1) The NBA playoffs have begun, and you'll notice we've added a brand new section to our newsletters titled 'Playoff Blueprint'. This is the most in depth section we've ever done and we hope it provides you with everything you need to know for tonight's playoff games!
2) It’s NBA Playoff time at @MKF – Play at least $10 each of the next four days (Tue – Fri) and get a FREE $20 NBA ticket! Learn more here.
3) Our AC+ MLB Newsletter/Membership is OUT NOW! Our tools have been tried and tested over the first month of the MLB season, and we truly can't wait for you guys to use them. Read more about the membership here!
4) If you're looking for an DFS Discord server, we have our very own channel in a rapidly growing group with over 1,000 active DFS members! Join here: DFS Coach/Analytic City Discord!
Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/19)
- Today's main slate features 2 games. Nobody is on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is MEM v SAS at 224.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is GSW v LAL at 222 points.
Welcome to our brand new section for the NBA Playoffs! This section will provide you with a full breakdown (or 'blueprint') of both players and strategies we like for tonight's games. Our goal is for this section to replace our usual 'Need to Know' and 'Core Plays' sections, as there is typically much less injury news in the playoffs and we want to focus in more on matchups and lineup construction!
Tonight's Lineup Construction:
This sub-section will briefly breakdown lineup construction strategies to consider for tonight's slate. Are there high tier must plays? Is there a ton of cheap value? Should you go Stars and Scrubs? Etc.
There are only 4 options over 8k tonight (not to mention Ja is $8,300 and the next highest is Lebron at $10,000), and I think you have to get at least 2 of them in your lineup. There is obviously a significant drop off after this top tier, so not getting one of these 4 that absolutely goes off would probably be a large detriment to your lineup. I would even like getting Steph, Lebron, and Ja, and then filling up your lineup with some lower tier value, which I think there is a decent amount of tonight. With only 2 games being played tonight, there are a limited number of lineup building strategies.
Tier 1 ($8,000 +)
Each of the following tiers will provide our top 2-3 value plays of the night from within the specified price range.
Note: We will be using DraftKings prices for the price-range classifications.
1. Lebron James ($10,000 DK)
It’s playoff time for Lebron, and all basketball fans know what that means: BEAST mode. It’s easy to forget the differences between the regular season and playoffs when we just went through an entire regular season of basketball and haven’t witnessed playoff games for awhile. But, we must remember that Lebron is a completely different player in the postseason, and the postseason will technically start tonight. Lebron knows that a Suns matchup would be preferable to the Jazz, so he’ll treat tonight like a game 7 because it means he can lock up that matchup. I expect him to be more aggressive going to the hoop than we’ve seen all season, especially in the 2nd half.
2. Ja Morant ($8,300 DK)
I know, it’s shocking that I wouldn’t go with Steph here considering how highly I usually view him. But, I expect the Lakers to come out with a double team almost out of the gate tonight in an attempt to slow Steph down from the start. So, that only leaves 2 more players over 8k: AD and Morant. This will be Morant’s second play-in game, and I expect him to bring a crazy amount of intensity tonight. He definitely took a step back this season in terms of his aggressiveness driving to the rim - he opted to be more of a playmaker and pass first PG - but I think he comes out ultra-aggressive tonight in what is obviously a must-win (literally). Ja should be able to get to the rim at ease against a SAS team that is terrible at guarding athletic PG’s like Ja, and I think his athleticism will be a lot for Poeltl to handle at the rim (even though Poeltl is one of the best rim protectors in the league).
Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)
1. Draymond Green ($7,400 DK)
As I briefly mentioned earlier, I think the Lakers might double team Steph tonight out of the gate. However, Steph is the best player in the NBA (yes, I said it), and he will effortlessly make the right play out of the double team, which will result in Draymond getting lots of 4 on 3 advantage opportunities tonight, something he should be able to exploit consistently. Steph will probably find a way to get 25+, but I just don’t see a world where this Lakers team lets Steph get 40, meaning there will have to be other guys on GS who step up their scoring. It also must be noted that Draymond is an experienced playoff player and knows when to turn it on, so I could see him filling up the stat sheet Russell Westbrook style tonight.
