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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks for Friday, May 7th | Nikola Jokic

Eric MacPherson



EMac gives his favorite NBA DFS picks for Yahoo, DraftKings + FanDuel daily fantasy basketball lineups, including Damian Lillard | 6/3/21

Friday should be a great night for tournaments, especially with a triple late-night hammer with two of the most enticing games, including San Antonio at Sacramento and the Lakers at Trail Blazers. Let’s look at the 10-game 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 Deep Dive — the most in-depth article in the industry.

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NBA DFS Picks: Building Blocks, Friday, May 7th

Yahoo Play of the Day — Mohamed Bamba: Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 39.5 | DraftKings: 39.08
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 53.2% | FanDuel 19.4% | DraftKings 42.2%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $23 | FanDuel $6,900 | DraftKings $6,100

Tonight Wendell Carter will be missing a second game with an eye injury. That leaves the Magic frontcourt extremely thin. with Mohamed Bamba and Moritz Wagner both likely to see upwards of 30 to 32 minutes tonight. In his last two games, one with Carter and one without, Bamba has averaged 30 minutes and 13 field-goal attempts. This has culminated in 20.5 points, 15 rebounds, 1.5 assists and four combined blocks/steals for 50.3 Yahoo fantasy points. The blocks and steals are not particularly sustainable, but he should be in line for a fourth double-double in his last five outings, and there is definitely upside enough to see him in the mid-40s for fantasy production against Charlotte.

Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets at Utah Jazz

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 50.29 | DraftKings: 52.33
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 4.4% | FanDuel 5.0% | DraftKings 18.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $53 | FanDuel $11,200 | DraftKings $10,800

Between injuries and tanking, there will be no shortage of NBA DFS value picks tonight. There is even a chance that Houston may only have six healthy players. That means gamers will want to be discerning with stars-and-scrubs lineups, and Nikola Jokic looks like the perfect contrarian option. While he does have some popularity on DraftKings with their position flexibility, he is likely to be in single digits on the other DFS sites. Jokic has topped 50 Yahoo fantasy points in his last five matchups against Rudy Gobert, with an average line of 66.2 fantasy points.

In the last 16 games without Jamal Murray, Jokic has carried the Nuggets to a 13-3 record. In these games, Jokic is playing 32.6 minutes and averages 17.3 field-goal attempts. This works out to 26.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, eight assists and two combined blocks/steals for 56.6 Yahoo fantasy points.

Damian Lillard: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers

  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.46 | DraftKings: 44.93
  • Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 7.8% | FanDuel 12.6% | DraftKings 7.6%
  • DFS Salary: Yahoo $41 | FanDuel $9,200 | DraftKings $9,700

With or without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers have had one of the best defensive efficiency marks in the league this season. However, Lillard is at a solid 15 to 20% discount courtesy of Yahoo and FanDuel. Even on DraftKings at $9,700, this is still a palatable salary. Portland and Los Angeles are tied right now for the sixth-best record in the Western Conference, but this game will serve as the ultimate tiebreaker, with the winner having secured a 2-1 record in head-to-head matchups. The top six teams are guaranteed a playoff spot, Nos. 7 through 10 will be participating in the play-in tournament. This is a crucial game for both teams tonight.

Lillard has topped 50 fantasy points in his last four games. In this timeframe, he is averaging 35 minutes and an eye-popping 10.8 3-point attempts with a 53.8% success rate. This has led to 30.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 9.8 assists and 1.8 combined blocks and steals. In the first two games against the Lakers, Lillard has played 39.2 minutes with 33.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.0 combined blocks/steals for just shy of 50 fantasy points. Lillard is in play on all slates in all formats tonight.

Good Value

Houston Rockets at Milwaukee Bucks

In its last game, Houston dressed the minimum eight players so it would not have to forfeit its game to Philadelphia, though it only played seven players, with D.J. Augustin serving as an emergency option since he is not fully healthy. Now they have Avery Bradley away from the team tending to a personal matter, and Kelly Olynyk is dealing with a sore neck. There is a chance Jae’Sean Tate (knee) or Christian Wood (ankle) will return, but they are not at full health. The value will come from whomever is in the starting lineup and any of the bench options that may actually play and not just be active to avoid a forfeit.

Risky Value

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Houston Rockets

With Houston being so depleted and the Bucks checking in as 16.5-point home favorites, it is going to be hard to trust any of their big three tonight, as they could easily play just 26 to 28 minutes. It is likely that one of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton or Jrue Holiday will be ruled out for rest prior to lock. That would make the other two interesting in tournament, but coach Mike Budenholzer has had a quick hook many times before, and that risk may very well outweigh the popularity depending on how the masses react to such a situation.

Yahoo Daily Fantasy Basketball Discount Dandies

  1. Alex Caruso: LAL at POR  – $10
  2. Moritz Wagner: ORL at CHA – $13
  3. Jalen McDaniels: CHA vs. ORL – $12

Final Thoughts on the Friday, May 7th NBA DFS Slate

Tonight there are four teams on the second legs of back-to-backs and five teams on the front ends. This could lead to some unexpected news, so be vigilant as always. 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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