Kawhi Leonard ($10200)
In three games vs the Sixers during the regular season Kawhi averaged 54.87 FD points. In his four games vs the Sixers in Round 2 Kawhi is averaging 54.8 FD points. In DFS we strive for that sort of consistency and seven games is a decent sample size vs one individual team. People may be thinking regression is coming for Kawhi, but the data suggests this is the type of producer Kawhi is vs Philly. Everyone on FD is priced up, Kawhi is not. Target him with confidence.
Nikola Jokic ($11200)
FD’s lack of positional flexibility simplifies this for us. I was worried about Kanter’s shoulder after the quadruple overtime game and I’m still worried about it as Kanter looked to be consistently in pain last game. Marc Gasol’s minutes have been great but he’s consistently produced right around 25 FD points in each game. Unless you’re expecting to drop your score at center; it’s basically Embiid vs Jokic and I’m not sure how we fade Jokic at only $400 more than Embiid. Whether Embiid is actually sick/injured or Marc Gasol has affected him, the production has not been great this series. Embiid stated after last game that he has to be “more aggressive” which makes me like him as a GPP target. Still, Jokic has been a monster all postseason and it’s hard to pass on the automatic 50-burger he’s been. If you’re playing multiple lineups I’d want some Embiid exposure in GPPs but for the most part target Nikola and move on.
Will Barton ($4700)
We’re desperate for value and Will Barton is the top value on the slate. Mike Malone appears to have confidence in Will after his 4OT performance as he played 29 minutes last game. Barton might end up being the highest owned player on the slate but he’s far and away the top sub $5k option on the board.
CJ McCollum ($7500)/ Jimmy Butler ($9800) + Punt Other SG Spot
SG on FD is interesting as we have the top two (CJ and Jimmy), a slightly over priced Gary Harris, and Danny Green who have not shown much production at all. I’m not against targeting Harris but ultimately I feel the best course of action for lineup construction is spending up on one of the top two and then punting the other spot with Torrey Craig at $3600. Going Gary Harris feels like settling a bit, I’d rather have the $1k in savings and go Craig over Green as both are potential drop candidates. Craig is an expected drop score that carries some upside. This strategy leaves us with $5700 per position with CJ and $5125 per position with Jimmy. Jimmy is tough to get too but he’s run the show for Philly this series, he’s an elite target looking for his fourth straight 50 FD point performance. For building purposes, I’m slightly leaning CJ as the $2300 is crucial. Both are elite targets.
Seth Curry ($3800)
Curry showed up last game and is the top sub $5k PG on FD. Fred VanVleet appears to be seeing less and less minutes while Curry has consistently played decent minutes. He’s not an elite value as he has legit dud potential but Curry is a decent punt.
Danny Green ($4400)
The minutes are there, the production has been poor.
Torrey Craig ($3600) + Malik Beasley ($4200)
With Will Barton’s increased role we saw less minutes for both Craig and Beasley last game. Both are drop score candidates with risk and for that reason I prefer to target Craig at $600 cheaper. Craig is also a starter so his minutes are slightly more secure.
Will Barton ($4700)
See above. He’s the top value on the slate.
Rodney Hood ($4500)
Hood is a GPP pivot off of Barton or someone to pair with Barton. His minutes have been consistent and his ability to score provides some upside.
James Ennis ($4400)
James Ennis is another GPP pivot off of Barton or a Barton pair. Ennis has safer minutes than Hood, less scoring ability, but is a better peripheral producer. I’d prefer to target Hood over Ennis, but it’s a toss up.
Mason Plumlee ($4300)
FD has switched Plumlee to PF which is a pleasant surprise making him a more attractive “free” punt. Still, we can’t trust Plumlee because of his minutes, he’s strictly a risky GPP value and drop score candidate.
Zach Collins ($4000)
While Plumlee is a stronger per minute producer I’d argue Zach Collins is still the safer target as he’s played 17-20 minutes in every game this series.
