NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Sunday, May 23rd | Rudy Gobert

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·4 min read
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Sunday, May 23rd | Rudy Gobert
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups, including Rudy Gobert | 5/23/21
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Sunday brings the second half of the first-round matchups at 1 p.m. ET. Let’s look at the four-game main slate and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE NBA Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Sunday, May 23rd

Yahoo Play of the Day — Rudy Gobert: Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Something that should be front of mind for gamers is Yahoo’s scoring structure as they embrace the single-game contests. Blocks and steals are each worth 3 fantasy points, and players like Rudy Gobert become difference makers in this format, particularly with the multipliers for Megastar (2x) and Superstar (1.5x). Another nice wrinkle is also having the Star (1.2x) multiplier for further differentiation among the actual results.

Gobert led the NBA with 2.7 blocks per game, and he had at least three blocks or more in 33 of his 71 games this season. This includes 21 with at least four blocks. Even with Donovan Mitchell returning to action and taking minutes and field-goal attempts from the guards and wings, his return will not adversely affect Gobert. While he will be battling Jonas Valanciunas for rebounds, Valanciunas is not the best rim protector, which gives Gobert additional upside. In their last seven matchups, Gobert has tallied at least 39.1 Yahoo fantasy points in six games.

Julius Randle: New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks

Up is down and down is up, and somehow the Knicks are hosting an NBA playoff series. This will be an interesting matchup, with New York preferring to play with their feet encased in cement and the Hawks ready to run and gun. While Atlanta is by no means a track meet waiting to happen, they do much better with the pace-and-space strategy than they do in the halfcourt sets.

Setting aside the fact that one of the three games in this regular season series went to an extra frame, Julius Randle has found great success in this matchup. Focusing less on the raw totals of 41.4 minutes per game and mid-60s fantasy points, the efficiency of 1.5 fantasy points per minute is the crucial data point. In his seventh season, Randle had career highs with 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.2 combined blocks/steals. Do not miss out on this early matchup where other gamers are feeling tepid at best.

Good Value

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards

With a game total that is 12 points higher than any of the other three matchups, the 76ers deserve a lot of looks today. While there are no discount dandies in this game, the core Philadelphia players have upside. Washington ended the regular season leading the league in pace with 104.7 possessions per 48 minutes, which was nearly two more possessions than second-place Milwaukee.

While the Wizards did improve their defensive efficiency down the stretch (which coincided with the addition of center Daniel Gafford), they simply do not have an answer for Joel Embiid in the paint. Similarly, they do not have anything close to a shutdown defender to deal with Tobias Harris or Ben Simmons. The first game of the day looks to have the best offensive environment, so do not be shy about rolling out some 76ers in lineups.

Risky Value

Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Donovan Mitchell will be making his return after sitting out the final 16 games of the season with an ankle injury. While he likely could have returned sooner, the Jazz were able to maintain their record in his absence, and they have their eyes on a much bigger prize. Mitchell rejoining the lineup is going to have a trickledown effect for Mike Conley, Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson. While they should still see solid minutes with coach Quin Snyder shortening the rotation, they now will be deferring and or sharing opportunities with Mitchell. This has not been fully reflected in the DFS salaries across the sites, which leaves little room for profit potential. By no means is this a stayaway situation, but gamers need to appropriately recalibrate expectations after six weeks without Mitchell.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Single Game Discount Dandies

  • 3:30 p.m. ET – Jae Crowder: PHO vs. LAL – $11

  • 7:00 p.m. ET – Nerlens Noel: NYK vs. ATL – $14

  • 9:30 p.m. ET – Jaren Jackson Jr.: MEM at UTA – $19

Final Thoughts on the Sunday, May 23rd NBA DFS Slate

Rotations are going to be tighter, and most teams will be rolling with eight or nine players. Be aware of who may be pinched, and understand that finding a few leverage/pivot options is going to be the key to reaching the top of the leaderboards. 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 play on DraftKings or FanDuel.

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