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Tonight 15 of the 18 teams can still impact their playoff seedings, albeit to varying degrees. It looks like most of the news regarding key players has been released, with Joel Embiid (non-COVID illness) the lone wild card. Sacramento, Toronto and Memphis will be providing potential value plays. Let’s look at the nine-game daily fantasy basketball 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, Thursday, May 13th
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.98 | DraftKings: 58.69
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.8% | FanDuel 24.8% | DraftKings 25.6%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $10,800 | DraftKings $11,000
Denver is currently coming in as a 4.5-point favorite in Minnesota tonight. At the worst, Denver will be the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, but there is a chance the Nuggets can pass the Clippers for the No. 3 seed, which would give them home-court advantage against everyone but Phoenix and Utah.
Over the last 19 games without Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic is averaging 33 minutes, 53.2 fantasy points per game and 1.61 Yahoo fantasy points per minute. With his ability to contribute across the box score, it is rare that Jokic has bad games. His 26.5 points per game rank 10th, his 10.8 rebounds rank ninth, and his 8.4 assists per game rank sixth. Plus, he is shooting 56.4% from the field. Value options abound, so making Jokic a core play is a savvy move tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Milwaukee Bucks at Indiana Pacers
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 59.13 | DraftKings: 64.24
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 33.4% | FanDuel 38.8% | DraftKings 32.8%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $60 | FanDuel $12,600 | DraftKings $12,400
Milwaukee has an outside chance of overtaking the Nets for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. It remains to be seen if the Bucks will sit anyone, but as 8-point road favorites, it would seem that this is an all-systems-go game tonight. Across his last half dozen games, Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.2 minutes and 21 field-goal attempts. This works out to 30 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.2 combined blocks/steals for 53 Yahoo fantasy points per game. Indiana is playing at the second-fastest pace in the league, and in a game with a projected point total of 243, there will be plenty of opportunities for Antetokounmpo to rack up the fantasy goodness, even if he does not see much action in the final frame.
Damian Lillard: Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns
Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.0 | DraftKings: 44.56
Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 4.8% | FanDuel 4.6% | DraftKings 6.4%
DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $9,700 | DraftKings $9,500
Tonight it is unlikely that Damian Lillard will reach double-digit popularity, which makes him an intriguing NBA DFS pick for GPPs. In his last eight games, he has surpassed 50 fantasy points six times, and Portland needs to keep winning in order to stay out of the play-in tournament. Last night, Lillard led the Blazers to a 105-98 upset of the Jazz in Utah. In 37 minutes he dropped 30 points on 20 field-goal attempts. Phoenix has an excellent defense, though they are not at the same level as the Jazz. In two meetings this season, Lillard is averaging 33 minutes and 43 fantasy points against the Suns. The second game back in March saw him go over 50 fantasy points, which shows that he is essentially matchup-proof.
Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies
The unlikely trio of Delon Wright, Terence Davis and Maurice Harkless continue to post tremendous fantasy lines in the absence of De’Aaron Fox (health and safety protocol) and rookie Tyrese Haliburton (knee). It sounds like Marvin Bagley will be out again, which should give another spot start to Chimezie Metu, who is a phenomenal discount option after posting 28 minutes and 30 fantasy points across his last two games. Memphis does have an efficient defense but plays at a fast pace, which is evidenced by the 231-point projected total for this matchup. Roll with the Kings tonight, who will also be missing Harrison Barnes, which should keep Buddy Hield in play and cement his projections with 15 to 17 field-goal attempts.
Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls
Once again the Raptors will be resting the “injured” crew of Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, O.G. Anunoby, Aron Banes and Paul Watson . The salaries are beginning to run out of upside, as the increased playing time is now being accounted for. The ambulatory Toronto players are not bad options, but they are not the screaming bargains they have been over the last fortnight. Over its last 10 games, Chicago has the fourth-best defensive efficiency rating in the league and the fifth best over its last 15 games, so this is not a fluke. The Raptors are projected to score 108 points tonight, and while Gary Trent Jr., Malachi Flynn, Khem Birch, etc. should be in our player pool, they are far from safe options.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies
Chimezie Metu: SAC at MEM – $10
Xavier Tillman: MEM vs. SAC – $10
Maurice Harkless: SAC at MEM – $10
Final Thoughts on the Thursday, May 13th NBA DFS Slate
Tonight eight of the nine games tip off within the first hour; this should theoretically limit the craziness to a defined period. Both Portland and Phoenix are playing to win tonight, so there should not be any starting-lineup shenanigans. 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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