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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (6/13)
- 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 BKN v MIL at 228.5 points. The game with the lowest over/under is DEN v POR at 222.5 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.
You definitely have to be worried about this DEN-PHO game due to the fact that it’s a 3-0 series right now. If the Suns go up early, DEN could mail it in, which could result in the starters FOR BOTH TEAMS playing fewer minutes at the end of the game. I don’t think that will happen (it’ll likely be a good game), but it definitely makes that game a little bit more risky than the BKN-MIL game. I think KD and Giannis are two awesome options in the top-tier (especially because they aren’t even that much more expensive than guys like Dbook or Kyrie, but they have far higher floors). I’ll likely start by locking those 2 guys in, and I’ll therefore probably be going with a stars and scrubs strategy tonight, although I do think there’s some really appealing options THROUGHOUT the slate tonight. Even a guy like MPJ has an excellent ceiling, and he’s my 3rd favorite mid-tier play.
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. Kevin Durant ($10,300)
Without James Harden, Kevin Durant continues to be my favorite player in this top tier. He’s going to be the clear number 1 option offensively, and I expect him to take this game quite seriously considering they can take a commanding 3-1 lead tonight. Durant has also been excellent defensively and on the boards in this series, and it’s led to more peripheral stats for him than we saw throughout the regular season. In a top tier without a clear number 1 guy, Kevin Durant is the most sure-thing you’re going to find; he put up 30 of his team’s 83 points in game 3, so if they score more than 100 tonight (which they probably will), he’ll likely have better scoring numbers.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800)
Similar to KD, Giannis went off in game 3 even though his team only scored 86 points; he had 33 of their 86 points, and he added 14 rebounds to that. I could actually see him playing a lot better tonight, because he shot pretty poorly in game 3, especially from 3. He showed great urgency and intensity in a must-win game 3, and I expect him to show those same qualities tonight in a must-win game 4. At below 11k, I like Giannis a lot tonight.
3. Kyrie Irving ($9,300)
Kyrie hasn’t had a typical Kyrie game yet in this second round series, and I could see him having one at any moment. Even though Jrue is doing an excellent job on him this series, I think he could have a breakout game tonight, especially with James Harden continuing to sit with his hamstring injury. Kyrie should have lower ownership than a lot of the guys in this top-tier, so that makes him a solid GPP play tonight.
Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)
1. Chris Paul ($7,400)
I continue to like CP3 in this mid-tier, because he finally looks like he’s back to himself. He put up 27-8-6 in game 3, and he’s become the focal point of the offense again, which he wasn’t in most of the first series and even the 1st game this series. He’s shooting the 3 ball confidently again, he’s excelling in the mid-range, and he’s getting his teammates involved. He’s going to continue to see big minutes, and in what will probably be a close game tonight, he should be able to take over late-game, which we’ve seen time and time again.
2. Jrue Holiday ($7,200)
Khris Middleton had it going last game, so the Bucks fed him again and again, and went away from Jrue Holiday for the most part. As is the case with the NBA, though, that could completely change tonight, and the fact that Holiday’s price is steadily decreasing makes me like him more and more. He could definitely have a significant bounce back game tonight, as it’s unlikely Middleton is as hot shooting the basketball, so Jrue will probably see more scoring opportunities and touches in general.
3. Michael Porter Jr ($6,300)
Porter hasn’t looked great since his back injury, but he’s not on the injury report today which makes me think he could be back to his normal self. We know he can get hot at any moment, and at only 6.3k, I think you’re getting really good value for Porter in this mid-tier. Barton is still going to be on a minutes restriction, so Porter Jr will continue to be the secondary option for this DEN team; if the Nuggets are going to have ANY chance to come back from this 3-1 lead, Porter is going to have to get going early and often, and I could see Malone feeding him early for that reason.
Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)
1. Aaron Gordon ($4,900)
It’s pretty shocking that Gordon is in this low tier after only a couple sub-par games. He hasn’t shot well, but he’s going to continue to see big minutes as a result of his defense, and I could actually see the Nuggets going to him early. They posted him up a lot in the first game of this series, and I could see them going back to that, because they aren’t going to be successful having Jokic be the only offensive threat. DEN should look to get people not named Jokic involved early, and I think Gordon is at the top of that list.
2. Bruce Brown ($4,700)
Bruce has had an absolute breakout series (and playoffs for that matter), and I think he’ll continue to play really well in his role. He took an ill-advised shot at the end of game 3, and I think he’ll get back to just rolling to the hoop, shooting his floater, and attacking the glass, which still allows him to put up good fantasy numbers, especially in this low-tier. He’s taken great advantage of his quickness mismatch against whichever bigger MIL player is guarding him, and he’ll look to do the same tonight.
3. Facundo Compazzo ($4,300)
Although Facu only played only 18 minutes last game, he could see FAR more minutes than that tonight if he starts out playing well. If he hits some shots or is able to get into the paint and find his teammates, that’ll lead to more minutes, and if he sees starter-type minutes, you’re getting amazing value for him at only 4.3k. He has a higher ceiling, especially in terms of minutes, than most of the guys in this price range, so I would look to attack that tonight, especially in GPP contests.
NBA PLAYOFF MKF PLAYS OF THE DAY
Brook Lopez LESS than 13.5 Points
Since the first game of the series, Lopez has been an absolute non factor on the offensive side of the ball. He’s mainly used as a rim protector and kind of just sits on the 3 point line offensively. Given how small the Nets are, they’ve done a really good job getting out to him as a shooter, so he’s been irrelevant offensively, and I don’t expect anything to change in game 4. His focus is on the defensive side of the ball - it’s just not a good match up.
Jae Crowder LESS than 3.5 Made Threes
Despite the fact that Crowder is shooting well this series, I still think it’s more like he hits 3 or less three pointers tonight. DEN should shade over to him a bit, and I could even see him getting fewer minutes today if this game turns ugly early. Cam Johnson has been playing well, and Torrey Craig could also see solid minutes tonight. Furthermore, Crowder could just shoot poorly, so I’ll definitely be hitting the under tonight.
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