NBA DFS Studs: Luka Doncic or Nikola Jokic the No. 1 Core Play Today? (December 6)

We get a night off from the In-Season Tournament tonight, so it’s a nice 11-game slate with several options to pay for. There is not a ton of great value yet, but there is enough to get to a stud in lineups if you want to. Using Stokastic’s NBA DFS projections, let’s break down the player pool to find the NBA DFS high-priced studs like Luka Doncic for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.

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NBA DFS Studs: Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic

Stud No. 1 – Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $12,500/ FanDuel: $12,600
  • Stokastic’s Point Projections: DraftKings: 64.9/ FanDuel: 62.3
  • Stokastic’s Ownership Projections: DraftKings: 4.6%/ FanDuel: 3.0%

Jamal Murray is questionable tonight, and his status will affect Jokic’s projection. With or without Murray, however, it is relatively difficult to get to Jokic for a couple of reasons. First, he is significantly more expensive than Joel Embiid at the top of the center position. Second, the most popular value play currently is a center. Jokic is the highest-projected player on the slate, but it isn’t by a wide margin over Embiid or Luka Doncic. He makes for an interesting contrarian play at low ownership, but he will be difficult to prioritize.

Stud No. 2 – Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $11,700/ FanDuel: $12,400
  • Stokastic’s Point Projections: DraftKings: 62.6/ FanDuel: 59.7
  • Stokastic’s Ownership Projections: DraftKings: 15.9%/ FanDuel: 4.0%

Doncic, like Embiid, looks much easier to roster on DraftKings than FanDuel tonight. He is the most popular of the expensive players on DraftKings, and for good reason. He comes with less opportunity cost than Jokic and Embiid and projects similarly in a favorable matchup against Utah. The Jazz only rank 16th in pace this season, but they have the fifth-worst adjusted defensive rating. Doncic has produced 1.65 DraftKings points per minute in 34.7 minutes per game in the 14 games that he has played alongside Kyrie Irving this season. Irving was listed as questionable this morning but is expected to play tonight. Still, even with Irving expected to be active, Doncic is one of the best pay-up options tonight.

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Stud No. 3 – Joel Embiid: Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $11,600/ FanDuel: $12,300
  • Stokastic’s Point Projections: DraftKings: 63.0/ FanDuel: 62.2
  • Stokastic’s Ownership Projections: DraftKings: 12.6%/ FanDuel: 4.6%

Embiid has an excellent matchup against the Wizards. Washington ranks second in pace this season and 28th in adjusted defensive rating. Embiid has averaged 1.79 DraftKings points per minute, a 35.8% usage rate and 33.3% assist rate in 34.5 minutes per game. The increased assist rate appears here to stay and makes him a much better fantasy producer than he has been in the past (when he was still excellent). The opportunity cost for Embiid is still high tonight, as there are plenty of strong center options, including the most popular value play on the slate, but he should be easier to fit into lineups than Jokic. It is worth noting that Embiid appears much easier to roster on DraftKings than FanDuel, which makes sense since there are two center spots compared to one.

There are 11 games tonight and we are still waiting on important injury news. Be sure to check out Stokastic’s Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock shows.

Adam Scherer
Adam "ShipMyMoney" Scherer has been playing and analyzing DFS full-time since quitting law school in 2016. He has qualified for the 2016 FanDuel MLB Playboy Championship, the 2016 DraftKings Fantasy Baseball World Championship (3x) and the 2019 DraftKings Fantasy Basketball World Championship. You can find him on Twitter at @ShipMyMoneyDFS or by emailing [email protected].

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