RadThad guides you through today’s top plays in the wonderful world of NBA DFS!
What’s up my peeps? The second round of the playoffs is underway. If round two is half as exciting as round one, we’re in for a treat. We have yet another two-game NBA playoff slate on our hands today. Truth be told, I’m starting to like these small slates. I would never come close to playing a two-game slate during the regular season, but when it comes to the playoffs, I’m all in.
At this stage of the season you should remember that there is a lot of luck involved when it comes to taking home “all the monies”. Last night’s “no Lou Dort, no cash” scenario is a prime example. Be sure to manage your bankroll accordingly, as we are one week away from the start of the NFL regular season.
Remember that the following is a GPP list, so don’t get flustered if you don’t see some of the chalkier names listed below. The meat of the article is in the “notes” section, so I won’t be offended if you go there first.
1. Lou Williams (LAC)- ownership on DraftKings should be less than 10%
2. Jamal Murray (DEN)
3. Kemba Walker (BOS)
4. Kyle Lowry (TOR)
5. Monte Morris (DEN)
1. Fred VanVleet (TOR)
2. Paul George (LAC)
3. Marcus Smart (BOS)
4. Torrey Craig (DEN)
5. Norman Powell (TOR)
1. Kawhi Leonard (LAC)
2. Pascal Siakam (TOR)
3. Jaylen Brown (BOS)
4. O.G. Anunoby (TOR)
5. Jerami Grant (DEN)
1. Serge Ibaka (TOR)- ownership on DraftKings should be less than 5%.
2. Jayson Tatum (BOS)- will be very heavily owned on Fanduel
3. Marcus Morris (LAC)- ownership on DraftKings should be 10%
4. Michael Porter Jr (DEN)
5. Daniel Theis (BOS)
1. Montrezl Harrell (LAC)- ownership should be less than 10% on both sites
2. Nikola Jokic (DEN)
3. Ivica Zubac (LAC)- will be very heavily owned on both sites.
4. Marc Gasol (TOR)
5. Robert Williams (BOS)
Top Stud (over $8K on FD): Nikola Jokic (followed by Kawhi Leonard)
Top Stud (over $8K on DK): Nikola Jokic (followed by Kawhi Leonard)
Top Value (under $5K on FD): Ivica Zubac (followed by Jerami Grant)
Top Value (under $5K on DK): Ivica Zubac (followed by +Patrick Beverly)
– If you’re taking the “studs and scrubs” approach Kawhi Leonard (LAC), Nikola Jokic (DEN), Jayson Tatum (BOS) and Pascal Siakam (TOR) have the highest ceilings on the slate (in that order). The runner ups in this category include Jamal Murray (DEN), Fred VanVleet (TOR) and Kemba Walker (BOS).
-On Fanduel my current cash core of players consists of:
Ivica Zubac (LAC): Center is extremely thin today, so I wouldn’t fault you if you want to pay up and lock in the ceiling/floor combination of Nikola Jokic (DEN). Personally, I’m taking the value route in cash games and rolling with Zubac. He’s not a usage monster by any stretch of the imagination (13.8% usage rate average over his last six games), however, he can put up fantasy points in a hurry. That’s ideal for a guy that might not see extended minutes.
Jayson Tatum (BOS): The power forward position on Fanduel isn’t as thin as the center position, but it’s close. Since I’m going the cheap route at center, I’ll be more than happy to pay up for one of my power forwards. Tatum has put up 33.8 and 51.6 fantasy points in two games against Toronto in the playoffs, giving us an example of what we can expect for both his ceiling and floor (average usage rate of 27.6% in those two games). Expect Tatum to be one of the highest owned players on Fanduel tonight.
Jaylen Brown (BOS): Brown isn’t far behind Tatum when it comes to usage and productivity in two games against Toronto in the playoffs (average usage rate of 25.7%, with fantasy performances of 27.0 and 39.6 fantasy points). Like Tatum, we’ve seen a glimpse of Brown’s ceiling and floor against the Raptors. He will likely challenge Tatum for the honor of being the highest owned player on Fanduel.
