NBA DFS Analytics: May 2nd


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- Today's main slate features 8 games. CHA, DAL, HOU, MIA, OKC, and TOR are on a back to back.

- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is BKN v MIL at 243.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is MIA v CHA at 211.5 points.


I'm going to start off this 'Need to Know' section with what I think is extremely important info to consider for tonight's slate. We are approaching the NBA playoffs, and because of the new playoff format, games are becoming especially critical for NBA teams. I think this opens up some amazing opportunities to win serious $$ both on Monkey Knife Fight (which I'll get to in a second) and in DFS. When building your DFS lineups tonight, take into account which teams (and players) desperately need to win, and which teams are playing in games that have less on the line. I'll touch on this in my writing tonight, but I'm going to be targeting a number of guys playing in games with significant playoff implications. 

Kemba Walker Out, Jaylen Brown Questionable: The Celtics fall into the 'desperate for a win' category tonight. They are still tied with the Heat for the crucial 6th seed in the East, and want to avoid the play-in tournament at all costs. In this situation last time, the Celtics exploded for 143 points in a huge win. Tonight, I'm absolutely looking to Jayson Tatum ($9,900 & $10,100) with Kemba out and Jaylen questionable. I'm interested in a number of other Celtics, including Marcus Smart and JB if he plays, but two guys I think need to be in lineups tonight are Rob Williams ($5,200 & $5,400) and Aaron Nesmith ($3,100 $ $5,000). Williams should continue to work his way into more minutes (expect 25+ from him tonight) and Nesmith is simply too cheap on DK with how well he's been playing lately.

Hayward Out, Graham Questionable: Notice there's no mention of Lamelo Ball here. He plays his second game back tonight and looked excellent in 28 minutes last night against Detroit. I worry a bit about his minutes, but at just $6,100 on FanDuel he makes for an interesting look, especially if Graham does sit this one out. 

Herro, Oladipo Out, Dragic Questionable: If Dragic sits, I'm firing up Kendrick Nunn ($5,800 & $5,700) in all lineups. If he plays, I still have some interest in Nunn and Jimmy Butler ($9,000 DK & $9,800 FD), just because of how badly the Heat need to win this game.

Augustin, Brown, House Jr, Nwaba, Wall, Gordon Out: Boy am I excited for the playoffs to start so I can stop writing about the Rockets. All these guys have been out for a while, and the matchup against New York is a really tough one. With the other options on the slate I'm probably steering clear of HOU tonight. 

Dejounte Murray Questionable: I hate the Spurs matchup tonight, but if Murray sits I'd take a serious look at both Derozan ($8,200 & $8,800) and Patty Mills ($3,100 & $3,700) who would see increased roles and both are a bit underpriced as it is, especially on DraftKings.

Hardaway Jr, Porzingis Out: Not much more to be said here other than that it makes Luka ($10,800 & $10,600) the play of the night. The matchup against SAC is good, so I don't mind looking at a few other guys from the Mavericks as well. Dorian Finney-Smith ($5,000 & $5,600) played great last night and could definitely be in line for some extra shots if the pace of tonight's game is as high as expected.

Barnes Doubtful, Fox Out: This has been the case for a few games now, so not a ton of value to be found. That being said, I definitely don't mind looking to Buddy Hield ($7,000 & $6,800) after his awful 2pt game last time out. I think he responds nicely in this one against the Mavs.

Lakers News: A bunch of guys are questionable for the Lakers, but I'm pretty sure just about all of them will play, because the Lakers need to start winning as soon as possible. The only guy I have any interest in whatsoever is Lebron ($10,000 & $9,800). I think he'll probably play well, but there are other options I like better in a game where the Lakers will be careful with him if it gets out of hand in either direction. 


This section aims to identify players we think are especially good plays in either CASH or GPP lineups. For our full 3 player cores for both cash & GPPOptimizers & Player Projections, start your 1 week free trial of our AC Plus membership today!


In CASH lineups, we’re looking for players who have a high floor (players who have a low chance at flopping). We’re also not very concerned about ownership in cash lineups. In fact, if a guy has super high ownership, it makes sense to have him in your lineup so that other users don’t gain a massive advantage over you if he plays well. Conversely, if the player plays poorly, it doesn’t hurt you too much because so many users have him in their lineups. 

Luka Doncic (10,900 DK and 10,800 FD)

I won't go too deep into this first play of the three. Our model projects Luka to be owned in 43% of GPP contests, that means he'll probably be over 80% in cash. Both the Mavs other scorers (Porzingis and Hardaway Jr.) are out, and the Mavs need a win. Lock Luka into any and all cash lineups tonight.


Contrary to CASH, we are looking for “diamond in the rough” plays in a GPP lineup. We want guys who have low ownership, and/or guys who have a high upside (a chance to pop off). Since you only make money if you place in the top ~20%, you need to have some guys in your lineup that return high value but that are not highly owned.

Ben Simmons (7,200 DK and 7,200 FD)

GPP is a totally different story tonight. I don't mind fading one or both of Tatum/Luka given the projected ownership numbers on them both. One guy I like in place of them is Simmons. He is starting to see his minutes creep back up (28 last game against ATL), but his price isn't going up with it. At 7.2K I think he's an awesome GPP look tonight if you think he plays anywhere near 30 minutes. We know he's a stat stuffer, and I actually think SA should be able to keep this game close given they need to win for playoff reasons. Nobody on SA matches up well with Ben, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the reigns finally taken off him tonight along with a 50+ DK point performance.

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Viewable top 10 tables for projected +- (value), projected points, projected ownership and price discrepancies. Tables available for both Draftkings and Fanduel.

 5/2 AC Projection Tables

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As I mentioned earlier, I think the playoff implications of some of tonight's games make MKF really interesting. Stars come to play in big games, and I'll be walking you through a few of my favorite NBA Prop plays across some of the many daily MKF contests. If you haven’t seen the types of contests MKF offers, you should really check it out - super fun and easy contests that don’t require much time or research! I have absolutely loved playing MKF so far, and I can’t wait to hopefully share some value with you guys! 

Disclaimer: The lines that we are using are the lines at the time of this writing, so those are subject to change (the lines are updated in real time on the MKF website); this is one of the many differences between DK/FD and MKF.

Jayson Tatum MORE than 29.5 Points

Tatum has went for 35 and 60 in his past two games, gets an even better matchup tonight, AND Jaylen Brown is questionable. I think Jaylen probably plays, but regardless I like Tatum to go over 29.5 tonight. 

Jimmy Butler MORE than 21.5 Points

Jimmy in a must win game with no Herro or Oladipo? Give me the over on 21.5 points all day. Before yesterdays blowout, Jimmy had went for 29 and 33 points in the two previous games. He takes over when the Heat need to win and should do so again tonight. 

Julius Randle LESS than 47.5 Fantasy Points

The Rockets didn't even pretend to try last night against the Warriors (or maybe Steph is just that good?) Regardless, we saw Steph head to the bench early in a blowout and play just 30 minutes. I think a similar thing happens for Julius tonight, the Knicks are simply unlikely to need a big game out of him, and 47.5 fantasy points is a big game.


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Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!