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DraftKings NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Friday (5/14)

May 14, 2021

Khem Birch could be left with a huge role tonight.

This is my final NBA DFS article of the season! It’s been an absolute joy providing content for you guys, and I’ve had some great feedback on Twitter. I wanted to thank all of you for reading throughout the season, and I’m glad we got to spread some of the wealth to your readers. I’ll definitely be back for next season, though, and I look forward to providing more content when the NFL season starts in a few months. Again, Thanks, everybody!

If you have any comments or questions, reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel

Check out today’s NBA Tip-Off from DraftKings >>

Most Value Per Dollar 

This section is usually swamped with centers, but that’s not the case today. The point guard position is absolutely stacked, though, and it’s no surprise when you look at the style of play in today’s NBA. What’s also nice about this slate is the fact that we have a ton of roster versatility. A lot of these value plays have multi-position eligibility, and that makes lineup construction so much easier. With that in mind, let’s get into it!

If you’d like to see more information on how the betting landscape will be for this slate, check out BettingPros.

Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.

Collin Sexton (CLE) $8,300
Sexton has quietly had a great season for the Cavs, and it’s only getting better with Darius Garland missing games. In fact, Sexton has at least 34 DraftKings points in eight of his last 10 games, generating a 40-point average in that span. That makes him intriguing against anyone, but we love him against the Wizards. Not only does Washington play at the fastest pace in the NBA, but they also surrender the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards as well.

Killian Hayes (DET) $5,800
The Pistons are in full-on rebuild mode, and it’s turned Hayes into their starting point guard. In his last two games in this expanded role, Killian is averaging 17 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists across 37 minutes a night. That’s the first-round stud we’ve been waiting to see, and he should continue to play big minutes with so many Pistons sitting right now.

Khem Birch (TOR) $6,600
It’s impossible to know who will play for Toronto from night to night, but Birch is one of the few who plays every game. It actually looks like Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, and Chris Boucher could all sit here, and that’d leave Birch with a huge role. He’s been productive anyway, averaging 32 DK points per game across his last nine outings. We also don’t mind that Dallas has one of the worst center rotations in the NBA.

Jordan Clarkson (UTH) $7,800
JC is in the best stretch of his career right now, looking to secure the Sixth Man of the Year Award. What’s made him so good recently is that Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell are both sidelined. That’s allowed him to score at least 33 fantasy points in six straight games, averaging 40 DK points per game in that span. It’s not like a 23rd-ranked Thunder defense will tame him.

Eric Bledsoe (NOR) $6,500
The Pelicans are another roster dismantled by injuries, with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Steven Adams all nicked up. That has earned Bled his biggest usage of the season, scoring at least 26 fantasy points in six straight games. He’s also got a 31-point average in that span, too, making him a great play against a Warriors team that plays at the second-fastest pace in the league.

Gary Trent Jr. (TOR) $6,300
We already mentioned all of the Toronto players expected to sit, which means Trent will be the focal point of the offense. He’s actually averaging about 35 minutes and 18 shots a game without those guys and should provide value as long as those usage numbers maintain and as long as he plays.

James Johnson (NOR) $5,300
While Bledsoe has been taking over the ball-handling duties in New Orleans, JJ has taken on all the forward minutes. He’s started the last four games without those guys we mentioned before, averaging 30 DK points per game across 30 minutes a night in his 10 starts this season. We love that against a fast-paced Warriors team, with Johnson needing to play big minutes yet again.

Khyri Thomas (HOU) $5,800
The Rockets have been pulling guys out of the stands to play recently, but it looks like they found a solid one here. Jokes aside, Thomas has been a great find for them, scoring at least 30 DraftKings points in all four games he’s played. More importantly, he got a start on Wednesday and is now averaging 39 fantasy points per game in this newfound role. Houston is missing so many players that Thomas will likely finish the season as a 30-minute starter.

Dean Wade (CLE) $4,200
We missed on Wade earlier in the week, but we love the role he has right now, particularly at this price. Cleveland is missing Garland, Larry Nance, Cedi Osman, and Tauren Prince right now, allowing Wade to play at least 29 minutes in six straight games. He’s certainly had some duds in that span, but a 46-point gem is a good indicator of how special he can be at this minuscule price. The Washington matchup is obviously spectacular too.

Austin Rivers (DEN) $4,600
Gosh, this is where we’re at in NBA DFS right now. Rivers was not on a roster two weeks ago, but he’s come into Denver and carved out a nice role. They’re currently missing Jamal Murray, PJ Dozier, and Will Barton, leaving Rivers with a 30-minute role. Over his last five fixtures, Rivers is averaging 26 DK points across 32 minutes a night. That’s all you can ask for from such a cheap player, especially against a 24th-ranked Detroit defense.

Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Russell Westbrook (WAS) $12,800: This price tag is out of control, but you can’t fade Westbrook right now. Amazingly, he’s scored at least 70 DraftKings points in six of his last seven games, averaging 72 fantasy points per game in that span. That’s truly ridiculous, and he’s been asked to do even more with Bradley Beal nicked up. Not to mention, Cleveland ranks 26th in defensive efficiency.
  • Stephen Curry (GSW) $10,200: Curry has played at an MVP level for a month now. Since returning from injury at the beginning of April, Chef Curry is averaging over 50 fantasy points per game. That’s earned his team a playoff spot, and he should have no problem duplicating that against a 24th-ranked Pelicans defense.
  • Ja Morant (MEM) $8,400: Morant is also playing some of the best basketball of his career right now, averaging 40 DK points per game across his last 14 outings. That’s a fantastic total from a player in this price range, and we can’t overlook this matchup. Sacramento surrenders the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards while owing the worst defensive rating in the NBA.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Kawhi Leonard (LAC) $8,300: This game has rest written all over it for Kawhi. The Clippers have pretty much sealed their fate, and it seems like LA will rest their superstar in the second half of a B2B against the worst team in the NBA. He’s been struggling a bit recently, too, averaging just 33 DK points per game across his last five outings.
  • Luguentz Dort (OKC) $6,500: We never really know if Dort will play, but we don’t trust him even if he does. He’s sat out 14 of the Thunder’s last 25 games and posts an 18-point average across his last five fixtures. That’s scary with his injury designation, especially against a Top-5 Utah defense. UPDATE: It sounds like Dort will sit after all.
  • R.J. Hampton (ORL) $5,800: Hampton has been a nice find for Orlando, but his role has been decreasing recently. In fact, his minutes have dropped in five straight games, and one has to believe it’ll be tough for him to crack 25 here. That’s even more worrisome against a Top-5 Philly defense.

Create DraftKings lineups using our DFS Lineup Optimizer tool >>

Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. Our Lineup Optimizer 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.

Joel Bartilotta is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Joel, check out his archive and follow him @Bartilottajoel.