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The NBA Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings + FanDuel | Tuesday, 5/11

Eric Lindquist



There is no time to dilly-dally with 11 games to get through. Plus, you all played Russell Westbrook a bunch anyways, right? Of course you did, so let’s right down to business breaking down a few NBA DFS picks and strategies to utilize on Tuesday’s titanic slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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Be sure to check out the Slate Starter podcast, featuring yours truly and Rynpak, to get the first look at the slate and make NBA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel!

NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | May 11

Who’s Playing for What on Tuesday

Similar to Tom Cruise’s character Ethan Hunt from the Mission Impossible franchise, Tuesday’s gigantic 11-game slate is going to change faces at least a dozen times before it’s all said and done. So in order to give you something useful that won’t be irrelevant come the afternoon, let’s simply start by checking in with the playoff implications (or lack thereof) for the teams hovering around the 10th seed:

draftkings fanduel nba dfs picks daily fantasy basketball lineup strategy and advice for May 11

draftkings fanduel nba dfs picks daily fantasy basketball lineup strategy and advice for May 11

The Pelicans, Bulls and Kings are the only teams left who could sneak in to the play-in tournament at this point, with the latter two both in action tonight. Chances are slim-to-none for the Bulls to sneak their way in to the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference, and not just because they’re 2.5 games back with four left to play; two of those matchups are against the Nets, with another against the Bucks. Nearly the same applies to the Kings, who sit 3 games back of the Spurs for the final spot in the West but aren’t mathematically eliminated quite yet. Plus, the Spurs have the second-toughest remaining schedule, having the Knicks once, the Nets once, and the Suns twice. So regardless of how dire it looks for either the Bulls or Kings to win out, expect both teams to be a full-go on Tuesday just in case.

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Next, let’s take a look at the bottom-dwellers who are playing for pride only at this point:

These are the only seven teams mathematically eliminated from the playoff hunt as of Tuesday. The Raptors reserves should make for solid targets coming down the stretch, as the likes of Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam will most likely be out for more than just tonight. And the Pistons are trying to figure out what pieces they want to keep around going forward, as well as give rookies Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart meaningful minutes to develop. Both teams will have a number of value pieces that should stick out come morning, so be sure to check the Awesemo projections for all the best point-per-dollar plays from them.

But a team in action on Tuesday that surprisingly sticks out despite their record is the Minnesota Timberwolves. For whatever reason, they are running the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards out there for big minutes every night, and keeping games competitive in the process. There is even value we can pluck from them now, as Jaden McDaniels at $3,500 on DraftKings and $3,700 on FanDuel is expected back from personal reasons and should slot right back in to the starting lineup. So while there is going to be some minutes uncertainty with all of the other bottom-end teams in this grouping, the Timberwolves appear to buck that trend.

And finally, there is one team in particular that would be shocking to see at full-strength tonight. To see:

draftkings fanduel nba dfs picks daily fantasy basketball lineup strategy and advice for May 11

That team is none other than the Milwaukee Bucks. After getting surprisingly walloped by the Spurs on Monday night, they draw a creampuff matchup versus the AAA Magic they should be able to dominate even should they rest their studs. Which is sort of what we should expect them to do, as it’s mathematically impossible they fall any lower than the third seed with no more than 4 games remaining for any team in the Association. And while it would be a plus to jump the Nets for the second seed, it’s not nearly as important as being 100% for their playoff run. So while it wouldn’t be shocking to see any combination of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday play, it seems more likely the Bucks become one of the most popular teams on the slate to roster value from.

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Perhaps the Sixers rest their starters against the Pacers and wait for one of their two remaining matchups versus the Magic to truly solidify that top seed. But other than that, every other team listed above has some serious high-stakes in their games tonight. That means we should expect them to be playing their rotational players at least their normal allotment of minutes, with upside for more should it be necessary to win (talking about you, Anthony Davis). Be sure to catch the Deeper Dive and Live Before Lock on the Awesemo YouTube Channel, where yours truly will be alongside Josh Engleman to the break down all the value that is bound to emerge throughout the afternoon.

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Wait, Did DraftKings Do This On Purpose?

This could be the first time this has ever happened in the history of NBA DFS and it must be acknowledged. What is it, you ask? From $11,000 down to $8,600 on DraftKings, there is one (and only one) player listed at every single possible price point:

Why is this so interesting? Well, for starters there are no duplicates at any of the price points either, which means if you only have one roster spot and any amount of salary above $8,500 left over, you’re guaranteed to have a plug-and-play stud available to you.

But the best part is definitely how it nice it will be to mix-and-match low-owned studs to get different for once, as opposed to just rotating $3,000-to-$4,000 value pieces to slot next to the same exact spend-ups as everyone else. So if there is some can’t-miss, cheap value tonight, we have a plethora of options to get different in our lineups that isn’t just fading good chalk and hoping for the best. Be sure to utilize Awesemo’s Boom Bust tool repeatedly tomorrow to see which of these studs are coming in with positive leverage, but for the most part, you’re in good hands no matter who you land on (so long as they’re not coming off of injury).

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Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups

  • Just play Kevin Durant.
View our FanDuel NBA ownership, our DraftKings ownership and our Yahoo! NBA ownership. Looking for more NBA daily fantasy advice today and the best free NBA DFS tools? Check out our NBA daily fantasy sports rankings for fantasy points and values that are derived directly from Alex Baker's own NBA DFS projections today. Our DFS basketball projections are updated regularly, including whenever any relevant news breaks. We also have FanDuel rankings, Yahoo! NBA rankings and DraftKings NBA rankings for today's slate.
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