The NBA is officially back and bringing us slates like never before. Friday’s four-gamer tips off at 1:30 p.m. ET and continues with games tipping off all the way through 9:00 p.m. ET.
This is probably the most run down slate we’ve seen yet in the bubble, with all eight teams locked into their playoff seeding. No need to really spend up anywhere, just play the guys that are going to play the most minutes.
This makes following along with all the news on DK Live even more important — especially with this being the last week of the regular season. After the insane flow of news we’ve gotten this week, you’ll need to lock in if you plan on playing these final slates. Things will be constantly shifting. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.
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Worth Paying Up For: James Harden HOU vs. PHI ($11,500)
If the Rockets decide to play Harden in this game for some reason, you just eat the salary and put him in your lineup, even if he only plays a half. Nobody on this slate is a lock for 25 DKFP, so getting a half or more out of Harden gives him the upside to lead the slate in scoring.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Kendrick Nunn, MIA vs. IND ($5,200)
Nunn hasn’t played in over a week after leaving the bubble and being forced to quarantine. Now that he’s cleared, this is a good spot to get him some run before the postseason begins. With Miami and Indiana playing in the first-round, neither of these teams will want to give anything of meaning away to the other side.
It’s tough to give lineup strategy on this slate. Basically, take the points with Harden if he plays, and if we learn any other significant starters will play at least a half for a team like Denver, you could go there too. No shame in playing a couple of mid-priced guys.
Worth Paying Up For: Tyler Herro, MIA vs. IND ($5,700)
Even with the potential of Harden getting some minutes, Herro is probably the safest guard play on this slate. Miami will turn to young pieces to go out there and show what they can do, and Herro’s thrived when Miami sits pieces recently — 51 DKFP in 36 minutes against PHX and 45.5 DKFP in 38 minutes against OKC. Lock Herro in for cash or GPP.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Furkan Korkmaz, PHI vs. HOU ($3,900)
The 76ers have left their big names up in the air, so we’ll need to pay attention to who plays. But Korkmaz got plenty of run the last two games, and dropped 38.75 DKFP against Toronto. This should be another spot he sees significant minutes, and Houston is a great matchup.
Herro is one of the only must-plays on this slate in my mind. So I’d lock him in and then plan to do as you please if you want another SG.
Worth Paying Up For: Robert Covington, HOU vs. PHI ($7,100)
Covington keeps getting run for Houston, even playing 36 minutes in a meaningless game against the Pacers on Tuesday. If that continues, he could be a safe place to try and buy 30 DKFP or so. But I could also see him sitting out, so be cautious and have a plan to replace him if you roster him.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4,000)
RHJ has essentially played 24 or more minutes in the last two meaningless games for the Raps, scoring about one DKFP per minute. If he’s in a similar role for this game, taking the 6X value is a better spot that most. There’s even more upside here than usual, with Toronto resting most key bodies.
SF is a bad position, but we have to play someone. If for some reason the Clippers play their starters, even for a half, any of the forwards become great plays to buy some points.
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Worth Paying Up For: Kelly Olynyk, MIA vs. IND ($5,500)
Kelly O is probably the top overall PF play on this slate, which says a lot. With the Heat resting key players, he should be one of the top scorers on the floor.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Meyers Leonard, MIA vs. IND ($3,300)
If you hesitate that Olynyk might even be too valuable of a piece for the Heat to risk playing too many minutes, then Leonard is your pivot play. He started all 49 games he played in prior to the bubble, but only averaged 20 minutes per game. He’s out of the rotation now, getting minimal run in the bubble. This is a spot to give him plenty of run.
Miami vs. Indiana is shaping up as a good value game for bigs. Look to both sides here.
Worth Paying Up For: Nikola Jokic, DEN vs. TOR ($9,400)
If Denver plays any of its starters, even for a half or less, getting exposure would be wise. If Jokic does wind up resting, you could also look to Joel Embiid ($9,900), although I’d be shocked if the Sixers play him. If all the stars wind up benched, just turn to the value and burn the salary.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Chris Boucher, TOR vs. DEN ($5,300)
With Raptors starters out, Boucher is another must-play on this slate. Toronto has played without care of winning the last two games, and Boucher is averaging over 45 DKFP in about 25 minutes per game. He could get more run here and offers a very high ceiling.
If an expensive center does play on this slate, I think you have to play him. But Toronto, Miami and Indy are all good value spots to look. Those “values” easily could wind up being the top scorers at the position.
OUT (Opt-out players not included) — will only put injury designation if the player is actually hurt, most are just resting
Russell Westbrook (quad)
Ben Simmons (knee)
Will Barton (knee)
Dennis Schroder (personal)
Montrezl Harrell (personal)
Luguesntz Dort (knee)
Gary Harris (hip)
Landry Shamet (foot)
Patrick Beverley (calf)
Joel Embiid (ankle)
Jae Crowder (knee)
Andre Iguodala (rest)
Glenn Robinson III (hip)
Derrick Jones Jr. (knee)
Goga Bitadze (knee)
Serge Ibaka (knee)
OG Anunoby (knee)
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