Tuesday was a tricky slate, but fortunately we hit on the right pieces and had some very nice results. As fun as it is to win stuff nowadays, I promise it’s even more fun to see your screenshots. That’s why the Awesemo Hall of Fame Twitter handle (@AwesemoHOF) was created, so tweet out any of your top three finishes in a tournament of 5,000-plus entries to get a shoutout plus a free month of Awesemo+! It’s a win-win, so definitely take advantage of that opportunity when it’s your time. With that said, let’s aim for a repeat performance over on DraftKings and FanDuel and find some more NBA DFS picks and strategies to utilize on tonight’s nine-game slate.
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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 5
Changing of the Guard in Denver … And Not By Choice
Wednesday is shaping up to be another one of your typical late-season NBA DFS slates, with a whole lot of impending news and a whole lot more stars-and-scrubs lineups. We’ve got a number of strong value options that stick out already, such as Delon Wright after his massive game on Tuesday, Taj Gibson after his massive game on Monday, and Russell Westbrook after his massive game literally every day of the week. But seriously, what is going to take for him to get a price tag over $11,000 on DraftKings? A 25-25-25 game?
I digress. But one more situation to keep a close eye on for potential value tomorrow is definitely the Nuggets guard situation. Add P.J. Dozier to the laundry list of backcourt injuries the Mile High ball club has succumbed to over the past few weeks, as he was helped to the locker room with what appeared to be a significant hip injury. Luckily it sounds as though he avoided something serious, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s already been ruled out for tonight’s matchup versus the Knicks.
And as much as it may feel counterintuitive to prioritize anyone facing a Knicks team ranking fourth in defensive efficiency and dead-last in pace this season, perhaps you’ll reconsider when you realize just how depleted this Nuggets backcourt is:
It is scary to throw this out there the night before before projections have a chance to update, but something tells me there will be a lot of Facundo Campazzo, Austin Rivers, and even Shaquille Harrison conversation tomorrow. Be sure to check Awesemo’s projections early and often tomorrow to confirm or deny that fact (especially about Harrison), but something tells me they’re going to look extremely enticing on this slate. Plus, you all know by now how beneficial it can be to target the last games of the night in case random news break anyways, right? Just like it did last night with Kyle Lowry and dozens of other times before that? Good.
Anyways, let’s starting break down these three point guard options and see what if we should be taking some shots. Facundo Campazzo has been a thing in recent weeks, so he’s most likely the one you’re most familiar with – and most comfortable rostering. With a 21% assist rate on the season and averaging an absurd 2.6 steals per game, there’s no doubt where his fantasy value is derived from. And it’s a good thing those numbers are as solid as they are, because his 12.6% usage rate is far from optimal. The only two players on the team with lower usage than Campazzo this season? You guessed it: Rivers (11.2%) and Harrison (11.0%).
But we’ll back get to them in a moment. There are not a lot of holes you can poke in Campazzo’s profile for tonight at only $4,600 over on DraftKings. But at $5,500 on FanDuel he’s a much more difficult roster. Which is a bummer, because his ability to rack up steals can come in major handy over there since they’re worth three-a-piece. My guess is there will be a dozen-or-more point guard we’ll be prioritizing on the blue site. But for DraftKings, you could do worse than a sub-$5,000 point guard with shooting guard eligibility playing mid-30’s minutes, even if he does average a shade under 0.80 fantasy points per minute. Fire him up over there and have a share or two on FanDuel in case of a massive defensive outing.
Now is where it gets interesting, as Rivers and Harrison fit more of the mold of the stars-and-scrubs builds that have been (and should be) prioritized on larger slates. Rivers is the far more secure play at $3,400 on DraftKings and $3,400 on FanDuel, especially considering the whopping 33 minutes he played in Monday’s loss to the Lakers. He only procured 17.25 fantasy points in that outing, but he’s shown some flashes of irrational upside in all of his pitstops with the Pelicans, Clippers, Rockets and Knicks.
However, the terrifying part about him is that in his 193 minutes in a Nuggets uniform, he’s only produced 0.57 DraftKings points per minute (lowest on the team in that span). It’s pretty safe to say with the lack of depth at the position, he should also see mid-30’s minutes which certainly puts him in play near the minimum on both sites. But trying to prioritize him amongst other value that should open up throughout the day feels difficult. That means that if he’s popular, this could be an easy pass. But if not, going his direction and hoping for a three-point outburst he’s shown to possess over the years isn’t the worst idea.
Lastly (emphasis on “lastly”), we have the enigma that is Harrison on this slate. It was difficult to allocate minutes for this backcourt, but my guess is with Dozier out now that Harrison picks up all of the backup time at the two and three. While there is nothing to point at in terms of his production since joining the Nuggets — 0.69 DraftKings points per minute in 107 minutes — the man is at the minimum on both sites. And contrary to Tuesday where sub-$4,000 value was rampant, it’s hard to know exactly how many viable options we’ll have on the low-end.
Plus, $3,000 on DraftKings can always go a long ways on these larger slates with multiple studs to pay up for. With Westbrook, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Domantas Sabonis, and Nuggets teammate Nikola Jokic, a stone-minimum play like Harrison can raise the ceiling of your lineup if he’s remotely decent. So at the 24-26 minutes he should be projected to receive tomorrow, Harrison weirdly feels like the priority of the three for me tonight. Of course, check in with the Boom Bust tool to see what his ownership is relative to his chance at landing in the optimal percentage. But considering his DraftKings price, there’s viability to be had here with Harrison.
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Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups
- Certainly did not anticipate writing a thousand words about the Nuggets backcourt against a stout Knicks opposition, but here we are.
- Jaylen Brown is out for the Celtics, making the likes of Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker and even Aaron Nesmith great tournament NBA DFS picks.
- The Pacers are once again a very intriguing team to take a look at tonight. Apart from the fantastic matchup hosting the Kings, there are a number of guards questionable for them, highlighted by Malcolm Brogdon. Sounds strange, but Aaron Holiday may be a thing again this evening after three consecutive mid-20’s minute, mid-20’s fantasy-point outings.
- Just play R.J. Hampton.
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