NBA DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Monday (5/2)
It was shocking that we didn’t get any Game 7s in the opening round, but it was still an incredible two weeks of basketball. We are ready to keep rolling here, with the second-round kicking off on Sunday.
After a couple of Game 1s on Sunday, we have the other two Game 1s here. What’s fascinating is that all four of these teams have serious injury issues. All four clubs have missed their best player over the last week, and it’s unclear exactly who will suit up. Most of them will be ready to go but let’s kick things off with the schedule, odds, and injury report!
Schedule and Odds
PHI at MIA (MIA -8.5) O/U: 208.5
This is Game 1 of this series. They’ve traded off wins and losses in all four matchups this season.
DAL at PHX (PHX (PHX -5.5) O/U: 214
This marks Game 1 of this series. Phoenix won all three regular-season matchups between these teams and has won nine straight over them in total.
- Joel Embiid (face) OUT
- Kyle Lowry (hamstring) OUT
- Jimmy Butler (knee) Probable
- Tim Hardaway Jr.(foot) OUT
- Devin Booker (hamstring) Probable
- Tyler Herro (illness) Questionable
- Max Strus (hamstring) Questionable
- P.J. Tucker (calf) Questionable
Bam Adebayo (C – MIA): $7,300 DraftKings, $7,400 FanDuel
Everyone discusses how much the Embiid injury hurts Philly, but no one mentions the other side. It doesn’t benefit anyone more than it does Adebayo. We say that because Embiid is the defensive stallworth for Philly, and they don’t have any other legit centers on the roster. That should leave Bam to feast, averaging nearly 40 DraftKings points per game in the regular season. He also slaughtered the Sixers in their most recent matchup, dropping 42.3 DK points on March 21.
Tobias Harris (SF/PF – PHI): $8,000 DraftKings, $8,000 FanDuel
Now that Embiid is out of the picture, it’s time for Toby to thrive. With the MVP candidate off the floor, Harris is second on the team with a 26 percent usage rate, averaging 1.2 DK points per minute in those circumstances. In the nine games that Embiid missed this season, Harris averaged 35 DraftKings points per game. The recent drop in price makes him tough to fade with this sort of role, especially since he has at least 31 fantasy points in all four matchups with Miami this year.
Cash Game Considerations
Luka Doncic (PG – DAL): $11,200 DraftKings, $11,000 FanDuel
Doncic was the league leader in usage rate, and it’s been even higher since that Kristaps Porzingis trade. That 37 percent usage rate has him as one of the league leaders in fantasy points, averaging 61 DK points per game across the final two months of the regular season. You know he’ll be asked to do more in this playoff series, which is scary since he has at least 53 fantasy points in 12 straight outings. The matchup with Phoenix is tough, but Luka had 28 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists in their one meeting earlier this season.
James Harden (PG/SG – PHI): $9,800 DraftKings, $9,800 FanDuel
James has taken a backseat to Embiid ever since the blockbuster trade, but this is his show now. With Joel off the floor this season, Harden leads the Sixers with a 36 percent usage rate. More importantly, he’s averaging 1.6 DK points per minute, doing everything for this offense. That means Harden will return to the Houston MVP that made him a five-figure player, and it makes him one of the best per-dollar plays on the board below $10K.
Max Strus (SG/SF – MIA): $4,700 DraftKings, $4,900 FanDuel
Strus has taken over the Duncan Robinson role in Miami. He’s now the three-and-D guy, playing nearly 30 minutes a night in the first-round series against Atlanta. Over his last 10 games played, Max is averaging 24 DK points per game across 28 minutes a night. That’s all you can ask for from such a cheap player, and it looks like he could be asked to do more with Butler, Herro, and Lowry both nicked up.
Georges Niang (SF/PF – PHI): $4,100 DraftKings, $3,600 FanDuel
Someone in Philly’s frontcourt will have to step up with Embiid out, and we will guess that Niang is the guy. He’s been the next man up for most of the season, playing at least 21 minutes in three of the last four games. That means 25-30 minutes should be in play here, which is stellar news since Niang scored 31 DK points across 33 minutes in their last matchup with Miami a month ago. If you hear that Georges is starting, he should be a lock in every lineup at this price. With that said, keep an eye on who the starter is because they’ll be a good value for whoever they decide to throw out there.
Dorian Finney-Smith (SF/PF – DAL): $5,800 DraftKings, $6,300 FanDuel
This sounds crazy, but DFS is Dallas’ second-best player right now. What makes him so good is his role, playing 35-40 minutes a night in the regular season. That total was even higher in the first round, posting a 30-point average across 43 minutes a night. He’s essentially not coming off the floor right now, and that alone makes him tough to fade in this $6K price range. He also played at least 32 minutes in all three meetings with the Suns this year, and it’d be surprising if it’s anything less than 40 at this point.
P.J. Tucker (PF/C – MIA): $4,000 DraftKings, $4,500 FanDuel
Tucker and Finney-Smith are very similar players. These are defensive studs that stay in the game because of the value they bring on that end of the floor. Tucker has been doing that for a decade, regularly playing 40 minutes a night in the postseason. He didn’t quite do that in the opening round, but 24 DK points per game across 31 minutes a night over the last three outings are hard to overlook. All you need is 20 fantasy points for Tucker to be a good value, and that should be easy to reach as long as he plays the 30-40 minutes we anticipate.
- Jimmy Butler (SF/PF – MIA): $9,200 DraftKings, $10,700 FanDuel
- Chris Paul (PG – PHX): $9,100 DraftKings, $10,100 FanDuel
- Tyler Herro (SG – MIA): $6,400 DraftKings, $5,600 FanDuel
- DeAndre Jordan (C – PHI): $5,200 DraftKings, $3,500 FanDuel