2. Demar Derozan ($7,000 DK)
I’m a little bit surprised that Demar is only 7k given the fact that he’s one of the only players on this Spurs team with any legit playoff experience. I wrote an article a while back which explored the difference in isolation frequency in the regular season vs. playoffs; long story short, teams play more isolation in the playoffs. So, even though the Spurs are known for their quick ball and player movement, cutting, and overall unselfishness, I think even they will succumb to the increased isolation basketball, which would bode very well for Demar’s numbers tonight. The Grizzlies are the 6th worst team in the NBA at guarding Small Forwards, and that makes sense when you think about what Demar’s matchup will be. Brooks is far too undersized, and Anderson just doesn’t have the footspeed to keep up with Derozan; I think Demar has a great matchup tonight and takes advantage!
Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)
1. Patty Mills ($3,300 DK)
I am loving me some Patty Mills tonight. At only $3,300 (!), I think you have to get him into your lineup in all formats. He has tons of playoff experience, and I just simply can’t imagine Pop going to a guy like Keldon Johnson or Lonnie Walker in important minutes; I think he’ll rely on Patty, who he’s been relying on in important playoff games for 5+ years now. Patty has proven himself in the clutch many times before, and he’ll get an opportunity to do so again tonight against a MEM team that is TERRIBLE at guarding players like himself. MEM also gives up the 9th most 3 pointers in the NBA, which bodes well for a shooter like Mills, who can light up a team at any given moment.
2. Kevon Looney ($3,800 DK)
This is now the 3rd time I’m discussing it, so I understand if you’re getting bored, but so be it. I expect the Lakers to place an emphasis on doubling Steph tonight from the start, which would open up lots of 4 on 3 opportunities for Draymond, and therefore lots of lobs to the rim for Looney. Draymond is one of the best lob passers in the league, and he should get tons of opportunities to do so tonight against a team that will likely try to limit Steph even when he’s 30+ feet away from the rim. Furthermore, Looney is the best post defender on this team, so he’ll be needed all game against AD and Drummond. He should see 30+ minutes tonight, which will likely be enough for him to return value on his miniscule price tag.
NBA PLAYOFF MKF PLAYS OF THE DAY
NBA Playoff are upon us, so it's a great time to get involved with MKF! I'll be walking you through a few of my favorite NBA Prop plays across some of the many daily MKF contests. If you haven’t seen the types of contests MKF offers, you should really check it out - super fun and easy contests that don’t require much time or research!
Disclaimer: The lines that we are using are the lines at the time of this writing, so those are subject to change (the lines are updated in real time on the MKF website); this is one of the many differences between DK/FD and MKF.
Steph Curry LESS than 35.5 Points
I’m going to keep this short because you’re likely quite tired of me discussing the Lakers doubling Steph tonight. But, I think the Lakers will double team Steph out of the gate in an attempt to stop him from getting going. I just don’t see a Frank Vogel/Lebron James team letting Steph absolutely destroy them like he’s been doing to every other NBA team. Of course I could be wrong (and I may regret going against Steph tonight), but I have to go with my gut here.
Lebron James MORE than 48.5 Fantasy Points
Lebron is projected for fewer MKF fantasy points than AD, which I think is exploitable out of the gate. It’s almost like people forgot what Lebron does in the playoffs; he’ll be far more aggressive tonight than he’s been all season, and I fully expect him to fill up the stat sheet. As I’ve already discussed, Lebron is definitely hunting that Suns matchup (as opposed to the Jazz matchup), because I think they match up quite well with the Suns, who might be the worst 2 seed in the West ever (not saying they’re a bad team, they’re just not a great 2 seed in the West).
Thanks for reading our MKF Plays of the day! And remember, if you sign-up here and use the promo code AC, your first deposit will be 100% matched (up to $50). That means if you deposited an initial $25 and used our link/code, you'd be credited with an additional FREE $25 to use on the site!
Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!