The NBA playoffs are right around the corner. There are just five days left in the NBA regular season, and we have an eight-game slate on tap starting at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
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Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings ($12,000) – The Mavericks have lost three straight games, but they’re still very live for a spot in the play-in tournament. They’re tied with the Thunder in the loss column, so they could force a tie for the No. 10 spot with a win on Wednesday. It’s a bit embarrassing that a team with Doncic and Kyrie Irving is in this position, but they still have a chance to salvage their season.
With that in mind, expect to see a heavy workload for Doncic vs. the Kings. He hasn’t played his best recently, scoring 52.0 DKFP or fewer in three of his past four games, but he remains one of the best players in fantasy. He’s averaged 1.66 DKFP per minute for the season, which is easily the top mark among Wednesday’s backcourt options.
His matchup vs. the Kings is also a good one. Despite their success this season, the Kings have been unable to stop a nosebleed defensively. They rank tied for 24th in defensive efficiency, and when combined with an above-average pace, they’ve been one of the best matchups in fantasy. The Mavericks are currently implied for 123.75 points, which is the top mark on the slate.
Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets at Detroit Pistons ($8,600) – Bridges has proven there’s a lot more to his game since arriving in Brooklyn. He’s averaged an outstanding 27.4 points per game in 24 games with the Nets, resulting in an average of just under 41 DKFP. Overall, his average of 1.13 DKFP per minute over the past month is one of the best marks among Wednesday’s shooting guards. Bridges is coming off a subpar performance in his last outing, but he had returned positive value in his six previous games.
Wednesday’s matchup vs. the Pistons represents a phenomenal bounce-back spot. The Pistons rank 28th in defensive efficiency this season, and Bridges has thrived in good matchups of late. The Nets are still looking to clinch a guaranteed postseason spot in the Eastern Conference, so expect them to lean heavily on Bridges on this slate.
Other Options – De’Aaron Fox ($8,200), Spencer Dinwiddie ($8,000)
Johnny Davis, Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks ($4,800) – April DFS is a different beast. While teams like the Mavericks and Nets are pushing their best players to try to get into the playoffs, teams like the Wizards are pushing in the opposite direction. They’re playing to get as many ping-pong balls as possible, so expect to see their D-team on the floor vs. the Hawks. They were without Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma, Kristaps Porzingis, Deni Avdija, Monte Morris, and Delon Wright on Tuesday, and it would not be a shock if they’re all sidelined again vs. the Hawks. If that’s the case, they’re going to provide immense value.
Davis was the No. 10 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and he hasn’t had much of a chance to shine this season. However, he took full advantage of his opportunity on Tuesday. He racked up 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks across 36.5 minutes, resulting in 40.75 DKFP. If he’s going to see that much playing time again on Wednesday, it’s hard not to love his prospects vs. the Hawks. Atlanta has been one of the best possible matchups of late, ranking fourth in pace and 27th in defensive efficiency since the All-Star break.
Other Options – Killian Hayes ($5,800), Jordan Goodwin ($4,700)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls ($11,400) – The Bucks secured a big win over the shorthanded Wizards on Tuesday, and when combined with the Celtics’ loss against the 76ers, it pushed their lead in the Eastern Conference to 3.0 games with three to play. The job isn’t officially done yet since the Celtics own the head-to-head tiebreaker, but one more win or a Celtics loss will give the Bucks the top seed.
It will be interesting to see how Milwaukee chooses to approach the second leg of a back-to-back on Wednesday. They could very well choose to rest some of their top players, or they could look to just get it over with. If Giannis is in the lineup, he deserves consideration as the top stud on the slate. He’s taken has already elite production to another level recently, averaging 2.00 DKFP per minute over the past month. He’s racked up at least 63.25 DKFP in three of his past four games, despite playing 32.8 minutes or less in each contest. That’s absurd.
If Giannis is ruled out, then the rest of the Bucks should provide value. Khris Middleton would become a strong target after resting on Tuesday, while guys like Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez would also be worth considering in the frontcourt.
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks ($8,400) – LaVine probably won’t be a priority target for most on this slate, but he’s seen a slight uptick in production recently. He’s scored at least 40.25 DKFP in back-to-back games, and he’s averaged 1.14 DKFP per minute over the past month.
The Bulls are locked into the play-in tournament in the East, but they can still potentially move up a bit in the standings if they can get some help. They’re 2.0 games behind the Raptors and Hawks in the standings, and the difference between the No. 8 seed and No. 10 seed is definitely worth playing for.
Other Options – Brandon Ingram ($9,900), R.J. Barrett ($6,200; questionable)
Obi Toppin, New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers ($5,100) – The Knicks are essentially locked into the No. 5 seed in the East, so they will unsurprisingly use Wednesday’s matchup vs. the Pacers to get some of their players some rest. Julius Randle remains out with an injury, while Jalen Brunson has been ruled out for injury maintenance. R.J. Barrett is also questionable with an illness, so the team could be significantly shorthanded.
Regardless of Barrett’s status, Toppin should be locked into a sizable role at power forward. He racked up 33 minutes in the team’s last game and responded with 35.25 DKFP. That doesn’t stand out as an outlier. Toppin has played at least 30 minutes in seven career games, and he’s scored at least 33.0 DKFP in each of them. He’s averaged over 43.0 DKFP in those contests, so he has the potential for an even bigger performance in a plus matchup vs. the Pacers.
Other Options – Saddiq Bey ($5,500), Anthony Gill ($3,100)
Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards ($6,100) – Center is one of the weaker positions to pay up at on Wednesday (excluding Giannis). However, Capela stands out as an excellent midrange option with upside. He draws a fantastic matchup vs. the Wizards, who might start me at center.
Capela has also historically been one of the best per-minute producers at the position. His playing time has been volatile all season, but he’s scored at least 31.0 DKFP in six of his past nine games. He also played more than 32 minutes in the team’s last competitive contest, so it’s possible he’ll pick up a few extra minutes in a game the Hawks need to win.
Other Options – Nic Claxton ($7,100)
Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons vs. Brooklyn Nets ($5,100) – Duren has had an excellent rookie season for the Pistons, but he’s been coming off the bench behind James Wiseman for most of the past month. That changed in their last contest. Duren joined the starting lineup alongside Wiseman, and he responded with 43.5 DKFP in just under 36 minutes of playing time. He might not see quite as many minutes on Wednesday, but he doesn’t need to at his current price tag. He’s averaged a stout 1.23 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s an elite option if he retains his starting spot vs. the Nets.
Other Options – James Wiseman ($5,300), Jay Huff ($3,200)
Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $200K Shootaround [50K to 1st]
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.