Sunday’s DraftKings NBA slate starts at 3:30 p.m. ET and features two games. The Atlanta Hawks will try and knock out the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers out of the playoffs at Wells Fargo Center while the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns play the first game of the Western Conference Finals. It’s a shame both Chris Paul and Kawhi Leonard will miss Game 1. DraftKings Sportsbook has the 76ers favored by seven points with the O/U at 216.5, while the Suns are favored by four points with the O/U at 221.5.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers, $10,100 – Young began these playoffs priced at $8,500. Now he eclipses the $10K threshold for the first time, and it’s warranted. He’s played at least 40 minutes and put up 66.25, 56.75 and 61 DKFP in the last three games, garnering a usage rate over 35% in the last two contests. Young is the alpha and omega of this Hawks team, and he’s been able to adjust to the multiple defensive looks the 76ers have thrown his way. He is the only point guard worth paying up for Sunday.
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, $3,700 – Maxey played 29 minutes and put up 30.75 DKFP in Game 6. Usually, I’d be inclined to fade Maxey, especially since he got extra run due to foul trouble for Ben Simmons ($7,700). That said, there’s no denying what he did in Game 6, and he was on the floor in crunch time since he was able to hit free throws while Simmons was on the bench, so the Hack-a-Simmons couldn’t be employed. Maxey’s usage rate was 22%, and a similar playing time arc occurred in the Wizards series. After playing only 14 and 11 minutes in the first two games of that series, he played 22 and 26 minutes in the final two games. Maxey ended up attempting 12 and 14 shots in those games and contributed 23.75 and 25.5 DKFP, respectively. I don’t see how Maxey doesn’t at least get a shot to play significant minutes.
Other Options – Jevon Carter ($3,000), Cameron Payne ($4,000)
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $8,900 – Chris Paul has already been ruled out for this game. With Paul off the floor this season, Booker has seen a 2.1 percentage-point usage rate increase to 35%. Paul missed two games this season. One of those was the last game of the season, in which all Phoenix starters sat. In the other game, Booker garnered a 41% usage rate and put up 54.75 DKFP. He should be heavily involved in this one with plenty of chances to score fantasy goodies.
Other Options – Paul George ($10,300)
Jevon Carter, Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $3,000 – Carter averaged 0.78 DKFP per minute during the season and hasn’t played in a game since June 11. In these playoffs, he’s played a total of 17 minutes. But, he may get significant minutes with Paul in the health and safety protocols. There’s an obvious risk here because he could be left out of the rotation, but he’s priced at the minimum, so that mitigates the risk somewhat.
Other Options –Tyrese Maxey ($3,700), Terance Mann ($4,900), Seth Curry ($5,800)
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, $7,900 – Without Leonard, the small forward pool is U-G-L-Y. Harris had been one of the most consistent fantasy producers for most of the playoffs, but he had a big-time stinker in Game 5. His usage rate was only 15%, and he shot 2-for-11 from the field. He had shot over 50% in eight of the nine prior playoff games. I expected a nice rebound in Game 6, and Harris delivered with 34.25 DKFP. Harris has 40-50 DKFP upside.
Nicolas Batum, Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns, $5,700 – I’m not crazy about the value at this position either. Kevin Huerter ($5,200) just went for 43.25 DKFP, but his usage rate was only 15% — he grabbed 11 rebounds in Game 6 after having a high of five in the playoffs. In addition, he went for 5.5 DKFP in the prior game. Seems like an outlier performance. I’m not enamored with the price on Batum or the potential for ceiling, but he seems to have the highest floor. Batum has flourished since being utilized as the small-ball center for the Clippers. Now, there’s a chance Batum doesn’t get as many minutes as he’s been playing due to the offensive prowess of Deandre Ayton ($6,500), but his ability to space the floor and bring Ayton out of the paint on the defensive end could negate that advantage. It’s something to monitor for sure. In the last four games, Batum has produced 39.25, 28.75, 30.25 and 32.25 DKFP.
Other Options – Jae Crowder ($5,000)
John Collins, Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers, $6,400 – Collins had a terrible Game 6 after notching three really good games in a row. He grabbed 10 rebounds, but he shot 2-for-8 from the field while not registering a single defensive stat. I’d expect a bounce-back performance from Collins since he had gone for at least 30 DKFP in four of the prior five games vs. the 76ers.
Other Options – Tobias Harris ($7,900)
Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $5,000 – Crowder was held to 15 DKFP in two meetings vs. the Clippers during the regular season. But he was very good in the Denver series, putting up at least 22 DKFP in the last five games — over 30 in two. His shooting efficiency can always be a concern, but Crowder plays a ton of minutes, can grab some rebounds, notch defensive stats and access ceiling games if he converts his shot attempts.
Other Options – Danilo Gallinari ($4,700), Nicolas Batum ($5,700)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, $10,900 – Embiid (questionable - knee) has played at least 36 minutes, attempted at least 20 shots and grabbed at least 13 rebounds in the last three games. His usage rate has been at least 35% in each contest. His shooting percentage has been all over the map, and he had eight turnovers in Game 6 when the Hawks sent double teams to disrupt his rhythm and get the ball out of his hands. I think Embiid will adjust to the adjustments.
Other Options – Deandre Ayton ($6,500)
Dwight Howard, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Atlanta Hawks, $3,100 – There are no good value options at center, so Howard it is. He will only play 10 to 12 minutes, but he has scored at least 15 DKFP in three games in this series. Interestingly, he hasn’t blocked a shot yet in this series. He’s due!
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