Lindy’s DFS Decisions: NBA DFS Lineup Adjustments You Need To Make ASAP (January 5)

Hey guys, Lindy here! I wanted to start up this article with the intention of talking through key parts of the main NBA DFS slate of the evening. Unexpected news could always come from nowhere to rattle a slate, so don’t take this as gospel. The plan is to make crucial NBA DFS lineup optimization picks and adjustments based on the day’s biggest stories.

Nevertheless, here are three key NBA DFS decision points for tonight’s slate that I’ll be factoring in so you are better prepared for what’s to come and can adjust your lineups according.

Let’s get started!

NBA DFS Lineup Optimization Picks

NBA DFS Lineup Optimization Picks: If Luka Doncic sits, how many Mavs are we playing?

Tonight’s 11-game main slate on DraftKings could very well be headlined in all of our lineups by the Dallas Mavericks. Starter Dante Exum has already been ruled out with a right heel contusion — as has their third center Richaun Holmes for personal reasons for whatever it’s worth — and now the biggie: Luka Doncic received an early morning downgrade to questionable.

Now, normally a downgrade of this nature has me leaning towards a player being out. Add in that the Mavs recently got Kyrie Irving back into the lineup — as well as the fact they’re playing the lowly Portland Trail Blazers and remain 9.5-point favorites — has me thinking Luka is extremely live to miss tonight’s game. If he somehow suits up, he’s the highest-projected player on DraftKings at 64 points, albeit with the slate’s highest price tag at $11,600.

But assuming he misses, this team becomes the value du jour:

  • Josh Green ($4,200) is already receiving the most ownership on the slate at 39.9%, as DraftKings disregarded that he started last game, played 27 minutes, and has SF/PF multi-position eligibility that slides him easily into lineups.
  • Derrick Jones Jr. ($5,200) has the identical SF/PF tag for a thousand more, but carries a much higher fantasy point-per-minute rate (0.80 DK ppm) to that of Green (0.65 DK ppm).
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. ($6,000) goes from completely unplayable into a solid option as a 1.21 DK points-per-minute player absent Exum and Doncic on the floor this season.
  • Jaden Hardy ($4,400) would become the windmill slam of the slate: super cheap, PG/SG eligible, starts for Luka in these spots, and has a 30.1% usage rate in 145 minutes with Exum and Doncic off the floor this season, resulting in a whopping 1.20 DraftKings points per minute.
  • Kyrie Irving ($8,400) was saved for last as he’s not ‘value’ per say, but it’s curious to note his 1.26 DK point-per-minute rate on the season actually goes down in the 123 minute sample size with no Exum or Doncic on the floor. That’s a small sample size so I don’t want to read into it too much, but if he’s flocked to in droves, I’d at least entertain getting away from him for two reasons: 1) He’s only been back for two games after missing 12 games with a right heel issue, thus playing just 32 and 29 minutes in those outings, and 2) there are a LOT of point guard plays in that range such as Terry Rozier ($8,400), James Harden ($8,500), and Tyrese Maxey ($8,500) that carry identical ceilings. Too much ownership floods to Kyrie with that minutes uncertainty, and I’ll happily float to the rest of that range at reduced ownership.

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NBA DFS Lineup Optimization Picks: Karl-Anthony Towns’ Salary is WHAT?!

In the midst of the incredible season the Timberwolves are having — 24-9, 1st in the Western Conference — Karl-Anthony Towns has sacrificed personal stats in the name of winning. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still sporting a 62.5% true shooting percentage, knocking down threes at a 40.1% clip, and has seen his assist rate boosted to 23.6%, the highest mark of his career by a considerable margin.

But in NBA DFS, shooting the ball well and shooting the ball a lot can be too different things. And with a usage rate down to 26.6% to make way for Anthony Edwards’ whopping 32.3% usage rate, there’s a new undisputed number one on offense for the Timberwolves this season. Still, the rebound rate has remained despite the extra floor time with Rudy Gobert and back-up center Naz Reid, so why has KAT performed so poorly from a fantasy perspective lately, and can we trust him tonight against a stout Rockets defense at $7,200?

That’s where I say, unequivocally, yes. WORTH IT. Sure, the depth of this team in the front court — the aforementioned Reid and Swiss-army knife Kyle Anderson specifically — there will be times that KAT will be limited to 32-or-fewer minutes a night in perfectly neutral game scripts. That’s scary to embrace as chalk, but unlike Irving where I laid out a number of similar ceilings in his price range, there is no one remotely close to KAT at $7,200 at forward with this type of projection.

You’ve got a $900 difference between the next forward projected for 40+ fantasy points (Kristaps Porzingis at $8,100), and while there’s a chance we get Mavericks value to fill up lineup spots at the position, I’ll buy-low on KAT at this tag with the lack or ceiling options at the position without thinking twice. Insta-click for cash, strong consideration for your single-entry teams, and someone I’ll have a healthy amount of in GPP’s regardless of how news plays out.

Simply put: $7,200 for 32 minutes of 1.21 DK point-per-minute producer is too damn cheap, regardless of recent box scores.

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NBA DFS Lineup Optimization Picks: Nuke of the Night Preview

Some may be familiar with the Nuke of the Night I give out on Live Before Lock on the Stokastic YouTube channel. And if not, you’re probably super confused because that doesn’t sound fun I’m sure. But it’s in essence an under-utilized piece on a slate I think is going to absolutely smash. And today, I technically have two of them: Trae Young ($10,100) and Tyrese Haliburton ($10,200).

The two respective point guards face off against one another in a game with an absurd 262 total which indicates it will be played at ludicrous speed (shoutout Spaceballs). Haliburton’s the better DraftKings fantasy point-per-minute producer (1.57) than that of Young (1.45), but Young is currently receiving less than a third of Haliburton’s 22.3% ownership (7.4%).

Now, in NBA DFS I rarely if ever think about stacking, but this is one of those game environments where if I can pit two studs up against one another and it shoots out — which is legitimately already projected to — you could see super ceilings you just need on this slate, especially if fellow point guard Luka Doncic is removed from this slate. So double-nukes Haliburton and Young: consider a combo of the two in your lineups tonight.

Eric Lindquist hails from Sioux Falls, South Dakota (yes, that’s the one with Mount Rushmore). A steady diet of three SportsCenters a day at an early age led to his obsession with sports, one that 30 years later is paying dividends for him as a successful DFS player and sports bettor. Despite over half a million dollars in net career earnings, he’s most passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals, an energy you can witness on the daily in his current role as a host and analyst at Stokastic. He’s a former Division I golfer at Iowa State, wishes he was a former Minnesota sports fan, and is a proud father to a 100-pound Bernese Mountain dog named Duke that wishes he could just eat people food instead of the crap he and his wife feed him on the daily.

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