Happy Thanksgiving Eve everybody. Alex here, and these are my DraftKings NBA Picks for November 21st. Wednesday night’ slate is one of the biggest of the year, with 13 games on tap. As always, if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice, let me know on Twitter. Also, I recommend following me, because if anything changes with these plays below or if any injury news effects the slate, I try to address the situations I find important before tip off. @Hunta512.
C: Joel Embiid: (10,800)
Even with Jimmy Butler in town, Butler has been a force recently. (57.7 DK PPG in his last five) His usage has gone up to 37.6% in his last three games and tonight, as he usually does against other star players, Embiid should be on a mission to make a statement vs Anthony Davis at home. (2.7 more DK PPG at home) This matchup also rates very well for him, with New Orleans ranking 25th in defensive efficiency and 5th in pace. (2.09 opponent +/-)
Going against AD is always worrisome for the player who is going to guard him, because Davis draws so many fouls, but Embiid should have the ref advantage at home and even when he gets in foul trouble, he still ends up playing high minutes. This is highest O/U game total of the night (235.5 points, highest total by 10.5 points) and I think we see a 55-65 DK point night for The Process.
PG/SG: Jrue Holiday: (8,100)
Who knows why, but fresh off a 44 DK point outing vs The Spurs, his third game of over 40 DK points in a row, Holiday has seen his price decrease $600 since Monday. Tonight, he is playing against his former team, The Sixers. This defense may rank 9th in efficiency, but they really struggle vs guards this year. (3.37 opponent +/-)
Holiday is averaging 43 DK PPG and he should top 45 DK points in this spot. If we exclude his last game vs The Sixers, when he only played 23 minutes, Holiday is averaging 46.1 DK PPG when facing Philadelphia. At this price, Holiday is one of the better ways to get a share of this high scoring affair.
PF/C: Serge Ibaka: (6,300)
Kawhi Leonard played last night, so he is not expected to play on Wednesday, in this second night of a back to back set. The Raptors will also be without C.J. Miles (groin), Noram Powell (shoulder), and possibly OG Anunbody (questionable, wrist) tonight vs The Hawks. This makes every remaining Raptor a better play, especially Ibaka at only $6,300. In the first five games Leonard missed this season, Ibaka saw a 4.1% usage bump, helping him to score 37.2 DK PPG.
Even with Leonard suiting up in three of these past four for The Raptors, Ibaka still produced 34.7 DK PPG. He should have zero problems continuing to smash value tonight, going against arguably the best matchup in NBA DFS, The Hawks. So far this season, they rank 23rd in defensive efficiency, 1st in pace, and have given up the most RPG. Bigs simply dominate this Hawks’ frontcourt and Ibaka, with an increased role, should supply close to 40 DK points tonight.
C: Karl-Anthony Towns: (8,800)
Towns’ numbers have dropped in his last two (37.6 DK PPG), but these were against two strong defenses, in The Grizzlies and The Blazers. Tonight, he takes on The Nuggets, who he is averaging 53.5 DK PPG against, across their last eight meetings. Plus, Nikola Jokic hasn’t been able to stop many centers this season, with them presenting a very high opponent +/- of 4.45 points. Even with 13 games tonight, this is the best possible matchup for a player on Thanksgiving Eve.
Finally, and know I may sound like a broken record with this, but Towns will be on his home floor, where he is averaging 6.8 more DK PPG in 2018. This tilt has a very small spread (MIN -1.5) and in 35-40 minutes, KAT will likely tally a double double and over 50 DK points. This is a huge $800 price drop since his last game DK eligible game and I think Towns is an excellent target, that may get overlooked. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
SF/PF: LeBron James: (11,300)
LeBron will be making his anticipated return to Cleveland tonight, after leaving the city for the second time in his career. James just had another homecoming on Sunday night, in Miami. In this game, he dropped 51 real points and 73.5 DK points on The Heat. The game plan was obviously to feed him, with James posting a season high 41.2% usage rate. Also, last Wednesday, when he had another narrative to take care of (become 5th on the all time scoring list), James scored a season best 80 DK points vs The Blazers. So, as you can see, narratives are very real with The King right now. This game is on national TV and it’s almost guaranteed he puts on another show, especially with The Cavs being the worst ranked defense in The NBA.
PG: Russell Westbrook: (10,700)
In his return to the court, Westbrook showed no signs on injury on Monday night. (63.25 DK points in 36.3 minutes vs The Kings) Tonight, he plays his former teammate, Kevin Durant, and The Warriors. This game has a small spread (GSW -1) and in the 20 career games Russ has played Golden State, he is averaging 58.13 DK PPG.
