The Hawks, Bulls and Clippers all have their backs to the wall in their Game 6’s Friday night, which should lead to plenty of great action on the court. And even with only three games to choose from, that still means there will be more than enough tough choices to make, so here are a few players to consider for your lineups from every position.
John Wall @ ATL ($10,600) – From what we’ve seen so far in the series, there is no reason we should expect fewer than 50 fantasy points from him in this one. He is playing like he’s the fastest guy in the league and he knows it, pushing the pace, getting his shots up (19 per night for the series), and setting up his teammates with his customary double-digit assists. He has upside, but he is also playing like a great safe base for a cash game lineup right now, so you can consider him in any format.
Isaiah Thomas @ CHI ($8,800) – I put Thomas here in order to highlight that I feel like he is a better buy than Schroder tonight in a similar price range. Schroder has actually needed to have bigger offensive nights on the road in this series, to prop up his teammates, and at home, I would prefer to see Millsap in my fantasy lineup from this game. Meanwhile, IT has seemed to get stronger as this series has progressed, and of the two, he is the one with potential upside to match guys like Wall and Paul.
Other Options – Chris Paul ($10,300)
Marcus Smart @ CHI ($5,300) – He is coming off the bench but averaging 30+ minutes a night for the series, more than you can usually hope for in this price range. He’s not doing anything flashy and doesn’t score enough for any real upside, but he’s been between 23 and 34 fantasy points in each of the first five games, averaging 8-6-5 with a block and a steal. That’s respectable enough value at his price, so you know he won’t likely kill your chances for the night.
Other Options – George Hill ($5,700)
Jimmy Butler vs. BOS ($9,800) – The third most expensive player on the board for the night, I like him better than at least one of the guys priced above him (Chris Paul). Back in Chicago, the Bulls are going to ride Butler hoping he’ll lead them to a Game 7. In Game 5, he wasn’t assertive enough down the stretch, allowing Wade to be a focal point of the offense for stretches, but on his home court I expect to see him dominating play for large stretches of time and putting up good statistical performances in multiple categories.
Bradley Beal @ ATL ($7,800) – Beal struggled from the floor in the first game in Atlanta this series, going just 6-for-20 from the floor, including 0-for-6 from three in their Game 3 loss. But he bounced back for Games 4 and 5 in a big way, shooting almost 50% (22-for-45) while tossing up 59 combined points. He’s going to look to carry that momentum forward as the Wizards try to close out the series tonight.
Other Options – Dwyane Wade ($7,200)
Joe Johnson vs. LAC ($5,600) – Joe Johnson has just been doing Joe Johnson things so far in this series, especially once he realized his team really could use another scoring outlet after the injury to Gobert early on. He uses his size and strength to create the space and the angles he needs to get clean looks, and he just knocks down shots. He has shot 40% or better from the floor in every game of the series so far, and when you’re averaging just a hair under 15 attempts a night, that gives you a nice floor that makes you usable in any format.
Other Options – Avery Bradley ($5,900), Tim Hardaway, Jr. ($4,500)
Gordon Hayward vs. LAC ($7,900) – Gordon’s fantasy value right now – as it has been all season – is the victim of his own team’s slower style of play. This guy is an efficient, dynamic scorer who can get the ball in the hoop a lot of different ways, and it’s showing right now. In Games 3 and 5, sandwiched around his nine minutes of play in Game 4, he went 22-for-37 from the floor (59.4%), including 8-for-16 from three, and is trying to show that he can be the primary scoring option on a playoff offense, and a valuable fantasy option, even on the slowest paced team in the league.
Taurean Prince vs. WAS ($4,700) – Prince does a lot of things well, and it certainly looks like the Hawks might have stumbled onto something pretty special in this rookie for the long term. He is tenacious on D, but not a risk-taker, so he isn’t racking up big steal and block totals, but he is really asserting himself on offense, scoring in double figures in every game against the Wizards so far. He will end up with five or six rebounds based on pure enthusiasm, and just those two categories alone are useful at this price.
Luc Richard Mbah A Moute @ UTA ($4,200) – He is getting big minutes for the Clippers right now, playing at least 34 every game in the series so far, and he has been able to translate that into some level of fantasy usefulness based mainly on some semi-consistent rebounding and defensive statistics. He’s only scored in double-digits once in the series, so his upside isn’t great, but he could be a cheap source of 20+ fantasy points that helps you fill out your roster.
Other Options – Bojan Bogdanovic ($3,800)
Paul Millsap vs. WAS ($8,400) – He averaged 24 points, 12.5 boards and six assists in the first two games in Atlanta in this series, and with Dwight Howard getting 25-30 minutes a night paired off against Gortat, there is really just no one else on the Washington roster equipped to deal with Millsap. He is shooting just under 50% from the floor for the series and getting to the line a bunch as well, making him by far the most efficient scoring option for Atlanta. If they manage to push this series to seven, it’s going to be at least in part because he has a nice night tonight.
Nikola Mirotic vs. BOS ($5,400) – Everything about him is inconsistent for the most part – his minutes, his shooting, his rebounding – even his defense. But the Celtics have struggled to contain both big interior players and the stretch fours all season long, and this series is no exception. Mirotic has at least two threes in each of the last four games in the series, and in three of those, it helped contribute to a 25+ fantasy point night, not bad at this price. At home, there is at least a chance that trend could pick back up tonight after a sub-par Game 5.
Kelly Olynyk @ CHI ($4,400) – This is a recommendation for a night where there aren’t many options and you probably want to try to squeeze in at least a couple of the most expensive stars. So, you’ll need an option like Olynyk, even though he is averaging just under 20 minutes a night so far this series. He is getting open looks out there with the second unit, and playing very efficiently, making the most of his time. He certainly has some downside, but his upside is solidly in the mid-twenties in terms of fantasy points, with double-digit scoring and contributions in multiple other categories.
Other Options – Otto Porter ($5,400), Markieff Morris ($5,100)
Rudy Gobert vs. LAC ($7,700) – Gobert returned for Game 4 and immediately restored the best matchup of big men we’ve got going on in the playoffs right now. The Jazz eased him back into action in that one, but then in Game 5, he was in there for 36 minutes looking just like the guy we saw all season long – one of the best defenders and rebounders in the league and one of the most efficient offensive options the Jazz have. There is no reason for me to expect less than a double-double with a few blocks and steals mixed in for good measure.
DeAndre Jordan @ UTA ($7,500) – Jordan has had a nice series, and the thinking was at least in part that he was being helped by the absence of Gobert, but he continued to play well after his return in Game 4. He finished Game 5, in which Gobert played 36 minutes, with 40 minutes of his own and a double-double (14 points and 12 boards). These two dominant big men will swallow up all the rebounding chances, and with Blake gone, there is no one else to pick up the scoring slack for the Clips in the middle. Gobert might make his night a little tougher, but he still will be put in a position to return you 35+ fantasy points if all goes well, good value for the price.
Other Options – Al Horford ($7,400)
Robin Lopez vs. BOS ($5,200) – Lopez did not get used enough in the Bulls’ Games 3 and 4 losses as they allowed the Celtics to dictate a small-ball game and an up-tempo pace. Hoiberg tried to remedy that in Game 5, giving him 29 minutes, but he still wasn’t used the way he should be and the way he was in the first two games of the series. Lopez is consistently dominating Horford down low when he is out there, a threat to score on any possession and the best rebounder on the floor, and they should try to get back to using him that way as they try to even the series at home tonight.
Other Options – Marcin Gortat ($5,800)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.