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Wednesday was wacky, with the nine games averaging 237 points scored in regulation. The capper was Minnesota scoring 135, Washington posting 134 points and both teams losing their battles. With several stars injured and Detroit continuing its farce of a season, gamers will need to buckle up for another wild one tonight. Let’s look at the seven game slate and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups.
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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Thursday, May 6th
Yahoo Play of the Day — Fred VanVleet: Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 43.36 | DraftKings: 44.94
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 32.8% | FanDuel 36.6% | DraftKings 23.6%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $34 | FanDuel $8,000 | DraftKings $8,000
This is the perfect matchup for Fred VanVleet. Washington plays at the fastest pace in the league, and it is not hard to envision VanVleet and Bradley Beal trading 3-point buckets tonight. Kyle Lowry and Gary Trent Jr. should both be available, but OG Anunoby is doubtful. VanVleet is second on the team in usage behind only Pascal Siakam and is posting career highs across the board, which is an excellent trend for targeting NBA DFS picks.
Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 52.01 | DraftKings: 56.06
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 9.6% | FanDuel 18.8% | DraftKings 23.6%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $54 | FanDuel $10,900 | DraftKings $10,900
Kristaps Porzingis is out again with knee soreness, having played just once in the last seven games. On tap is a tremendous matchup with the Nets, who play fast and eschew defense. Luka Doncic leads the NBA with a hefty 35.8% usage rate, and he is on the short list for MVP consideration. He is fourth with 28.5 points per game, third with 8.9 assists and also chips in 8.1 rebounds and a 48.7% success rate from the field. There is not much else that needs to be said other than get Doncic in lineups tonight.
Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 50.88 | DraftKings: 54.63
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 15.0% | FanDuel 28.0% | DraftKings 26.0%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $10,600
Kelly Oubre will be out for the fifth straight game, and Damion Lee will be missing his ninth game in a row. In his last 17 games since returning from his bruised tailbone incident, Stephen Curry is averaging 35 minutes and 23.7 field-goal attempts per game. This has culminated in 37.1 points per game, 5.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.2 combined blocks/steals. In a fun twist in his age-32 season, Curry is averaging a career-high 31.5 points and 5.6 rebounds.
While Luguentz Dort will likely be tasked with guarding Curry, it is unlikely he will shut him down. Dort was not available the last time these teams met, a game where the Warriors rolled to a 147-109 victory and Curry scored 42 points and hit 11 3’s in just 29 minutes.
Kevin Durant: Brooklyn Nets at Dallas Mavericks
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 47.66 | DraftKings: 49.96
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 17.0% | FanDuel 14.6% | DraftKings 21.0%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $46 | FanDuel $10,600 | DraftKings $9,900
In his last two games, Kevin Durant is averaging 40 minutes and has taken a whopping 55 field-goal attempts in a pair of losses to the Bucks. He has topped 32 points in four of his last five since returning from injury, and clearly there are no minutes restrictions. This is actually a key game for the Nets, who have dropped three straight and now are just one game ahead of the Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings. While it will be tough to make up two games on the 76ers, who have an easy remaining schedule, keeping home-court advantage over Milwaukee is going to be key.
Detroit Pistons vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The Pistons have accidently won three of their last 14 games, so they are benching every above-average option for the rest of the season. While they have not said this, they are now resting players for multiple game stretches in their quest for more lottery ping pong balls. The salaries and position eligibility across the various DFS sites have a variety of Detroit players leading the way.
On Yahoo, gamers will want to focus on rookie Killian Hayes and veteran Frank Jackson coming off the bench at their twin $12 salaries. Sekou Doumbouya is adequate at $11, but there are better options. Doumbouya is just $3,500 on DraftKings, which will make him a quite popular NBA DFS pick there. Though Saben Lee is never the most comfortable play, at $3,400 on DraftKings he is worth a shot or two.
Finally, on FanDuel Isaiah Stewart as a $5,800 power forward, which makes him stand out as one of the best options there tonight. Saddiq Bey is coming in at $6,400 and will knock out one of the pesky small forward positions. However, the guards are not particularly interesting because of the opportunity cost of forgoing other players in better matchups. While Memphis does play fast, they also have a top-10 defensive efficiency rating, which this matchup less desirable than at first blush.
Dallas Mavericks Frontcourt vs. Brooklyn Nets
With both Kristaps Porzingis and Maximilian Kleber out for tonight’s game, there is a plethora of minutes to be absorbed in the Dallas frontcourt. The challenge is that it is not clear how coach Rick Carlisle is going to handle things against Brooklyn. Last game, in this same situation, Willie Cauley-Stein drew the start but played just 18.3 minutes and had 7 fantasy points. Dwight Powell served as his direct backup and saw 28.5 minutes while posting 38.5 Yahoo fantasy points.
Two games ago it was Powell drawing the start in place of Porzingis. He played 20 minutes and recorded a solid 33.4 Yahoo fantasy points, while Cauley-Stein saw just 9.3 minutes off the bench. Even Boban Marjanovic was in the mix with a dozen minutes. Finally, going three games back, Powell started against Washington but posted a meager 14.6 fantasy points in 18.8 minutes. In this matchup, Cauley-Stein got the minutes with 26.7 while dropping 31.4 fantasy points.
This feels like a situation to avoid. The preference would be to take a chance on Powell over Cauley-Stein. It is rare for Cauley-Stein to have any plays run for him, and his fantasy production is almost entirely dependent on rebounds and putbacks. Powell at least is a better offensive option, but there is no path to certainty when it comes to coach Carlisle, who is one of the best in-game adjusters in the league.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
Alex Caruso: LAL at LAC – $10
Caleb Martin: CHA vs. CHI – $11
Jordan Poole: GSW vs. OKC – $10
Final Thoughts on the Thursday, May 6th NBA DFS Slate
Tonight there are four teams on the second legs of back-to-backs and four teams on the front ends. This could lead to some unexpected news, so be vigilant as always. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.
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