NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Thursday, May 27th | Damian Lillard

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·5 min read
NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Thursday, May 27th | Damian Lillard
EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups, including Damian Lillard | 5/27/21
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Thursday, May 27, has a back-loaded three-game slate with the first Game 3’s of the playoffs. Two games are tipping off after 10 p.m. ET, which will offer additional time to strategize and counter the early game’s fantasy implications. 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, Thursday, May 27th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Damian Lillard: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 44.78 | DraftKings: 47.35

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Popularity Projections: Yahoo 23.8% | FanDuel 20.2% | DraftKings 23.0%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $43 | FanDuel $10,500 | DraftKings $9,400

Damian Lillard is certainly feeling it with his legendary range in the playoffs, having casually drained a standard jump shot from inside the Nuggets logo in the first quarter of Game 2 with plenty of time on the shot clock. Now he is going to be back at home in his comfortable shooting environment looking to lead the Trail Blazers to a 2-1 series advantage. Through the first two games of the series, Lillard has averaged 41 minutes, 38 points, 3 rebounds and 11.5 assists while sinking exactly half of his 28 attempts from beyond the arc. The salary on Yahoo is going to be hard to pass up at $43, which should have everyone embracing Lillard tonight.

Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 53.98 | DraftKings: 56.9

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Popularity Projections: Yahoo 16.6% | FanDuel 27.4% | DraftKings 25.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $10,700 | DraftKings $10,700

Even with Jusuf Nurkic doing his best to disrupt things, Nikola Jokic is showing why he is deserving of MVP. Through the first two games of this series, Jokic is averaging 33.3 minutes, 36 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. While the assists have been down compared to his 8.6 average on the season, it was nice to see him get five in the last game. Tonight the decision will once again come down to Jokic or Giannis Antetokounmpo as the core building block, and Jokic has the edge.

Good Value

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix has shortened its rotation in an extreme manner. Through the first two games of the playoffs, Torrey Craig has played five and three minutes, and E’Twaun Moore played two minutes in Game 1 and did not leave the bench in Game 2. Dario Saric played 11.3 and 15.2 minutes as the main backup for Deandre Ayton and getting a little time at forward.

Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne are the two to target, with Johnson averaging nearly 25 minutes off the bench filling in for forwards Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges. Payne backed up Chris Paul and Devin Booker. He dropped a 40-burger in Game 2 as Paul was clearly hampered by his shoulder injury, so he will not be going under the radar. It is a tough matchup against the Lakers, but at least those two are capable of contributing in multiple facets of the game.

Risky Value

Robert Covington: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 26.64 | DraftKings: 25.23

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Popularity Projections: Yahoo 30.4% | FanDuel 42.8% | DraftKings 31.8%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $17 | FanDuel $4,500 | DraftKings $4,400

It is interesting to see Robert Covington projecting to garner this much popularity tonight. While there is no doubt he has a secure 35 to 37 minutes as one of Portland’s most versatile defensive disruptors, it is hard to trust him from a fantasy standpoint. There will likely be a game this series where Covington delivers six combined steals/blocks, but outside of that potential upside, the floor is incredibly low.

Covington is no stranger to the postseason, and he knows that someone has to do the little things for teams to be successful. Through his last 18 games of the regular season and the first two games of this series, Covington has taken double-digit field-goal attempts only three times: 12, 10 and 10. In half of those games, he has taken five or fewer field-goal attempts, including both playoff games. While nearly three-quarters of these attempts have been from behind the arc, which gives some upside, those are also harder shots to successfully convert. It is more than reasonable to be below half of the field tonight on Covington and let them assume most of the risk. Minutes are key in the playoffs, and while those are clearly secure for Covington, minutes alone do not count towards fantasy totals.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Cameron Johnson: PHX at LAL – $10

  2. Jae Crowder: PHX at LAL – $11

  3. Duncan Robinson: MIA vs. MIL – $13

Final Thoughts on the Thursday, May 27th NBA DFS Slate

The real question for tonight is how healthy Paul’s shoulder is. Other than that, there are no other injury-related uncertainties. 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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