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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/27)
- Today's main slate features 3 games. Nobody is on a back to back.
- As of this writing, the game with the highest over/under is DEN v POR at 227.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is PHO v LAL at 212 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.
I’ll start off my lineup tonight by locking in Jimmy using our lock feature in our optimizer. He’s my favorite value play of the night, and I really like him at the bottom end of that top-tier. I might also get Lillard and Jokic and then just go stars and scrubs to finish out my lineup. I think Lillard, Jokic, and Butler all have pretty excellent floors, and I think some of the guys in this bottom tier have really good ceilings, so I think that’s the strategy you have to use tonight to build your lineup.
Tier 1 ($8,000+)
Each of the following tiers will provide our top 2-3 value plays (depending on how many games there are) of the night from within the specified price range.
Note: We will be using DraftKings prices for the price-range classifications.
1. Jimmy Butler ($8,400)
The Heat are down 0-2, and I just don’t see a player like Jimmy coming out soft tonight, especially considering what happened in game 2. He’s had a really rough series up to this point, and I would be shocked if he doesn’t turn it around tonight in what is a must-win game. Even though the Bucks blew out the Heat last game, this one will definitely be closer, and I even wouldn’t be surprised if the Heat take it and make this a series. I just simply don’t see a world where Jimmy doesn’t perform tonight.
2. Damian Lillard ($9,400)
Lillard has had a great first two games in this series, and he’s been virtually unstoppable from behind the arc, just as I predicted in a recent article. At a sub 10k price tag, I’m going to go right back to Dame tonight in a huge game 3. DEN switched Aaron Gordon onto him in the second half of game 2 (and it limited Dame), and then Dame was asked if that’ll continue to happen and responded “we’ll see” in the press conference. I actually think it would be a good sign if Gordon starts on him; it means they probably won’t send a double, and it also means Lillard will COME TO PLAY.
3. Nikola Jokic ($10,700)
After watching the first two games of this series, I can no longer fade Jokic. He’s just getting everything so easily on this POR defense, and I don’t expect anything to change. Sending a hard double at Jokic in the middle of the court is a death sentence, so I think he’ll continue to dominate from that area tonight against Nurkic and Kanter. Nobody on POR can stick with him 1 on 1, and I expect Nikola to continue to exploit matchups all night. He’s put up 34 and 38 in the first two games of the series, and tonight will be the most important game as of yet, so I expect him to bring it.
Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)
1. Jrue Holiday ($7,600)
I think you’re getting great value out of Jrue Holiday tonight. He hasn’t had a great scoring performance yet this series, but he’s done an excellent job being a facilitator, so he can clearly have a big game in multiple different ways. I think the Heat will make it a little bit tougher on Giannis tonight, which should open up some usage and scoring opportunities for Jrue. Also, I just don’t expect the Bucks to get the same production out of their bench; Forbes and Pat are not going to put up a combined 33 like they did in the last game, so it’s more likely those points are distributed to multiple Bucks starters, Jrue included.
2. Deandre Ayton ($6,300)
I just don’t understand why Ayton is still this cheap given what he’s done in the first two games of this series. The Lakers strategy is clearly to bombard CP3 and Devin Booker off of screen and rolls, and that has resulted in a lot of opportunities for Ayton at and near the rim. He’s put up 21-16 and 22-10 in the first two games, and if he does that again, he’ll easily return value. Also, he’s spending a lot of time near the rim on defense, which has allowed him to get tons of boards. He’s either covering Drummond or AD, two guys that spend more of their time in the post/mid-post, so he’s right at the defensive glass when the boards are available. This is a lot different than if he were playing POR for example, where he would constantly have to be running out past the 3 point line on screens to defend Lillard’s shooting threat.
3. Goran Dragic ($5,100)
If the Heat are going to make this a game tonight, they’re going to have to get production from guys like Dragic, and I think they will. Dragic had 25 and 18 points in the first two games; when he comes in the game off the bench, he is oftentimes the focal point of the offense. Furthermore, his bench role makes him avoid a matchup with a guy like Jrue Holiday, who is usually out when Dragic is in. I think Dragic will continue to be successful for MIA, and I could even see his minutes and role increasing tonight. I think you’re getting awesome value with Dragic at the bottom of the mid-tier tonight.
Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)
1. Monte Morris ($4,200)
I’ve written about Morris in each of the first two games of this series, and I’m certainly not going to stop tonight. His minutes ramped up from 22 to 30 in game 2, and I could see them increasing again tonight (and I could even see him getting the start). He’s still getting back from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for around a month, so it’s understandable that he’s slowly working his way back. But, he’s played better than Rivers, and I expect him to continue to get those end of game minutes for the Nuggets, especially as he continues to become more comfortable with that hamstring.
2. Cameron Payne ($4,800)
Cam Payne played 33 minutes in game 2 and put up 19-7-3. I think he continues to see a large portion of those PG minutes as long as CP3 is less productive than normal, which means Cam Payne is an excellent find at just 4.8k. If Payne gets 30+ minutes again, I would be absolutely shocked if he didn’t return value. He’s been playing really well in all facets and he provides such an immediate spark off the bench; I think you really have to consider playing him over a hurt CP3 in important moments.
3. Duncan Robinson ($4,600)
I’m not going to lie, I just have a feeling Duncan could have a big shooting night tonight. He’ll likely have Middleton matched up with him from the start, and I think the Heat attack that match up early and often, much like they did in game 1. They should run Middleton off of screen after screen in order to tire him out and get some open looks for Duncan. It’s what worked in game 1, and I think it’s what they’ll have to do in game 3 if they want to walk away with a win. He’s held his own defensively this series, so I expect him to continue finishing games, meaning he’s locked in for starter minutes.
NBA PLAYOFF MKF PLAYS OF THE DAY
Jimmy Butler MORE than 23.5 Points
I’m going to be hunting Jimmy Butler on MKF tonight. We saw what playoff Jimmy did in the bubble last season, but he’s been nothing off the sort so far in this year’s playoffs. I have to think that he’ll eventually turn it around; he’s a DAWG and I don’t see him giving up or getting intimidated, rather I see him bringing it EVEN MORE tonight in what is a must-win game 3. Personally, I think Jimmy goes off tonight and the Heat win game 3, making game 4 a big-time match up in which MIA can tie the series.
Jimmy Butler MORE than 45.5 Fantasy Points
Not only do I think Jimmy comes out taking the ball aggressively to the hoop early and often (and therefore scoring early and often), but I think he’s an absolute beast on the glass tonight. The Bucks have punished the Heat on the boards, and I expect that to be a major adjustment for MIA tonight. Jimmy is the leader of this team, and therefore he will be the leader of that change, so I expect him to get to the glass and attack in transition tonight.
Hey Everyone! If you haven't already, be sure to get set up with an account for the playoffs. MKF is one way to make these playoff games even more entertaining and it's super simple to play!
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Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!