Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Denver Nuggets, $9,400
At a sub $10,000 price, Lillard is a plug and play value for Game 3. He has been unstoppable thus far in the first round, generating 63.75 DKFP with a mammoth 35.2% usage rate in 41 minutes per game.
Now for the month of May, Lillard has eclipsed 50 DKFP in eight of his 11 starts. On his home floor, with this series split at one game apiece, Lillard isn’t going to disappoint Thursday night, and the point guard should be the first player you put in your lineup for this playoff slate.
Other Options: LeBron James ($9,800), Chris Paul ($7,400)
Goran Dragic, Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $5,100
Despite the massive blowout, Dragic was still solid off the bench Tuesday night, chipping in with 27 DKFP. The 35-year-old didn’t see much work in the second half with this game out of reach, but Dragic should get back to right around 30 minutes Thursday night. The spread for this game is down to only 1.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, and the Heat should use a very tight rotation as they attempt to avoid going 0-3 in this best of seven.
Dragic has supplied 26.5 DKFP per game when the spread has been under five points this month, and his ceiling is well above 30 DKFP with Miami’s back against the wall.
Other Options: Facundo Campazzo ($5,700)
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Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat, $7,600
Holiday has been a stud, posting four straight double-doubles, translating to 47.7 DKFP per game. He has put up over 40 DKFP in four of his five matchups with Miami this season, and investing in Holiday is sharp move in this projected nail biter.
Put the strong two-way player in a spread less than five points this season, and Holiday has exposed his opponents for 43.25 DKFP per game.
Other Options: CJ McCollum ($7,300)
Monte Morris, Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers, $4,200
Morris finally appeared to be past the nagging hamstring injury in Game 2, recording 29.25 DKFP thanks to 29.4 minutes off the bench. The combo guard and Aaron Gordon led the Nuggets in plus/minus in the win, and I believe we will see Morris gain more playing time than Austin Rivers from here on out in this series, regardless of who starts.
The bottom line is if both these guards are healthy, Morris brings more to the table on both ends of the floor. He is also the better fantasy player, generating 0.8 DKFP per minute vs. 0.7 for Rivers. I hate to seem like I am chasing points here, but Morris should carry over the momentum from Game 2 and beat his inexpensive salary this evening.
Other Options: Donte DiVincenzo ($5,000), Duncan Robinson ($4,600)
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks, $8,400
With Butler getting most of the blame for the Heat trailing 0-2 against the Bucks, I absolutely expect the gritty forward to have a very strong performance back in Miami on Thursday. DraftKings Sportsbook is expecting Game 3 to be high scoring, with the O/U game total set at 226.5 points, along with the 1.5-point spread.
Mix together a total of at least 225 points with a line under five points this season for the Heat, and Butler has been tremendous with 50.6 DKFP per game. A decently low ownership for him wouldn’t be shocking and Butler could be a game-changer in GPPs on Thursday.
Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers, $4,400
Three early fouls limited Crowder to only 4.6 minutes in the first half Tuesday, but the forward didn’t leave the floor in the second half. He tallied 23 DKFP and Crowder’s elite perimeter defense should keep his playing time elevated Thursday night, barring foul trouble again.
There is obviously risk here, but Crowder has knack for playing his best basketball in the biggest moments, and an effort north of 30 DKFP isn’t out of the realm of possibilities.
Other Options: Aaron Gordon ($5,300)
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns, $9,700
The Suns woke up a sleeping giant Tuesday night. After the lackluster showing in the Game 1 loss, Davis responded with his best playoff performance as a pro, destroying Phoenix for a slate-breaking 67 DKFP. The Lakers force fed him a 30.1% usage rate, and their game plan Thursday should continue to feature Davis back in the Staples Center.
The superstar has collected a staggering 5.7 more DKFP per game at home this season, and Davis is an elite option at only $9,700.
Other Options: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,900), Michael Porter Jr. ($7,100)
Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers, $3,900
Millsap was huge off the bench in the bounce back win Tuesday, scoring 30.25 DKFP, and while we can’t expect this type of output again, the forward is without a doubt one of the better punts available for this short slate. Millsap has cracked 20 DKFP in 11 of his past 20, and Portland’s weak defense has yielded the 8th most DKFP per game to opposing power forwards this season.
Unlike most of the teams in the playoffs, the Nuggets actually have a positive matchup against the Blazers, and Millsap has to be considered at only $3,900.
Other Options: Trevor Ariza ($4,800), Carmelo Anthony ($4,200)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers, $10,700
Behind a 37.7% usage rate, Jokic has bullied Portland for 57.25 DKFP through the first two contests of this first round series. This workload is a significant increase from his 30% usage rate during the regular season, and Game 3 tonight sports a 228.5 O/U game total on DraftKings Sportsbook, which is the high mark of this three-game slate.
In my best advice, don’t overthink this one and keep using the Joker with full confidence in all formats Thursday night.
Other Options: Bam Adebayo ($7,500)
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers, $6,300
Ayton has been magnificent so far in this series against the Lakers, amassing 40.5 DKFP per game. Facing this large Los Angeles frontcourt, Monty Williams has kept Ayton on the floor for 39.5 minutes per game across the first two, which is a dramatic leap from the 30.6 minutes per game the center averaged for the regular season.
This is an immense opportunity for someone who scores 1.1 DKFP per minute, and Ayton is unavoidable at this friendly price.
Other Options: Jusuf Nurkic ($6,800), Marc Gasol ($3,200)
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