NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Monday, May 10th | Rudy Gobert

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·7 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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Tonight, nine of the 12 teams in action have playoff implications based on the outcomes of their games. This should provide a little clarity for minutes with regards to the key players. Let’s look at the six-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 Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Monday, May 10th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Rudy Gobert: Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 39.3 | DraftKings: 39.49

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 28.0% | FanDuel 22.4% | DraftKings 8.4%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $33 | FanDuel $7,900 | DraftKings $8,500

Utah is fighting to keep the top seed in the Western Conference, which will grant the Jazz home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Golden State is battling to remain in the play-in bracket, and as such, the Jazz are just 3.5-point road favorites tonight. Both teams are dealing with injuries, which has tightened up the rotations for the key players.

Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley remain out, so it will again be Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson doing the heavy lifting for the Jazz. Gobert has multiple blocks in 10 of his last 12 games and is second in the NBA with 2.8 per game. Blocks and steals are worth 3 points on Yahoo, so they can really boost a player’s fantasy production. Gobert’s 13.3 rebounds per game are also second in the league, and he should own the paint tonight against Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. The only downside to Gobert is that he rarely reaches double-digit field-goal attempts. This is a shame since he usually doesn’t miss from close in — his 67.5% shooting at the rim is the best in the league. For perspective, if the season ended today, that would be the fifth-best mark in league history.

Russell Westbrook: Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 57.9 | DraftKings: 62.8

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.6% | FanDuel 25.0% | DraftKings 45.6%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $59 | FanDuel $12,400 | DraftKings $11,000

Yahoo has lifted its soft salary cap, with Russell Westbrook now at $59 tonight. For most of the 2016-17 season, he was in the $62 to $65 range. FanDuel is lagging, as it previously had Westbrook as high as $13,900 at the end of the 2016-17 season. DraftKings is in the same boat, with Westbrook having been $14,000 in the same timeframe. This would have been the first year Kevin Durant was playing for the Warriors, so the sites can make the salaries higher if they want to in order to force real decisions. These unofficial salary records are from an unaudited database but should be directionally correct.

Bradley Beal will be out for the next two games, both of which are in Atlanta. The Hawks are favored by 8 points, and the Wizards are going to need Westbrook to drag the team to at least one victory in the next two games to remain in play-in contention. Tonight Westbrook has the opportunity to surpass Oscar Robertson for the most career triple-double of all time, and he has recorded a triple-double in 27 of his last 33 games. He is leading the NBA with 11.5 assists per game and is sixth with an astounding 11.6 rebounds per game. Ishmael Smith and Raul Neto are going to have to step up to fill the void left by Beal, and they will provide the savings to easily roster Westbrook tonight.

Jonas Valanciunas: Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 36.19 | DraftKings: 37.21

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 25.8% | FanDuel 16.2% | DraftKings 11.8%

  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $32 | FanDuel $8,000 | DraftKings $8,200

Over his last five games, Jonas Valanciunas has played at least 30 minutes four times. His salary has trended upwards, but Yahoo and FanDuel are lagging behind. Tonight he gets a great matchup against the Pelicans, who are likely to be without their entire starting frontcourt once again; Zion Williamson is out, Brandon Ingram is questionable with an ankle sprain, and Steven Adams is doubtful with turf toe that has cost him six of the last eight games. Valanciunas should be in the mix for a combined 40 points and rebounds, anything less than 40 fantasy points is going to be a disappointment.

Good Value

Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers

There will be a lot of uncertainty heading into the late games, with Christian Wood having missed the last four games with an ankle injury and Kelly Olynyk sitting out Saturday with his own ankle injury. Wood will probably remain out, but there is a decent chance Olynyk will play. If he starts, he should get 30 to 35 minutes against the Trail Blazers, who have the second-worst defense in the league. If Olynyk is available but not starting, he would be an incredibly risky play.

Kenyon Martin Jr. is a great play that would turn into a phenomenal NBA DFS pick once again if either Wood or Olynyk are out. In his last three games, Martin has played 39, 39 and 44 minutes while averaging 24.3 points and nine rebounds. Jae’Sean Tate should be in the starting lineup, and he is a solid NBA DFS option regardless of who else is in or out. With Kevin Porter Jr. out, D.J. Augustin was asked to play 29 minutes after a three-week injury layoff. While he only played 18 the next night, he would project closer to 27 or 28 tonight as one of the few NBA-caliber facilitators. Khyri Thomas tallied 56 and 33 fantasy points in his first two games while on a 10-day contract, and if Olynyk or Wood are out, gamers can roll the dice there. Thomas is at the Yahoo minimum salary of $10, while DraftKings ($5,500) and FanDuel ($4,800) are ahead of the curve. DaQuan Jeffries and Armoni Brooks are wild cards who really need the questionable players to be ruled out before they can be trusted.

Risky Value

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets

Portland is just one game ahead of the Lakers to stay out of the play-in tournament. While this is a must-win game, the Blazers are 15-point home favorites and the Rockets do not have any interest in actually winning games. Portland has a difficult mid-week back-to-back with a game in Utah on Wednesday and then again on Thursday in Phoenix. It would make sense that they would limit the minutes for Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic if at all possible, with their next two games looming large.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. James Johnson: NOP at MEM – $10

  2. Lonnie Walker: SAS vs. MIL – $10

  3. Raul Neto: WAS at ATL – $12

Final Thoughts on the Monday, May 10th NBA DFS Slate

Tonight there is a 90-minute gap between the first three games and the twin-bill nightcap. All of the Houston injury news may not be released until only those two games remain. Be sure to stay vigilant and ready to make pivots or late swaps to gain an edge. 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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