Wednesday, May 18, features Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals with Golden State hosting Dallas with a 9 p.m. ET tip off time on Yahoo, DraftKings and FanDuel. Below, we will examine the player pool and break down the best NBA DFS picks today for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo lineups.
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Yahoo Play of the Day — Luka Doncic: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 55.78| DraftKings: 60.23
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 86.5% | FanDuel 72.7% | DraftKings 81.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $56 | FanDuel $16,500 | DraftKings $13,400
On Sunday, Luka Doncic managed to rip out the heart of the Suns, take a bite of it in front of them while it was still beating and then turn the moment into an NFT, which immediately displayed on the arena jumbotron. Well, this is not exactly how it happened, but if you ask any diehard Suns fan, they will describe something similar.
Stephen Curry is the only player who has a median fantasy projection within 25 points of Doncic, which is just absurd. The only real decision is how many lineups it would take before choosing to employ a player other than Luka in the top multiplier slot. Similar to primetime NFL single-slate contests featuring Lamar Jackson, it is hard envisioning Doncic not being in the optimal lineup short of unfortunate circumstances.
During the regular season, Dallas won three of the four games, however, two of the games occurred prior to the Kristaps Porzingis for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans deal. Clouding things further, none of the games featured a combination of Doncic, Dinwiddie, Jalen Brunson, Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Trust in Doncic tonight and find other paths towards a unique lineup.
Klay Thompson: Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 33.14 | DraftKings: 34.88
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 55.5% | FanDuel 40% | DraftKings 43.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $26 | FanDuel $13,000 | DraftKings $9,000
Though Klay Thompson is clearly not as good as he was after missing the last two seasons with a pair of devastating injuries, he still has a sweet jumper and can rain down the 3’s. The drives are fewer and the assists and rebounds less frequent, but a little lucky variance can easily swing things his way. The salary on Yahoo and DraftKings is quite helpful in providing additional roster flexibility and while he may not be a primary target, he is still worth using with greater frequency than the field in the giant tournaments tonight.
Stephen Curry: Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Point Projections: Yahoo and FanDuel: 42.19 | DraftKings: 44.8
- Awesemo’s Preliminary Rostered Projections: Yahoo 58.8% | FanDuel 53.6% | DraftKings 57.7%
- DFS Salary: Yahoo $37 | FanDuel $15,500 | DraftKings $11,000
The average gamer is going to want to create lineups with both Doncic and Curry. There is nothing wrong with that approach, however, close to half of the field is going to utilize that strategy. That means fewer opportunities for differentiation along with the increased likelihood of tying for prizes, which will dilute upside reward potential. Curry is a phenomenal player, but by going with just Doncic and two of Thompson, Draymond Green or Jordan Poole, lineup overlap becomes far less of an issue. The flipside would be to take Curry, one of his ‘Dubs running mates and then Brunson, Dinwiddie and another Maverick in the hopes that Luka has a pedestrian game or runs into foul trouble.
Yahoo Discount Dandies
- Reggie Bullock ($13): Once again, we should see Reggie Bullock approach 40 minutes tonight in a matchup well suited for his 3-and-D skills. Dorian Finney-Smith ($17) will see less popularity heading his way with the higher salary, but that will also keep his popularity in check.
- Maximilian Kleber ($11): It seems that Maximilian Kleber is the wild card tonight with a new series on tap. He will continue to come off the bench, but coach Jason Kidd could opt to give more minutes to Dwight Powell since Golden State does not have any frontcourt player who is a consistent offensive threat.
- Dwight Powell ($10): This matchup is better for Powell as dealing with Kevon Looney is a far different exercise than defending Deandre Ayton. While he will still be on the short end of the stick to Kleber for playing time, it makes sense that he could approach 18 to 20 minutes in the rotation as a solid baseline. There is no concern about using this duo together in the same fantasy lineup.
Whether or not you employ Powell in your DFS lineups, he looks like a strong option in the NBA player props market. Currently, he has a 2.5 over/under on his rebound prop, and the Awesemo NBA player projections have him for 3.8 rebounds, which gives him a 73% probability of surpassing the over. This is far from a lofty number and if he starts, he could win this bet for his backers in the first rotation.
Golden State Warriors
- Otto Porter Jr. ($11): It seems that there is some truth to the theory that Otto Porter Jr. will suffer an injury if he plays more than 24 minutes. In the Memphis series, Porter was outstanding in Games 3 and 4, but he played 24.4 and 25.6 minutes. In Game 6, he was only on the court for a dozen minutes and he missed Game 7 entirely with foot soreness. We can comfortably go back to the well tonight, but just keep an eye on those minutes for subsequent games.
- Kevon Looney ($12): In Game 7 against Memphis, Kevon Looney was a difference maker drawing a spot start and collecting a career-high 22 rebounds in a career-high 35 minutes. That is not likely to happen again, however, Looney should be good for around 15 fantasy points, while also having reasonable access to half a dozen more in upside.
- Jonathan Kuminga ($10): Whether he is starting or coming off the bench, rookie Jonathan Kuminga really needs significant mop-up duty before he will be a fantasy factor in most playoff games.
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