Tonight we have two games in the association with the Bucks taking on the Celtics in Boston and the Warriors taking on the Rockets in Houston. Things are really starting to heat up in the second round of the playoffs and it should be an exciting night of basketball!
Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics
The Bucks stole one back from the Celtics last game at the Garden and now hold a 2-1 advantage in the series. After a lopsided loss in Game 1, the Bucks made the adjustment of replacing Sterling Brown in the starting lineup with Nik Mirotic and proceeded to win their next two games using a rotation of pretty much seven rosterable players for DFS purposes: Mirotic, Giannis, Middleton, Bledsoe, Lopez, Hill, and Connaughton.
Ersan Ilyasova is borderline but unlikely to see enough minutes to be playable.
Malcolm Brogdon is nearing a return to action but is still out again tonight which means Mirotic will draw the start for the third straight game. While Miro is unlikely to see over 30 minutes, he’s been right around a PPM guy since joining the Bucks and also has some upside, so he’s a strong value at just $4200 on DK and $4700 on FD. Miro came up short on some of the peripherals last game, but I would expect him to have a better all-around line tonight in around 25 minutes, especially in the rebounding department after grabbing just three.
Somewhat surprisingly, Eric Bledsoe has yet to play 30 minutes in any of the first three games of the series and he’s averaging just 26. He’s ceded time to George Hill who has been very effective shooting the ball and has done a nice job defensively on Kyrie Irving. Bledsoe always has upside, but I’d expect this fairly even timeshare to continue tonight as the Bucks have found a recipe for success and have every reason to ride with it until forced to make further adjustments. Hill is the preferred play right now between the two, especially on DK where he’s just $3900, which makes it easier to pay up on this stud-heavy slate, though I’d expect him to cool off from the field at some point here, maybe tonight. On FD, I prefer to pay up for two PGs, but if I were going the cheaper route, he’s the guy I’d use there.
Brook Lopez is playable on FD simply because of position scarcity. If you love the rest of your lineup, you can use him if you have to, but I clearly prefer either Al Horford or Clint Capela with both the minutes in question for Lopez and another offensive minded player in the starting lineup now in Mirotic.
Pat Connaughton continues to see 25-30 minutes off the bench. The production isn’t always there, but the minutes are stable and he has a bit of upside for the price.
Outside of foul trouble or a blowout, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are the guys the Bucks will ride for heavy minutes and who will have to carry the offense. With two days off, I do expect the Celtics to scheme to try to slow down Giannis after he blistered them for 32 point, 13 boards, and 8 assists last game and got to the charity stripe 22 times, but Giannis is such a force that he can obviously overcome any scenario. He’s rolling right now and it doesn’t look like the Celtics have an answer as they did in Game 1 when the Bucks were rolling with a different lineup.
The big question for the Celtics is whether Marcus Smart will play tonight. He’s been sidelined for the entire playoffs so far but he’s listed as questionable and I think there’s a very good chance he plays after getting in some practice time lately.
If he’s announced in as a starter, I’d expect him to be a full-go without restrictions (as long as it’s not announced otherwise) whereas I’d be a little more cautious in using him if he were to come off the bench. At min-price on FD at just $3500, and $4300 on DK, along with the fact that I’d expect him to come out like a man possessed and be all over the court, he’d make for a very strong value if he plays.
Smart’s presence would have zero effect on Kyrie Irving‘s minutes, but it would be a large blow to Jaylen Brown‘s and a lesser but significant blow to Gordon Hayward‘s as well.
We’ve seen Kyrie struggle from the field the past two games going just 4-18 and 8-22, but in what is essentially a must-win home game for the Celtics, I fully expect him to come out and put his mark on this one from the get-go. It’s the absolute most important game of the season so far and I think Kyrie knows it’s up to him to come through and I do expect him to put up at least 20, but likely 25+ shots here, with better efficiency.
