We have a trifecta of Game 3s on the menu today with each game having a spread of 2.5 points or lower. NBA is faaaantastic! Unfortunately, Devin Booker, Khris Middleton and Clint Capela have been ruled out.
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 at New Orleans Pelicans ($8,900) – Devin Booker is out so Paul will see an increase in usage rate. During the regular season, that number went up three percentage points to 23.4%. There was a stretch of seven games back in early December when Booker was out while Paul played. Five of those games had a final margin of over 10 points, so it’s tough to get an accurate read, but in the two competitive games, Paul went for 44.75 and 61.5 DKFP. I will side with the upper range of outcomes here, since it’s the playoffs and the series is tied 1-1.
Other Options – Jrue Holiday ($8,000), CJ McCollum ($8,200)
Gabe Vincent, Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks ($3,600) – Vincent is a 3-and-D player and only averages 0.77 FP/Min but he’s played 26 and 25 minutes in the first two games of the series with Atlanta. He’s put up 21.25 and 24.75 DKFP in those games with a usage rate of 16%. If he gets a similar workload, he should be able to pay off his salary expectations.
Other Options – Cameron Payne ($4,500), Delon Wright ($3,400)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns ($9,000) - CJ McCollum ($8,200) probably has the safer/higher floor and is $800 cheaper, but Ingram has the higher ceiling. In Game 2, he exploded for 37 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, one block and one steal, which translated to 69.25 DKFP. In Game 1, he went for 30.25 DKFP. Decisions, decisions. Regardless, he played 39 minutes in each contest and a similar workload should be expected. The usage rate was 31.8% and 25.2% so you know he’s going to be heavily involved.
Other Options – CJ McCollum ($8,200). Brandon Ingram ($7,800)
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat ($5,500) – In terms of range of outcomes, Bogdanovic may have the biggest spread. In Game 1, he went for 11.75 DKFP then came back and put up 40.5 DKFP. During the regular season, he scored fewer than 20 DKFP 11 times but went over 40 DKFP seven times. The usage rate was over 20% in the first two games of the series. I lean towards the upside but it will come down to roster construction and your overall philosophy.
Other Options – Kevin Huerter ($5,000), Delon Wright ($3,400), Max Strus ($4,700)
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks ($8,800) – It’s the playoffs and we know that Butler will be dog, unlike a certain KAT. Ok, that was a low blow but I couldn’t resist. Butler averaged 1.22 FP/Min this season and he will likely end up in the 40 DKFP area. He does have another gear if needed, though, as evidenced by his Game 2 performance of 45 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals for 64.75 DKFP. Is that the likeliest scenario? Niet, but it’s within the range of outcomes. Regardless, Butler is going to garner a high usage rate. In the first two games of the series, that number was 29% and 35.2% while played 34 and 39 minutes.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,200), Brandon Ingram ($9,000)
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans ($4,700) – With Booker out, Johnson will likely enter the starting rotation. In 16 games during the regular season as a starter, he averaged 32.7 minutes, 16.3 points, 4.9 rebounds. 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 49% from the floor and garnering a 17.5% usage rate. He scored at least 30 DKFP in eight of those contests with two games over 40. He should get plenty of good looks with the Pelicans focusing on Paul and Ayton.
Other Options – Bogdan Bogdanovic ($5,500), Max Strus ($4,700), Patrick Williams ($4,200)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls ($11,200) – Giannis averages a whopping 1.77 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. Now he will operate without Middleton in the fold. The usage rate is already high without him but it increases a few percentage points to 36% with Middleton off the floor. In the first two games of the series, Giannis has gone for 55 and 75 DKFP. He has the highest floor/ceiling combo on the slate. The only question is regarding roster construction.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,600), Jimmy Butler ($8,800)
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($4,200) – Williams only played 23 minutes in Game 1 and contributed 12.25 DKFP. In Game 2, he played 32 minutes and put up 29.25 DKFP. The Bucks have been trapping the main offensive weapons of the Bulls, forcing the role players to beat them. In Game 1, Williams was hesitant. In Game 2, he was more aggressive offensively which made the Bucks pay for their defensive scheme and helped the Bulls steal home court with a 114-110 victory. In the last regular season game, Williams went for 35 points when the starters sat, so he does have offensive skill. I don’t see the Bucks altering their defensive gameplan significantly, which should afford opportunities for Williams to produce fantasy goodies.
Other Options – Cameron Johnson ($4,700), Larry Nance Jr. ($4,200)
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks ($7,700) – Vucevic has put up 56.75 and 47.75 DKFP in the first two games of the series. He’s played 39 and 37 minutes while garnering a usage rate of 34.7% and 24.5%. He’s scored 24 points in each contest despite the Bucks doubling him more in Game 2. He’s grabbed 17 and 13 rebounds and contributed some defensive stats. Vucevic has attempted eight and 10 shots from downtown, which is huge because the Bucks’ defensive philosophy is to defend the paint first then branch out. Brook Lopez is a huge piece for protecting the paint, so the ability of Vucevic to stretch the floor puts him in a quandary and compromises their defense to a degree.
Other Options – Deandre Ayton ($7,600)
Dewayne Dedmon, Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks ($3,300) – Dedmon has only played 13 and 15 minutes in the first two games of the series, but he’s put up 16.75 and 17.25 DKFP. He averages 1.03 FP/Min. Bam Adebayo is questionable, so there’s a chance that he doesn’t play with Dedmon getting the start. I wouldn’t like that scenario, though, because the ownership level would spike to an uncomfortable level. The real upside is if Adebayo plays but reaggravates the injury early in the game.
Other Options – Brook Lopez ($5,300)
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