DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Sunday (5/16)
We’ve reached the final Sunday of the NBA season, and with it, the final installation of this article. It has been a fun ride, but I’m looking forward to some playoff action!
Keep reading for some strong value plays, studs, and duds for this final regular-season DraftKings slate. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, and if you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter at @is_sirois. All matchup data is pulled from our defense versus position tool.
Most Value Per Dollar
Tonight’s 10-game slate will tip-off at 7 p.m. ET. The betting totals indicate that some high-scoring games are in order — HOU/ATL (231.5), DEN/POR (230.5) and DAL/MIN (230) are all at or above the 230-point threshold. Most other games sit above 220; only MIA/DET (215.5) and ORL/PHI (218) have totals below that mark.
Remember — not every game still has meaning. Make sure to read up on which squads have an incentive to win before building your DFS lineups tonight.
Below is a list of the top-eight players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary, ranked in order of how much they’ll cost you.
LeBron James (LAL) $9,800
James and the Lakers have a lot to play for tonight. They can avoid the play-in tournament with a win and a Trail Blazers loss, so look for them to put their best foot forward. As such, a sub-$10K LeBron is a screaming value with all kinds of upside.
C.J. McCollum (POR) $7,600
On the flip side, the Blazers can lock into the No. 6 seed with a win. That means we can expect a motivated performance from McCollum and the rest of Portland’s roster. The defensive matchup isn’t great, but McCollum has hit 5x value against this price in three of his last four games with a floor of 4.8x value. He makes a fantastic target in cash games.
Naji Marshall (NOR) $5,100
After leading off with two underpriced big-name players, this list is about to take quite the turn. Marshall is a high-value option relative to this price with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball all shut down. Someone will have to fill out the box score for New Orleans, and recently, that’s been Marshall — he has hit 7.5x value against this price in two of his last three games!
Dean Wade (CLE) $4,100
The Cavaliers have been tanking for a while, but that hasn’t prevented Wade from having some solid outings. He toasted the Pacers for 45.5 DK points (11.1x value) on Monday, and he has gone for at least 5x value in two of his last three. The Nets have struggled against centers all season, and Cleveland will be pressed for interior depth with Kevin Love, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Larry Nance all out.
Luke Kennard (LAC) $3,900
The Clippers gave their reserves extended minutes against the Rockets in their last game, and that should continue tonight. By losing, they’ll avoid the Lakers and set up a second-round matchup with the Utah Jazz, so I expect them to keep Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the sidelines. Kennard racked up 25 DK points (6.4x value) over 41 minutes on Friday, and he would be in line for similar usage should the Clippers keep their starters sidelined.
Carmelo Anthony (POR) $3,900
Anthony is another player who I’m targeting because of his game’s importance. While the Trail Blazers have been limiting his minutes recently (he has played 27 or fewer in his last 10 outings), the team may abandon that strategy to secure their playoff positioning. But even if they don’t, Melo has still hit 5x value against this price in two of his last four games.
Yogi Ferrell (LAC) $3,600
Like Kennard, Ferrell would benefit considerably from the Clippers resting their starters. He played 30 minutes and scored 25 DK points (6.9x value) on Friday. The matchup against a tanking Thunder squad certainly helps, too.
Patrick Williams (CHI) $3,500
The Bulls have been giving their first-round pick some extra playing time now that they’re out of the playoff hunt. Williams played 33 minutes last night, recording 37.8 DK points (10.8x value) in the process. He has an incredibly high ceiling relative to what he’ll cost you, and he makes a fantastic option in tournaments.
Damian Jones (SAC) $3,500
I don’t understand why Jones is this cheap. He played 20-plus minutes in his last four games, including a 35-minute outing on Friday, and the fantasy points have followed. He averaged 28.3 DraftKings points per game (DKPPG) through that span, good for 8.1x value. He also scored 36.8 DK points (10.5x value) in his most recent outing.
Nicolas Claxton (BKN) $3,300
Claxton shouldn’t be this cheap. He has gone for at least 7.9x value relative to this price in his last three games, and he averaged 28.1 DKPPG (8.5x value) through that span. The Cavaliers aren’t a great matchup, but they’re missing quite a few players on the interior, which should help Claxton hit value.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Anthony Davis (LAL) $10,200: With your studs, try to target players who still have something to play for. With the No. 6 seed on the line, the Lakers should come out fighting for a win, and that should lead to significant fantasy output from Davis.
- LeBron James (LAL) $9,800: See Davis, Anthony.
- Damian Lillard (POR) $9,400: I like Lillard for the same reason that I like Davis and James, although Lillard’s game has the added benefit of a high betting total.
- Trae Young (ATL) $8,800:* If the Knicks lose to the Celtics, Atlanta could host a playoff series, and I expect Young to fight hard for that honor as long as it’s within reach — especially against the Rockets, who have basically stopped playing defense at this point.
Notable Players to Fade
- Darius Garland (CLE) $7,700: Garland played less than 15 minutes for the Cavaliers in his last game, and Cleveland should continue to rest the talented youngster.
- Ben Simmons (PHI) $7,500: It’s tempting to fire up Simmons at a price this low, but the 76ers have clinched the No. 1 seed, and I recommend that you avoid all of their star players.
- Trae Young (ATL) $8,800:* If the Knicks beat the Celtics, Atlanta won’t have anything to play for, and you should avoid Young despite what should be a high-scoring matchup. Pivot to their reserve players instead.
Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.