Al Horford is the other guy I fully expect to step up in the do-or-die situation for the Celtics. He’s my favorite center tonight at $6500 on DK but especially on FD at $6800 where there’s no position flexibility and a lack of options.
As for Jayson Tatum, he’s not a priority tonight as I expect this to be a Kyrie-or-bust type game for the Celtics and I think he may find himself pushed to the side offensively a little bit, but with the limited options at PF, he’s still ok. Marcus Morris is also one of just a few options on FD at PF. I prefer to take the savings on Morris over Tatum just slightly.
Warriors @ Rockets
As long as Andre Iguodala draws the start again tonight as he has all three games so far this series, there are really only five rosterable players for the Warriors – the five starters.
Iguodala is averaging 34 regulation-minutes a night so far during this series after averaging just 23.2 on the season. He’s a good play on FD at $6000 but he’s a really strong play on DK at $4900. This is a game the Warriors will really want tonight as it will allow them to take control of the series and I’d expect to see Iggy out there for 35 or so in any close game.
With the Warriors using so much of their small-ball lineup, it’s been a boon for Draymond Green who doesn’t have to compete with Bogut or Looney as the main rebounding big for the Warriors. Draymond is playing right around 40 minutes a night and has taken his game to another level so far in this series, averaging close to a triple-double. He’s a fantastic option again here, especially on DK where he’s underpriced given his recent production and what we can expect out of him tonight.
It’s really tough to ignore the price of Steph Curry on DK at just $7700 ($8900 on FD). We haven’t seen him anywhere near his best so far in the playoffs and a lot of that has to do with him deferring heavily to Kevin Durant, who the Warriors go to over-and-over again as Durant has the length to shoot over any defender the Rockets throw at him. Durant is a matchup nightmare and the Warriors are exploiting it to full advantage. But with the Rockets pulling one out last game, I think we see a more aggressive Curry (or Klay Thompson) here as the Warriors look to find a more balanced approach to their offense.
Like the Warriors, the Rockets really only have five rosterable players right now for DFS purposes. Austin Rivers is seeing minutes off the bench, but with this offense running so much through James Harden, Eric Gordon, and Chris Paul, there’s hardly any upside there.
PJ Tucker and Clint Capela are the only other Rockets we can consider.
As always, it’s the James Harden show. Overall, however, the Warriors are doing a pretty good job on him defensively. He’s still getting his buckets, but has yet to have a huge performance as the Warriors are using their length and athleticism to shut down passing lanes and to force him to work to get his looks. He’s a fine option but not a must-play by any means.
We know the minutes will be there for Eric Gordon so his production really comes down to whether he knocks down shots as he’s very scoring dependent. Gordon has shot the ball well against GS so far this year in six games, hitting 46/97 from the field and 24/62 from the field, both well above his season averages, but he’s still a streaky shooter and there’s not a whole lot of upside there given the price. Still, he’s a decent play tonight.
PJ Tucker is a far superior play on DK where he’s priced at just $4500 compared to $5800 on FD. It’s PJ Tucker, so you’re never going to get all that excited about him, but like Gordon, he’ll play 35+ minutes, and though there’s not a ton of upside, he’s got a pretty good shot of hitting 25-30 fantasy points.
Chris Paul is a better play on DK at $6800 compared to $8300 on FD. Don’t hate him, don’t love him.
Lastly, there’s only three realistically usable options on FD tonight at Center. I like Horford a little more than Capela and I like Capela quite a bit more than Lopez.
- Kyrie Irving
- Steph Curry
- George Hill (Value)
- Chris Paul
- Eric Bledsoe
- Marcus Smart (FD) (if he plays and starts)
- Andre Iguodala
- James Harden
- Khris Middleton
- Pat Connaughton/Eric Gordon
- Nik Mirotic (Value)
- Kevin Durant
- Gordon Hayward
- Draymond Green
- Marcus Morris
- PJ Tucker
- Jayson Tatum
- Al Horford
- Clint Capela
- Brook Lopez