Welcome back to another week of the Slate Starter! Hope all of your DFS endeavors panned out over the weekend. And if not, setting you up to succeed on Monday is what this article is all about. So without further ado, let’s find some NBA DFS picks and strategies to take us all to the top on DraftKings and FanDuel.
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 3
The “Underpriced” $10,000 Point Guards
Monday’s eight-gamer has a myriad of ways in which to spend salaries should the appropriate value show up. Center has the likes of Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. Power forward has four plays with super ceilings above $9,000 on both sites. And as mediocre as they have been in recent weeks, Bradley Beal and Trae Young undoubtedly have ceilings in any matchup. And there’s that LeBron James character who returned last week and could obviously destroy a slate, especially as the only small forward to pay up for on FanDuel.
But point guard has two truly outrageous high-ceiling options on this slate, and neither should surprise you if you’ve been watching basketball recently. Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry have been doing otherworldly things for the past month, averaging 1.53 and 1.56 DraftKings points per minute, respectively, over the last 30 days. Depending upon what the value looks like, finding ways to incorporate them together in your NBA DFS lineups feels like a priority. On FanDuel that shouldn’t be terribly difficult with a steep $11,200 for Westbrook but a decent discount of $9,700 for Curry. DraftKings, however, makes it tough to fit their $11,000 and $10,800 numbers together without some truly elite pieces on the bottom end of the salary spectrum.
Still, do everything you can to get both into lineups over there tomorrow too, as the matchups and projected production couldn’t possibly get any better. Coming off a string of eight triple-doubles in Westbrook’s last 10, the Wizards face the Pacers in a game that opened with an absurd 246 total. And for Curry, who has surpassed 60-plus fantasy points in four of his past 10, he draws a Pelicans team ranked fourth worst in defensive efficiency this season. Combined that with the fact that the Warriors are playing at the second-fastest pace in the league, and you have another incredible game environment for Curry and company that’s demonstrated by a 236.5 total.
It is hard to know where exactly ownership will come in on each at the moment, so be sure to check out Awesemo’s ownership projections early and often tomorrow. The assumption would be that Curry receives less ownership on DraftKings due to it being his highest price tag all season, but that would be a mistake. That is because in 725 minutes with Kelly Oubre off the floor this season, he’s surprisingly the significantly better fantasy option at a staggering 1.68 DraftKings points per minute on the year. So with Oubre =out for the foreseeable future with a torn ligament and broken bone in his shooting hand, it’s scary the type of floor/ceiling combo locking in Curry provides tonight. But of course, combining him with Westbrook as often as you can looks like an even better idea.
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Oh God, Is It Really Taj Gibson Chalk Day?
The Knicks could look a lot more like the Bulls circa 2015 or the Timberwolves circa 2018 on Monday night, with Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson both possibly being massive parts of the game plan against the Grizzlies. Of course, Rose isn’t a surprise, as he’s been routinely playing low-30s minutes and performing quite well of late. And Gibson has had stints where he’s been required to play elevated minutes this season, but it has normally been few and far between enough that he never merits any heavy consideration.
That is, until tonight. Nerlens Noel left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, putting his status for Monday in serious Jeopardy. So whether you like it or not, Gibson Chalk Day could be staring gamers straight in the face. That may not be the case so much on FanDuel at $3,900 where you can only roster two and there are multiple studs with 60-plus point upside. However, at only $3,100 where gamers can play up to four power forwards should they so choose, he could very well be the highest-owned play on the board tonight.
Should other quality value emerge, it shouldn’t be terribly hard to scale back on the 0.79 DraftKings points per minute so long as he’s projected for only 24 to 26 minutes. But as it sits right now, he feels like a necessity of the slate with the likes of the aforementioned Westbrook and Curry ceilings that could be on display tonight. As lock approaches, keep a close eye on the Boom/Bust tool, which will surely tell the story of whether prioritizing the elderly Gibson tonight will be necessary.
Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups
- As this article was wrapping up, LeBron just left near the end of the fourth quarter with a sore ankle. His status was already in some peril after recently returning from that ankle injury — plus Dennis Schroder will continue to be out for health and safety protocols — so perhaps be prepared to load up on Lakers.
- The Pistons will be severely short-handed once more, with a $6,300 Isaiah Stewart the highest-priced play on both sites. Should no better value emerge, feel free to take some shots on nearly any active player on Detroit’s roster.
- Just play Zion Williamson.
- Just play Brandon Ingram.
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