Friday features a two-game NBA slate starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. It should be an excellent night of basketball, beginning with Game 3 between the Bucks and the Heat. The Bucks have dropped each of the first two games of this series, so they have their backs against the wall. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 series deficit in the NBA playoffs, so this is essentially a must-win game for them.
The action continues at 9 p.m. ET with Game 1 between the Lakers and the Rockets. The Lakers dismantled the Blazers in the first round after dropping the first game of that series, while the Rockets needed all seven games to dispatch a scrappy Thunder squad.
Let’s take a look at some of the top studs and values at each position on DraftKings.
Goran Dragic, MIA vs. HOU, $7,000 – Dragic has officially ascended to stud status after dropping at least 35.25 DKFP in five of his first six playoff games. That includes scoring at least 40.25 DKFP in his first two games vs. the Bucks, and he should continue to find success in that matchup. The Bucks were one of the best defensive teams in basketball this season, but they surrender a ton of non-corner 3-pointers. That’s where Dragic does a lot of his damage. He should continue to start and see a solid compliment of minutes, and Dragic has averaged 1.14 DKFP per minute over the past month.
Other Option – Russell Westbrook ($8,700)
Rajon Rondo, LAL vs. HOU, $3,200 – Rondo is expected to make his return for the Lakers today after missing all 13 of their previous games inside the bubble. The Lakers are begging for someone to step up alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Rondo has plenty of experience playing in big games. He may not see a ton of minutes in his first game back in action, but he doesn’t need a ton of minutes to pay off his current salary given his average of 0.97 DKFP per minute.
Other Options – Eric Bledsoe ($5,700), George Hill ($4,300)
James Harden, HOU at LAL, $11,200 – The Lakers have been excellent defensively in Orlando, but Harden should be thrilled to be playing someone other than the Thunder. Lu Dort did an elite job defending him, limiting Harden to just 31.5% shooting from the field and 26.3% shooting from 3-point range while serving as his primary defender.
Harden unsurprisingly struggled from a fantasy perspective given such poor shooting numbers, but he remains one of the best players in DFS. He averaged 1.67 DKFP per minute this season, which is the second-highest mark among today’s players.
Other Option – Jimmy Butler ($8,300)
Tyler Herro, MIA vs. MIL, $5,200 – The Heat have tightened up their rotation a bit in the playoffs. Notably, Kendrick Nunn has been relegated to a minor role after starting in the regular season.
Herro has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of that decision. He’s averaged 30.2 minutes per game in this series vs. the Bucks, and he responded with 30.75 DKFP in his last contest. He’s another player who can take advantage of the Bucks’ liability vs. the 3-pointer, making three shots from behind the arc in each of his past two games.
Other Options – Danny Green ($4,100), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,500)
LeBron James, LAL vs. HOU, $11,000 – The Lakers’ offense struggled during the eight seeding games in Orlando, ranking dead last in offensive efficiency. That said, they turned things around big time vs. the Blazers in round one, ranking second in effective field goal rate.
LeBron was vital to their success on that side of the ball, shooting a whopping 60.0% from the field and 46.4% from 3-point range. He also continued to rack up peripheral statistics, averaging 10.2 rebounds and 10.2 assists over the five-game series. He’s one of the safest options on the slate, but his upside might not be as high as Harden’s or Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ($11,500).
Other Options – Khris Middleton ($8,200), Robert Covington ($6,300)
Eric Gordon, HOU at LAL, $5,800 – Small forward seems like a position where you might want to pay up today, but Gordon isn’t a bad consolation prize if you’re paying down. He has lost some usage with Russell Westbrook back in the lineup, but he’s made up for it by increasing his efficiency. Overall, he’s scored at least 30.75 DKFP in six of his past seven games.
Other Options – Kyle Kuzma ($5,000), Danuel House ($4,700)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at MIA, $11,500 – The Bucks absolutely need a win today, which should be great for Giannis from a fantasy perspective. He’s been the best producer in fantasy this year on a per-minute basis (2.01 DKFP per minute), but head coach Mike Budenholzer didn’t push him particularly hard. He averaged just 30.4 minutes per game during the regular season, and that number has only bumped up to 33.0 through his first seven playoff games.
I would expect Giannis to play as many minutes as necessary today — possibly upwards of 40 — which gives him an astronomical ceiling.
Other Option – Anthony Davis ($10,600)
Jae Crowder, MIA vs. MIL, $5,300 – Crowder is coming off 32.5 DKFP in his last game, and he’s been a steady performer during the postseason. That said, he has been priced up a bit and shot a whopping 12 3-pointers in his last game. He might be due for some regression in today’s contest, but he still stands out as one of the safer options at the position if you’re not paying up for Giannis or AD.
Other Options – Marvin Williams ($3,300), Markieff Morris ($3,400)
Bam Adebayo, MIA vs. MIL, $8,000 – Adebayo disappointed in his last game, and this matchup doesn’t set up nearly as well for him as it does for some of his teammates. Still, he’s a very talented player who is capable of filling up the box score in a variety of ways. He averaged 1.27 DKFP per minute this season, which is the top mark at the position outside of Davis.
Brook Lopez, MIL at MIA, $5,600 – Lopez has been one of the lone bright spots for the Bucks in their first two games vs. the Heat. He’s scored at least 29.75 DKFP in both contests and has been red-hot offensively. He’s another candidate to see a few additional minutes in a must-win game.
Other Options – P.J. Tucker ($4,800), JaVale McGee ($3,500)
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