After a two-day break, we are back with NBA on DraftKings!!! The best part is that we should not see any more “resting” shenanigans since these games really count. However, do not make the mistake of forgetting that teams will run tight eight or nine-man rotations for most of the playoffs, with starters seeing heavy minutes since there are very few back-to-back games. It may be a little tricky to find “value” plays, so we will want to look for places to differentiate in the large field tournaments so we can gain separation (hopefully in the right direction) from the masses.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to me on Twitter @EmacDFS.
Chris Paul – LAC vs UTA – $8,100 – CP3 is the key to the Clippers making a playoff run before their window closes, and it sounds like he may be feeling a sense of urgency as he, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have been in this spot several times before. Paul is going to have the ball in his hands on nearly every single Los Angeles possession, and he can rack up fantasy goodness in a variety of ways so don’t let this matchup dissuade you.
Jeff Teague – IND at CLE – 7,300 – The defending World Champions have forgotten how to play defense, or so it would seem. Yes, they could still “turn it on,” but they were trying down the stretch and just couldn’t find that extra gear. Through four meetings this season, Teague has been outstanding averaging nearly 44 DraftKings points per appearance.
Other Options – Mike Conley ($7,200)
Cory Joseph – TOR vs MIL – $3,500 – With CoJo backing up both guard positions, he should see close to twenty minutes in this matchup and provide some much-needed tournament value.
Other Options – Tony Parker ($4,200)
DeMar DeRozan – TOR vs MIL – $8,000 – While DeRozan may not have the same upside he had with Kyle Lowry out for a large portion of the second half of the season, he will see heavy minutes as Toronto will really tighten their rotation for the playoffs. Additionally, we know that the Bucks’ defensive scheme puts pressure on point guards to pass the ball to the wing. Which should give Double D ample time to rack up the fantasy production.
J.J. Redick – LAC vs UTA – $4,600 – Redick is continually overlooked by fantasy gamers, and he is someone we can look to as one of our aforementioned “differentiation” plays in tournaments. Yes, the game log is not pretty in the previous matchups against the Jazz this season, but playoffs are a different animal entirely.
Manu Ginóbili – SAS vs MEM – $3,600 – Now is when head coach Gregg Popovic is likely to let his veterans play more minutes than he has at any other time this season. Ginóbili will become more of a facilitator with the second unit as his playoff rotation has generally put him in a position to be the designated scorer/distributor in short bursts while he is on the court usually without Tony Parker and Patty Mills.
Other Options – Tony Allen ($4,100), J.R. Smith ($3,900)
LeBron James – CLE vs IND – $10,800 – He is going to be on a mission to set the tone for this series and there really is not much else to say about the best player on the slate.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – MIL at TOR – $10,200 – With all the point guard options, it is nice to have the flexibility to utilize Antetokounmpo at the small forward position, though he is not as valuable on Saturday’s game set as one of many small forward options in the player pool. If you can’t quite get to King James, the Greek phenom is a fine consolation prize in tournaments.
Kawhi Leonard – SAS vs MEM – $8,500 – This price point is just too tantalizing to pass over for me. We can only hope that other gamers are “intimidated” by this perceived tough matchup against Memphis.
Other Options – Paul George ($9,800), Gordon Hayward ($7,500)
Vince Carter – MEM at SAS – $3,400 – Yikes, the 40-year-old veteran of 19 NBA campaigns is going to be someone we need to consider with teammate Tony Allen listed as doubtful for the first round of the playoffs with a calf injury. Carter has had three days to rest and prepare, so let’s cross our fingers that we can get one more glimpse of Vinsanity! If only for 20-22 minutes.
Other Options – Joe Johnson ($4,200), Joe Ingles ($4,500)
Blake Griffin – LAC vs UTA – $7,700 – With the Jazz mostly healthy, this is a tough matchup, but it is being played at the Staples Center. At this price level, 35 DraftKings points won’t dash our hopes and anything in the mid-40s or above will have us doing cartwheels. He is not someone I will lock into every team, but I am liking my teams that I have constructed so far with him a lot more than the ones without him.
Kevin Love – CLE vs IND – $7,900 – This is a nice matchup for Love, and we should see even more production consolidated to Cleveland’s Big Three in this series.
Other Options – Paul George ($9,800)
Zach Randolph – MEM at SAS – $5,200 – Do not fall asleep on veteran’s seeing 7-12% more minutes than normal in the playoffs. The Grizzlies are going to need to steal one in San Antonio, and we should see Z-Bo approach 30 minutes and 30 DKPTs.
Luc Richard M’bah a Moute – LAC vs UTA – $2,300 – TOURNAMENTS ONLY! We know he is going to see close to 30 minutes for his defense and at this price point, we can really stack our other roster spots in high-upside tournament lineups.
Other Options – Thaddeus Young ($5,600)
Rudy Gobert – UTA at LAC – $8,300 – The Stifle Tower was built for a playoff series like this one against the Clippers’ frontcourt that is actually pretty lackadaisical about rebounding and defense for that matter. He should be in the mix for a double-double and the fifty fantasy point plateau is not out of the question.
Marc Gasol – MEM at SAS – $7,000 – Gasol is supposedly healthy, and he is someone that is criminally overlooked by most gamers. He has a clear path to 40 DraftKings points and at this price point, he would be a difference maker if he can reach that target.
Other Options – Kevin Love ($7,900), Blake Griffin ($7,700)
Jonas Valanciunas – TOR vs MIL – $5,500 – Each year it seems that JoVal comes to play in the first few games of the NBA Second Season. Don’t get caught napping or you may miss a 30+ DraftKings point performance against the suspect interior defense of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Other Options – Tristan Thompson ($4,500), Pau Gasol ($5,100), Greg Monroe ($4,800)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is emac) 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.