NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Friday, May 28th | Kawhi Leonard

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·5 min read
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Friday, May 28th | Kawhi Leonard
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups, including Kawhi Leonard | 5/28/21
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Friday, May 28, brings location changes with the second wave of Game 3 action. There is a staggered set of start times and some injury questions in the final game that will add some intrigue. Let’s look at the three-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.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Friday, May 28th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Kawhi Leonard: Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 45.58 | DraftKings: 46.35

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Popularity Projections: Yahoo 37.8% | FanDuel 27.2% | DraftKings 42.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $40 | FanDuel $10,000 | DraftKings $8,500

The Clippers strategically angled their final results to get the Mavericks in the first round, and now they are heading into Dallas down 2-0. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have performed well, but Luka Doncic has just been better. Patrick Beverley (32) looks old, Rajon Rondo (35) is old, and Nicolas Batum (32) and Marcus Morris (31) have been enigmatic to say the least. Serge Ibaka (31) is clearly hampered by his injury, and Reggie Jackson (31) is not much of a sparkplug option.

There is not much analysis to add other than Leonard’s $41 salary on Yahoo has him bordering on must-play status. George at $37 is right there as well, with it not crazy to expect 40 minutes and close to 30% usage rates each. It will not be a surprise to see the popularity for both Clippers stars cresting in the 50% range by the time tip-off rolls around.

Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 51.05 | DraftKings: 54.8

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Popularity Projections: Yahoo 25.4% | FanDuel 39.8% | DraftKings 24.0%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $52 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $11,000

Tonight should be a great environment for Doncic and the Mavericks as they host the Clippers. Attendance for American Airlines Center has been increased to 16,000 for Game 3, which is not far off the maximum capacity of 19,200 for basketball events. Doncic has been sublime through the first two games of this series, solving everything that Los Angeles has thrown his way. In these games he is averaging 39-plus minutes and 26.5 field-goal attempts, including 12 from behind the arc. This has culminated in 35 points, 8.5 rebounds, nine assists and 2.5 combined blocks and steals. Doncic should be in the majority of rosters tonight.

Good Value

Maximilian Kleber: Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Clippers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 20.22 | DraftKings: 20.23

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Popularity Projections: Yahoo 31.2% | FanDuel 17.8% | DraftKings 33.0%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $10 | FanDuel $4,800 | DraftKings $3,700

The longer Maxi Kleber is listed as a game-time decision the fewer gamers will ultimately land on him as one of the premium value options of the night, particularly on Yahoo and DraftKings. There is no doubt that Kleber is dealing with a sore Achilles, but he has rallied to play 36 and 34 minutes in each of the first two games.

This matchup serves as the nightcap, so be thoughtful with rostering Kleber. On Yahoo, he is best used in the forward or utility spot. That allows for pivoting to Luke Kennard, who is also at the minimum salary. By leaving $12, Rondo ($12) and Batum ($11) become viable direct pivots in the event Kleber is a no-go.

FanDuel somewhat limits options since they require the power forward position unless there is a 2v2 in mind. However, it will be easy enough to drop down to Morris, who is $200 less than Kleber. It would be prudent to not play that duo on the same roster, as things get dodgy after them; Ibaka, who will be lucky to see more than 12 minutes, and Willie Cauley-Stein are the non-Morris pivots.

DraftKings provides the greatest position flexibility, so there are too many escape plan iterations to detail. The key target would be Kennard if only the forward slot is remaining. If the utility slot is available, then Terance Mann, Dwight Powell and Beverley become viable last-ditch replacements.

Risky Value

New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks

Through the first two games of this series, only one player has produced more than 40 fantasy points. That would be Trae Young, who rolled up mid-50s fantasy points with slight variations between fantasy scoring on the different DFS sites. These games have been a slugfest and are averaging only 5.5 players topping 30 fantasy points. Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose look to be the preferred options from the Knicks, as coach Tom Thibodeau is going to play them until their knees and ankles disintegrate. From the Hawks, Bogdan Bogdanovic would be the preferred option, followed by Danilo Gallinari or Kevin Huerter, who both can get hot off the bench. Other than that, the points-per-dollar ratio is too scary for anyone from this game to be considered with great frequency when making only a handful of lineups.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Taj Gibson: NYK at ATL – $10

  2. Maxi Kleber: DAL vs. LAC – $10

  3. De’Andre Hunter: ATL vs. NYK – $12

Final Thoughts on the Friday, May 28th NBA DFS Slate

It will be interesting to see if the Celtics have a pulse at home tonight and if the Clippers can find their footing on the road. 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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