The NBA postseason is officially underway. The action kicked off with a four-game slate on Saturday, and there is another four-game slate on Sunday on DraftKings starting at 1 p.m. ET. Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards ($7,100) – Simmons has had a bit of a disappointing year by his standards. He’s averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 assists per game, all of which represent new career lows. Unsurprisingly, his average of 36.6 DKFP per game is also the lowest mark of his career.
That said, he has the chance for a big performance Sunday vs. the Wizards. They’ve played at the fastest pace in the league this season, and the 76ers’ implied team total of 118.5 points is the top mark on the slate by a wide margin. Simmons has also crushed in both of his previous games against the Wizards this season, scoring at least 45.75 DKFP in both contests. He’s priced at just $7,100 on DraftKings for today’s matchup, so that kind of production would be tremendous value at his current price tag.
Other Options – Trae Young ($8,500), Chris Paul ($7,500)
Derrick Rose, New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks ($5,500) – Rose has been a wonderful addition for the Knicks. He’s averaged 27.28 DKFP per game as a member of the squad, and he’s averaged 1.09 DKFP per minute over the past month. He should see around 28 minutes in this matchup, and that should be enough playing time for him to return value at his current salary.
Other Options – Raul Neto ($4,100)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers ($8,700) – Beal stands out as one underpriced play on today’s slate. He’s priced at just $8,700, and Beal has exceeded salary-based expectations by an average of 3.87 DKFP with a comparable salary this season.
Other Options – Devin Booker ($8,000)
Seth Curry, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards ($5,000) – Curry has had a massive impact on the 76ers this season. Perimeter shooting is the one thing they have lacked for the past few seasons, and Curry is one of the best in the business in that department. He’s been a nice source of value recently, scoring at least 22.0 DKFP in six of his past nine games, and he’s increased his production to 0.89 DKFP per minute over the past month. His matchup vs. the Wizards also gives him arguably the best matchup at the position.
Other Options – Reggie Bullock ($4,900), Raul Neto ($4,100)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers @ Phoenix Suns ($10,200) – James is one of the biggest X-factors on today’s slate. He’s one of the greatest players in league history, but it’s unclear just how healthy he is at the moment. He didn’t look like his usual dominant self in the Lakers’ play-in game vs. the Warriors, but he still finished with 61.75 DKFP over less than 35 minutes. That shows just how dominant this guy is: He’s still capable of a huge performance in limited minutes at less than full strength.
Small forward is one of the thinner positions on Sunday’s slate – particularly in the stud department – and LeBron’s ceiling is significantly higher than the other options at the position.
Other Options – Tobias Harris ($7,000)
R.J. Barrett, New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks ($6,400) – Barrett was already carrying a monster workload for the Knicks during the regular season, so it will be interesting to see what Tom Thibodeau asks of him in the playoffs. He could be asked to play more than 40 minutes vs. the Hawks, and he’s averaged 0.90 DKFP per minute over the past month.
Other Options – Danny Green ($4,200), Jae Crowder ($4,100)
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Julius Randle, New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks ($9,200) – Randle stands out as one of the strongest options on DraftKings on Sunday. He’s priced at just $9,200, and he’s exceeded salary-based expectations by an average of 2.87 DKFP with a comparable salary this season. Randle has logged at least 43.7 minutes in three of his past four games, so he should see one of the largest workloads on today’s slate, as well.
Other Options – Anthony Davis ($10,000)
Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies @ Utah Jazz ($5,600) – Jackson was tremendous for the Grizzlies during the regular season, albeit in very limited playing time. It was expected that he would take a step forward during the postseason, but that hasn’t really happened yet. The play of Jonas Valanciunas has kept his minutes in check, and head coach Taylor Jenkins even chose to go with Xavier Tillman ($3,900) over JJJ at times down the stretch in the Grizzlies’ last game. Still, Jackson has averaged 1.17 DKFP per minute this season, which is an elite mark considering his price tag. There’s a chance his role could expand vs. the Jazz, which gives him a nice ceiling.
Other Options – Royce O’Neale ($4,300), Davis Bertans ($3,900)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards ($9,800) – Embiid at less than $10K for a matchup vs. the Wizards just feels too good to pass up. He’s had three games vs. the Wizards so far this season, and he’s scored at least 52.0 DKFP in two of them. The lone exception was a game where he played just 20.4 minutes, and he still finished with 39.25 DKFP in his limited playing time. He should be able to absolutely smash in this matchup on Sunday.
Other Options – Rudy Gobert ($7,700), Clint Capela ($7,500)
Nerlens Noel, New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks ($4,100) – There aren’t a ton of appealing value centers on Sunday, but Noel is worth some consideration. He’s played most of the center minutes for the Knicks since Mitchell Robinson went down with an injury, and the Knicks will need his size vs. the Hawks. They play two traditional big men in John Collins ($6,400) and Capela, so expect Noel to see plenty of playing time alongside Randle.
Other Options – Taj Gibson ($3,300)
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