After the appetizers of the play-in tournament (how awesome was that, by the way?), we are on to the main course of the playoffs. Both the Bucks and Suns are favored by double-digits while three of the four games have a total over 220.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings NBA lineups.
Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($7,600) – There are some juicy options at the top of the point guard pool but I want to save money for Giannis. Paul is averaging 1.22 DKFP per minute on the season and it’s within the range of outcomes that he comes close to matching the production of his higher-priced brethren. Kyrie Irving ($10,200) is facing the best defense in the league while Trae Young ($9,800) goes up against the fourth-best. Paul will likely score somewhere in the 30-DKFP range but that’s the floor. He does have upside, as he’s gone over 50 DKFP 13 times with three games over 60. In two games against the Pelicans this season, Paul went for 53.25 and 40.25 DKFP.
Other Options – Jrue Holiday ($7,900), Devin Booker ($9,000)
Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets ($4,100) – Pritchard likely won’t play over 20 minutes and he’s averaging 0.91 DKFP per minute on the season. That said, he does contribute a little something in every category and can light up the scoreboard. Over the last 13 games, he’s scored double-digits in 10 of those contests. From a DKFP perspective, he’s gone over 20 nine times with two games over 30.
Other Options – Ayo Dosunmu ($4,500)
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets ($9,100) - Brown only scored 27.25 DKFP in his last game but that’s because he only played 23 minutes as the Celtics blew out the Grizzlies by 29 points. Prior to that, he went for at least 48 DKFP in six straight with four of those over 50. The usage rate has been over 30% and he’s been averaging 19.7 shots while converting 53% of them. That kind of efficiency shouldn’t be expected but Brown is going to play a ton of minutes, get the volume and the Nets have boosted the FPPM to shooting guards by 5.16% above the league average.
Other Options – Devin Booker ($9,000). Brandon Ingram ($7,800)
Max Strus, Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks ($4,200) – Strus replaced Duncan Robinson ($4,000) in the starting lineup six games ago. He’s averaged 26.9 minutes and 8.3 field goal attempts with 6.5 of those from downtown. He’s been converting a ridiculous 51% of his attempts from beyond the arc. That’s not sustainable but Strus does have the capacity to light it up. He won’t dish out many assists but he will grab a few rebounds and rack up some defensive stats. Strus is very athletic and isn’t just a spot-up shooter. Now, the range of outcomes is wide with Strus, as the floor is in the low teens but he has 30-DKFP upside, a feat he’s accomplished 12 times this season with two of those over 40.
Other Options – Kevin Huerter ($4,700)
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics ($10,800) – The Celtics were the top-rated defense during the regular season so the matchup isn’t great. Durant scoffs at matchups, though. He is one of the most indefensible players in the league as he can get his shot up against anyone. He’s not just a scorer as he grabs rebounds, dishes out assists and racks up defensive stats. Over the past seven games, he’s gone for at least 50 DKFP six times with three of those over 70. The last time he faced Boston he put up 61 DKFP.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000), Jayson Tatum ($10,000), Jaylen Brown ($9,100) Jimmy Butler ($8,400)
Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns ($3,500) – Since early March, Murphy has been a part of the rotation, averaging 19.5 minutes. He’s shooting 43% from downtown on 4.3 attempts. He’s long and athletic, which allows him to grab some rebounds and play good defense. The stroke is pure and he can light up the scoreboard. He went for 32 points and 49.75 DKFP back in early March. The most encouraging thing is that the coaching staff trusted him during the play-in tournament, as he played 22 and 24 minutes. Granted, he put up 7.25 DKFP in the first one but he bounced back with 25.25 on Friday.
Other Options – Grant Williams ($3,900), Jae Crowder ($4,200), Max Strus ($4,200), Patrick Williams ($4,700), Kevin Huerter ($4,700)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls ($11,000) – Giannis averages a whopping 1.73 DKFP per minute, the highest mark on the slate. He’s gone for at least 60 DKFP 28 times this season with 10 of those over 70 and a high of 82. He’s the guy I want to pay up for as the Bulls had the 23rd-best defense. Against power forwards, they boosted the FPPM by 3.19% above the league average.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($10,800), Jayson Tatum ($10,000), Jimmy Butler ($8,400)
Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans ($4,200) – The Pelicans allowed 35.5 3-pointers per game during the regular season, good for 13th in the league. They allowed a 36.5% conversion rate, though, fifth-worst. Crowder is averaging 5.4 3-point attempts per game. He’s only averaging 0.82 DKFP per minute but he should play from 25 to 30 minutes. Over the last eight games, he’s gone for at least 20 DKFP in all but one with a high of 30.75.
Other Options – Grant Williams ($3,900), Patrick Williams ($4,700), Danilo Gallinari ($4,900)
Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns ($7,300) – The ownership could be low for Valanciunas after his 18.75-DKFP stinker on Friday. He only played 25 minutes in that one because the Clippers went small, which sent Valanciunas to the bench. He should play plenty on Sunday as the Suns have Deandre Ayton ($7,000) and won’t be going small. In three meetings with Phoenix during the regular season, Valanciunas went over 40 DKFP in each of them.
Other Options – Bam Adebayo ($8,000), Deandre Ayton ($7,000)
Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat ($5,100) – Clint Capela is out and John Collins ($5,300) is questionable. Capela missed eight games during the regular season and Okongwu started five of them, producing 35, 23, 20.25, 32.75 and 40.5 DKFP. It’s the playoffs and Miami has neutralized the FPPM to centers by 19.76% below the league average, which is second-best. That said, he should play as many minutes as he can handle.
Other Options – Brook Lopez ($4,600), Daniel Theis ($4,900)
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