RadThad guides you through today’s top plays in the wonderful world of NBA DFS!
What’s up my peeps? Our streak of two-game NBA playoff slates continues tonight, however, if Milwaukee fails to step up again those days will be numbered. Until that happens, we will continue to roll with the punches and enjoy what’s been a fantastic set of NBA bubble playoff games. Tonight is going to be “one of those nights”, as we await official news with regards to Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) and his availability against the Miami Heat. It’s a sticky situation that will require some last-minute tinkering so stay alert. When it comes to the NBA playoffs, “late swap is king”. 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.
- Goran Dragic (MIA)
- Russell Westbrook (HOU)
- Eric Bledsoe (MIL)
- Rajon Rondo (LAL)-*will be heavily owned on DraftKings and low owned on Fanduel
- Donte DiVincenzo (MIL)-*great tournament pivot off of George Hill (MIL)
- James Harden (HOU)
- Jimmy Butler (MIA)
- Khris Middleton (MIL)-*currently showing lower ownership but if Giannis sits that will skyrocket
- +Tyler Herro (MIA)
- Duncan Robinson (LAL)
- +Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
- LeBron James (LAL)
- Eric Gordon (HOU)
- +Jae Crowder (MIA)
- Danuel House (HOU)
Power Forward (*be sure to use roster flexibility to your advantage on DraftKings)
- Bam Adebayo (MIA)
- Robert Covington (HOU)
- Kyle Kuzma (LAL)
- Jeff Green (HOU)
- Markieff Morris (LAL)
Center (*be sure to use roster flexibility to your advantage on DraftKings)
- Anthony Davis (LAL)-*now center eligible on Fanduel
- P.J. Tucker (HOU)
- Brook Lopez (MIL)
- Dwight Howard (LAL)-*received a DNP-CD last game but could receive playing time if JaVale McGee (LAL) sits with an ankle injury
Top Stud (over $8K on FD): +Giannis Antetokounmpo (followed by LeBron James)
Top Stud (over $8K on DK): +Giannis Antetokounmpo (followed by LeBron James)
Top Value (under $5K on FD): Danny Green (followed by +Tyler Herro)
Top Value (under $5K on DK): Rajon Rondo (followed by George Hill)
If you’re taking the “studs and scrubs” approach Anthony Davis (LAL), LeBron James (LAL), Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) and James Harden (HOU) have the highest ceilings on the slate (in that order). The runner ups in this category include Bam Adebayo (MIA), Russell Westbrook (LAL) and Jimmy Butler (MIA).
On Fanduel my current cash core of players consists of:
Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL): “To Giannis or not to Giannis” is today’s big question. Currently, my projections have Antetokounmpo listed as the highest projected scorer on the slate. As such, he’s popping up as a core play in most of my optimal lineups. That being said, my projections don’t know that he’s dealing with an injury and is questionable to play tonight versus the Heat. My projections also don’t know that he tried to play against Miami in his last game and only lasted 11 minutes before heading to the locker room. Projections only spit out what you put in, based on minutes. If you think Giannis will play you have to go all in and assume that he’s going to play his usual allotment of minutes. You can’t guess as to whether or not he will play 11 minutes and not come back. It’s a “red pill” or “blue pill” situation. You have to take one or the other. Personally, I’m making my lineups as if he sits. Even if he “gives it a go”, I don’t see him putting up an MVP caliber performance tonight in a “must win” situation.
Now, if the answer to my first question of, “Does Giannis play?” is “No.”, then my next question is, “How many Milwaukee Bucks is too many?”. Seeing as how he only played 11 minutes in his last game, we can come up with an idea of how the Milwaukee Bucks will adjust their rotation. I thought Marvin Williams (MIL) would see an uptick in minutes but that wasn’t the case. Ersan Ilyasova (MIL) and D.J. Wilson (MIL) have both received multiple DNP-CD’s so they are out, unless it’s reported that one of them is starting. That leaves me with a core of George Hill (MIL), Eric Bledsoe (MIL), Khris Middleton (MIL) and Brook Lopez (MIL). Bledsoe and Lopez were popping up as core plays even with Giannis in the lineup, so that simplifies things a bit. Donte Divincenzo (MIL) put up 24 fantasy points in 26 minutes, so I’m using him as a tournament pivot off of Hill.
Jae Crowder (MIA): Crowder is currently listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks with an ankle injury. I’m making my lineups as if he’s playing. If he’s good to go, he represents a great value play with a stable floor at an otherwise sketchy position.
My Fanduel cash core if you think Giannis plays: Bledsoe, Antetokounmpo, Crowder, Adebayo and Lopez
On Draftkings my current cash core of players consists of my Milwaukee Bucks core and:
Rajon Rondo (LAL): I thought I would never see myself putting Rondo in a write up ever again, yet, here we are. Putting up 37.3 DraftKings points against the Houston Rockets in 28.6 minutes had a lot to do with it. I’m not predicting a repeat performance tonight, however, Rondo’s salary on DraftKings ($3900) makes him the best overall value play on that site.
My DraftKings cash core if you think Giannis plays: Hill, Antetokounmpo, Rondo, Covington and Westbrook
Here are some strategies to consider in tournaments:
Roll with Giannis if he plays. I think Antetokounmpo sits, but I don’t have any inside information to help me make that decision. I’m just using common sense and the fact that he tried to play in his last game and was unsuccessful. The Milwaukee Bucks are, yet again, facing elimination and Giannis’ services could certainly help his team live to fight another day. Sure, he could try to play and get re-injured, but what if he “toughs it out” and plays 40 minutes. That would guarantee nothing less than a 60 fantasy point performance at what should be much lower than usual ownership.
Go back to the well with Jimmy Butler (MIA). Whenever Butler has a disappointing performance, he usually bounces back in a big way. For example, he put up 17.6 fantasy points in the Miami Heat’s final game against Indiana and bounced back with 53.8 fantasy points in the Heat’s first game against Milwaukee. In his second game against Milwaukee he put up 32.6 fantasy points and rebounded in Game 3 with 48.4 fantasy points. He only had 29.0 fantasy points in his last game and should return to form tonight, whether Giannis plays or not.
And a mixture of Jimmy Butler (MIA), Jae Crowder (MIA), Goran Dragic (MIA) and Bam Adebayo (MIA) to your Milwaukee Bucks core. If Giannis is declared unavailable relatively early, a Bucks core will be very popular. Take it an extra step and run it back with some Miami Heat players for a full on game stack.