Jerami Grant (DEN): Grant might not have been the most reliable player against Utah in the first round of the playoffs (16.8, 22.7, 22.2 and 8.5 fantasy points), however, he did manage to play no fewer than 34 minutes in each of those four games (average usage rate of 14.8%). That type of playing time is hard to find for someone at his salary.
Kyle Lowry (TOR): Paying up at the point guard position in cash games is the way to go tonight. While Jamal Murray (DEN) has a salary of $9000, Lowry sits at a much more comfortable $7800. On slates like this, every dollar counts. I’m not predicting that he’ll drop another 45.5 fantasy points on Boston like he did in his last game (23.1% usage rate in 40 minutes), however, given the options and his salary I can easily use him as a core and pair him with whatever other point guard “floats my boat”. If you’re afraid that Lowry will disappoint you, feel free to lock in Paul George (LAC) instead.
-On Draftkings my current cash core of players consists of Zubac, Brown, Lowry and:
Nikola Jokic (DEN): If the combo of Jokic and Zubac isn’t the highest owned pair of players on DraftKings tonight there needs to be an internal investigation. According to my projections, these big men are the two best values on the site and should be the first two players you put into your cash game lineup. Granted, Jokic isn’t putting up career numbers against the Clippers this season, but then again, who is (averaging 44.8 DraftKings points per game in three contests against the Clippers this season)? He does have an average usage rate of 26.9% per game so far in the playoffs and will need to be at his best if the Nuggets want to come away with the win.
Marcus Smart (BOS): As some of you are already aware, there’s a “Marcus Smart flow chart” out there somewhere on the Internet. If you haven’t seen it, you should Google it. Smart can give you fits if you’re actually watching him play, however, his 22.3% usage rate and the 36.5 and 28.75 DraftKings points he’s put up so far against Toronto gives him a more than respectable floor for cash game purposes. He also rates out as one of the better values on DraftKings tonight.
-Here are some strategies to consider in tournaments:
Use a center not named Zubac or Jokic. The lack of center options today makes this strategy a tough pill to swallow, however, if you’re looking for a surefire way to differentiate your team from the rest of the herd it’s one worth considering. On DraftKings roster flexibility gives you a few more options, but on Fanduel it’s strictly “Kool-Aid” territory. Dare I suggest using Montrezl Harrell (LAC) as a direct pivot off of Zubac on both sites? I’m well aware of the fact that he’s been playing like “haute garbage” since he returned to the bubble, however, he’s put up big numbers against Denver in limited minutes this season and could easily do the same tonight (averaging 42.0 DraftKings points per game over 25.1 minutes per game in two meetings this season). Another guy that I’m thinking about using as a GPP center on DraftKings is Serge Ibaka (TOR). If you include his last two games against the Brooklyn Nets, Ibaka has put up 43.25, 55.75, 28.75 and 35.75 fantasy points (23.3% usage rate over that four-game span). I’ll be happy to take a shot on him at minuscule ownership tonight.
Game stack a potentially lopsided affair. Most will look to game stack the Toronto Raptors @ Boston Celtics matchup. Who could blame them? Vegas expects this to be a competitive game and has Toronto favored by -1.0. Don’t be afraid to take a different path and stack the Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers game (LAC -8.5, over under of 223.0). Things get weird at the beginning of a new series in the playoffs. Do you remember when the Orlando Magic and Portland Trailblazers each came away with a victory in Game 1 of their respective series? Don’t be flabbergasted if the same thing happens with the Denver Nuggets tonight.
Give Lou Williams (LAC) some love. “Sweet Lou” didn’t dazzle us in his last two games against Dallas (11.6 and 9.4 fantasy points), however, he did drop 49.3 fantasy points on them during that series. He’s also been third in usage percentage, behind Leonard and George, since his return to the bubble (22.7%). Like Harrell, his success against Denver this season is well documented (36.7 fantasy points per game over 27.1 minutes per game in three contests) and he should come at very low ownership. While you’re embracing Williams, feel free to extend that love to Marcus Morris (LAC) as well.