DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Sunday (8/23)
Welcome to the first potential elimination day of the playoffs. Both the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors have the opportunity for a clean sweep against the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets, respectively. A lot of decisions today will be based on the availability of Mavericks young superstar Luka Doncic, who suffered a mild ankle sprain during Game 3 Friday night. As the pricing was set after the injury, there’s not a ton of value to be had on Dallas, however, some exposure to Mavericks players is recommended should Doncic ultimately be ruled out. Thankfully it’s a 3:30 PM EDT start for the Clippers and Mavericks, so we should be able to adjust nicely with the ability to late swap on DraftKings. Let’s dive in!
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||@ UTA||$6,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|Shake Milton (PHI)||vs. BOS||$4,400||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
The Nuggets go how the trio of Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Michael Porter Jr. goes. If they’re going to tie the series up at 2-2, it’s going to be because of these three guys. Murray’s price has dropped to below $7,000 after two straight duds in blowout losses in Games 2 and 3. He has the ability to put up big numbers against this Jazz team, as evidenced by his two performances in the Bubble in which he scored 53.5 and 59.3 fantasy points. Ride with Murray at his suppressed price tag in Game 4.
Milton might just be the Sixers’ second-best player in their series vs. the Celtics. He’s played well alongside Joel Embiid, and Embiid recently commented on his play saying, “I think he’s getting better every single game from Game 1 to Game 3. He’s been doing a good job of just setting everything up and being a point guard and just knocking down shots.” He posted 17.5 fantasy points in Game 1, 24.3 fantasy points in Game 2, and 31.5 fantasy points in Game 3. His minutes have also increased with each playoff game as he becomes more comfortable running the offense. Milton offers incredible value as the starting point guard on a team that doesn’t have a true backup at the position.
|Landry Shamet (LAC)||@ DAL||$3,400||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Seth Curry (DAL)||vs. LAC||$4,600||⭐⭐⭐||HIGH|
Shamet drew the start in Game 3 replacing the injured Patrick Beverley and played really well, scoring 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Beverley is being listed as doubtful for Game 4, which should put Shamet in the starting lineup once again. In the Bubble, when Shamet starts and puts up 10 or more shots per game, he’s averaging 27.3 fantasy points per game. If he hits that in Game 4, it’ll be 8x value based on his current salary. I’ll take my chances on a starter who should once again put up at least 10 shots.
Curry played down the stretch for the Mavericks in Game 3 after Luka Doncic went down with an ankle injury. He ended up scoring 22 points in 31 minutes of action. If Doncic is ultimately ruled out for Game 4, Curry essentially becomes a lock, with the capability to produce 30+ fantasy points as a volume scorer. It’s risky, because Doncic could ultimately play, but a 3:30 PM EDT start time at least gives you some flexibility to adjust your lineup accordingly.
|Garrett Temple (BKN)||vs. TOR||$5,100||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|OG Anunoby (TOR)||@ BKN||$4,500||⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
In three games vs. Toronto, Temple has taken 30 three-pointers, but has only made seven of them (23 percent). He’s historically not a great three-point shooter, but he’ll continue to chuck them up in a heavy dosage of minutes with Joe Harris still away from the team. Since play resumed, in the four games where Temple has hit more than two three-pointers, he’s averaging 35.3 fantasy points per game. If he takes another 10 threes in Game 4, I like his chances of exceeding value.
Anunoby is locked in to minutes in the mid-30s as a starter on a team that only utilizes a 7-man rotation in the playoffs. He hasn’t put up more than 26.8 fantasy points in any of the Raptors three games against the Nets, but even 25 fantasy points would be 5.6x value. It’s not the sexiest pick, but Anunoby should meet or exceed value at just $4,500.
|Michael Porter Jr. (DEN)||@ UTA||$6,500||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Royce O’Neale (UTA)||vs. DEN||$4,000||⭐⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
After a scorching hot start, MPJ was once priced at $7,700 during the re-start. His salary has come down to a reasonable $6,500, and now it’s time to hop back on the bandwagon. If he can get into a rhythm early and gain confidence with his shot, watch out. Porter Jr. has dropped 40+ fantasy points in five of his 10 games played in the Bubble, and he’ll look to do so again in Game 4 as the Nuggets try to tie the series up at 2-2.
