The playoffs are in full swing! Ricky guides us through today’s top plays for this two game NBA DFS slate!
With only two games on the slate, there are once again a limited number of ways to differentiate from the field. Whereas the Heat and Bucks will be playing their semifinals game, the Thunder and Rockets find themselves in Game 7 of the Western Conference first round.
Rosters basically build themselves on this slate because the value is virtually nonexistent (especially if Eric Bledsoe suits up but we will get to that). The easiest way to attack analyzing the slate is simply to break down each game:
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
All season long, the Bucks defended the paint incredibly well and forced opponents into shooting three-pointers. In fact, opponents averaged a whopping 14 three-pointers made (3PM) per game on 39.3 attempts per game (which easily ranked the most for opponents of any team).
In game one, the Heat attempted 31 three-pointers and made nearly 40-percent of them, and the usage distribution was interesting. The only players on the roster to attempt double-digit shots were Jimmy Butler (20), Goran Dragic (15), Bam Adebayo (12) and Tyler Herro (11). Kendrick Nunn is apparently back in the rotation and it did not take him long (16-minutes) to rack up nine shots.
During the regular season, the Bucks were susceptible versus opposing point guards and power forwards in terms of defensive efficiency so it was not surprising to see Jae Crowder nearly double-double in the first game and Dragic racked up 27-points.
Adebayo has been a rebounding machine in the playoffs as his rebound rate is up to 20.8-percent compared to a 17.0-percent rebounding rate in the regular season. For that reason, Adebayo has topped 40 DK fantasy points in three consecutive contests.
On the Milwaukee side, a lot will be determined by the presence of Eric Bledsoe. He missed last game with a hamstring issue and went through a “light session” practice on Tuesday. It seems he is trending towards playing but he likely will end up a game-time decision.
In his absence, George Hill played a hefty 36-minutes so he was very clearly the main beneficiary. Without Bledsoe, Khris Middleton posted a team-high 34.4-percent usage rate, so he was the other guy who saw a significant increased usage. Brook Lopez garnered 21.2-percent of the usage (up from 16.8-percent) and the rest of the team did not change much.
If Bledsoe plays, he has averaged over 29 DK fantasy points per game (FPPG) in just 26.2 minutes per game (MPG) in the playoffs, and he is priced at just $5,600 on DK. If he were to sit, Middleton, Hill and Lopez would get the biggest boosts, and all would become much more viable.
After a letdown in an extended role, Hill is still only priced at $4,300, and it would be worth going back to the well if Bledsoe sat for the second straight game.
Viable in all formats: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe (if active), Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton (especially if Bledsoe out), Brook Lopez (if Bledsoe out) and George Hill (only if Bledsoe out)
GPP only: Jae Crowder, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro (sort of expensive), Kyle Korver (if Bledsoe out), Wesley Matthews
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets
Rotations for both teams looked a bit skewed in recent games if game log hunting because Game 5 was a total blowout. In that contest, many of the Thunder starters’ minutes were down, but last game much returned to normal; Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder all played 37-plus minutes but it should be noted Lugentz Dort’s minutes stayed down (20).
Dort is a tough one to trust if he is only going to play minutes in the low-20s as compared to the high-30s minutes he had played earlier in the series. Paul has taken on more Harden-guarding responsibilities in the past few games which has limited the need for Dort to play massive minutes.
Also, Darius Bazley has enjoyed an uptick in minutes the past few games, and has topped 23 fantasy points in back-to-back games mostly due to his rebounding prowess (21 rebounds during that two-game span). Danilo Gallinari ran pure last game as he made 9-17 shots in just 28-minutes and has now played under 30-minutes in three straight contests.
In other words, he is someone to avoid in cash games, but can be played in tournaments just in case his offense carries the team for a stretch again. The targets on this team are clearly the main three guards who rarely ever leave the court and, in the cases of Paul and Schroder, also dominate the usage.
Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook has returned to the rotation and in two games has combined to play only 51-minutes. Reportedly, Westbrook will continue to have his minutes limited, and that makes him virtually unplayable in daily fantasy.
Unfortunately, it also limits the favorability of James Harden, as he has to split the usage instead of dominate it during his entire time on the court. In Westbrook’s first game back, P.J. Tucker only recorded six rebounds, but remember, that game was a blowout, and Tucker only played 21-minutes.
He was back to his never-leave-the-court ways last game and finished with nine points (all threes), 12 rebounds and three peripherals en route to 32 fantasy points. Playing him is a bit nerve racking, as he has been known to simply do wind sprints when out on the floor, but he is certainly viable at a $4,500 DK price tag.
Robert Covington is the other one coming off a big game as he has found his three-point shot as of late. Over his last three games combined, he has made 14 three-pointers on 25 attempts, which equates to 56-percent. If he keeps the hot hand, he of course would be viable, but we have seen Covington’s shot fluctuate from game-to-game many times before.
Viable in all formats: Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Darius Bazley, P.J. Tucker, Robert Covington
GPP Only: Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, Lugentz Dort, James Harden, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook (just in case his minutes tick up drastically)