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Paydirt NBA DFS Triple Threat 01.21.2023

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:

  • The weekend shenanigans in the NBA continue with a plethora of stars once against on the injury report. Embiid entered the day off the report but has now been downgraded to questionable. With Embiid off the court this season, Harden, Melton, and Harris have seen the largest usage bumps on the team at more than a 4% bump for each of them. Somewhat surprisingly Tyrese Maxey has only received a moderate 2.4% bump in usage with Embiid off the floor this season.
  • So if Embiid is out the simple answer is to just play James Harden right? Oh if only it were that easy. Harden is also on the injury report for “injury management” and is listed as questionable at the time of writing. For what its worth, every time Harden has gotten this designation on the injury report he has sat out the game. With Harden off the floor this season Tyrese Maxey has received by far the largest usage bump on the team at +5.6%.
  • Devin Booker and Chris Paul remain out for the Suns, but Deandre Ayton has been added to the injury report today, deemed questionable with an illness. It's tough to decipher who exactly will get the biggest bump if Ayton were to be out given how ravaged the Suns team has been. However, both Biyombo and Londale will likely be good options if Ayton were to miss and Mikal Bridges newfound facilitating role would likely only increase if Ayton were to be ruled out.

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

Saben Lee

Damion Lee

Mikal Bridges

Kyle Anderson

Mason Plumlee


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: Markelle Fultz, Fox, Harden (if he plays, if not Milton)

SG: Corey Kispert, Buddy Hield

SF: Gordon Hayward, Tobias Harris, Pat Connaughton, Gary Harris

PF: Jalen Johnson, Aaron Neismith, Harrison Barnes

C: Sabonis, Mark Williams, Embiid (if he plays)

Questionable DFS Player #1: Joel Embiid


Questionable DFS Player #2: James Harden


Questionable DFS Player #3: Deandre Ayton


NBA DFS final thoughts

Injury news rules the slate yet again. The biggest situation to monitor is the Philadelphia 76ers, with both Harden and Embiid questionable. It seems extremely likely that at least one of them will sit, and it is certainly possible both will sit. With both Harden and Embiid off the court this season Tyrese Maxey has bolstered an astronomical 33.6% usage rate and an average of 44.1 Draftkings points per 36 minutes. Tobias Harris (27.1), De'Anthony Melton (25.6%), and Shake Milton (21.7%) follow behind Maxey. Make sure to play close attention to the news (as always) and good luck tonight!

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