DraftKings DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Sunday (8/30)
The playoffs have resumed, and the first second-round series between the Raptors and Celtics will kick things off Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Then we have two potential elimination games. The first Game 6 will occur between the Clippers and Mavericks at 3:30 p.m. EDT, and the second between the Nuggets and Jazz at 8:30 p.m. EDT.
Does Luka Doncic have another 43-point triple-double left in the tank, and will Jamal Murray score another 50 points to force a Game 7? That remains to be seen, but I’ll tell you why I like one of those stars and not so much the other, while also sifting through the three-game slate to find some value plays. Let’s get started.
|Mike Conley (UTA)||vs. DEN||$6,600||⭐⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|P.J. Dozier (DEN)||@ UTA||$3,100||⭐⭐⭐||HIGH|
Conley has now played four games against the Nuggets in the bubble, including one seeding game and three playoff contests. In those four games, he’s averaging 36.8 fantasy points. Denver simply doesn’t have an answer for the savvy 13-year vet. If he just hits that average output in Game 6, you’re looking at 5.6x value. Conley is more than capable of catching fire from long distance on his way to a 40+ fantasy point performance. Fire him up.
Hear me out on Dozier. He’s played a steady 20 minutes per game in four playoff matchups thus far against Utah, but Game 5 specifically has me feeling good about Dozier’s prospects for today. He came off the bench, but ended the game with a +/- of +21 in a 10-point win. He even played more minutes (19) than starter Monte Morris (18), who finished with a +/- of -18. Dozier’s presence on the defensive end kept him on the floor for almost the entire fourth quarter. While somewhat unlikely, it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility that Mike Malone decides to go with Dozier in the starting lineup. Even if he doesn’t start, Dozier should still play at least 20 minutes given the Nuggets’ success with him on the floor this series. He’s a risky proposition, but at just $3,100, the 23-year-old only needs to get you 18.6 fantasy points to hit 6x value. Dozier has shown the ability to put up solid stats throughout the re-start.
Note: Patrick Beverley ($3,500) has been upgraded to questionable for Game 6 against the Mavericks. If he plays, that dilutes any potential value to be had with Reggie Jackson ($3,800) and Landry Shamet ($3,700). If he sits, however, Jackson and Shamet become intriguing values at their sub-$4,000 price-tags and should be considered for your lineups. Jackson has played better of late, and I like that trend to continue if Beverley remains out.
|Jaylen Brown (BOS)||@ TOR||$7,100||⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
|Norman Powell (TOR)||vs. BOS||$5,100||⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
Removing Game 3’s blowout win over the Sixers, Brown averaged a whopping 41 minutes per game in the other three bouts against Philadelphia. In what is expected to be a very competitive series with the Raptors, expect Brown to play close to, if not more than 40 minutes in most games. He’s got 50 fantasy point-upside, especially if he’s knocking down the three-ball, of which he attempted 29 in the first round.
There aren’t many viable SG options under $5,000 on this slate, but Powell certainly provides the most upside for your dollar at $5,100. He’s part of the Raptors’ tight seven-man rotation and has shown the ability to score at a rapid rate, dropping 24+ points in a hurry in two of four playoff games against the Nets. Consider him a medium risk, however, as he does come off the bench. There’s always the possibility Toronto’s starters all play heavy minutes in a close game. But with Kyle Lowry coming off a sprained ankle last Sunday, it’s also possible Nick Nurse doesn’t push his star to the limit, opening up more opportunities for Powell in Game 1 against the Celtics. He’s probably worth the risk.
|Jerami Grant (DEN)||@ UTA||$4,800||⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|OG Anunoby (TOR)||vs. BOS||$4,700||⭐⭐||LOW|
Grant replaced Michael Porter Jr. in the starting lineup for Game 4 and has started each of the last two games for the Nuggets. He played 36 and 40 minutes, respectively, in the two-point loss and 10-point win over the Jazz. Expect Malone to stick with Grant in the starting lineup, as the team has found recent success with him on the floor. He’s averaged 21.72 fantasy points in five playoff games thus far, but Grant should get more opportunities to stuff the stat sheet while playing 35+ minutes in Game 6.
He’s not the sexiest play, but Anunoby continues to see minutes in the mid-30s while putting up 20+ fantasy point performances. In fact, he’s scored at least in each of his last six games. He’s more of a sure-fire cash play than a tournament play, but chances are he won’t put up a dud. If you’re looking for a safe, low-cost option, look no further than Anunoby.
|Michael Porter Jr. (DEN)||@ UTA||$5,500||⭐⭐||HIGH|
|Daniel Theis (BOS)||@ TOR||$4,300||⭐⭐⭐||LOW|
Porter Jr. presents a lot of risk, but he also has crazy-high upside. Once priced at $7,700 just seven games ago, his salary has dropped to just $5,500 due to his inability to stay on the floor because of lack of effort on the defensive end. If he gets hot on offense and isn’t a liability on defense, he could once again see 30+ minutes in Game 6 and exceed value at his suppressed cost.
