The first big slate of the week features 10 games and a TON of player news and a bunch of teams that find themselves on the first leg of a back-to-back. Today is one of those slates where you ABSOLUTELY need to have your phone on hand or be by a computer for the late breaking news as there will be players likely ruled out that will result in value plays opening up post roster lock and failing to be available to make those necessary pivots could be the difference between cashing and falling outside of the money  for tonight's main slate.

NBA DFS Tools to dominate tonight's NBA DFS slate!

Make sure to check out today's NBA DFS projections and NBA DFS ownership projections before finalizing your lineups today. We also have the NBA Consistency Report to help identify players that have exceeded value based off their current price tag this season and of course our NBA DFS Lineup Generator!


Here's the NBA DFS Podcast for today's slate. Like the video and subscribe to our channel!

Notable NBA Injury Updates



Teams on Back-to-Backs

First Leg of B2B

Pace Up Spots

Pace definition: Pace is the total number of possessions a team uses in a game.

*key* Green is elite pace of play, Blue is decent pace of play, & Red is slow pace of play.

Green = Fast Paced team

Blue = Neutral Paced team

Red = Slow Paced team

NBA Game Totals

Top Tier Core Plays

Dejounte Murray, PG Atlanta Hawks

With Trae Young ruled out we likely see a ton of rostership move to Murray here tonight in the Hawks matchup with the Pistons. Murray has a 29% usage rate with Young off the floor this season, averaging 1.19 FP/Min. We were already liking Murray this evening at his price point given the fact that he's given us at least 5x in 50% of the games played this season. 

Nikola Jokic, C Denver Nuggets

Joker with the highest consistent ceiling on the slate in an absolute smash spot here against the Clippers. I do think the betting line is a little fishy here as Denver is just a 4.5-point home favorite against a Clippers team that has lost five straight including a home game against the Grizzlies where they were eight-point favorites. If this game is going to be competitive then I see no way that Jokic doesn't go for at least 70 fantasy points here tonight. My pivot from Jokic here on the slate isn't to Joel Embiid but to Anthony Davis, especially if Lebron James is ruled out.

Anthony Edwards, SG Minnesota Timberwolves

It's seemingly increasingly likely that we are witnessing a year four explosion from the 2020 #1 overall pick as he's averaging 28.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 48.7% from the floor and 36.1% from three-point range. He's even shooting 83.6% from the free throw line on the year as well. Everything is on pace to be a career high mark with the exception of his steals per game as he averaged 1.6 steals per game last season BUT his steal totals are starting to jump as well over the last handful of games. Edwards could be a dark horse MVP candidate if he leads the currently 7-2 Minnesota Timberwolves to a top seed in the Western Conference and quite frankly his price is likely $1,000 too cheap if this is who he is this season.

Victor Wembanyama, PF San Antonio Spurs

I wasn't initially on Wembanyama as a top tier core play today until the news that Keldon Johnson was going to be out for the Spurs. Now, this is a tough spot against the Thunder but Wemby is also just a different kind of beast. With Keldon off the floor this season in an 89 minute sample he is averaging 1.36 fantasy point per minute with a 33.02% usage rate. These are pretty big numbers for a guy that on the season already has some pretty big numbers. The lack of depth here today could also mean that whether competitive or not that Wembanyama may just be on the floor for the Spurs tonight feasting on some of the Thunder's bench front court players.

Mid-Tier Core Plays

Portland Trail Blazers

Whether it's Shaedon Sharpe, Jerami Grant, Deandre Ayton or Skylar Mays the Blazers are in a great pace up spot here tonight against the Jazz is a game with a 230 game total. What we are loving about the Blazers right now is the fact that their primary starters just do not come off the floor. We are getting 40+ minutes from Sharpe and Grant right now while Mays has played 37 and 33 minutes the last two games with Brogdon, Henderson and Simons still out of the lineup. The Jazz are not a great defensive team and it would not shock me if this game went over the 230 game total.

Denver Nuggets Front Court

We talked up Nikola Jokic but the entire front court needs to get their flowers here as well. Aaron Gordon is averaging 15.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.4 steals over the last five games while Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 23.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 40.5% from three-point range and 52.3% from the field.

