We have four Game 4s on the slate with all of the higher seeds up in the series. Golden State has the brooms ready for the sweep while the other three teams can take a commanding 3-1 series lead if they win today. There have only been 13 teams to come back from a 3-1 deficit, so this is a pivotal game for the underdogs if they wish to continue on in the playoffs.
Let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings NBA lineups.
CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns ($8,400) – So far in the series, McCollum has played 43, 40 and 41 minutes, garnering a usage rate of 28.5%, 24.9% and 31.6%. He’s attempted over 20 shots and at least 10 3-pointers in two of the games. Usually just a scoring threat, McCollum has displayed the full arsenal, grabbing rebounds, dishing out assists and contributing defensive stats. He has a block in each game and has a steal in two of the three games. This has translated to 48, 50 and 52.5 DKFP. He’s $1,000 cheaper than the top options on the slate but has proven that he can come close to matching their output.
Other Options – Chris Paul ($9,300)
Delon Wright, Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat ($3,800) – Wright is a low-usage player but he’s been a significant part of the rotation. He’s received 21, 30 and 30 minutes, producing 20.5, 19.25 and 21.25 DKFP. That is in the upper band of the range of outcomes for Wright and production in the teens is likely. That said, he’s cheap and should be out on the court for a hefty sum of minutes.
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Phoenix Suns ($8,800) - The usage rate has been over 30% in each of the last two games, which has resulted in 34 and 37 points. The contributions in the periphery stats can sometimes be lacking, but he did grab 11 rebounds and dish out nine assists in Game 2. Ingram is going to play 37 to 40 minutes and will have a high usage rate. He and McCollum are the engines that make the Pelicans’ offense go.
Other Options – CJ McCollum ($8,400), Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,100)
Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat ($5,100) – Huerter isn’t the most exciting player but he does contribute a little something in every category but blocks and is on the floor a ton. Over the past two games, he’s played 34 in each game and contributed 28.75 and 27.75 DKFP. He’s averaged 0.88 DKFP/Min over the last month, so somewhere in the high-20s is the likely outcome but he has shown the ability to reach his ceiling. During the regular season, he scored at least 30 DKFP 18 times with three of those over 40.
Other Options – Delon Wright ($3,800), Max Strus ($4,400)
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks ($8,800) – Butler is one of the most well-rounded players in the NBA, so it’s somewhat surprising that he only has 10 triple-doubles to his name. I’m sure he’s come close countless times, though. Regardless, he’s always going to stuff the stat sheet on a daily basis. The question is how aggressive will he be on offense. He usually works within the confines of the offense and defers at times, but when he is needed, he usually steps up, as evidenced by his 45-point Game 2 explosion. Over the past two games, he’s put up 64.75 and 51.5 DKFP. It’s winning time, so the floor should be relatively high.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500), Brandon Ingram ($8,800), Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,100)
Max Strus, Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks ($4,400) – Strus is the antithesis of Butler, in that he’s not going to contribute much outside of points. That said, he’s not shy and will huck up his opportunities. He’s started and played 22 and 29 minutes in the past two games while putting up 26.25 and 24.75 DKFP. During the regular season, he went for at least 30 DKFP 11 times with two of those over 40.
Other Options – Kevin Huerter ($5,100)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls ($11,500) – Giannis disappointed last game with 40.25 DKFP, but it wasn’t his fault as the Bulls did not put up a fight and lost by 30 points. I’d expect a more competitive game on Sunday. Giannis averages a whopping 1.77 DKFP per minute. 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 went for 55 and 75 DKFP.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,500), Jimmy Butler ($8,900), Bobby Portis ($6,200)
Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans ($4,700) – There are not many value options I like at power forward, so Crowder it is. I know, a ringing endorsement. He will likely score in the 20-DKFP range with a chance for 30. Crowder played 34 minutes last game with Booker out, so somewhere in the 30- to 34-minute range should be expected. He gets the volume of shots. It’s just a matter of whether he converts, as he was a 40% shooter during the regular season. He grabs his share of rebounds and contributes in the defensive categories. This is more a floor play with a modicum of upside.
Other Options – Patrick Williams ($4,200)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors ($11,600) – If you thought Giannis averaged a ton of DKFP/Min then you are going to laugh at Jokic’s numbers. He was at 1.84 during the regular season and has upped that to 1.93 over the last month! In the first two games of the series, the Warriors “bottled” him up for 54.5 and 51.75 DKFP. He then responded with 73 in Game 3. On the season, Jokic has exceeded fantasy point expectations 90% of the time. Crazy. The Nuggets are in danger of getting swept on their home floor so I’d expect Jokic and the Nuggets to go down swinging at least.
Other Options – Deandre Ayton ($8,100), Nikola Vucevic ($7,900), Bobby Portis ($6,200)
Dewayne Dedmon, Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks ($3,200) – Dedmon has only played 15, 13 and 13 minutes in this series. He averages 1.04 DKFP/Min though and has garnered a usage rate over 20% in the last two games. He’s only $3,200, though, and he put up 17.25, 16.75 and 11.5 DKFP. It’s not exciting, but for the price, it’s not bad. There is upside if the game is a blowout or if Adebayo gets injured or in foul trouble.
Other Options – JaVale McGee ($4,000)
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