Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11800)
We’ve been blessed with the Giannis vs Harden debate a lot in Round 2 of the NBA playoffs and I continue to be on team Giannis. We saw in Game 3 the Bucks are at their best when Giannis is ATTACKING the rim and I expect to see that again tonight. Game environment also has a lot to do with going Giannis as the slow-paced nature of the Rockets and Golden State’s defensive scheme slightly limits Harden’s upside.
Draymond Green ($8600)
Draymond is not cheap on FD but I’m in favor of locking him up as I worry about Marcus Morris’ role IF Marcus Smart plays. PJ Tucker is another decent middle priced option who I expect will be popular but again I keep landing on Draymond. From a production standpoint, Draymond is the only PF with legit 50+ upside and I consider his floor to be around 38. On FD at his price tag, I don’t expect Draymond to be THAT popular of a target so he’s a decent way of safely differentiating.
Al Horford ($6800)
It’s rare I like to lock up the center spot on FD but Horford is priced well and there really isn’t much else I like. Capela’s production has been similar to Horford’s yet is $600 more expensive. The way the Rockets and Warriors series has gone I actually think Horford is safer with higher upside. This is a massive game for Boston and in these spots, we’ve seen them lean on Playoff Al a bit more. He’s an elite target at his price-point.
Marcus Smart ($3500)* or Pat Connaughton ($4900)
Marcus Smart might seem like a strange addition to the core and it’s imperative that we monitor his status as he’s still considered a game-time decision but if Marcus Smart is available to play I want him at $3500. Smart is the perfect FD “free punt” priced at the minimum as there are low risk and lots of reward. In my eyes, if Smart is available to play, he will be in his likely role, playing 25+ minutes. Even if he’s limited I think Smart approaches the 20-minute mark. If Smart is ruled out you could go up to Austin Rivers at $3900 as a free punt or spend a bit more on Pat Connaughton. If you can afford it, Pat is still priced fairly well considering he will play 25+ minutes with Sterling Brown apparently out of the rotation. We need to find some value and SG is a decent spot for it.
George Hill ($4900)
I don’t love Hill at his FD price, but he’s my favorite of the cheap PGs. We can expect Hill to be in the 24ish minute range with the potential for more minutes as he’s outplayed Eric Bledsoe in this series. Terry Rozier will likely be the more popular play between the two at a cheaper price but I worry about his minutes and role if Marcus Smart plays.
Pat Connaughton ($4900)
Sterling Brown’s decreased role means more minutes for Pat Con. He’s priced up a touch but there’s still upside at $4900.
Marcus Smart ($3500)
If he’s a go, Smart is hard to fade at the minimum.
Nikola Mirotic ($4700)
Miro isn’t the elite value he was earlier in the series but he’s still playing 25+ minutes priced under $5k. With not a ton of value on the slate, Miro is one of the safer ones. Expect him to continue to be high owned, he’s an elite target.
Ersan Ilyasova ($4000)
Every time Ersan is on the court this series he’s been productive. He won’t win you a GPP but he provides some safety in your line as he won’t be under 14 fantasy points. There’s minimal upside but he’s far and away the safest cheap option at PF.
Brook Lopez ($5000)
I almost wrote none, but I think it’s worth saying if you’re fading Horford, Brook is where I’d go at center. He’s not a big part of the playoff offense with Giannis and Middleton seeing increased usage but there’s still some upside for Brook at his price.
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10100) or James Harden ($10200)
The Giannis vs Harden debate on DK is a bit more of a debate, but I continue to slightly prefer Giannis. Regardless, one of them should be in your lineups tonight. DK’s pricing makes it so you can okay one while comfortably fitting other stars.
Kevin Durant ($9200)
I know DK’s pricing is purposefully soft for the playoffs, but I continue to be surprised at the lack of price increase for Kevin Durant. Starting with one of the studs and KD in your DK lines is a really nice way to go and not hard to build around. With Curry’s postseason struggles, Durant has flourished with increased usage. Durant is also priced below 5x his value so there’s not much risk here with gobbles of upside.
Draymond Green ($6900)
I’m also surprised Green has yet to see a noticeable price increase and we should continue to exploit that. I’m aware that locking in three highish priced guys limits some flexibility if building multiple lines but you’re basically starting with 150 DK points. Green has yet to be under 40 DK points this series and I expect that to continue.
Andre Iguodala ($4900)
Our third Warrior in the core and I’m not the slightest concerned about it as Iggy is just too cheap. He’s playing 32+ minutes a game and producing across the board. Iggy won’t put up 45+ DK points but is a safe bet for 30-35 and at his price-tag, there’s not much more to ask for it. I expect him to be deservedly high owned, he was the first person in my DK lines.
George Hill ($3900)
Hill is much more appealing on DK at this price tag as he provides safe cap relief with some upside. After his Game 3 performance, I’d expect him to carry some ownership. He’s a lock for 20-25 minutes, which provides appealing safety at under $4k.
Andre Iguodala ($4900)
See above, just too cheap.
Pat Connaughton ($3700)
Pat’s price hasn’t budged and he remains an elite value. Again, with Sterling Brown’s role diminished the last two games Pat has played 28 and 30 minutes. We always covet that sort of minutes floor on a two-game slate for sub $4k targets.
Gordon Hayward ($4700)
I have some concerns with Hayward if Marcus Smart plays but at the end of the day, this is a good price for Hayward who will likely play 26+ minutes in an appealing game environment. Hayward has been under 30 minutes just once this entire postseason, he’s a strong value.
PJ Tucker ($4500)
Tucker came very close to making my DK core as he also remains too cheap. He provides safe cap relief and upside. I’d expect him to be heavily owned, he’s an elite target. I prefer to target Tucker over Hayward.
Nikola Mirotic ($4200)
Miro’s usage is down but his minutes are up. He continues to be an elite value.
Ersan Ilyasova ($3000)
If you’re looking for a super cheap punt, Ersan is your guy. He’s about $700 too cheap and while he won’t go for 25+ he’s the sort of value you need if looking to go very stars and scrubs.
What do we do about Steph Curry (FD $8900, DK $7700)?
Ignoring his embarrassing missed dunk in Game 3 Curry just hasn’t looked great this postseason besides for Game 1 vs the Clippers. We’ve seen Curry struggle in the playoffs before and then turn it on but what concerns me about Curry is his lack of aggressiveness. He’s settling for tough 3’s that while he can make, don’t particularly get him in rhythm. Curry hits those insane 3’s when he’s in rhythm and he has yet to find it. With that all being said, a part of me, and I’m sure a lot of others, feels like this is the turnaround game for Curry. An embarrassed star typically means an engaged and motivated star the next game and we have that opportunity tonight. Curry is strictly a high-risk high reward GPP target. If going the Curry route on DK I would consider replacing him with one of Kevin Durant or Draymond Green in the DK core. He’s a major risk on FD at $8900 but will remain really low owned. His DK price will lead to higher ownership.
Stefano Vaccarino is the NBA Product Manager for The Quant Edge. Formerly known as Rotodamus NBA on Twitter, Stefano provides consistently accurate NBA insights and predictions. His perception of the game and understanding of analytics allows him to identify profitable NBA situations.