What’s up all, Lindy here! This article series will walk you through the key parts of the main NBA DFS slate every evening. Unexpected news could always come from nowhere to rattle a slate, so don’t take this as gospel. But here are a handful of key decision points for tonight’s slate that I’ll be factoring in so you are better prepared for what’s to come and can optimize your lineups accordingly. Let’s get right into today’s NBA DFS lineup advice! Need more NBA DFS lineup advice? Check out our NBA DFS lineup generator or our industry-leading NBA DFS simulation tools.
NBA DFS Lineup Questions: Key Decisions for Today
NBA DFS Lineup Advice: A Few Fun Plays
On 11-game slates with infinite pieces of news we’re waiting on, it can make a guy just trying to write an article with actionable information feel pretty useless. And while I do know our lineups will be rather Grizzlies heavy with the onslaught of injury news they have surrounding them, until the starting lineup drops and the Vince Williams Jr./John Konchar questionable tags are unveiled one way or the other, it’s almost foolish to talk about. Just have a fair share of Memphis pieces pre-baked into lineups ahead of time, and we’ll figure out the rest later.
But we have teams on back-to-backs that could rest pieces out of the blue, we have the entire frontcourt of the Celtics in flux, and even the everyday LeBron James/Anthony Davis questionable tags aren’t as clear cut as they were a few weeks ago when they’d just suit up no matter what. So instead of trying to guess which pieces come to fruition and which don’t, I thought I’d give you three plays that are currently under-represented based on current ownership in the Stokastic Boom/Bust Tool and are viable no matter what way news shakes out.
1. Luka Doncic PG — $11,800 DraftKings/$12,500 FanDuel
Whenever an immense amount of value shows up, the easiest thing in the world for players of all skill levels to do is give a boost to top projected plays on any given slate. And today, Doncic comes in with a nearly 70-point projection on DraftKings, the highest by a decent margin over fellow $11,000 players Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The matchup is far from ideal against the Orlando Magic, who rank fourth in adjusted defensive rating and 22nd in pace, but Doncic without Kyrie Irving on the floor is a cheat code: 948 minutes, 37.6% usage, 46.8% assist rate, 1.73 DraftKings points per minute. Add in the security to his minutes, as he played 45 and 46 minutes on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and I’ll happily be over the field at 25% ownership despite the negative leverage. The floor/ceiling combo and raw fantasy points are simply too good to pass up on this slate if building out more than one lineup.
2. Mikal Bridges SG/SF — $7,200 DraftKings/$7,900 FanDuel
One headache I’ve been having as I work through today’s slate is the Brooklyn Nets, who started Cam Thomas against the Rockets on Saturday and gave him a ridiculous 41 minutes of run. Considering Dorian Finney–Smith will be out tonight, you’d think that would make things easier to project for this team. But with Johnson expected back after missing Saturday’s game for personal reasons, as well as Ben Simmons expected to return tonight in a limited capacity, I am having a devil of a time allocating minutes for this team. In fact, there’s a wide-range of outcomes for the guards and power forwards spots, and it could turn into a bit of a hot-hand approach.
Well, except for two pieces: Shooting guard/small forward Mikal Bridges and center Nic Claxton. They’re the only two I feel comfortable projecting for around 34 minutes in this spot, and the range of outcomes on their minutes don’t fluctuate the way they do with other rotational pieces. And due to the multi-positional eligibility of Bridges, as well as nearly half the ownership of $6,000 Thomas, I plan on rolling out a decent amount of Bridges tonight against the Jazz, who are top 10 in pace and bottom 10 in adjusted defensive rating this season.
3. Donte DiVincenzo SG/SF — $5,900 DraftKings/$5,800 FanDuel
On FanDuel, DiVincenzo falls more into the core-play category than the GPP flier that he might appear to be on DraftKings. But similar to Bridges, he has the coveted SG/SF that avoids the premier point guard pay-up (Doncic) and pay-downs (Scotty Pippen Jr./Jacob Gilyard). It’s also a question of what to expect from this Knicks team sans Julius Randle, who’s going to miss some time with a dislocated right shoulder. Josh Hart is in line to start and play big minutes, but Precious Achiuwa and/or Quentin Grimes can certainly cut into his playing time pending what the Knicks need.
But there is no question that, without Randle, offense/shooting is of the essence to have out on the floor, and that’s where DiVincenzo should shine with the expected increase in usage. Sure, Jalen Brunson will be doing just about everything offensively, but DiVincenzo has shot the ball incredibly well this season: 42.2% from 3, 62.2% true shooting and a 61.1% effective field goal percentage.
That’s resulted in a +1.9 offensive estimated plus-minus on DunksAndThrees.com that puts him in the 88th percentile of all NBA players. This adds a level of certainty to DiVincenzo’s minutes that hasn’t been there before, routinely playing 25 to 26 minutes since being inserted into the starting lineup. Stokastic projections have him in for 31 minutes tonight, a sentiment I echo that has him landing in north of the 10.7% ownership he currently has.
NBA DFS Lineup Advice: Nuke of the Night
I rattled off three-straight “Nuke of the Night” candidates, but I’ll at least tease tonight’s before the NBA Deeper Dive tonight: Zion Williamson.
Pending how Boston’s frontcourt situation shakes out, we’re talking a $7,700 Williamson facing some combination of Oshae Brissett and Neemias Queta. And I repeat this at least once a week, but it’s crazy: Since the calendar turned over to 2024, the Pelicans have had just ONE of their 13 games finish with a single-digit margin of victory. The blowout nature of their games has led to decreased minutes and decreased prices for the Pelicans, and Williamson is by far the one I’m most interested in landing on here.