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DraftKings NBA DFS Strategy Advice: Thursday (5/13)

May 13, 2021

The season is quickly winding down, and this is where things get good. It’s also where things get bad, too, because we have so many teams tanking and giving up on the season. The good news is that we don’t have a ton of those teams here, and it should lead to some competitive basketball with lots on the line for these clubs. With that in mind, let’s break down this Thursday slate!

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 

The wing positions are always the toughest to figure out, and that’s certainly the case on this slate. I struggled to find any options that I liked, but our top value of the day is forward-eligible. That’s a good place to start, especially when you dig into our studs section. With that in mind, let’s talk about The Claw!

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.

Kawhi Leonard (LAC) $8,400
There’s no doubt that Kawhi has been slumping a bit recently, but this price is ridiculous. The Claw is a $10K player when he’s right, and it’s just strange to see him sitting around $8K. He was well on his way to a monster performance on Tuesday but didn’t step on the court in the fourth quarter because of the nature of that game. Occurrences like that have hurt his production, and we love that Charlotte surrenders the second-most fantasy points to opposing power forwards this season.

Malachi Flynn (TOR) $5,700
Toronto has already ruled out Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, Chris Boucher, and OG Anunoby. That means Flynn will start at point guard and run the offense. He actually averaged about 30 fantasy points per game in this role at the beginning of April, and it’s not like that 10-game sample size was a small one.

Xavier Tillman (MEM) $4,200
Tillman got a start on Tuesday, and that should happen again here if Jonas Valanciunas remains out. We expect that to be the case with the Grizzlies’ playoff fate sealed and Tillman performing well in that role this season. In fact, X has scored at least 23 DK points in 10 of his 11 starts, providing a 27-point average in that span. That’s a monster total from such a cheap player, and we obviously don’t mind that he faces the worst defense in the NBA.

Terence Davis (SAC) $5,900
The Kings are extremely shorthanded, but it’s led to the best stretch of Davis’ career. The Kings are currently without Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley, De’Aaron Fox, and Tyrese Haliburton, and Davis has scored at least 36 fantasy points in each of his last three games.

Wendell Carter Jr. (ORL) $6,000
Carter has excelled ever since he arrived in Orlando, and he could play even bigger minutes here with Mo Bamba sidelined. Over his last 19 games, WCJ is averaging 29 DK points per game across 27 minutes a night. That’s rough news for Atlanta, with the Hawks ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency. If you need any more incentive, Carter dropped 34 DK points against Atlanta just three weeks ago.

Facundo Campazzo (DEN) $5,800
The Nuggets are missing Jamal Murray and Will Barton, but it’s turned Campazzo into a Denver hero. The 30-year-old rookie has been starting at point guard in their absences, averaging 37 fantasy points per game across his last five fixtures. It’s not like Minnesota’s terrible defense will slow him down, as they rank 28th in defensive efficiency.

T.J. McConnell (IND) $5,500
McConnell has had an amazing season for the Pacers, and he should continue to thrive with Malcolm Brogdon sidelined. In the last six games without him, T.J. is averaging 30 DK points per game in a bench role. That’s all you can hope for from such a cheap player, especially with Milwaukee playing at the third-fastest pace in the NBA. In their two meetings this season, McConnell scored at least 28 fantasy points.

Brook Lopez (MIL) $4,900
Bro-Lo is a regular in this section, and he’ll probably go down as the most written-up player for me this year. The simple fact is that DK doesn’t know how to price this guy. He has sat around $5K for two months now and is averaging nearly 30 fantasy points per game in that span. That’s even more confusing with Indiana surrendering the most fantasy points in the NBA to opposing centers.

Nerlens Noel (NYK) $4,200
Noel is yet another guy with bizarre pricing. While he has struggled this week, he has been way too good to be in the $4,000s. We’re talking about a guy who is averaging 26 DK points per game over his last 14 outings. That’s a stupendous total from a $4,200 player, and he should keep playing big minutes with Mitchell Robinson injured.

Gary Trent Jr. (TOR) $6,000
The Raptors are in rebuild mode, resting every notable player they possess. This has essentially turned Trent into the primary scorer on this team, and he has taken at least 16 shots in three straight games. He has shot poorly in that span, but if he keeps playing 35 minutes and firing up 20 shots a night, he should be in the $7K range.

Studs Worth Their Salary

  • Nikola Jokic (DEN) $11,000: The Joker is the second-best option in fantasy right now — he has scored at least 41 fantasy points in all but three games this season. He still leads the NBA with 58 DK points per game despite Russell Westbrook’s surge, and it makes him hard to avoid on a slate like this one. Playing Minnesota only adds to his intrigue, as he is averaging 62 DK points per game through two meetings this year.
  • Ja Morant (MEM) $8,200: Morant is rolling right now. Over his last 14 games played, Ja is averaging 40 DraftKings points per game in the best stretch of his career. The matchup might be the best part of this play, though, with Sacramento owning the worst defensive rating in the NBA.
  • Devin Booker (PHO) $8,300: Booker is really finding his stroke headed into the postseason, scoring at least 47 fantasy points in three of his last six games. He’s got a 39-point average in that span, too, which is not that far off of his impressive season average. We love that in a matchup like this, with Portland raked 29th in defensive efficiency this year.

Notable Players to Fade

  • Coby White (CHI) $6,700: White was amazing when he filled in for Zach LaVine, but with LaVine back, White is a worrisome fantasy option. He was relegated to bench duties when LaVine was healthy earlier in the season, and his usage has been dropping since his return. So, while we like White as a player, he’s just too difficult to trust with this inflated price tag.
  • Oshae Brissett (IND) $5,600: Brissett was brilliant last week, but now that Domantas Sabonis is healthy, he is impossible to trust. Over his last six games played, he has only surpassed 20 fantasy points once and is playing just 25 minutes a night through that stretch.
  • Kendrick Nunn (MIA) $5,200: There aren’t really many statistics that will back this as a fade, but this situation worries me. This is the first time Miami’s roster has been healthy all year, and it’s going to be tough for Nunn to produce with so many ball-handlers around. Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, and Jimmy Butler are all feeling it right now, and we expect Nunn’s usage and production to drop as those guys get better.

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

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