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The NBA Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings + FanDuel | Wednesday, 6/2

Eric Lindquist

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Clutch Sports CEO Rich Paul called on the 76ers to respect Ben Simmons' mental health after the point guard continues to say he's not ready to play

There isn’t much to say here at the top besides how unbelievable was that 55-point, 10-assist outing by Damian Lillard? Nikola Jokic wasn’t exactly chopped liver himself, hence why the Nuggets were able to prevail in the double-overtime thriller. But the fact remains that Lillard did some other world things last night, and it needed to be recognized before getting into today’s four-game slate. Let’s get to work finding some DFS NBA picks tonight and strategies to utilize on DraftKings and FanDuel.

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NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | June 2

Final Four-Game Slate of the Season? Don’t Force Weirdness

Just like the heading suggests, tonight is likely the last four-game NBA DFS slate until next season. In fact, the number of three-gamers can be counted on one hand as well, which means it’s of utmost importance to stay focused and enjoy these last few multi-gamers before it’s too late. That’s not to say there are no paths to major success on two-gamers or Showdown contests; it’s simply that there are more players to roster tonight and less necessity to get way off the beaten path in order to take down a tournament.

Value is scarce on these playoff slates, as anyone playing meaningful minutes likely gets their prices raised instantly. That creates in influx of balanced builds that need to be made  tonight. So no need to go diving for that sub-2% play unless it shows up organically, as there are plenty of elite plays to go around with the secure minutes and opportunity that exists at almost every price range.

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How to Proceed Without Embiid

There is no doubt what this slate hinges upon, and that’s what to do with all of the 76ers value that has emerged now that Joel Embiid will be out for Game 5 with some sort of knee issue. Not only that, but there is no question the Wizards become far more viable now that they don’t have to deal Embiid’s elite rim-protecting skills either. That’s on full display with the only 6-point Vegas spread despite the series returning to Philadelphia, so prepare to roster a silly amount of this game.

Let’s start the conversation with Ben Simmons, who even writing this the night before feels like a mortal lock to be the highest-owned player on this slate. With Embiid off the floor this season, Simmons averages 1.19 DraftKings point per minute, a small step up from the 1.12 rate he has alongside Embiid. But what’s extremely different is the usage, as he goes from 18.5% all the way up to 24.3% without Embiid on the court. As someone already capable of putting up statistics in a multitude of ways, this jump in potential scoring for Simmons is huge for his upside. Plus, he remains only $8,500 on FanDuel and $8,100 on DraftKings, so there is no strain whatsoever in making him fit into lineups.

Same goes for Tobias Harris, who could very well jump to the top of the ownership page, too. He leads the team in usage with Embiid off the floor this season at 29.3%, a 5% increase to his normal rate. He’s already been rebounding at a high clip this series, so this jump in his offensive profile creates a whole new player to consider. And different from the Seth Curry‘s and Danny Green‘s on this team, Harris will play well north of 30 minutes no matter what, making him so much more secure than them.

And of course, the perennial Dwight Howard “should we or shouldn’t we” question is in full effect again tonight. Doc Rivers has been inconsistent with the center minutes anytime Embiid’s been out this season, opting to start Mike Scott only multiple occasions instead. Still, Howard should see a small boost to his playing time whether he starts or not, which makes the 1.20 DraftKings points per minute producer leap of the page. Center has a massive opportunity cost on this slate, so utilizing Awesemo’s Boom/Bust tool and ensuring he’s not going over-owned is a must on this slate.

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  • Three of the four Game 5’s tonight are elimination games. The only one that’s not? Mavericks – Clippers, which is tied up at 2-2, and the home team has yet to win a game the entire series.
  • Center is so loaded on this slate, specifically on DraftKings where Rudy GobertJonas Valanciunas, Clint Capela, Daniel Gafford and Howard all exist at phenomenal price points. Get ready to rotate those men a lot together in tournaments.
  • Derrick Rose is north of $7,000 on both sites and he’s still very much in play; what a time to be alive.
  • Just play Russell Westbrook.
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