O’Neale has gone over 29 fantasy points in five of six games in which he’s played over 30 minutes. He does a little bit of everything and has been a key piece of the Utah starting lineup since play resumed. As long as he plays over 30 minutes, O’Neale should be able to provide 7x value in Game 4.
|Ivica Zubac (LAC)||@ DAL||$4,400||⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Serge Ibaka (TOR)||@ BKN||$5,800||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
Since play resumed, the Clippers are 6-2 when Zubac plays 20 or more minutes per game and just 1-2 when he does not. In those eight games where he’s played 20+ minutes, Zubac has averaged 32.1 fantasy points per game. He’s played 22 or more minutes in both wins against the Mavericks and it seems likely he’ll do so again in Game 4 given that it seems to be a winning formula. He presents a great value at just $4,400.
Ibaka has put up 1.7 fantasy points per minute in two of three games against the Nets. In Game 2, he only scored 19 fantasy points as Norman Powell was the main contributor off the bench for the Raptors, scoring a game-high 24 points. In a game Toronto is favored by 13 points, I like Ibaka to produce similarly to how he did in Games 1 and 3, which would net him 40+ fantasy points based on his production per minute if he plays 24 minutes.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Joel Embiid, PHI ($10,000): The Sixers have looked atrocious against the Celtics thus far, but Embiid has done everything in his power to keep the games close. He’s produced over 52 fantasy points in 35 minutes per game in each of the first three games. If the Sixers are going to take Game 4, it’s going to be because of the performance from their superstar big man.
- Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($9,800): Even with a price tag of $9,800, Kawhi’s salary has still not caught up with his production in the playoffs. He’s averaging 59.3 fantasy points in almost 40 minutes per game against the Mavericks through three games. With Paul George continuing to struggle, Leonard has put the team on his back, much like he did in the 2018-19 playoffs with the Raptors. He’s much more aggressive in looking for his shot when the games count the most. Keep rolling him out there until his salary catches up to his output.
- Nikola Jokic, DEN ($9,300): The Joker was dominant in Games 1 and 2 against the Jazz, producing over 51 fantasy points in both games. It was a different story in Game 3, when the Nuggets lost by 37 points. Even in a blowout, Jokic still managed to put up 32.3 fantasy points in 32 minutes, which leads me to believe he’s going to play even if things get out of hand. However, with a line of Jazz -3, Vegas seems to think Game 4 will be a close one, and I like Jokic to bounce back in a big way and match his performances in Games 1 and 2.
- Fred VanVleet, TOR ($7,700): Brooklyn has had no answer for VanVleet, who is shooting a whopping 54 percent from three-point range on 31 attempts in the series. He’s averaging 25.3 points and 8.7 assists per game through the first three games and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue. VanVleet has averaged 49.9 fantasy points per game against the Nets, and if he gets you that in Game 4, it’ll be good for 6.5x value.
- Jarrett Allen, BKN ($7,400): Allen didn’t attempt a single field goal in Game 3 and still managed to hit almost 5x value in a game the Nets lost by 25 points. If they can keep it relatively close throughout most of Game 4, Allen should get you at least 40 fantasy points. Since play resumed, he has averaged 45.9 fantasy points per game in the four games the Nets have either won or lost by nine points or fewer.
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Luka Doncic, LAC ($10,800): Doncic is being listed as questionable heading into Game 4 after spraining his left ankle during Game 3. Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is calling it a “game time-type decision.” Even if Doncic decides to give it a go, he could be physically limited given the short turnaround time from when the injury occurred. It’s hard to justify spending $10,800 on Doncic with the amount of risk he brings on Sunday.
- Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($9,500): Mike Conley returned for Game 3, and the Jazz blew out the Nuggets from the opening tip. While Game 4 likely won’t yield a similar result, Mitchell certainly has more help on offense now with Conley back in the lineup . His price tag of $9,500 means you’re going to need him to get you almost 50 fantasy points to return value. I just don’t see that happening.
- Al Horford, PHI ($6,200): Horford has been terrible against his former team in the playoffs, averaging just 5.3 points per game and putting up just 19.1 fantasy points per contest through three games. It’s clearly a terrible matchup for him and it’s unclear if he’ll even stick in the starting lineup. No thank you.
- Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($5,300): Conley has returned and I’m just not comfortable paying $5,300 for a guy coming off the bench who may not see more than 25 minutes in a close game.
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, BKN ($5,000): TLC has been starting for the Nets, who remain without Joe Harris heading into Game 4. That being said, if he’s not knocking down the three ball, he doesn’t offer much value. In his last two games, he’s shooting just 5-of-21 from downtown and he’s subsequently averaged a mere 20.4 fantasy points in those games. You’ll need Luwawu-Cabarrot to get hot from deep in order to meet or exceed value.
Beyond our daily fantasy basketball content, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Basketball Tools. From our Lineup Optimizer – which allows you to build winning DFS lineups in seconds for Cash and GPP contests – to our DFS Cheat Sheets – that helps you get a quick read on the day’s players – we’ve got you covered this fantasy basketball season.