The NBA Rundown – FanDuel & DraftKings NBA DFS Picks – May 5, 2021 (5/5/21)
In this article, we will be breaking down some of our favorite plays on the slate at their positions. Please note that players on DraftKings have multi-position eligibility and may not always match their position on FanDuel. Remember to always keep your eye on the news as the day progresses as NBA news changes the slate frequently.
Russell Westbrook – Westbrook is fresh off a monster 12/21/24 line and has averaged 78 fantasy points per game over his last two contests. Of course, these numbers are crazy, but even crazier is the fact that Westbrook is averaging a triple-double on the year at 21.8/11.3/11.2. The matchup with Milwaukee on Wednesday favors the Bucks, but both of these teams like to push the ball and play at a higher pace, so no surprise this is the highest totaled game on the slate. Westbrook is playing monster minutes no matter the score, and his upside to reach 6x is still there despite the high salary. When it comes to raw ceiling, Westbrook continues to prove he provides it.
Delon Wright– The Kings should still be without De’Aaron Fox who has missed the past six games due to Covid reasons and Tyrese Haliburton. With both of those guys out, another dose of what we got on Tuesday is in line. Wright entered the starting lineup and played 37 minutes to the tune of 13/10/8 with four steals and four blocks. While those peripherals are likely unattainable again, a matchup with the Pacers is equally as good as Tuesday’s against the Thunder. There is an outside chance Fox returns, but even if so Wright is a guy I am high on.
Caris LeVert – Over LeVert’s last five games he is playing above his seasonal averages by around five fantasy points. LeVert has averaged 25.6 points per game, compared to his season mark of 19.6. The Pacers have been pretty banged up recently and leaning heavily on the shot of LeVert. Luckily for us, it is a shot that is falling as over his last five games LeVert is averaging 50.5% shooting from the field. This matchup doesn’t get much better, as the Pacers face a Kings team that is allowing the third-most fantasy points to shooting guards, add in the fact that they too are also battling some injuries and though LeVert’s price is a little above his normal means, it offers an interesting ceiling.
Patty Mills – This is a bit of a play that has a limited ceiling and questionable floor, but the Spurs are looking for guard depth after the loss of Derrick White. Over Mills’s last six games, he is averaging around 24 minutes per game, though his shooting is way down compared to his season average. Mills is shooting just 30% over his last six, though he is a 41.5% shooter on the season. This is a simple correction that could quickly translate to value for Mills and with a basement price of $3,000 on DraftKings, there is an easy 6x value upside here.
Michael Porter Jr. – Michael Porter is another guy currently playing well above his season averages, mostly due in part to the number of injuries dealt to the hands of the Nuggets right now. Denver was already without Jamal Murray, Monte Morris, and Will Barton – but now you can add PJ Dozier to that list as well. Over Porter’s last six games, he is playing around 37 minutes, which is well up from his season average of 31. His shooting percentage is also up from both the field and three, and his points per game is up nine at 27.5 up from 18.9. The Nuggets are still battling for the three seed in the West and the ball is going to now move through Porter as the secondary option next to the primary one of Jokic.
Aaron Nesmith – Nesmith is not a guy we have had on our radar at all this year, but over his last three games, he has been an impact player. Nesmith played 31 minutes against Charolette on 4/28, 30 minutes against San Antonion on 4/30, and 20 against Portland on 5/2. Nesmith has also been hyper-efficient, shooting around 70%. Jaylen Brown remains out for the Celtics, so Nesmith should continue to see in the ballpark of 20-30 minutes. Unfortunately, this is a large range, but the price of $3,200 draws us in a bit here. Nesmith has found most of his success from three-point range, as he is shooting 39% from there on the year.
Jayson Tatum – Tatum with no Jaylen Brown is a no-brainer for me as Tatum turns into a 36% usage rate player and around 1.40 fantasy points per minute. Over Tatum’s last four games, he is playing nearly 39 minutes per game and averaging 55.7 fantasy points, which is nine above his seasonal average. Of course, this is inflated a bit by a 82 fantasy point performance in a massive comeback against the Spurs. Despite that, the fantasy point-per-minute average with no Brown mixed with the high minutes is a strong indicator of the upside here. The matchup with the Magic worries me a bit as the pace is slowed, but on paper there is a pretty clear matchup edge to the Celtics.
Mo Wagner – Mo Wagner isn’t the most attractive name in the space, but the Magic are absolutely decimated by injuries when it comes to their size depth and it pretty much starts and stops with their two centers in Wendell Carter and Mo Bamba. The Magic signed Brazdeikis as a depth option to give a little breather, but Mo Wagner was forced into playing 41 minutes last game out. It wasn’t the best fantasy performance, just 19.5 points, but the 41 minutes were a season-high and they were meaningful minutes in a win. We saw a better result against Memphis on Sunday, in which he put up 36.25 points, which is the ceiling we are aiming for here. The plus side, besides the minutes, is Wagner has attempted double-digit shot attempts in both games, but just struggled to get them to drop on Monday. I do not love the matchup with the Celtics here, but from a pure on-the-floor standpoint, Wagner’s price is well worth the minutes he will get despite the matchup.
Karl Anthony Towns – There are a lot of good center options tonight, but with some value options in this article I figured I would write up one of my favorite higher dollar plays for the day in KAT. Towns is playing pretty consistently to his season averages, though his shooting percentage is slightly down over his last five games. If you take a look at his box scores, you will notice pretty straight-forward consistency when it comes to minutes, usage and output. In fact, out of “true” centers, Towns has the highest floor of all centers at 37.2 fantasy points per game. Of course, a game of this magnitude is deemed disappointing, it is still nice knowing that your floor is established pretty high. Towns is off of a 57.5 fantasy performance against the Pelicans and a reason I believe this can be duplicated is the matchup with the Grizzlies. Memphis has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the center position on the year but the kicker stat here is an obscure one. Towns has not blocked a shot now in four games – while this might not seem like a lot, KAT is averaging 1.3 blocks per game on the year. As we know, this is a stat that can add up quick, especially on FanDuel. Now, Memphis is allowing on average 2.54 blocks per game to centers, so this game offers a solid chance at a correction on that stat. Mix a few blocks in with the production that Towns is already outputting and we are looking at 6x value on his salary pretty quickly. If you are looking for a cheaper option, Richaun Holmes has the best individual matchup on the slate.