Welcome back to Thursday Night DFS Dunks! Today is Veterans Day so let’s take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has served to protect us and our country. Thank you.

If you’re new to this article, I break down tonight’s NBA slate and give you my starting five for both FanDuel and Draftkings.  These will be my core plays (guys I’ll be playing in my lineups with my money) for hitting the cash line in 50/50s and double-up contests.  If you’re looking for GPP winning plays you’ll have to follow me on Twitter (@TimmySperos) and then we can talk. At the end of the article, I’ll have a pool of three to five players I like that you can use to fill-in the rest of your lineups. It’s important to have a process in DFS so let’s review the strategies you should be thinking about.


  1. Focus on teams with high game totals and a high pace of play. On tonight’s slate, the Clippers play at a pace of 101.7 (7th fastest in the league) possessions per game and face the Heat who play at 97.3 pace (3rd slowest).
  2. Select players from high game totals that play lots of minutes and have high usage rates or FPP (fantasy points per minute). Over time, when comparing two players with similar salaries, choose minutes over a hot hand. It’s the correct thing to do.
  3. NBA may be the toughest DFS sport to play for a few reasons.  Number one is time. Throughout the season players will get ruled out for rest, injury, or because they think the earth is flat. This tends to happen shortly before lock or even after lock as we experienced last year. It’s imperative that you make yourself available for the 15 minutes before lock or you may lose some money for a simple user error.   

Ok now that you know the basics, it’s time for tonight’s slam dunks.

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Tonight’s games

Game TOR @ PHI 7:00 PM ET IND @ UTA 9:00 PM ET MIA @ LAC 10:30 PM ET
Total 213.5

Tyler Herro, PG/SG/SF, MIA (DK $6100, FD $6400)

In Wednesday’s OT loss to the Lakers, Herro scored 27 real points on 22 field goal attempts which led the team. On the season he has a 27% usage rate while averaging 1.08 FPP on DraftKings in 31.5 minutes. The Clippers rank in the bottom five vs. combo guards and we’ve seen Herro be a hero three times this season when he recorded more than 43 DK points. In addition, teammate Jimmy Butler left last night’s game after hurting his ankle, and on a back-to-back, I’m guessing he sits this one out. If Butler sits, this only increases Herro’s usage and ceiling. Lock him in.

Kyle Lowry, PG/SG, MIA (DK $7100, FD $6500)

Lowry is back, for the second week in a row he’s made my starting five! Let’s hope this is as good as Mike Lowry’s (Martin Lawrence) performance in Bad Boys II. Kyle is averaging .9 FPP in 32 minutes this season and has the same matchup as teammate Tyler Herro who we just talked about. With a 50-point ceiling and a small three-game slate, we can play Lowry next to Herro and feel good about it.

Gary Trent Jr, SG/SF, TOR (DK $5000, FD $6300) 

Trent can be a streaky shooter at times resulting in a diverse set of fantasy scores from 15.5 to 41.  Just looking at his DraftKings average of 28.1 points and price tag of $5000 I’m in.  The one thing that makes me comfortable with Trent in my lineup is his minutes, 33.6 per game.  He has attempted at least 11 field goals in every game and has a 20% usage rate on a team that likes to spread the ball around. Pascal Siakam is back for Toronto but we saw that didn’t affect Trent’s minutes. Siakam is likely to sit out tonight for rest so more shots for Gary.

Nicolas Batum, SF/PF, LAC (DK $5300, FD $6100) 

Batum is averaging .98 fantasy points per minute in 28 minutes on the season. He’s recorded 33 or more DraftKings points in four of his last five games and the Clippers play at the fastest pace on tonight’s slate. Batum is not going to take a ton of shots but he can record six combined steals and blocks on any given night. I’ll take those 12 points on DK and 18 on FanDuel every night.

Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, TOR (DK $4200, FD $4900) 

Another guy hovering around the 1.0 fantasy points per minute mark, Precious is a great value play tonight. With Khem Birch and Siakam out, Achiuwa should start at the five and play about 27 minutes. Now he’s not a high usage guy (20%) or big scorer (7.8 ppg) but he’s a candidate for a double-double and a few blocks every night. With Andre Drummond finally priced up to $8600, Precious is our best value play at Center tonight.

Other guys on my radar:

Feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you have any questions or need help with lineup building. Good luck tonight and I’ll see you guys next week!

Cousin Timmy