Playoffs?! We talking ‘bout playoffs?! After the arduous 82-game regular season, we have the second round of the play-in tournament on Friday, with the winners being rewarded the privilege of playing the top-seeded Suns and Heat. The ATL/CLE game has a 223 total with the visiting Hawks favored by two points. The NO/LAC game has a total of 216 with the home team Clippers favored by four points.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings NBA lineups.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers ($9,700) – Young is the alpha and omega of the Hawks offense. The usage rate was 34.4% during the regular season and was at least 40% in 15 games. He’s scored at least 24 points in each of the last eight games with five above 30 and a high of 41. He’s dished out double-digit assists in five of those contests. That translated to five games with at least 50 DKFP and two games above 60. In three regular season games against Cleveland, he went for 46.5, 60.25 and 62 DKFP. Young is going to play a ton of minutes and hoist up at least 20 shots, so the volume will be there. Even if the efficiency is lacking, he rebounds well for a guard and will dish out assists to make the floor relatively high.
Other Options – Darius Garland ($8,500)
Rajon Rondo, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks ($3,400) – It’s the playoffs, so Rondo drapes the cape over his shoulders and applies the face paint, morphing into Playoff Rondo. In 957 career regular season games, Rondo has averaged 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.6 steals. In 134 career playoff games, the averages are 12.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 1.7 steals. When Rondo first arrived in Cleveland, he averaged 21.7 minutes over a month. That number dropped to 14.9 over the last seven games. In the last two games, though, with one being the play-in game against Brooklyn, Rondo has played 25 and 27 minutes, putting up 33 and 23.25 DKFP.
Other Options – Jose Alvarado ($4,300)
Editor’s Note: Clippers SG Paul George (Health Protocols) has been ruled out tonight vs. the Pelicans.
Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($10,000) - George missed 48 games during the regular season. Since returning to action, he’s played five games, going for 57.5 DKFP in two of those contests. In the opening play-in game, he played 41 minutes and produced 57.75 DKFP. The usage rate was 34.8%, and it’s safe to say that he’s back and ready to attack. New Orleans was one of the best teams against shooting guards all season, negating the FPPM by 11.47% below the league average. That said, George will be heavily involved and contributes in every statistical category.
Other Options – Brandon Ingram ($7,800)
Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers ($4,900) – Huerter isn’t a high-usage player. Duh, Trae Young, but he’s efficient with his opportunities. On the season, he’s shooting 45% from the field and, over the last seven games, that number has been 47%. He will grab some rebounds and dish out some assists, which makes for a solid, yet unspectacular fantasy line. Over the last 10 games, he’s scored fewer than 20 DKFP twice, but he’s gone over 30 DKFP in six games.
Other Options – Norman Powell ($5,300)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers ($7,800) – The matchup isn’t great as he will likely have Paul George ($10,000) draped over him. That said, the usage rate is going to be high. In the first round of the play-in tournament, the usage rate was 36.9%. Ingram has been all over the map from a fantasy perspective this season. He’s scored fewer than 30 DKFP 10 times but has gone over 50 DKFP 11 times with a high of 63.75.
De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers ($5,100) – The lows can be low for Hunter, as evidenced by the 1.75 DKFP performance against Miami three games ago. The contributions in the periphery categories aren’t spectacular, but he normally produces a little bit every game. With most of the attention focused on Trae Young ($9,700), Hunter gets plenty of good looks and has scored 22 points in each of the last two games. I’d expect somewhere in the low teens with 20 DKFP, but Hunter does have 30-DKFP upside, something he’s done in three of the last six games.
Other Options – Kevin Huerter ($4,900), Lauri Markkanen ($5,500)
Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks ($6,800) – Mobley is averaging 1.04 FP/Min over the last month. He contributes in every category but doesn’t get the high volume of offensive touches to go bonkers. On the season, he’s averaging 12.1 field goal attempts per game. He has gone over 50 DKFP only three times this season. In those games, he’s grabbed double-digit rebounds and racked up a ton of defensive stats. Those are hard to rely on, so expect somewhere in the 30-DKFP range. That’s not bad for the price.
Danilo Gallinari, Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers ($4,700) – Gallinari was inserted into the starting lineup back in mid-Februrary. Since then, he’s averaged 30.3 minutes, 15.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 19 games while shooting 45% from the field and garnering a 18.6% usage rate. In the last four games, he’s gone for 25.25, 38 and 45 DKFP. Something to keep in mind is the availability of Jarrett Allen ($7,500). If he plays, that slides Evan Mobley ($6,800) down to matchup with Gallinari, which would be a downgrade from a possible Lauri Markkanen ($5,500) one.
Other Options – Kevin Love ($5,900), Lauri Markkanen ($5,500)
Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers ($8,000) – Valanciunas is averaging a career-high 30.3 minutes per game this season. He finished third in double-doubles and averaged 39.45 DKFP per contest. In four games against the Clippers this season, he went for 19.75, 39.5, 70.75 and 50.75 DKFP. On the season, the Clippers were generous to centers, as they boosted the FPPM by 14.18% above the league average.
Other Options – Clint Capela ($7,200)
Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($5,400) – Zubac averages 1.06 FP/Min. There’s been little doubt as to the production, but the playing time was usually a concern. For much of the season, he was playing in the low-to-mid 20 minute range. In the opening round of the play-in tournament, though, Zubac played 32 minutes while Isaiah Hartenstein ($4,600) only played seven minutes. Hartenstein was averaging 23.7 minutes over the last 11 games of the regular season. In three games against the Pelicans this season, Zubac went for 28.25, 13.75 and 31 DKFP in only 23, 14 and 20 minutes respectively.
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