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Paydirt NBA DFS Triple Threat 01.13.2023

Welcome to the NBA DFS Triple Threat here at Paydirt! This is going to be a daily article aimed at giving thoughts and notes on three important aspects of the NBA DFS slate. We will talk through the most popular player on the slate, a great value play, and a situation you need to monitor to find success. This article is best used with the projections models here at Paydirt (Found here), but it will still be valuable even as a one off piece of content. While the focus is on Draftkings, the content is applicable to Fanduel as well. Costs, Projections, and finishing percentiles format will be Draftkings/Fanduel.

Main Points:

  • Zach Lavine posted a 38% usage rate in the Bulls last game without DeRozan, and with DeRozan doubtful tonight Lavine this likely stays around the same. However, Lavine is no secret and will be incredibly popular in DFS tonight. In cash games and smaller GPPs you are probably better off playing him, but there are a couple pivots you can go to in larger contests.
  • Andrew Nembhard is projected to play over 35 minutes tonight and has smashed in previous games without Haliburton. He’s going to be popular, but he’s simply too cheap for his role now. He stands out as the top value option on both sites. While you can get different, this may be a spot to just eat the chalk and move on.
  • Keldon Johnson is another player projected to be fairly high-owned tonight. However, this is more volatile than the situations mentioned above. While Vassell is out for the Spurs, they are otherwise fully healthy and going against a pretty much full-strength Golden State team. Currently, there are 15 different players in Johnson’s price range with similar projections and lower ownership. It’s hard to justify playing the chalk here.

Depending on the size of the slate, there may be multiple situations, value plays, and popular options that you need to consider. Join the Paydirt discord with this link for more updates and game theory on all the slates details:

NBA Cash Game Core:

This core of players will help you build a strong foundation in cash games. While it is best to use all these players, it's not a requirement

Andrew Nembhard

Zach Lavine

Benedict Mathurin

Keldon Johnson

Jamal Murray


This core of players will help you build in differentiation in your lineups. These players are meant to be mixed in with some of the stronger chalk options. How many of these players you put in is  dependent on the size of the field and personal risk tolerance. 

PG: D’Angelo Russell, CJ McCollum, Jalen Brunson

SG: Josh Giddey, Buddy Hield, Franz Wagner

SF: Bojan Bogdanovic, Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Edwards (if he plays)

PF: John Collins, Paolo Banchero, Aaron Gordon

C: Jonas Valanciunas, Rudy Gobert, Alperen Sengun

Popular DFS Play: Zach Lavine

Price: $9,200/$8,600
Own%: 42.18%/56.95%

DFS Value Play: Andrew Nembhard

Price: $4,300/$5,300
5x%: 85.30%/59.60%

Player to avoid in DFS: Keldon Johnson

Price: $6,800/$6,900
LevX: -16.31/-28.61

NBA DFS final thoughts

The popular roster construction tonight is going to be focused on Pacers value and a balanced build. This is due in large part to the fact that the $10k+ options don’t project much better than their $9k-8k counterparts. That said, you will be able to get any of them for 10% or less ownership with similar upside and a slightly higher floor than some of the chalk. Additionally, while Pacers value is popular ownership is still skewed to one group of players over the other. Opting to play TJ McConnell and Buddy Hield, for example, is an easy way to take advantage of the same situation at lower ownership. Good luck tonight!

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