NBA Playoff Fantasy Picks: Top Plays for April 16 Presented by Broner vs. Vargas Live on Showtime

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Monday’s fantasy basketball slate is a small one with just two games. The Heat play the 76ers in Philadelphia while the Spurs play the Warriors in Oakland — both of which are Game 2 of their respective series.

The Heat and Sixers played about 101 possessions each in Game 1, while the Spurs and Warriors played 98. The Sixers led all playoffs teams with an explosive 128 offensive rating in Game 1. The Spurs struggled to get anything going on offense, finishing with just a 91.5 offensive rating, while the Warriors smashed the Spurs with a 118 offensive rating.

In an interesting lineup twist, the Warriors started Andre Iguodala at point guard, giving them an excellent defensive starting lineup, which contributed to the Spurs’ problems on offense. The Heat were third among these four teams with a 103 offensive rating in Game 1.

Point Guard

Stud

Ben Simmons ($9,700) — With Stephen Curry (knee) still out, Simmons is easily the top stud on the small two-game slate. Despite inefficient shooting (38 percent) in Game 1, Simmons finished with 52.25 DKFP on the back of incredible facilitating. Simmons had a monstrous 25 potential assists in Game 1 vs. the Heat, with teammates knocking down 14 of them. The Sixers continued to create open shots despite facing a Heat team that was one of the better teams at contesting shots during the regular season. Twenty-five of the Sixers’ 28 3-point attempts were classified as open or wide open based on the league’s tracking system.

Value

Goran Dragic ($6,200) — A matchup against the lengthy Robert Covington, Simmons and a strong defensive Sixers team is difficult — Dragic is shooting just 36 percent in five games vs. Philadelphia this season — but Dragic’s price is about as low as it has been all season and down $300 from Game 1. He led the Heat with a 28 percent usage rate and 14 field-goal attempts on Saturday and likely will be the primary offensive option for Miami. Without many other options to turn to on the small slate, Dragic’s price drop is worth considering.

Other options: Dejounte Murray ($5,300)


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Shooting Guard

Stud

Klay Thompson ($6,500) — There aren’t many studs at shooting guard on the small slate, with Thompson the highest priced and most productive shooting guard by DKFP average. Thompson’s long-distance shooting can make him a candidate to explode at any moment, and he is shooting 16-25 from 3 (64 percent) against the Spurs in four games this season. He scored 36.5 DKFP in Game 1 on 11-of-13 from the field and 5-6 from 3.

Value

Dwyane Wade ($4,700) — The Sixers’ bench unit isn’t as strong defensively as the starters, ranking a below average 17th in bench points allowed to opponents since the trade deadline. The bench’s fast pace is in the top five among bench units in that timeframe. Wade played just 19 minutes in Saturday’s blowout, and he’ll be a candidate for a better minute total with a closer game on Monday. His extensive playoff experience is also a plus.

Other options: J.J. Redick ($5,800)

Small Forward

Stud

Kevin Durant ($10,500) — Durant’s heavy usage in the Warriors’ offense without Curry continued in Game 1, with a 34 percent usage rate; up from 30 percent on the season and in line with the 34.5 percent rate that Durant has with Curry off the court this season. The Spurs surprisingly switched smaller guards onto Durant early in Game 1, which gave Durant a huge mismatch on the perimeter. The Spurs badly miss Kawhi Leonard (injury management) in this series, and without him, slowing Durant will be difficult to do. Durant had 47 DKFP in Game 1.

Value

Rudy Gay ($4,900) — The Spurs went to Gay to start the second half as they were in desperate need of scoring. Gay was used on 29 percent of the Spurs’ plays while he was on the court in Game 1 — second to only LaMarcus Aldridge. That figure shot up to 37 percent in the third quarter after Gay came out of the half with the starters. He made 34 passes in 22 minutes and was second on the team in potential assists with six. If Gay is in the starting lineup, he’ll be a candidate for expanded minutes and increased fantasy value. He had a solid 18.0 player efficiency rating in 1,200 minutes with the Spurs this season.

Other options: Robert Covington ($5,900)

Power Forward

Stud

Draymond Green ($7,700) — Despite Iguodala getting the start at point guard in Game 1, Green was the de facto facilitator, leading the team with 70 passes made — nearly 30 more than the next highest on the team. Green’s 11 assists also led the Warriors. Both numbers were boosted from his season averages. Green is a strong candidate to continue to be the primary passer in the Warriors’ offense Monday. He finished with 45.5 DKFP on Saturday and missed a triple-double by two rebounds.

Value

Dario Saric ($6,300) — Saric has been one of Philadelphia’s biggest beneficiaries with Joel Embiid (orbital) out of the lineup. Saric’s usage rate is 25 percent with Embiid off the court this year — up from just 17 percent with Embiid on. Saric took six 3-pointers in Game 1; all of which were classified as open based on how close the nearest defender was via the league’s tracking system. He capitalized on the six open looks from deep, knocking down four of six 3s and finishing with 33.5 DKFP.

Other options: Ersan Ilyasova ($5,700)

Center

Value

JaVale McGee ($3,600) — The Warriors started McGee at center and had him guard LaMarcus Aldridge in the post. His athleticism and length helped disrupt Aldridge, including one notable blocked shot off an Aldridge post up. The Spurs led the league in post-ups per game this season and ran 20 post ups per game after the trade deadline, which is easily the most in the league. Unless the Spurs change their game plan, McGee should see a similar role on Monday. He scored 26 DKFP in Game 1.

Other options: LaMarcus Aldridge ($9,200), Kelly Olynyk ($6,100)


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.