Jordan Clarkson, SG Utah Jazz

He's on the cover of today's playbook so you knew he was going to show up here at some point. The price on Clarkson hasn't caught up to the fact that the Jazz have a new starting lineup that includes Keyonte George and Ochai Agbaji. Neither George or Agbaji are offensive first players that are looking to take their shot unlike Talen Horton-Tucker who is someone we've seen take 20-shots in a game. With the switch in the lineup there is much more opportunities for Clarkson to score and score he has, going for 26 and 33 points over the last two games while attempting 42 shots during that stretch. This is matchup against Portland isn't the best when it comes to pace of play for Utah but we are still looking at a nice game total and a competitive spread here which I expect Clarkson to take advantage of.

Nic Claxton & Cameron Johnson Brooklyn Nets

Over the past few games the Nets are starting to get healthier as key players in Nic Claxton and Cameron Johnson have returned to their starting lineup. Claxton played 28 minutes in his return game against the Wizards and immediately made an impact, finishing with 10 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and four blocks. We expected Claxton to be a bit limited in his initial return but we could see a quick ramp up IF Cameron Johnson is used as the example. Johnson returned two games ago for the Nets and played 25 minutes. In his second game back however he saw 35 minutes of action. Johnson has had modest production in his two games since returning but what we love here is the shot attempts with Johnson having attempted 17 three-pointers in those two games while averaging 5.5 rebounds. If a few more of those three-pointers drop we could be looking at 20-point scoring games from Johnson in this matchup tonight against the Magic.

Devin Vassell, SG San Antonio Spurs

Vassell is healthy and with Keldon Johnson off the floor this season he has a 22.2% usage rate and averages over a fantasy point per minute. We also know that Tre Jones has already been ruled out and Jeremy Sochan is questionable to play as well. Like Wembanyama, Vassell may just get a ton of minutes tonight due to the lack of depth for the Spurs and that type of volume playing time should give him a great chance to crush value at his price tonight.

Golden State Warriors Backcourt 

With Stephen Curry ruled out tonight we should expect to see Chris Paul in the starting lineup for the Warriors this evening. We were double-double production from Paul when he was starting earlier this season but obviously losing an elite scorer in Curry in a tough spot against the Timberwolves will be no easy task. What we love here is the price point as Paul has seen a big drop given his current role off the bench but now only needing 30+ fantasy points for 5x and in the starting lineup, he should be in range tonight. When it comes to Klay Thompson, he currently has the highest usage rate with Curry off the floor this season, sitting at 24.5%. It hasn't been the best season for Thompson to start the year but with more shot attempts likely coming his way tonight in a spot where the Warriors will need some offense the upside is definitely there. 

Value Tier Core Plays

Keyonte George, PG Utah Jazz

The rookie has now started back-to-back games for the Jazz and has totaled 20 assists in those two games. The scoring has not been great, shooting just 5-for-20 but he's not far off from averaging a double-double. If we get a double-double here tonight, even if it's just 10 & 10 then he can pay off his price tag.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF Atlanta Hawks

With Trae Young ruled out tonight we are expecting to see Bogdanovic enter the starting lineup for Atlanta here against the Pistons. We've loved using Bogdanovic off the bench this season as he's provided nice upside here at a good price. He's still a solid value across the board even as the cost has increased but as an offensive first player in a good spot against the Pistons we expect him to be popular.

Malaki Branham, SG San Antonio Spurs

While the production hasn't exactly jumped off the page for Branham so far this season he does have a 23% usage rate with Keldon Johnson off the floor this season and he could find himself in the starting lineup for San Antonio here today with Johnson and Tre Jones already ruled out and potentially Jeremy Sochan soon to follow. 

Onyeka Okongwu, C Atlanta Hawks

A staple in our value section this season, even with a bad offensive night against the Heat we still got nearly 20 fantasy points. I don't expect to see Okongwu to miss all his shots that often but it's great to continue to see him both active on the glass and in the defensive stats department. Tonight he draws the Pistons who are without Jalen Duren and their athletic front court could lead to Okongwu seeing a tick up in minutes here tonight.

Late News Updates

  • Joel Embiid WILL PLAY
  • Gordon Hayward/Brandon Miller both ruled out >> JT Thor & Theo Maledon enter the starting lineup
  • Julian Champagnie is expected to start for Keldon Johnson
  • Robert Covington is expected to start for 76ers
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic starting for the Hawks with Trae Young out

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SHEET UPDATE! The grid below is listed as our PLAYER POOLS, not our core plays. We've switched the formatting and the players written up above are the players we're using as CORE options. Everyone in the grid are options we would use too.

Player Pool

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