projecting Valanciunas to have top-five ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel, he is a sharp fade for this three-game slate.