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Today's Optimizers and Datasheets
(Note: Needs Excel Version 2010 or later)
QUICK HITTERS (6/3)
- Today's main slate features 2 games. Nobody is on a back to back.
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.
With only 2 games tonight, it’s super important to consider which of those games will be higher scoring/will be played at a faster pace. 8 of the 9 players I discussed today come from the DEN-POR game, because I feel as though that game is far more appealing from a DFS sense. The LAL-PHO series has been played at a slow pace, and it’s been quite low scoring throughout. Both teams are packing the paint and have excellent defensive gameplans that have been quite effective. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t value to be found in this game, it just means there will be far fewer players who return value (most likely). The POR-DEN game, on the other hand, will likely be quite high scoring; neither team has been able to limit the other squad offensively, and both teams have therefore tried to play at a fairly fast pace. I expect the same to happen tonight.
Tier 1 ($8,000+)
Lebron James ($10,100)
In an elimination game tonight, and either without AD completely or without a healthy AD, I expect Lebron to go full Lebron mode tonight. He’s not the type of player to give up (we saw him come back from a 3-1 deficit with Cleveland years back), and I could definitely see him coming back from this 3-2 deficit tonight. In only 32 minutes, Lebron put up 24-7-5 in game 5, and he should see more minutes tonight in a game that definitely shouldn’t be a blowout. If AD plays, it wouldn’t really make me any less excited about Lebron tonight, because I think Lebron will still take the lead.
Damian Lillard ($10,300)
Damian Lillard is quite frankly ridiculous; he’s gotten whatever he’s wanted in this series (both on the 3 point line and towards the rim), and I don’t expect that to change tonight. Although these teams will continue to make adjustments, we know what these teams are and what this series looks like; it’ll be a high scoring game, and Lillard is going to be the focal point of POR’s offense, like he has been for games 1-5. He’s in a groove like no other player in the NBA right now, and I think you have to go with Dame when he’s feeling it like he is.
Nikola Jokic ($10,700)
As I just mentioned in Lillard’s section, I believe this game will be high scoring once again. Jokic is going to continue to go at Nurkic in an attempt to get him in foul trouble (which has worked quite well so far this series), and I expect him to continue to dominate from that high post area tonight. Like Lillard, he’s gotten virtually everything he’s wanted in this series, and there aren’t going to be any adjustments from POR this game that are going to have a meaningful impact on Jokic’s level of production. He is what he is, and the POR defense is what it is, and they can’t stop him.
Tier 2 ($5,000-$7,900)
Cj McCollum ($7,600)
Cj will have to step up for Portland tonight if they’re going to even this series at 3 games apiece. Lillard put up 55 points in the last game, and the Blazers were unable to secure the win, so I think that will have an impact on Lillard’s outlook in game 6. I expect Lillard to look to get Cj and his other teammates involved early, because he knows they’ll have to help him out later in the game if they’re going to win. We know what McCollum can do in important games and important minutes, and I expect him to have his best game of the series tonight.
Michael Porter Jr ($6,900)
The Nuggets made a concerted effort to go to Michael Porter Jr early in game 5, and it went quite well for them. He got going early, and it allowed the rest of the DEN team to play off of his shooting gravity and athleticism. I expect the Nuggets to look for Michael Porter Jr early and often again in game 6, as Jokic and Michael Malone definitely know that Jokic can’t do it by himself. Porter Jr led the team in minutes last game, and at only 6.9k, you’re getting excellent value for him in this mid-tier.
Aaron Gordon ($5,300)
Aaron Gordon’s price tag makes him a solid play tonight, despite his limited involvement as a focal point of the DEN offense. He’ll continue to play big minutes as a result of his defense and versaitility, and simply by virtue of playing with Jokic, he can rack up offensive statistics. Given the fact that he’s almost in this low-tier, I think Gordon is one of the safer plays of the night. Maybe he doesn’t have the highest ceiling, but he has a pretty high floor, which makes him a solid play in cash lineups.
Tier 3 ($3,000-$4,900)
Monte Morris ($4,700)
Despite not starting in this series, Morris put up 28-5-3 in game 5, and he got the important minutes down the stretch. Malone has tons of confidence in Morris, and I think he’ll continue to get big minutes as a result. He has incredible chemistry with Jokic, and he often plays off of him to get open three pointers and layups. Morris is locked in for more minutes and usage than most of the guys in this low-tier, so I really like the value you’re getting for him at 4.7k.
Austin Rivers ($4,500)
I know, I know. I just wrote about Morris, and now I’m writing about Rivers, who starts ahead of him. The truth is that both of them can be successful tonight, especially considering both guys are in the low-tier and don’t have to do much to return value. Rivers put up 18-7-1 in 47 minutes in the last game (the 2nd most minutes on the team), and like Morris, it seems that he’s gained the confidence of Malone, so I expect him to continue to see important minutes in the 4th quarter.
Carmelo Anthony ($4,200)
To be completely honest, I struggled a lot with this last low-tier spot. I don’t love Carmelo, but there are simply not a lot of good options tonight in this price range. Carmelo has a higher ceiling than a lot of the other guys in this low-tier, so that’s the largest reason I would take a flyer on him tonight. That being said, he has a chance to completely flop as well if he misses shots. He should see increased minutes if Nurkic gets in foul trouble (which he probably will) tonight.
Each days newsletter will be posted no later than 2 hours before the main slate of games tips-off, see you tomorrow!