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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (5/31)
- 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 PHI v WAS at 230 points. The game with the lowest over/under is UTA v MEM at 226 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.
Note: Since there are just 2 games tonight, I’ll be giving only 2 plays from each tier. Doing any more than that would result in me writing about players who I think won't perform well.
Boy oh boy do I hate a slate like this. There’s only 2 games, so virtually every player will be highly owned, and you’re not going to pull one over on the field tonight. It’s important to note that WAS is in a potential sweep situation, which could mean that they might take their foot off the gas pedal (EXCEPT RUSS, because he’s an absolute DAWG). Same could be said for PHI, who might rest some of their stars if the game gets out of hand early. The Jazz/Grizz game, though, should have far more fantasy value and far less variability in it. If, for example, the Jazz are up by 20 in the 4th quarter, the Grizzlies won’t mail it in, rather they’ll try to make a comeback because they’re still in the series. Keep that in mind tonight when picking your lineups.
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. Russell Westbrook ($11,000) *assuming he plays*
The Wizards are in danger of getting swept tonight, so I think Russell will come out tonight with some incredible energy. He’s not going to get embarrassed out there, so if they lose this game tonight, he’s definitely going to go down swinging, which means taking lots of shots and being super aggressive in transition. If there’s anybody that’s going to bring it no matter what, it’s going to be Russ, who even brings it for virtually every regular season game. He’s not gonna get punked tonight, and you can take that to the bank.
2. Ja Morant ($8,400)
Ja has been playing great this series, and I only think he’ll continue to get more comfortable and confident as the playoffs go on (this is his first playoffs, so it’ll definitely take a couple games to adjust to the playoff intensity). Ja is also a gamer, and there’s no better opportunity to have a big game on a big stage than in a must-win game 4 tonight at home. He’s had 26, 24, and 47 this series, so you have to feel pretty good about his floor. JoVal has also been extremely ineffective in this series, therefore further opening up opportunities for Ja.
Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)
1. Mike Conley ($7,000)
I don’t see myself going away from Conley anytime soon, especially if he’s going to continue to be right in the middle of this mid-tier. He’s basically split the playmaking duties with Mitchell, and he’s played some unbelievable basketball in this series; he’s scored more than 20 points in each of the 3 games and has also had more than 8 assists in each of the 3 games. He’s gotten into the paint with ease, and he’s been shooting the ball incredibly off of both the catch and dribble. Mitchell’s playmaking has also opened up lots of catch and shoot threes for Conley, which I expect to continue to happen if Mitchell ups his usage.
2. Tobias Harris ($7,300)
Tobias has quietly had a great fantasy series, and it’s because he’s made an effort to get on the glass heavily in this series. He averaged 6 rebounds during the regular season, but has logged 6, 9, and 13 in the first three games, respectively. If he continues to rebound the ball like that, it sets him up to have a pretty high floor, especially with the 20+ shots he’s been averaging in this series. He only had 19 and 20 in games 2 and 3, so I think he could have a big scoring night tonight as the Sixers try to boost his confidence before round 2, where they’ll definitely need him to score the ball well.
Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)
1. Grayson Allen ($3,600)
Grayson was coming off of an injury at the start of the playoffs, so he only played 23 and 19 minutes in his first two games. In game 3, though, he logged 30 minutes and put up 17 and 3, so I could see his minutes staying around there tonight. With all of the playmakers that MEM has (Morant, Brooks, JoVal, and even Anderson), Grayson is often left open for corner threes, which he’s been super consistent on. I expect Grayson to play off of his awesome game 3 performance and shoot the ball well again tonight. He’s got an awesome ceiling if he gets hot.
2. Royce O’Neale ($4,800)
Royce has quietly developed into one of the league's best 3 and d players, and it’s earned him heavy minutes night in and night out for this Jazz team. He’s locked in for those 30+ minutes, and since he’s in a similar situation to Grayson Allen where his entire team is filled with playmakers and ball movers, he’s able to get lots of open looks from three. Not to mention he also stuffs the stat sheet with defensive and rebounding stats, with the occasional high assist night as a result of Utah’s great ball movement and 3 point shooting. This is kind of a side note, but Royce O’Neale is one of the best “extra pass” players in the league, and it’s how he gets most of his assists.
NBA PLAYOFF MKF PLAYS OF THE DAY
Matisse Thybulle (+0.5 steals and blocks) MORE Steals and Blocks than Daniel Gafford
Giving Thybulle a +0.5 advantage in a contest like this seems ludacris. Thybulle is able to rack up defensive stats in a short period of time like no one I’ve ever seen. He has 6 steals and 7 blocks this series in 3 games, and he’s played fewer than 20 minutes in each of those games. If he gets those minutes tonight (or more, which I could see happening in a close-out game), he should have a great chance at beating Gafford in this contest, who only has 2 steals and 3 blocks in this series in more minutes.
Rudy Gobert MORE Rebounds than Jonas Valanciunas (+1.5 Rebounds)
Even though JoVal is an absolute beast in the paint, he’s had a lot of problems staying out of foul trouble this series. I think the fear of him sitting big minutes pushes me towards Gobert, who is completely locked in for serious minutes and almost never gets in foul trouble. I also expect the Jazz to take a commanding 3-1 lead tonight, which could be because MEM misses more shots than Utah, which results in more DEF rebound opportunities.
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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!