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NBA DFS breakdown, lineup notes for August 21

A ton of Nets players could play heavy minutes against the Raptors if Friday’s game is close. It seems like they’re worth stacking, but there’s value elsewhere in this four-game slate.

Brooklyn Nets’ Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert react after a play against the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 7, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

There’s are a ton of story lines to keep track off for Friday’s four-game NBA main slate. Joe Harris has left the Brooklyn Nets to deal with a personal matter, Mike Conley will likely return to the Utah Jazz after leaving for the birth of his child, and “Playoff P” could be looking to redeem himself after a horrendous Game 2 performance against the Dallas Mavericks. I’ll go over my thoughts on the slate below game by game. Let’s get into it.

Raptors vs. Nets, 1:30 p.m. ET

Spread: TOR (-11)
Over/Under: 219.5
Here’s our Showdown breakdown of this game.

I’M BUYING ALL DESPERATION NETS STOCK. This game is easily the most stackable game in the slate, in my opinion. Caris LeVert is nearly averaging a triple-double against the Raptors and lost his best shooter. That means he could have to get even more aggressive on the offensive end. Brooklyn doesn’t want to go down three games, so LeVert and Jarrett Allen have a good chance to play around 40 minutes. Someone has to take Harris’s minutes, and the top two candidates are Garrett Temple and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. Both players have cracked 30 DKFP in three of their last four games and could play more than 35 minutes on Friday. TLC is the chalkier play, so I’d consider Temple the better tournament option.

I’ll probably stack at least three Nets players in my main GPP lineup, but there’s also a Raptor I have my eye on. Fred VanVleet never comes out of the game and is averaging 54.65 DKFP in the bubble. He has two double-doubles against Brooklyn and seems like a lock to play 40 minutes if the game is close. His price is still $7,600, and I think he has a good chance to return at least 6x value for a third straight game.

Recap: This game turned out to be great for stacking, but the Raptors outshined the Nets. Pascal Siakam recorded a game-high 45.5 DKFP on 26 points, 8 rebounds, and five assists. Four other Toronto players eclipsed 40 DKFP. Tyler Johnson returned the most value for Brooklyn by scoring a team-high 23 points to tally 30 DKFP. Toronto took down Brooklyn 117-92 to claim a 3-0 lead in the series.

Nuggets vs. Jazz, 4:00 p.m. ET

Spread: DEN (-1)
Over/Under: 218.5
Here’s our Showdown breakdown of this game.

Conley is back, and that means people could look to pivot off Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell’s $9,400 price tag in the four-game slate is a little high, but sticking with him after two very efficient outings could give you an edge. He took 33 shots with Conley and Jordan Clarkson available the last time the Jazz faced the Nuggets. Conley’s return will affect the guard rotation, but Royce O’Neale ($4,100) remains a top-notch quality play. He nearly put up a triple-double in Game 2 after a poor Game 1 outing and is a lock to play at least 30 minutes per game. O’Neale doesn’t have to shoot to stuff the stat sheet.

Nikola Jokic is the most reliable play in this game. He’s tallied at least 50 DKFP in Games 1 and 2 while shooting 50 percent from the field and averaging 10.5 rebounds per game. It’s crazy to see him priced at $9,300 and being cheaper than Mitchell. I think fantasy owners will be back on Jamal Murray ($7,000) after a below average Game 2, but think there’s more value in rostering Michael Porter Jr. ($6,700). He hasn’t been this cheap in five games and has eclipsed 40 DKFP in two of his last three games against the Jazz.

Recap: This game was just ridiculous. Nobody expected Rudy Gobert to eat the Denver Nuggets alive, but he put up 24 points and 14 rebounds on 73 percent shooting to tally a game-high 44.5 DKFP in his team’s 124-87 blowout victory. Conley showcased his best VanVleet impression by shooting 7-for-8 from beyond the arc following his return to the bubble after leaving for the birth of his child. He scored a game-high 27 points and recorded 38.5 DKFP. None of the Nuggets’ starters returned 5x value.

Celtics vs. Sixers, 6:30 p.m. ET

Spread: BOS (-5.5)
Over/Under: 217.5
Here’s our Showdown breakdown of this game.

Jayson Tatum is a scoring machine again, and Gordon Hayward’s ankle injury makes him look like an even better option. But is he worth paying $9,200 for? Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker are still premier players who could compete with Tatum, so I’m wary of paying nearly $2,000 more than his season average.

The 76ers are in danger of going down 0-3, and that means tons of people could load up on Joel Embiid. The big man has reached 50 DKFP in back-to-back games and none of Boston’s post players have an answer for him. Embiid and Josh Richardson stand out as the top options for Philadelphia, as Tobias Harris has yet to return 5x value in the playoffs.

Clippers vs. Mavericks, 9:00 p.m. ET

Spread: LAC (-5)
Over/Under: 219.5
Here’s our Showdown breakdown of this game.

Luka Doncic is still a triple-double threat every night has the highest ceiling in this game and was hurt by foul trouble in Game 2. The Clippers don’t seem close to finding a way to slow him down, and I think he could have his most impressive performance of the playoffs in Game 3 after getting a win his last time out.

Kawhi Leonard is essentially a lock to reach 50 DKFP every night, but Paul George is the wild card I’ll have my eye on in this game. Geroge was 4-for-17 from the floor in Game 2 and posted a response to public criticism on Instagram following his team’s loss. I think he’ll come out firing in Game 3, and that could lead to a monster performance. Will we get the Playoff P monicker George has given himself, or the Pandemic P that stunk it up against the Mavericks. Time will tell.

Marcus Morris has reached 30 DKFP in two straight games and could continue to flourish shooting the basketball Friday. Lou Williams could see extended run with Patrick Beverley out for a second game in a row.

Lock of the Day: Nikola Jokic ($9,300)

Jokic is the fifth-most expensive player on the slate and has looked phenomenal against the Jazz. He’s averaging 55.4 DKFP against Utah since the restart. I don’t think the fact that two of his last three games went into overtime makes him less valuable. I gotta give a shoutout to VanVleet here as well, because he’s been a human flamethrower in the bubble.

Deep Sleeper: Grant Williams ($3,200)

Williams filled in some at power forward in his last game with Hayward out and tallied 22.5 DKFP in 21 minutes. Robert Williams doesn’t appear to be competent enough to give the Celtics spot minutes in the post, so Grant and Enes Kanter could see a surge in productivity.