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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Sunday, May 16th | Damian Lillard

Eric MacPherson



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Sunday is going to be a wild one with all of the different playoff and lottery implications. Let’s look at the 10-game main slate and discuss the top NBA DFS picks for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups. Don’t forget to head over to the Awesemo NBA DFS home page for more great written daily fantasy basketball content, including the FREE NBA Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Sunday, May 16th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Damian Lillard: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.79 | DraftKings: 45.3
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 26.2% | FanDuel 15.0% | DraftKings 19.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $9,900 | DraftKings $9,400

Damian Lillard is an excellent starting point for rosters, particularly with his favorable $41 salary on Yahoo. There is a lot at stake in this game for Portland, who needs to win in order to secure the sixth seed in the Western Conference and avoid the play-in tournament. Portland is favored by double digits at home, which suggests that the Nuggets may be resting key players such as Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr.

Denver is tied with the Clippers, who are in line to rest everyone again tonight against Oklahoma City. Even if the Nuggets lose, they still have the tiebreaker over Los Angeles, who made the strategic decision to tank their last game ensuring they would avoid the Lakers until later in the playoffs.

In a wild twist, the Thunder really do not want to win against the Clippers, so this is an interesting sports wagering scenario. Oklahoma City has won only once in their last 24 games and are tied with the Magic and one game behind the Timberwolves and Cavaliers for the third-worst record in the league. They are going to do everything they can to allow the Clippers understudies to win tonight. This makes anyone who is taking the court for coach Tyronn Lue a viable discount dandy tonight.

Anthony Davis: Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 46.05 | DraftKings: 44.31
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 23.2% | FanDuel 12.6% | DraftKings 8.0%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $44 | FanDuel $10,600 | DraftKings $10,200

The Lakers need to win and have Portland lose in order to avoid the play-in tournament. With Denver likely to be resting players tonight, that seems like a long shot. However, these games will tip off simultaneously, and while things could get squirrelly in the second half, Anthony Davis and potentially LeBron James should get a mostly full set of minutes. The Pelicans are without Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Steven Adams, which has them as double-digit home dogs. However, Lonzo Ball and company just need to keep this game within reach so Los Angeles has to play their stars to secure the victory. Denver is incentivized to rest their players because if they end up with the third seed, they would face the Lakers. So much is going to hinge on Nikola Jokic’s status for this play.

Good Value

Houston Rockets at Atlanta Hawks

If New York beats Boston this afternoon — and they should — Atlanta may rest their core players. The one nice thing about the Rockets is that they have cemented the worst record in the league, so they can win today and not adversely impact their lottery odds. They will be without Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., Khyri Thomas, Danuel House and Avery Bradley. Salary will not be an issue, so today is all about securing minutes and production. Kelly Olynyk, Kenyon Martin Jr. and Jae’Sean Tate are the priority options and should be core plays. Armoni Brooks is a neutral play, and D.J. Augustin can be an afterthought since there will be so many better options that reveal themselves closer to tipoff.

Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder

Tonight the Clippers are likely to rest Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris Reggie Jackson and Rajon Rondo. In their last game, while they started Zubac and Morris, they combined for 12 minutes. Focus on Luke Kennard and Yogi Ferrell in all formats tonight.

Risky Value

Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls

For this game to have any meaning, the Nets would have to lose to Cleveland tonight as 14.5-point favorites. If the Nets win, then Milwaukee is left with the third seed, which means playing Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday is a major risk. It seems odd that these two games were not scheduled for the same time. Instead, the Bucks are tipping off two hours after the Nets, and they will have a pretty good idea if they will have any need to risk their starters. Bobby Portis could be in line for a ton of bonus minutes against his former team if the core players are rested tonight.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Bruce Brown: BKN vs. CLE – $10
  2. Nicolas Claxton: BKN vs CLE – $10
  3. Naji Marshall: NOP vs. LAL – $10

Final Thoughts on the Sunday, May 16th NBA DFS Slate

Insanity will rule the night, and gamers need to be nimble and paying attention to all of the implications as various teams roll out unexpected lineups. Keep in mind that salaries and scoring formats differ across the various fantasy sites, and a slam-dunk play on Yahoo may be a below-average NBA DFS pick on DraftKings or FanDuel.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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