NBA-Top-Targets

Wednesday’s playoff fantasy basketball slate has three games. The Celtics play the Pacers in Boston at 7 p.m. ET, followed by Bucks-Pistons in Milwaukee at 8 p.m. ET and Rockets-Jazz in Houston at 9:30 p.m. ET.

The most notable injury to monitor is Blake Griffin (questionable; left knee soreness), although a report from Yahoo Sports indicates Griffin likely will miss the entire series vs. the Bucks.

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, including Griffin’s status, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines on DraftKings Sportsbook can change throughout the day. Value can also unexpectedly open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up-to-the-minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock.

Let’s take a look at some plays fantasy owners can consider using on DraftKings.

POINT GUARD

Stud

Kyrie Irving, BOS vs. IND ($8,300): The Pacers are generally a tough fantasy opponent due to their strong defense and slow pace, and the Pacers held Boston to just 96 possessions in Game 1, about five less than their regular season average of 101 per game. That said, Irving’s ability to hit tough shots and take over in a playoff setting give him upside even against the best defensive teams. Irving’s 30% usage rate in Game 1 led all non-James Harden point guards on this slate.

Other Options — Chris Paul ($7,200)

Value

Ricky Rubio, UTA at HOU ($5,700): Rubio’s price is down $200 despite a productive Game 1, scoring 31.25 DKFP in 32 minutes. Rubio’s passing statistics were about in line with his regular-season averages in Game 1, creating 10 potential assists on 54 passes, as were his field goal attempts, taking 11 shots in Game 1.

Other Options — Eric Bledsoe ($6,500)


SHOOTING GUARD

Stud

James Harden, HOU vs. UTA ($10,700): The Jazz are a generally a difficult fantasy matchup due to their strong defense and strong rebounding. Utah ranked as the best possession-adjusted team defense and second best rebounding team after the trade deadline. However, Harden had no issues recording fantasy points in Game 1, scoring 58 DKFP in 33 minutes in a blowout.

The Jazz tried to slow down Harden’s pull-up 3-point shooting off step backs, and did so to some degree, holding Harden to nine pull-up 3s in Game 1, three less than his season average of 12 per game. However, this was at the expense of allowing Harden to open lanes to drive to the basket, where he hurt the Jazz with drives. Harden attempted 31 drives in Game 1, significantly more than the 19 drives per game he averaged in the regular season, and shot 6-of-12 on drives to the basket with six assists off drives, boosts from 5-of-9 shooting and two assists per game off drives in the regular season.

Harden also was efficient near the basket, shooting 6-of-8 on field goal attempts within five feet of the basket — a zone the Jazz are excellent at defending due to Ruby Gobert’s presence.

The Jazz could change their strategy in Game 2, but with Harden’s price an affordable $10,700, he is a worthy fantasy option.

Other Options — Donovan Mitchell ($8,000)

Value

Reggie Jackson, DET at MIL ($5,200): With Blake Griffin (knee) looking unlikely to play, Jackson is a candidate for expanded usage in the Pistons’ offense. Jackson had a strong 27% usage rate in minutes with Griffin off the court this year — a boost from 22% with Griffin on the court. Jackson scored about 1 DKFP per minute in Game 1, and Milwaukee’s fast pace boosted Detroit’s possessions to about 104 in Game 1 — a boost from a slow 98 possessions per game in the regular season. Jackson also led the Pistons in usage rate in Game 1 at 29%.

Other Options — Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,500)


SMALL FORWARD

Stud

Khris Middleton, MIL vs. DET ($6,700): A blowout capped all of the Bucks’ minutes as the Pistons were overmatched in Game 1 without Griffin. Options are limited for “stud” players at small forward due to the small slate, and Milwaukee’s 104 possessions in Game 1 were third most among playoff teams so far.

Value

Gordon Hayward, BOS vs. IND ($5,300): Marcus Smart’s oblique injury resulted in Jaylen Brown moving from the second unit into the starting five, which could give Hayward more clearance in the second unit going forward. Hayward saw a slight uptick in usage in Game 1 vs. the Pacers and scored 28 DKFP in 30 minutes.

Other Options — Joe Ingles ($6,200)


POWER FORWARD

Stud

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. DET ($10,500): Antetokounmpo is the only premier stud available at power forward on Wednesday’s small three-game slate with Griffin unlikely to play. The Bucks played the second most possessions in Game 1 among teams through one game in the playoffs, and Antetokounmpo scored 55 DKFP in just 23 minutes in a blowout. Game 2 also has blowout risk with reports that Griffin is unlikely to play, but Antetokounmpo will be in position to be a strong fantasy contributor for his duration on the court, and he is affordable at $10,500. His 37% usage rate in Game 1 was better than his season average of 32%.

Other Options — Al Horford ($6,600)

Value

Luke Kennard, DET at MIL ($4,100): Kennard’s 26% usage rate in Game 1 was second on the Pistons, and he scored 30 DKFP in 28 minutes on 8-of-14 shooting — all volume boosts from his regular season averages. Continued boosted volume in Game 2 would make him a salary relief option.

Other Options — Jayson Tatum ($5,600)


CENTER

Stud

Rudy Gobert, UTA at HOU ($7,800): Houston ranked very poorly on the glass after the trade deadline, ranking as the second worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots it rebounds, which could help Gobert find success on the boards during the rest of the series. Gobert had a solid Game 1, scoring 40 DKFP on 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Other Options — Andre Drummond ($9,100)

Value

Thon Maker, DET at MIL ($3,600): Maker started in place of Griffin in Game 1 and played 22 minutes in a blowout. Maker’s efficiency stats aren’t so great, but another start in Game 2 combined with a closer game could push his minutes up in a revenge setting against his former team.

Other Options — Brook Lopez ($5,800)


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

Odds and lines subject to change. See website for actual odds.

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