NBA DFS Studs: Start Lineups With Kyrie Irving or Nikola Jokic? (December 1)

It is a strange NBA slate tonight, as there are only six games and a lot of unappealing value options. Luka Doncic has been ruled out, however, which opens up some inexpensive plays from Dallas in addition to providing more mid-range options. The most expensive players tonight aren’t top priorities, but they are easier to get to than they have been on many slates recently. Using Stokastic’s NBA DFS projections, let’s break down the player pool to find the NBA DFS high-priced studs like Kyrie Irving for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.

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NBA DFS Studs: Kyrie Irving and Nikola Jokic

Stud No. 1 – Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $12,400/ FanDuel: $12,700
  • Stokastic’s Point Projections: DraftKings: 63.9/ FanDuel: 61.6
  • Stokastic’s Ownership Projections: DraftKings: 9.6%/ FanDuel: 4.0%

Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon are questionable tonight for Denver. Gordon’s status won’t have much impact on Jokic, but Murray’s absence would make Jokic more appealing. Jokic has produced 1.83 DraftKings points per minute in eight games alongside Murray this season, compared to 1.99 DraftKings points per minute in 10 games without Murray. Tonight’s matchup is unappealing, as the Nuggets take on a Phoenix team that has played at the fourth-slowest pace in the league this season. If Murray is in, Jokic is a high-upside contrarian option in tournaments. If Murray is out, Jokic’s price tag and position will probably still keep him from being a priority, but he will certainly look better.

Stud No. 2 – Joel Embiid: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $11,600/ FanDuel: $12,300
  • Stokastic’s Point Projections: DraftKings: 58.2/ FanDuel: 57.5
  • Stokastic’s Ownership Projections: DraftKings: 6.8%/ FanDuel: 1.7%

Embiid is questionable tonight after being a surprise scratch with an illness prior to Philadelphia’s most recent game. If he is able to play, Embiid will have a difficult matchup against the Celtics. Boston has been the second-most efficient defense in the NBA this season and ranks in the bottom 10 in pace. Embiid has been a stud this year, producing 1.79 DraftKings points per minute, but it will still be difficult to prioritize him in DFS lineups.

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Stud No. 3 – Kyrie Irving: Dallas Mavericks vs Memphis Grizzlies

  • DFS Salary: DraftKings: $9,100/ FanDuel: $8,300
  • Stokastic’s Point Projections: DraftKings: 55.0/ FanDuel: 53.4
  • Stokastic’s Ownership Projections: DraftKings: 45.7%/ FanDuel: 73.1%

Irving is the most expensive player on DraftKings that looks like a top-tier priority tonight. He is much less expensive on FanDuel, so he is an even bigger priority there. Luka Doncic is out tonight for personal reasons, so it will be the Irving Show in Dallas. Irving has produced 1.48 DraftKings points per minute in 151 minutes without Doncic on the floor this season. He has a 29.5% usage rate and 37.6% assist rate in those minutes. By comparison, he has produced 1.26 DraftKings points per minute in 463 minutes alongside Doncic, with a 28.4% usage rate and 25.4% assist rate.

There are six 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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