Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster.
Injuries play a huge role in NBA DFS on a nightly basis and rotations can always shift in the postseason. Value plays on the various daily fantasy sites can arise at a moment’s notice, so always, always check the starting lineups and injury news right before tipoff.
The Full Roster contests on FanDuel include a new scoring system in which the lowest score of the nine selected players is dropped, allowing users to take more risks with a punt play or two. Then, DraftKings has brought back its late swap for NBA contests.
5/5/19 NBA DFS TOURNAMENT PICKS
Playoff Spectacular: $18 entry, $400k guaranteed (DraftKings) – $100,000 to 1st!
Four Point Play: $4 entry, $60k guaranteed (DraftKings)
Shot: $15 entry, $300k guaranteed (FanDuel) – $100,000 to 1st!
Quatro Shot: $7.77 entry, $70k guaranteed (FanDuel)
NBA DFS Top Plays for May 5, 2019
Three Up for May 5, 2019
Nikola Jokic at POR ($10.4k DraftKings, $10.6k FanDuel)
While he played a modern-day record 65 minutes in Friday’s quadruple-overtime loss, Nikola Jokic can’t rest with the Nuggets season essentially on the line tonight. His price tag has dropped considerably on FanDuel where he’s clearly a superior option to Joel Embiid. Jokic is one of the savviest players in NBA history, and he’s taking advantage of the limitations of Enes Kanter (shoulder) while averaging 1.41 FPs per minute this series. He averaged 22.1 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 6.4 APG and posted his highest usage rate (29.9%) over 12 appearances on zero days rest this season. Tonight’s game is akin to a B2B set basically. Key players on both sides went through a marathon battle on Friday.
Kawhi Leonard at PHI ($9.1k DraftKings, $10.0k FanDuel)
The Raptors are the team to target if you’re looking for value tonight since Pascal Siakam (calf) is doubtful. Siakam continued to see an increased role with a 23.4% usage rate after the ASB and was playing 37 MPG in the postseason. Serge Ibaka, Danny Green, and Marc Gasol would all have increased appeal if Siakam sits. Even so, Toronto’s offense will continue to run through Kawhi Leonard.
He has not been getting much help, but Kawhi has been an absolute beast this series. He’s averaging 37.7 PPG on ridiculous 60.9% FG shooting over three games against a Sixers team he dominated throughout the regular season. Leonard sees a 3.6% increase in usage rate and averages 0.11 more FP per minute (1.44) when Siakam is off the floor this year. Norman Powell and Jeremy Lin will also be in play as true longshots if the Raptors go into this game without their second-leading scorer.
Will Barton at POR ($4.0k DraftKings, $4.0k FanDuel)
Continuing the comparison between Game 4 and the second half of a B2B set, Will Barton saw more run and averaged more PPG (12.6) with a 21.5% usage rate when the Nuggets played on zero days rest this season. Denver coach Mike Malone has been looking for more production from Barton in this series, and the wily wing finally came through with 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals over 38 minutes in Game 3.
He was more effective in road games this season and saw a 3.7% increase in usage rate (to 24.2%) when Nikola Jokic was off the floor. Paul Millsap saw a 6.3% increase in usage (to 25.8%) and averaged a whopping 0.41 more FP per minute (1.41) when Jokic sat this season. While “The Joker” is still an elite play in his own right, we could see other Nuggets step up in terms of usage.
Three Down for May 5, 2019
Joel Embiid vs. TOR ($9.3k DraftKings, $11.5k FanDuel)
There is certainly an argument for using Joel Embiid instead of Jokic on DraftKings to save a bit of money. Yet taking him at this price tag on FD is foolhardy. Yes, Embiid dominated in Game 3 and temporarily debunked the notion that Marc Gasol can shut him down. But he had to post an absurd 42.5% usage rate and a .696 true shooting percentage in order to exceed value over just 28 minutes of run. Embiid had a similarly efficient performance in Game 2 of the first round to propel the Sixers past the Nets. Yet it took so much out of him that he sat out Game 3. The big man will almost certainly be active tonight and handle 25-30 minutes, but the larger sample size indicates Gasol and the Raptors can hold him below value in an effort to even this series.
Damian Lillard vs. DEN ($9.2k DraftKings, $9.7k FanDuel)
Even in a marathon Game 3 with four extra periods, Damian Lillard posted a relatively disappointing line with 28 points and 8 assists. Denver has mostly had his number this season, holding him to 21.3 PPG on 37% FG shooting (28.6% from downtown) over four regular-season matchups before cooling him off with 36.6% FG shooting (18.8% from downtown) over the past two playoff games. The Nuggets ranked sixth in points allowed (106.7) and led the NBA in opponent 3-point shooting (33.9%) this season. They’ve been able to switch multiple defenders onto Lillard with Gary Harris, Malik Beasley, and Jamal Murray all doing decent jobs containing the Blazers star. Lillard could come up short of value again in a game that will likely end in regulation.
Kyle Lowry at PHI ($6.1k DraftKings, $7.2k FanDuel)
Perhaps you’re considering Kyle Lowry as a contrarian GPP play in the hopes he snaps out of his funk and steps up with Siakam out. The Sixers should send more help toward the relentless Kawhi Leonard, leading to more open looks for Lowry and his teammates. But will he be able to knock them down? Lowry shot 11-for-32 (34.4%) from downtown over four regular-season meetings against his hometown Sixers. Philly ranked fourth in opponents 3-point shooting (34.2%) and allowed the fourth-fewest 3PTM (10.3) per game this year. The Sixers also ranked 12th in DvP against PGs over the last month of the season. Lowry has really struggled with the Sixers’ length on the perimeter. He’s posting an 89 offensive rating in this series.