Theis tends to play more minutes and produce at a higher clip for the Celtics in more competitive games. In the three relatively close playoff games against the Sixers, he produced 22 fantasy points in 26 minutes per game. Add in the fact that he went for 11 points and 11 boards in the Celtics’ seeding game against the Raptors, and I’m a fan of Theis at just $4,300. As a point of reference, his salary was $5,400 in the teams’ first meeting in the bubble.
|Marc Gasol (TOR)||vs. BOS||$3,900||⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
|Montrezl Harrell (LAC)||@ DAL||$4,400||⭐⭐⭐⭐||MEDIUM|
Gasol at $3,900 just doesn’t seem right. Boban Marjanovic, who’s played just 13.2 minutes per game off the bench in the playoffs, costs more at $4,000! While Gasol isn’t likely to see much more than 20-25 minutes in Game 1 against the Celtics, he’s produced at a rate of about one fantasy point per minute played since play resumed, which would lead to at least 5x value. In what is projected to be a close game against a relatively weak Celtics frontcourt, he could even hit 6x+ value.
Without Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup, the Clippers are favored by 10 over the Mavericks in an elimination Game 6. In Game 5, Harrell went for 19 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes as the Clippers blew out the Mavericks, 154-111. With the possibility of another run-away win, he’s likely to see all the big-man minutes down the stretch for Los Angeles, which could lead to “garbage-time” stats for Harrell. He’s still way too cheap at just $4,400 for a guy who’s capable of putting up 37.3 fantasy points as he did in Game 5.
5 Studs Worth Their Salary
- Luka Doncic, DAL ($11,200): Full disclosure, I didn’t even need to see Luka’s salary prior to saying he’s the play of the day. The Mavericks find themselves with their backs against the wall in an elimination Game 6 without Porzingis. If they’re going to live to see a Game 7, it’s going to be because Doncic puts up one of his 80+ fantasy point games, which he has done three times since play resumed. Fade at your own risk.
- Nikola Jokic, DEN ($9,500): Other than Game 3 when the Jazz blew out the Nuggets, it’s been a hard-fought series between two equally matched teams. In the four close games, Jokic has averaged 50.4 fantasy points in 38 minutes. Roll with Jokic in what is projected to be a close game Sunday.
- Jayson Tatum, BOS ($9,200): Tatum and the Celtics cruised past the Sixers in the first round with a four-game sweep. He had one poor performance against Philadelphia in which he shot just 6-of-19 from the floor. In the other three games, he averaged 31 points on 54.2 percent shooting per contest. Now down Gordon Hayward for possibly the remainder of the playoffs, look for Tatum to help set the tone for the Celtics in Game 1 of their second-round series against the Raptors.
- Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,100): The Raptors haven’t played in many close games since the re-start. In fact, just three of their 12 games have finished within seven points. Despite that, Siakam has still managed to play 33 minutes per game. In the first-round series against the Nets, he averaged 40.7 fantasy points. With a week-long rest and in what should be a much more competitive series against the Celtics, expect to see Siakam play minutes in the upper 30s. He’s got 50+ point potential in any game that comes down to the wire, and the spread for Game 1 against the Celtics currently sits at just 2.5 points. I like those odds.
- Kemba Walker, BOS ($7,200): Walker has benefited the most since Hayward went down with a knee injury. In three playoff games without Hayward, Walker has averaged 26 points per game. He gets somewhat of a tough matchup against Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, but his price tag remains enticing for an All-Star who’s scored 47 or more fantasy points in his last two games.
5 Notable Players to Fade
- Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($9,700): Mitchell is too hit or miss to fathom spending $9,700, at least in cash games. He’s got two ridiculous 50-point performances in the series against the Nuggets, but chances are he’s not going to do that in Game 6. In the other three games, he’s averaged just 40.1 fantasy points per game. I’d rather have the consistency from Kawhi Leonard, Tatum, or Jokic in this price range.
- Jamal Murray, DEN ($8,600): After two star-studded performances in Games 4 and 5, Murray’s salary has increased 25% since Game 3. It’s hard to justify paying this much for someone who is just as capable of scoring fewer than 30 fantasy points, which he has done in four of nine games since play resumed. He’s a high-risk, high-reward tournament play only.
- Rudy Gobert, UTA ($7,800): Gobert has taken fewer than 10 shots in each of his last two games, and mustered just 63.8 fantasy points. With Mike Conley back, Gobert isn’t being called upon as much on the offensive end of the floor, which subsequently lowers his ceiling. His salary is as high as it’s been since play resumed, but Gobert has only hit 40 fantasy points once in five playoff games.
- Lou Williams, LAC ($6,400): While Sweet Lou is certainly capable of getting buckets, matching Game 4’s 36 points isn’t a likely outcome. If you take away that performance, he’s averaging a modest 13.8 points per game. If he’s not scoring at an extremely high clip, it’s not likely Williams returns value. This price is a lot for a bench player.
- Marcus Morris Sr., LAC ($5,700): He’s been really good so far for the Clippers in the playoffs, but Morris has cooled off a bit in his last two games. He scored fewer than 30 fantasy points in both games, and Harrell finally broke through in Game 5. With Harrell bouncing back and not having to deal with Porzingis on the defensive end, expect to see even more Harrell and maybe a little less Morris again in Game 6.
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