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The NBA Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings + FanDuel | Monday, 6/7

Eric Lindquist

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NBA FanDuel DFS daily fantasy basketball lineups. NBA Playoff cheat sheet 6/10/21 Awesemo's picks and projections June 10 with Blake Griffin.

It was quite the weekend in the Association; the Nets were sublime, the 76ers were subpar and the Clippers subdued the Mavericks in Game 7. We now head into a full week of conference semifinal matchups with nothing but two-gamers and single-game contests on the docket, but fear not: The winnings spend all the same. So let’s get right to work finding some daily fantasy basketball basketball strategies and NBA DFS picks to take us to the top on tonight’s two-game DraftKings and FanDuel main slate.


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NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | June 7

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Wait, Is It Mike James and Blake Griffin Night?

Tonight’s two-game slate sure has some incredible top-end offerings, especially in the first matchup of the night. Between Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, most lineups will try to combine the absurd upside of at least one of those three studs in this Game 2 clash. And sure, Nikola Jokic in the late-night hammer makes another intriguing spend-up. But Bucks – Nets opened to the tune of a 234.5 total, while Game 1 of the Nuggets – Suns series sits all the way down at 219.5, making the former by far the superior game environment for fantasy purposes.

However, it’s not the superstars playing tonight that stick out most upon first glance, but the superstar that won’t be. That’s James Harden, who played less than one minute in Game 1 before straining his hamstring, an injury that will hold him out of Game 2. Considering it’s a strain and not a tear, it’s assumed he’ll be able to return later this series. And while that’s good news for the Nets, who are still 1.5-point favorites in this spot sans Harden, it’s still a massive absence to account for.

But in his stead, there were two massive performances from two unlikely places that could certainly help the cause again:

NBA DFS picks daily fantasy basketball strategy advice lineups draftkings fanduel Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets Game 2 tonight Monday June 7 2021 projections ownership rankings james harden kevin durant giannis

That’s right, Blake Griffin ($4,100) and Mike James ($3,300) are virtual locks to be the two highest-owned play of the DraftKings slate. FanDuel gave them enough of a bump at $5,100 and $4,800, respectively, so that ownership shouldn’t be too crazy at all. Still, coming off 35 minutes, 42.3 FanDuel points for Griffin and 30 minutes, 24.9 FanDuel points for James, they make solid value options over there as well.

So how do we handle this uber-chalk? To start, it seems impossible not to lock in Griffin, who averaged 0.92 DraftKings points per minute for the season and sees that rate jump to 1.08 in his 528 minutes with Harden off the floor. And while 35 might be an outlier considering his series high in minutes against the Celtics was 25, he was too good and too necessary in defending the Bucks’ pick-and-roll to not play 30-plus again barring foul trouble. The one pivot may be Bobby Portis for $200 less, but you’re asking a whole lot for that to work out.

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And as surprising as it might sound, James might be even more of a lock if not for legitimate minutes concern. He went from playing 10 total minutes in the Nets’ entire first-round series to a whopping 30 in Game 1, an odd decision that obviously worked out. But there is no doubt he gets things done if he sees the court, evidenced by his 24.3% usage and 0.96 DraftKings points per minute on the year. Plus, he only had a 16.0% usage in Game 1 and still found his way to 26.25 DraftKings points despite zero stocks. Make sure to double-check Awesemo’s projections to see what his predicted minutes should be in this spot, but no reason not to think he won’t be the one to fill-in for most of Harden’s court time based on Game 1.


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The Kaminsky Question

Suppose you’re hand-building a few lineups on DraftKings for tomorrow’s main slate and contemplating ways to get different. On a two-game slate, there are so few paths to doing such things in a realistic fashion without taking some bold (see: stupid) stances. And it’s not advisable to make completely bone-headed plays in your main lineup or something, but as field sizes go up, avoiding duplication is the name of the game.

Back to our example: Say you land on a lineup you love with one spot remaining, but it only has $3,000 left over. If Deandre Ayton is not in that lineup, my pick for “minimum-priced-guy-who-could-play-more-than-we-think” is Frank Kaminsky. For one, Ayton will have his hands full with Jokic, meaning his 3.3 fouls per 36 have room to spike. Secondly, he took over Dario Saric’ minimal role as Ayton’s backup and could sneak in 15 to 20 fantasy points in minimal time and become optimal, so long as multiple studs go for enormous fantasy outings.

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But mainly, there are reasons to think Monty Williams and Mike Malone might opt for different looks as the two teams start feeling each other out in Game 1. Ayton played way more minutes than anticipated in Games 1-4 of the Lakers series, but this might be a spot where Kaminsky could realistically get 12-14 of the center minutes. Is it likely? Probably not, but at minimum salary it’s either him or Landry Shamet as the potential 20-fantasy-point performers in minimal court time. So if you’re making a bunch of lineups, mix in one or two of these Hail Mary NBA DFS picks like Kaminsky with a realistic path, as getting different could be even harder tonight considering the existence of Griffin and James.

Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups

  • Monte Morris is $6,700 on FanDuel versus the Suns. In other words, there’s aggressive pricing, and then there’s whatever this is.
  • To go one step further with FanDuel, it’s going to be really difficult to mix in Nuggets other than Jokic over there. They’re priced as if they’re about to play Portland again, but Phoenix team is a drastic defensive upgrade.
  • Just play Jrue Holiday.

Check out today’s NBA Strategy Show with Loughy and Josh Engleman!


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