Happy Tuesday all! The NBA playoffs are upon us and we have a three-game slate tonight. Four of the six teams playing this evening finished bottom 10 in pace and three finished top 10 in defense rating, so chances are these games will not be that high scoring. That being said, there are still some interesting options to choose from, so let’s jump right into it.
Isaiah Thomas ($8,300) – Thomas had a big Game 1 against the Bulls, but his valiant effort was not enough to get the Celtics a win. I expect him to come out firing on all cylinders once again. The Bulls gave up over a fantasy point per minute to point guards during the regular season and Thomas has fared well against them, averaging 42.8 fantasy points per game in five meetings. He offers 6-7X upside in this spot while providing a nice floor, making him an appealing option in all formats.
Other Options – Chris Paul $9,200, Kyle Lowry $7,900, Rajon Rondo $6,800
Malcolm Brogdon ($5,200) – Brogdon did well in the first game of the series, scoring 16 points with six boards in 34 minutes, which was good for 30 fantasy points. The 34 minutes are what stand out the most to me, as this is a clear sign that the Bucks are OK with giving him plenty of run in the postseason. The matchup is not all the enticing, but at this price point and considering the minutes he is expected to play, Brogdon should have no trouble paying off his salary.
Other Options – Jerian Grant $3,200, Matthew Dellavedova $2,800
DeMar DeRozan ($8,000) – It was business as usual for DeRozan in the first game of the series. Despite shooting just 33 percent, he managed to score 27 real points and 38 fantasy points. The matchup is not the most appealing one, but the Bucks did allow the 12th most fantasy points per game to shooting guards in their last 10 games. In that first game, DeRozan sported a 35.2 percent usage rate, which is a tad more than his 34.2 percent usage he averaged for the season. He should see plenty of shot opportunities once again, making him one of the safer plays on the board.
Other Options – Dwyane Wade $6,200
Marcus Smart ($5,000) – Smart is not going to score a ton of real points, but his peripheral stats increase his floor and upside, making him an interesting option at this price point. He played 31 minutes in the first game of this series, scoring nine points with six dimes, two boards, and one block. That performance was good for 23 fantasy points. He should once again play at least 30 minutes and should have no issue paying off his salary.
Other Options – Avery Bradley $5,900, J.J. Redick $4,800
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,300) – Giannis is probably the only player on the board with real triple-double upside tonight and that alone interests me on such a small slate. He scored 48 fantasy points in Game 1 and has averaged 49 fantasy points per game in five games against the Raptors this season. He offers a very high ceiling despite the subpar matchup and makes for a fine play in all formats. He is one of, if not, my favorite player of the slate.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler $10,000, Gordon Hayward $7,800, Khris Middleton $6,000
Blake Griffin ($7,600) – Griffin led all scorers in Game 1, but that was not enough the help the Clippers get the win. He played 43 minutes and sported a healthy 32.2 percent usage rate. If this is any indication of what to expect in the playoffs, he could be in for a nice evening tonight as the Jazz will be without Rudy Gobert, who clogs up the lane. Although this game will be slow in pace and opportunities will be limited, Griffin is way too cheap considering his abilities and the upside he offers. He makes for a fine play in any format.
Other Options –
Serge Ibaka ($5,800) – Ibaka had an impressive first game of the series, scoring 19 points with 14 rebounds and three blocks, which was good for 44 fantasy points. This was not surprising as the Bucks ended the season allowing a fantasy point per minute to power forwards in their last five games. In addition, they gave up the ninth most rebounds per game to the position during that stretch. Ibaka can be streaky, but does possess plenty of upside and comes at a reasonable price. He has averaged 34.7 fantasy points per game in five meetings with the Raptors this season. There is 6-7X upside here.
Other Options – Derrick Favors $5,300, Kelly Olynyk $4,300, Boris Diaw $3,000
DeAndre Jordan ($7,000) – Jordan scored 10 points with 15 boards in Game 1 of the series and could be even more dominant on the glass with Rudy Gobert out. Most of Jordan’s points, 80.1 percent of them to be exact, come from the paint, so Gobert’s absence is a huge factor for Jordan. He finished the season, grabbing at least 17 rebounds in five of his last seven games. Going balanced may be optimal tonight and if you go that route, he fits in with lineup construction. He is one of my top options of the slate and the game flow plays well to his strengths.
Other Options – Al Horford $6,400
Robin Lopez ($5,100) – Targeting centers against the Celtics is something I tried to do this season. They surrendered 51.5 fantasy points per game to opposing bigs, while allowing 24 points and 13.3 rebounds per game. Lopez played 33 minutes, scoring 14 points with 10 boards, which was good for 29.3 fantasy points in Game 1 of this series. He has averaged nearly a fantasy point per minutes in five games against the Celtics this season and makes for a fine play at this price point. There is no doubt that 6X is possible and in this matchup, he offers somewhat of a safe floor.
Other Options – Jonas Valanciunas $5,400, Greg Monroe $5,200, Marreese Speights $2,800
Note: Keep a close eye on news prior to lock as this could open up some value plays that were not considered early in the day.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Armando28) 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.