The first round of the playoffs is nearing a conclusion, and we have two potential elimination games scheduled for Wednesday. The action gets underway with Bulls vs. Bucks at 7:30 p.m. ET and wraps up with Nuggets vs. Warriors at 10 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into some of the top studs and values at each position to help with your DraftKings NBA lineups.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets ($9,000) – Head coach Steve Kerr recently announced that Curry will no longer be on a minute restriction. That’s great news for the Warriors and DFS players alike. Curry will presumably move back into the starting lineup, and he’ll have the opportunity to provide excellent value at his current price tag. He’s averaged 1.57 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he should be able to pay off his reduced salary with a few extra minutes.
Other Options – Jrue Holiday ($8,600)
Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks ($4,400) – The biggest piece of news on this slate involves the Bulls. They’re going to be without Zach LaVine, who was recently placed in health and safety protocols. That opens up plenty of minutes in the backcourt in a must-win contest.
Dosunmu is one potential beneficiary. He’s thrived in 12 games without LaVine this season, averaging 38 minutes and 29.4 DKFP per game. Value is hard to come by on this slate, but Dosunmu is one of the few exceptions.
Other Options – Bones Hyland ($4,300)
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets ($7,100) – Shooting guard is the weakest position on Wednesday’s slate. Thompson is the only player priced above $5,800, and even he has some questions. It’s possible that he could lose a few minutes at the expense of Curry, and he could suffer from a usage perspective as well.
Still, Thompson clearly has the highest ceiling at the position. He’s coming off 43.5 DKFP in just 30.7 minutes in Game 4, and he’s averaged 1.10 DKFP per minute this season. He derives the vast majority of his fantasy value from his shooting ability, but Thompson has the ability to get red-hot from behind the arc. If his jump shot is falling – like it was in his last game – he can pile up fantasy points quickly.
Other Options – Will Barton ($5,800)
Coby White, Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks ($4,500) – White is another excellent value target for the Bulls. He should also see a nice spike in playing time sans LaVine, and he’s averaged 0.82 DKFP per minute this season. He’s also been particularly effective in games without LaVine this season, averaging 30.16 DKFP over 34.8 minutes per game. You’ll gladly take that kind of production at just $4,500.
Other Options – Pat Connaughton ($3,800)
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks ($8,800) – DeRozan won’t necessarily see a bump in playing time with LaVine out of the lineup, but he should definitely benefit from a usage perspective. He’s increased his usage rate by 4.4 percentage points with LaVine out of the lineup this season, resulting in an average of 1.30 DKFP per minute. DeRozan has the potential to play more than 40 minutes in an elimination game, making him one of the strongest overall plays of the day.
Other Options – Andrew Wiggins ($5,900)
Otto Porter Jr., Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets ($3,900) – Things are pretty ugly at the bottom of the SF position today. No one stands out as a particularly strong option, but Otto Porter could be worth considering. His price tag has decreased significantly since the start of the postseason, but he remains a part of the Warriors’ rotation. He’s logging around 20 minutes per game, and Porter has averaged 0.93 DKFP per minute this season. His production has decreased significantly over the past month, but Porter has a long track record of being a strong per-minute producer. There’s some buy-low appeal here.
Other Options – Patrick Williams ($5,000)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls ($11,600) – LaVine is the only meaningful absence to consider in this contest. Khris Middleton also remains sidelined for the Bucks, which is going to have an impact on their rotation.
Antetokounmpo is already one of the best fantasy producers in the league, and he should see a usage bump with Middleton sidelined. He posted a 39.7% usage rate in Game 4, resulting in a whopping 67.75 DKFP. Antetokounmpo is an absolute monster in the peripheral categories, so any bump to his scoring gives him the potential for a huge performance. There are plenty of studs to choose from on Wednesday, but Giannis is near the top of the list.
Other Options – Draymond Green ($6,700), Bobby Portis ($6,500)
Aaron Gordon, Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors ($6,000) – The Nuggets are looking for one of their role players to step up during the playoffs, and Gordon has been that guy recently. He’s scored at least 40.0 DKFP in back-to-back games, but his salary remains reasonable at $6,000. Overall, Gordon has averaged 1.01 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s expected to see around 34 minutes in Game 5.
Other Options – JaMychal Green ($3,100)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors ($11,400) – Jokic is expected to take home his second consecutive MVP award, and he has had an incredible season. He’s averaged 1.84 DKFP per minute, and he’s increased that figure to 1.87 over the past month. The Nuggets are also facing elimination on Wednesday, so it’s reasonable to expect a few additional minutes. That said, Jokic only played 37.7 minutes in Game 4, so I wouldn’t expect him to play much more than that.
Other Options – Nikola Vucevic ($8,400)
DeMarcus Cousins, Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors ($3,300) – The reason Jokic hasn’t played 40+ minutes in this series is that the team clearly likes Cousins. He’s played around 10 minutes per game during the postseason, and while that wouldn’t be enough for most players, it’s plenty for Cousins. He’s still one of the best producers in the league on a per-minute basis, averaging 1.39 DKFP per minute this season. That makes Cousins arguably the best pure punt play on the slate and a viable target for stars-and-scrubs builds.
Other Options – Brook Lopez ($5,700)
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