RadThad breaks down today’s four-game NBA DFS playoff slate!!
What’s up my peeps? I expected yesterday’s set of playoff games to be entertaining and they did not disappoint. I expect Sunday’s four-game slate to be no different. Like I said yesterday, things will be different in the post season, however, when compared to the daily fiasco handed to us in the regular season… a lot different.
The concept of “load management” will be tossed out the window so expect each team to put forth their best effort each and every time they take the court. That means tight rotations and heavy minutes for starters and stars (for the most part). Barring an unusual circumstance, the days of rostering a minimum salary scrub in the hopes of coming away with 30 fantasy points are done.
You’ll need to choose your studs (and the guys that make them fit) very carefully. Have you ever heard the saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”? (sorry cat lovers) Well, the same holds true for NBA playoff DFS. The first game of any playoff series is hard to predict on a DFS standpoint, seeing as how we don’t know what type of rotations to expect right off the bat. No worries. Once the rotations are revealed, the content will follow.
Cash game strategy is very different from tournament strategy, even in the playoffs. In cash games, it’s all about value. Well, it’s not just about value, but you know what I mean. Your cash game roster should be very “fluid” throughout its construction. To paraphrase the immortal Bruce Lee, “It must be like water.”
Late breaking news doesn’t usually come down during the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean you should just “set it and forget it” when it comes to your lineups. Strange things can happen, even in the playoffs so you’ll want to stay alert. I’ll be sure to post any updates to the article as news breaks (including updated cash game core plays). I’ll also notify y’all of any updates via the Twitter machine. In the meantime, here are my thoughts for today’s slate.
Top Stud (over $8K on FD): Joel Embiid (followed by Russell Westbrook)
Top Stud (over $8K on DK): Russell Westbrook (followed by Joel Embiid)
Top Value (under $5K on FD): Nerlens Noel (followed by Danny Green and Royce O’Neale)
Top Value (under $5K on DK): Nerlens Noel (followed by Jae Crowder and Danny Green)
-On FanDuel my most common cash core of players consists of Ben Simmons (PHI), Danny Green (PHI), Tobias Harris (PHI) and Joel Embiid (PHI). I’m guessing you can pick out a common theme with these players (see below). You can add Davis Bertans WAS) as a bonus core play.
-On DraftKings, I’m getting a lot of Harris, Embiid, Nerlens Noel (NYK) and Jae Crowder (PHO). You can consider Danny Green (PHI) a bonus core play as well.
– Here are a few things to consider when constructing your cash game and tournament lineups for this slate:
–“How many players from any given team is too many?” We asked ourselves this question a lot during the regular season, however, during the NBA playoffs, teams are usually coming in at “full strength”, or at least close to it. That means we’ll usually need to be picky when it comes to choosing value that will allow us to roster the “beefcake” options of our choice for any given slate. Today’s slate is a little different, as we have the Philadelphia 76ers taking on the Washington Wizards in a matchup with a game total of 229.0 (Philadelphia favored by -7.5). The 76ers are projected to score 118.3 points today which is higher than any other team on the slate by a wide margin. As you can see from the “cash game core plays” I listed above, Embiid, Harris and Simmons are high on my “wish list”, with Green coming in as a good source of value on both sites. The rest of the 76ers are in play as well, however, I prefer to use them in tournaments.
-Trust “The Process” in cash games, but feel free to pivot in tournaments. Joel Embiid (PHI) will be one of the highest owned players on today’s slate, and for good reason. He’s projected to be one of the top fantasy producers and should dominate in today’s matchup against Washington. That’s awesome for cash games, however, there are a lot of other “beefcake” options that are appealing for tournaments. Let’s not forget that Russell Westbrook (WAS) is on this slate and is averaging 53.3 fantasy points per game against Philadelphia in three contests this season (36.0 minutes per game). While we’re at it let’s mention Bradley Beal (WSH) who is averaging 48.8 fantasy points per game against the 76ers in 34.2 minutes per game. Consider stacking these two players and “running it back” with a lower owned tournament option from Philadelphia like Seth Curry (PHI). An excellent cheap tournament option off of Embiid on Fanduel is Nerlens Noel (NYK). Rostering him will allow you to spend up elsewhere.
-A “Rose” by any other name smells just as sweet. Remember when Derrick Rose (NYK) was good at basketball? Well, he still is. Truth be told, he never stopped being good. With 37.5, 41.0, 33.5, 31.0, 45.5 and 50.5 fantasy points in six of his last 10 games, he’s certainly reclaimed his status as a “fantasy friendly” option. He’s an excellent cash game option today against the Atlanta Hawks and possesses sneaky GPP winning upside.
-Who are some other cash game options on this slate? Well, Royce O’Neale (UTA) is a great cash game pivot off of Bertans on FanDuel, while Desmond Bane (MEM) offers salary relief on that site. On DraftKings, Bertans and Dillon Brooks (MEM) are helpful pieces to the puzzle.
-Who are a couple of my other favorite tournament options on this slate? Let me start off by reminding you that this is the NBA playoffs and LeBron James (LAL) and Anthony Davis (LAL) are on today’s slate. These guys “turn it up a notch” in the playoffs and intend to successfully defend their NBA Championship. I’m not saying that you should find a way to roster both of them, however, you should consider having at least one roster that contains “The Brow” or “King James”. Chris Paul (PHO) is averaging 42.8 fantasy points per game against the Lakers this season (in three games), so consider him an excellent option to “run it back with”, in the hope that this game stays close (current game total of 213.5 with Phoenix is favored by -3.0). Other GPP options on my “radar” include Clint Capela (ATL) who is averaging 45.8 fantasy points per game this season against my beloved New York Knicks and Jonas Valanciunas (MEM) who is averaging 40.9 fantasy points per game against the Utah Jazz this season. Consider pairing them up on DraftKings for a unique roster.
-In a nutshell, I’m using a mixture of site-specific value plays, along with a heavy core of Philadelphia 76ers to bring my team to “NBA DFS glory” in cash games. That’s my current cash game strategy, but we all know how things tend to change very quickly as we get closer to tip off. You’ll need to stay alert and available in the event that things get weird. (GPP Tip: This tip is pretty self-explanatory. Do the opposite of what I just said. Another viable tournament strategy for this slate is to roll with a balanced lineup. The biggest mistake that I make when going with a “studs and scrubs” approach in tournaments is either using too many of the chalky value plays or using the wrong ones. Sometimes it’s best to let your opponent make the mistakes by avoiding situation entirely.)