NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Monday, May 3rd | Zion Williamson

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Eric MacPherson
·7 min read
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Monday, May 3rd | Zion Williamson
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups, including Zion Williamson | 5/3/21
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Tonight should be interesting, with five games projected for fewer than 215 points and three with more than 230 points. There are several key players who are out and several teams that are mailing it in while trying to increase their lottery odds. Let’s dig a little deeper 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 Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Monday, May 3rd

Yahoo Play of the Day — Zion Williamson: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Golden State Warriors

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 44.48 | DraftKings: 45.41

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25.4% | FanDuel 23.0% | DraftKings 7.0%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $9,000 | DraftKings $10,000

The biggest knock against Zion Williamson is his inconsistent rebounding performance. Steven Adams has played just 12 minutes in the last four games as he is dealing with a toe injury. Willy Hernangomez has been filling in, and he actually has a higher rebounding rate. Since the All-Star break, Williamson has had double-digit rebounds in just four games and is averaging just 5.0 over his last four appearances. The matchup against Golden State is a good one, as Kevon Looney and Draymond Green are just not equipped to protect the rim against Williamson.

Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 49.82 | DraftKings: 53.66

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 13.4% | FanDuel 34.0% | DraftKings 20.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $50 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $10,800

Kelly Oubre is out indefinitely with a wrist injury. He will be joined by Damion Lee, who is in the health and safety protocol, and Eric Paschall remains out as well. Andrew Wiggins is questionable with a sore knee, so Stephen Curry could approach 30 field-goal attempts against the Pelicans. In his last 17 games, Curry has taken fewer than a dozen 3-point attempts only four times, with nine being the lowest. In this timeframe, Curry has scored fewer than 30 points only twice and more than 35 points nine times.

Domantas Sabonis: Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 45.44 | DraftKings: 47.94

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 12.8% | FanDuel 14.6% | DraftKings 11.0%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $9,500 | DraftKings $9,800

After missing six games with back issues, Domantas Sabonis returned for a matchup with the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Clearly, he left no doubt about his health, with a triple-double in the first half. All of the starters received the final frame off, with the exception of Oshae Brissett. Sabonis finished with 26 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists in just shy of 30 minutes. Tonight’s game against the Wizards has a lofty 246 projected point total, which is 10 points higher than the next-closest game.

On an interesting note, since Daniel Gafford joined the Washington rotation as a regular 13 games ago, they have the seventh-best defensive efficiency in the league, allowing 108.2 points per 100 possessions. In this stretch, the Wizards have also been the fifth-best rebounding team. They are still playing at the third-fastest pace in the league, but it is worth noting that they are not quite the defensive sieve from the pre-All-Star break portion of the season. Malcolm Brogdon is a game-time decision with his hamstring injury; if he is out, then Caris LeVert becomes a tremendous NBA DFS pick. Gamers can also look to Russell Westbrook as part of a synergy strategy on rosters with Sabonis.

Good Value

Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic

It is a rest day once again for Detroit, and Orlando is running pretty thin as well, having traded away four of its regular starters at the deadline and now dealing with injuries. The Pistons will be without Dennis Smith Jr. for the next week or two as he is dealing with a knee injury. Tonight, they will be granting load management days to Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Cory Joseph and Wayne Ellington, though some are being given injury designations. Jahlil Okafor is also out, and it has been a month since Rodney McGruder last played. Somehow Hamidou Diallo was allowed to play more than 22 minutes in the last game, which was a plot twist, and now he is questionable with a sore knee. The Magic are missing Michael Carter-Williams, Terrence Ross, James Ennis Chuma Okeke and Otto Porter Jr.

Their salaries and position eligibility vary by DFS site, but gamers can safely target Saddiq Bey, Josh Jackson, Killian Hayes and Frank Jackson as discount dandies tonight. Isaiah Stewart is a reasonable option for this matchup, even with his elevated salary. Saben Lee is a trap since he has a high of 21 minutes over his last 13 games. Even if Hamidou Diallo is available, it is hard to trust him for similar reasons.

For Orlando, Moritz Wagner looks like a key focus again, as he is seeing heavy minutes after being picked up off of waivers. Mo Bamba would be a better play if Wendell Carter were to miss the game, though both are fine against the depleted Detroit squad. Dwayne Bacon, Cole Anthony and Gary Harris round out the many cheaper options in this game. Keep in mind as more information that better plays will likely reveal themselves, such as Alex Caruso and Anthony Davis if LeBron James (ankle) sits on this back-to-back.

Risky Value

Bradley Beal: Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 44.13 | DraftKings: 45.85

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25% | FanDuel 21.8% | DraftKings 12.8%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $39 | FanDuel $9,100 | DraftKings $9,500

It may seem a little odd to include Bradley Beal in this section, as he is second in the league with 31.0 points per game, just 0.3 points behind Curry. Beal is also second in the league for usage behind only Luke Doncic. On Yahoo, the $39 salary is quite appealing. However, on DraftKings and FanDuel, he would need 50-plus fantasy points to be a relevant play.

The Awesemo Boom/Bust Tool shows that there is an 11.7% probability of Beal ending up in the DraftKings optimal lineup. This mirrors his projected popularity of 12.8%. However, there is only an 11.0% chance of him exceeding his boom score of 57.5 DraftKings points. Conversely, there is a 56.9% likelihood that Beal will fail to hit his bust threshold of 47.5 DraftKings points. This makes sense because he is unlikely to be in line for a double-double bonus, and steals are not weighted as highly as they are on other sites.

Beal has not topped 52 DraftKings points since the All-Star Break. Washington has been winning, so clearly that is the focus beyond piling up stats — particularly with another usage monster in Russell Westbrook playing next to him.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Naji Marshall: NOP vs. GSW – $10

  2. Moritz Wagner: ORL at DET – $11

  3. Alex Caruso: LAL vs. DEN – $10

Final Thoughts on the Monday, May 3rd NBA DFS Slate

Tonight there is a staggered eight-game schedule with some uncertainty for key players in the twin-bill nightcap between LeBron James and Dejounte Murray. This will likely lead to late-breaking news that needs to be monitored. 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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