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DraftKings NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Saturday (5/8)

May 8, 2021

T.J. McConnell fell just shy of a triple-double en route to 42 DK points against Washington last week.

Saturday slates tend to be larger than usual, but this one is not. We have seven games in total, and it’s going to be a late-night for your East Coast people. Four of the seven games start at 10 p.m. ET, and it’s going to make for some wild swings. That means you need to keep an eye on injury reports late and be prepared to make some post-lock moves.

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 

I love wings, but I’m talking about the food. The wings in the NBA are downright terrible right now compared to guards and centers because these offenses are built around the pick-and-roll. That makes the pickings slim at those positions, and that’s more noticeable on this slate than most. We actually only have one forward recommendation in the next section, but we have one in the studs section that we absolutely love.

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-8 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary. These are ranked in order.

T.J. McConnell (IND) $6,300
The Pacers are missing Malcolm Brogdon, T.J. Warren, and Myles Turner, leaving McConnell with a huge role. While he hasn’t been starting, T.J. has still been playing point when it matters most. In the last three games without Brogdon, McConnell is averaging 36 fantasy points per game, stuffing the stat sheet at ease. He’s shown that ability all season, and we absolutely adore that against a Washington team that plays at the fastest pace in the NBA. He actually played them last week and fell just shy of a triple-double en route to 42 DK points.

Dejounte Murray (POR) $7,900
Murray just had a dud in his most recent outing, but we’re going right back to the well. Before that outlier performance against an elite Jazz team, Murray averaged 47 fantasy points per game across his previous four fixtures. That directly correlated with the absence of Derrick White, and it’s clear that Dejounte is going to run the show as long as he remains out. Facing Portland is awesome, too, with the Trail Blazers ranked 29th in defensive efficiency while surrendering the second-most fantasy points to opposing point guards.

Kenyon Martin Jr. (HOU) $5,300
We absolutely hate this matchup with Utah, but this is hard to overlook. Houston could be without Kevin Porter, Kelly Olynyk, Christian Wood, John Wall, Sterling Brown, Eric Gordon, and Danuel House. That’s pretty much the whole rotation, and it’ll leave Martin playing as much as possible. That was certainly the case in their two most recent games, with KJ dropping 97 fantasy points in 83 minutes of play in that span!

Theo Maledon (OKC) $5,200
Talk about a team in rebuild mode. The Thunder are doing everything possible to freefall down the standings, but it’s put Maledon in a nice spot. They’ve been sitting many of their key players, moving Theo into the starting point guard gig. That has allowed the 19-year-old to score at least 31 fantasy points in two of his last three games, with a 36-spot coming against this Warriors team on Thursday. That seems likely to happen again here, with Golden State playing at the second-fastest pace in the NBA. If more OKC players get ruled out, Maledon only gets more valuable.

Joe Ingles (UTH) $6,900
Ingles is running things with Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell both out. That has led to him scoring at least 32 DraftKings points in four straight games, which actually matches his average in his 25 games as a starter this season. That’s hard to overlook against a 27th-ranked Rockets defense, and the blowout potential is less worrisome here because of this price tag.

Armoni Brooks (HOU) $4,600
We mentioned all of the guys on the Rockets injury report, and it will leave Brooks in a similar role as Martin. In the last two games without many of those players, Brooks has 69 combined DK points across 65 minutes of play. That alone makes him hard to fade at this price, and he’ll remain on the floor even if this is the blowout we anticipate.

Jusuf Nurkic (POR) $7,200
Nurk struggled in his return to action but has been fantastic since Portland decided he’s ready for a full workload. The big man has scored at least 29 fantasy points in eight of his last nine games and has surpassed 38 DK points in five of those. That has led to a brilliant 39-point average in that span, making him hard to avoid around $7K.

Facundo Campazzo (DEN) $5,600
It’s pretty crazy that Campazzo has become a fantasy-relevant player, but enough injuries will do that to anyone. Denver has lost Jamal Murray, PJ Dozier, Monte Morris, and Will Barton over the last month, leaving Facu with the starting point guard job. That has led to Campazzo averaging 35 DK points per game across 34 minutes a night over his last six outings.

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

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Russell Westbrook (WAS) $11,100: If you’re fading Russ right now, you’re missing out on a guaranteed 60 fantasy points. He’s got seven straight triple-doubles coming into this matchup, averaging 21.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, 15.1 assists, and 1.6 steals per game in that span. No, that is not a typo! That looks even better here, with Indiana ranked bottom-5 in total defense over the last month.
  • Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,900: Jokic is the true point guard in Denver with all of those aforementioned guys out, and it’s scary how consistent he’s been. The big man has scored at least 40 DK points in 64 of his 67 games this season and leads the NBA with nearly 60 DraftKings points per game. We love that against a 25th-ranked Brooklyn defense.
  • Kevin Durant (BKN) $10,200: KD has been an MVP player in the past, and he’s showing why recently. The lengthy forward has at least 39 fantasy points in six games since his return from injury, posting a 52-point average in that span. Denver has no one to stop him either, which was on full display when KD tallied 34 points, nine rebounds, and 13 assists in their one meeting earlier this season.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Rudy Gobert (UTH) $8,800: This could be a stupid fade, but Gobert is the most expensive Utah player, and you’d need 40-50 DK points from him to reach value. While that looks easy here, let’s look at it another way. Utah enters this game as an 18-point favorite, and it’s possible that Rudy won’t even step on the floor in the fourth quarter. That limits his upside greatly, and it makes him much tougher to trust than the cheaper guys in this game.
  • Aaron Gordon (DEN) $4,900: People here in Denver were excited when AG joined the team, but the excitement level has dwindled along with his production. He actually hasn’t cracked 32 DraftKings points in 18 straight games and is averaging just 20 DK points per game in that span. We can’t trust him until that rises.
  • Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors: These two teams drive me nuts. We never know who will play from night to night, and we never know if they will be competitive either. Since they both face top-10 defenses, we want to go ahead and fade them all together.

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.

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