Greg Monroe ($3600)
I don’t like punting at center on this slate but if you’re desperate to do so Monroe is basically your only option.
Kawhi Leonard ($9500)
Kawhi Leonard has averaged 53.25 DK points in three games during the regular season and 58.25 DK points in four games this series vs the Sixers. We still get him at sub $10k on DK and can easily fit other studs around him. Lock and load.
Nikola Jokic ($10500)
Jokic almost didn’t make the core but at the end of the day starting with him and Kawhi is starting with 100+ DK points in your DK lines. Tough to pass that sort of safety on two game slates. Jokic is averaging 64.91 DK points vs the Blazers in this series.
Jimmy Butler ($7800)
DK failed to price Jimmy Butler up after his third straight 50+ fantasy point performance and we should continue to exploit his sub $8k price tag. The great part about Jimmy’s DK price is that we don’t need 50+ DK points for him to be worth it. He’s a safe target that carries loads of upside.
Will Barton ($4000)
Barton rounds out the core as the top value on DK. While an average of $4550 isn’t a ton to work with for the remaining four spots in our lineups there is enough value on DK to go balanced with it or try and squeeze in another $6k-ish target. Barton provides cap relief and upside.
Seth Curry ($2900)
After his strong outing last game Curry is surely in play on DK priced under $3k. I’d expect him to be somewhat popular. While I think Curry is a good value I don’t view him as a must as he was under 10 DK points in his previous three games vs Denver.
Gary Harris ($4800)
Harris is a really nice value at under $5k on DK mostly because of his minutes floor. Expect him to be heavily owned.
Will Barton ($4000)
Rodney Hood ($3700)
This is a solid price for Hood who will be around the 24 minute mark again. Hood provides somewhat safe cap relief and upside based off of his performance and minutes in this series. I’d expect him to be a fairly popular target.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($4700)
Aminu is the safest of the SF/PF’s having played 30+ minutes in their last three games with all three games featuring 27+ DK points of production.
Mo Harkless ($4100)
The minutes last game are a concern but Harkless has some GPP appeal at $4100.
James Ennis ($3600)
His minutes are there to justify targeting him at this price. Ennis has been over 20 DK points in two of the four games this series which would be considered borderline elite value at $3600.
Serge Ibaka ($3900)
Ibaka is a bit of a mystery man as I WANT to trust him after his performance last game but most of me doesn’t. Part of his minutes surge was Siakam’s bruised calf but another part of it was Nick Nurse going with his HUGE lineup that features Kawhi at the 2 with Siakam, Ibaka, and Gasol at the 3, 4, and 5. If Nurse continues to roll out that lineup for long stretches during the game than Ibaka is an ELITE value tonight. I expect him to heavily owned as he’s one of maybe three players who have 8x or more upside.
Mason Plumlee ($3200)
Plumlee is a usable GPP dart on DK.
Zach Collins ($3000)
Zach Collins is a slightly safer, usable, GPP dart compared to Plumlee at $200 less. Both carry risk but both provide cap relief. Collins playing 17-20 minutes in each of the first four games is interesting at this price. I’d rather chase Collins DK points than Seth Curry’s.
I really like Pascal Siakam tonight but I don’t think we should consider him a core play. Siakam’s production is affected by Kawhi Leonard’s increased usage and while their ceilings are not mutually exclusive they do effect one another. If you’re going with a Kawhi fade tonight I would make sure Pascal is in that lineup.
It’s clear that Ben Simmons is not a big part of the Sixers offense this series and even though Jimmy Butler publicly stated Simmons needs to “attack the rim” every time he touches the ball I don’t particularly think on the road in Toronto is where we see Simmons’ big game this series. DK pricing him under $7k keeps him in GPP consideration and not a complete fade.
Paul Millsap came very close to making my DK core and I consider him an elite target priced at $5900. He will be high owned as it’s clear Denver is working Millsap vs Portland’s under sized 4’s.
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.