NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: Kawhi Leonard and James Harden Look Solid! (November 20)

Monday begins a new week with an enticing eight-game featured slate with a 7 p.m. ET tipoff on DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks. Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Paul George are good fantasy point per dollar plays, while Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo have the gaudy projections. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today: Monday, November 20

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Core Play of the Day — Kawhi Leonard: Los Angeles Clippers at San Antonio Spurs

On Friday, the Clippers beat the Houston Rockets 106-100 in Los Angeles to end a six-game losing streak. It was a nip and tuck game, with the Rockets having leads in all four quarters, as well as having a three-point lead with just over two minutes to go. Ultimately, L.A. ran off a 12-1 run to close out the game. Russell Westbrook played just 17.4 minutes as he was moved to the bench. He did not see the court for the final eight minutes of the game.

Kawhi Leonard (26 points), James Harden (24) and Paul George (23) did the heavy lifting, and each is still at a reasonable salary, particularly if Westbrook reprises his reserve role. It has been a while since Leonard was featured in this article, but he does look like a strong foundational piece in all formats tonight.

Terance Mann has an 8.9% usage rate this season, so it helps to have him with the starters and Westbrook’s 23.8% usage with the second unit. This is the third game in four days for the Spurs, but they have had 48 hours since their last game, so should be semi-frisky tonight. Even though the Clippers are nine-point road favorites, they need to take care of business, particularly if they want to stay out of the Play-In Tournament.

Harden had his first 40 fantasy point effort on Friday, with his second consecutive 20-point game. The more time he has on the court without Westbrook, the better his numbers will look and the salary algorithms are not yet ready for the enigmatic offensive maestro to be engaged and performing well. He is a solid option on both DraftKings ($7,800) and FanDuel ($7,200) at a 20% to 25% discount.

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Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo

Once again at the top of the salary sheet and the fantasy projections, we are looking at a pair of players who each have a pair of NBA MVPs to their credit over the last five seasons. Nikola Jokic continues to produce at a ridiculous rate without Jamal Murray, and even with a $12,800 salary on DraftKings, he has the fourth-best fantasy point-per-dollar ratio. At the same cap hit on FanDuel, he is the best option in the player pool. Simply absurd.

Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to be a steady option. He gets a great matchup tonight against the Washington Wizards’ invisible defense. This game could end up as a laugher, but it is hard to see Antetokounmpo with less than 50 fantasy points. With a 15% discount compared to Jokic, rostering Antetokounmpo does allow for an upgrade at one or two positions while freeing up the center position.

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Boston Celtics

This is the fourth road game in six days for the Celtics, who are riding a six-game winning streak and they are also the first team to 11 victories on the season. Jaylen Brown suffered a slight groin pull on Friday but he played 34 minutes in last night’s 102-100 victory in Memphis. Kristaps Porzingis also tweaked his ankle late in the game, so it would not be a complete shock to see one of these players out tonight.

Charlotte is a mess again this year, and the team is among the dregs of the association with a 3-9 record. Through nine games in November, they have the worst defensive efficiency in the league, allowing 124.7 points per 100 possessions. That has the effect of making every opposing team appear to be filled with All-Stars and the actual players with those accolades have been making hay all season against the Hornets.

Al Horford is likely to get the night off, but if any other player joins him, it will be a significant boost to the rest of the rotation. Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday would get the biggest bumps, with Sam Hauser becoming a potential discount dandy.

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Additional NBA Building Blocks Pick — Sports Betting Opportunities

Brandon Ingram is an interesting option against the Sacramento Kings tonight. With his assist prop total set to 5.5 — and the over priced at -110 — there is some value here. NBA Bet Pro currently has him projected for 35.7 minutes and 6.55 assists. The “True Odds” (how OddsShopper measures the potential expected ROI of a given wager) are -119, which indicates that this bet has a positive expected ROI of nearly 4%.

C.J. McCollum is still out, though Jose Alvarado (ankle) may see his first action of the season. Ingram is averaging 5.2 assists per game and 5.4 per 36 minutes. However, when McCollum is off the court, Ingram sees his assist rate climb from 15.4% to 27.2%. In the six games without McCollum, Ingram is averaging 5.8 assists per game and 34.9 minutes.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today

For those looking to expand their avenues beyond DFS, but do not have legalized sports wagering in their state — be sure to check out a the latest fantasy prop site in Vivid Picks – new users, use this link to receive a $300 first deposit match AND your first play is secured for up to $25 in Vivid credit if it loses.

Eric MacPherson
Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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