PG/SF: Ben Simmons: (8,600)
Simmons hit a rough patch when Butler first joined the team, but he has looked much better in these last two. (50.75 DK PPG and a double double in each) His usage has been at 23.5%, which is a big jump from the 14.9% he was averaging the previous three. This is a nice pace increase for him and The Sixers (1.5 possessions) and Simmons should flirt with a triple double in this very high total.
C: Marc Gasol: (7,800)
Gasol can’t be stopped right now (48.7 DK PPG in his last four) and he has led The Grizzlies to four straight wins. Next, he takes on The Spurs, who are 22nd in defensive efficiency this season.
PG/SG: D’Angelo Russell: (7,200)
Russell has found his groove with Caris LeVert (leg) out, scoring 46.4 DK PPG in these past three. His floor always feels shaky, but if Russell can stay out of his coaches’ doghouse and play over 30 minutes again, we should see another productive night in this great matchup vs The Mavs. (3.25 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: Nikola Mirotic: (6,900)
There is a slight risk here, because Julius Randle cut into his minutes last game, but this price is just too low for Mirotic. (39.2 DK PPG) Prior to the 24.75 DK points vs The Spurs on Monday, Mirotic had scored 44 DK points in a win over The Nuggets. In the eight Pelicans games that have had a total over 230 points this season, Mirotic is averaging 42 DK PPG.
PF: Pascal Siakim: (6,600)
Siakim is a very similar value to Ibaka and I don’t mind using both in the same lineup. In the five games that Leonard has sat, Siakam is averaging 33.8 DK PPG, and don’t forget that he is playing the fast and defensively inept Hawks. (2.84 opponent +/-)
SF/PF: T.J. Warren: (6,700)
Warren is averaging 38.8 DK PPG in these past six as a starter, but has yet to see his price go over $7,000. Tonight, he is an above average spot, vs The Bulls. (24th in defensive efficiency)
PG: De’Aaron Fox: (6,400)
Forget about his 1/10 shooting night vs The Thunder on Monday, Fox is still far too cheap. He is averaging 37.3 DK PPG and The Jazz have been a nice spot for PGs as of late. (2.73 opponent +/-)
SG/SF: Tyreke Evans: (5,400)
His price got corrected, but with Victor Oladipo (knee) out again, Evans remains in play. He started for Oladipo last game and scored 24.25 DK points in 27.1 minutes vs The Jazz. If this game didn’t get out of hand (94-121), Evans would have played more and he should tonight vs The Hornets. (CHA -3 and 1.28 opponent +/-) He posts a 28.4% usage rate and scores 1.04 DK PPM when Oladipo is off the floor this season.
PG/SG: Trey Burke: (4,200)
33.1 DK PPG in these past three, behind a 30.1% usage rate. Even if The Knicks get blown out by The Celtics (-12), Burke would still play in garbage time and should top 20 DK points.
PF/C: Noah Vonelh: (4,100)
Vonleh has played 35.4 MPG in these last two. The first one he came off the bench (21.25 DK points vs The Magic) and then last night, he started. (45 DK points vs The Blazers) Don’t expect a score like last night, but if he starts, Vonleh should crack five times value, vs this Celtics’ defense, that can struggle at times with opposing big men.
C: Cody Zeller: (4,100)
The matchup vs The Pacers doesn’t rate well (-0.28 opponent +/-), but Zeller is scoring 25.2 DK PPG in his last four and has played over 30 minutes in three of those contests. He should see 30+ again tonight, with backup center Willie Hernangomez (ankle) out.
SF: Dorian Finney-Smith: (3,800)
Finney-Smith is averaging 26.25 DK PPG and 36.8 MPG as the starter for Wesley Matthews (hamstring) in these past two. Matthews has already been ruled out, keeping Finney-Smith in a larger role vs The Nets.
SG/SF: David Nwaba: (3,600)
With J.R. Smith no longer with The Cavs, Nwaba will start tonight at SF and should be a serviceable value play going forward. He is scoring 0.84 DK PPM this season and I am projecting for 30 minutes in this awesome matchup vs The Lakers. (2.92 opponent +/- and The Lakers rank 4th in pace) In the two games he has played over 25 minutes this season, Nwaba is averaging 28.5 DK PPG, and in the previous seven he has hit that amount of playing time, he is scoring 24.4 DK PPG. I love Nwaba tonight and I doubt many people will be on him.
*Please note most of these stats are from FantasyLabs.com