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DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Sunday (5/9)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
May 9, 2021

We have almost reached the NBA playoffs! We have just two Sunday slates of regular-season action to go, and I’ll guide you through tonight’s underwhelming options.

Each week, I’ll be here to profile some strong value plays, studs, and duds for Sunday’s 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.

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Most Value Per Dollar 

Tonight’s six-game slate will tip-off at 7 p.m. ET. The betting totals point to one high-scoring matchup, MIN/ORL (230), but no other game has a total at or above that mark. Two have totals in the mid-220s, NOR/CHA (222) and OKC/SAC (223), and the rest all sit below 220. As a result, expect most of my picks to come from the aforementioned six teams.

On the injury front, Zion Williamson will miss tonight’s action for the Pelicans. The Lakers, Thunder, and Magic continue to have lengthy injury reports, too. Elsewhere, De’Aaron Fox has been cleared to return for the Kings, although he may not be ready for a full game of action yet.

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.

D’Angelo Russell (MIN) $7,600
Russell is a fantastic option to get exposure to Minnesota’s offense tonight. The Magic rank sixth-worth in defensive efficiency and surrender the fourth-most DraftKings points per game (DKPPG) to point guards, where Russell spends 56% of his minutes.

Marvin Bagley (SAC) $6,200
Bagley is a smart option for this slate. Although the posted total for his game is quite low relative to what sportsbooks usually assign Sacramento, he has flashed slate-winning upside recently, hitting 6.5x value against this price in two of his last four games. That said, Bagley can bust big time, and he reminded us of that when he played the Spurs on Friday. However, the Thunder give up the second-most DKPPG to power forwards, so I’m expecting a boom game from him here.

Devonte’ Graham (CHA) $5,800
Although Graham is a game-time decision for this matchup, New Orleans’ putrid perimeter defense makes him a strong pick. The Pelicans surrender the second-most made threes per game (14.6), and Graham ranks second on the Hornets in made threes per game (3.2). If he gets hot from deep, expect him to go for more than 5x value.

Naji Marshall (NOR) $4,700
With Zion on the shelf and Brandon Ingram listed as doubtful, Marshall will have to pick up the slack for the Pels tonight. He failed to hit 5x value against this price in his last outing without those two, as he recorded only 21.8 DK points (4.6x value), but the Pelicans are in do-or-die mode as they sit two games behind the Spurs. I expect a big game from Marshall out of necessity.

Gary Harris (ORL) $4,300
With basically everyone out in Orlando, Harris has found himself playing 30-plus minutes on most nights. Harris has hit 5x value against this price in four of his last seven games, and I expect another decent showing out of him with Minnesota’s putrid defense in town. They allow the sixth-most DKPPG to shooting guards, where Harris spends 75% of his minutes, and the most to small forwards, where Harris spends the other 25%.

Cody Zeller (CHA) $3,700
Zeller is a sub-20 minute player who offers a reasonable floor for his price. He has hit at least 5x value against this price in three of his last five games, and the matchup with a banged-up Pelicans squad screams value to me, especially if Steven Adams sits.

Kenrich Williams (OKC) $3,600
I’ll wrap up with a pair of Thunder. Williams has gone for 5x value against this price in his most recent three outings, and he even hit 6x value in the last two. He should continue to find success tonight against a defense as bad as Sacramento’s.

Svi Mykhailiuk (OKC) $3,000
Mykhailiuk should be priced a bit higher than the minimum. He just dropped 30.5 DK point against the Warriors last night, and Sacramento’s defense is much more exploitable. Consider throwing him in your lineup if you need help fitting in a bunch of studs.

Studs Worth Their Salary

  1. Luka Doncic (DAL) $11,000: The matchup against the Cavaliers isn’t attractive, but Doncic has the ability to explode for 80-plus DK points on any given night, and he’ll be playing angry after an inefficient (and short) night against Cleveland on Friday. Our projections expect him to lead the slate in scoring.
  2. Lonzo Ball (NOR) $8,400: With the Pelicans pressed for depth, Lonzo Ball makes a great DFS play on this slate. He may not hit the 67.8-DK point ceiling he showed us against the Timberwolves last week, but he doesn’t need to do that to hit 5x value against this price, which he has done in three of his last six games.
  3. Anthony Edwards (MIN) $8,300: Edwards is another lower-priced stud that I love tonight. Minnesota’s game should be one of the slate’s highest-scoring affairs, and it helps that the Magic surrender the second-most DKPPG to small forwards.

Notable Players to Fade

  1. Nikola Vucevic (CHI) $10,600: Should Vooch cost you almost as much as Doncic or Karl- Anthony Towns? I don’t think so, and our projections model agrees. Though he ranks third in total projected points (46.9), that’s only good for 4.4x value.
  2. Zach LaVine (CHI) $9,800: I’m also fading Vucevic’s teammate tonight. With such a low total and such a wide spread (the Bulls are nine-point favorites), both stars could see their minutes reduced because of a blowout win.
  3. Devin Booker (PHO) $8,400: The Lakers may be banged up, but they allow the fewest DKPPG to shooting guards, and their strong defensive play makes Booker’s salary a bit too much for me to stomach.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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