We have a rare treat on Wednesday, with the NBA offering up four postseason contests. Four-game slates are typically reserved for the weekends during the first round, but there is plenty to capture our attention this evening.
Wednesday’s NBA slate gets underway at 7:00 p.m. ET. Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors ($8,800) – The first-round series between the Kings and Warriors has been highly entertaining so far, splitting the first four contests at two games apiece. Unfortunately, Fox suffered a fractured left index finger in Game 4, but he told reporters that he will suit up in a pivotal Game 5.
That injury could impact his effectiveness, but Fox has been breathtaking through the first four games of this series. He’s racked up at least 53.25 DKFP in all four games, including 59.25 DKFP in Game 4. That was the game where he reportedly suffered the injury, but he was still able to score 38 points in just under 40 minutes of playing time.
This matchup is expected to be easily the highest-scoring of the day, with the 234.5-point total ranking first on the slate by 12 full points. The spread also sits at just 1.5, so this is the perfect type of contest to target for fantasy purposes.
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks ($8,700) – The Cavaliers were pretty much run out of the gym in their two games in New York, scoring just 79 and 93 points in their two losses. Mitchell was a big reason for their offensive woes, shooting a paltry 14-37 from the field and 2-12 from 3-point range. He also had six turnovers in both contests, so he unsurprisingly failed to return value in both games.
However, Mitchell was much more effective during the first two contests in Cleveland, including a 66.25 DKFP masterpiece in Game 1. That makes him an interesting buy-low target at $8,700. The Knicks are not a fun matchup, but Mitchell’s price tag has decreased by more than $1,000 since the start of the series. He should play 40+ minutes in an elimination game, and his average of 1.26 DKFP per minute over the past month leads all shooting guards on Wednesday’s slate.
Other Options – Jrue Holiday ($8,100), Desmond Bane ($7,700)
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors at Sacramento Kings ($5,000) – Poole hasn’t played a ton of minutes for the Warriors of late, but he did see at least 26.1 minutes in each of the past two contests. That’s more than enough to make him a viable option at his current price tag. Poole racked up at least 32.5 DKFP in both of those contests, and he’s averaged an outstanding 1.26 DKFP per minute over the past month. Poole has been priced under $6,000 in just 15 previous games this season, and he’s averaged 31.55 DKFP in those contests.
Other Options – Caris LeVert ($5,200), Gabe Vincent ($4,300)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat ($10,400) – Giannis returned to the Bucks’ lineup in Game 4 after missing most of the first three games of this series. He showed no real signs of rust, racking up 65.5 DKFP thanks to 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists across 38.5 minutes. His usage rate was also at just 31.0% in that contest, which was well below his league-leading mark of 38.8% during the regular season. Giannis might regress a bit in the assist department on Wednesday, but he should make up for it with some additional scoring.
While Giannis is in play every time he takes the floor, his current price tag is absolutely egregious. He’s the best producer in fantasy, averaging 1.80 DKFP per minute for the season, and he’s increased that figure to 2.0 over the past month. There is no scenario where he should be priced at less than $11,000, and even that is still probably too cheap. He’s scored at least 63.25 DKFP in three of his past four games, and he played less than 33 minutes in two of them. In an elimination contest, it’s hard to imagine him not approaching 40 minutes on Wednesday, giving Giannis easily the top ceiling on the slate.
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks ($9,400) – Butler is known for delivering huge games on the biggest stages, but he took things to another level in Game 4. The Heat were down 12 points with less than six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, and he willed them to a comeback win and a 3-1 series lead. His 56 points were the most in franchise history for a postseason game for a franchise that featured all-time greats like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
What does he have in store for an encore? I wouldn’t expect another 73.25 DKFP, but he’s certainly capable of returning value at his current salary. He’s scored at least 47.25 DKFP in three of four playoff contests, including a game where he played just 28.2 minutes. As long as this game stays competitive, expect another strong showing from Playoff Jimmy.
Other Options – Jaren Jackson Jr. ($7,800), Julius Randle ($6,900)
Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers ($4,600) – This series couldn’t be going much worse for Dillon Brooks. He “poked the bear” after winning Game 2 by calling LeBron James old, and he proceeded to shoot just 3-13 from the field before getting ejected in Game 3. He followed that up with another subpar performance in Game 4, and his team is now facing elimination at home in Game 5.
Still, it’s hard to find cheap players who have the potential to play big minutes during the postseason, and Brooks fits that description on Wednesday. He racked up just under 41 minutes in Game 4, and he posted a usage rate of at least 30.2% in Games 2 and 3. Overall, Brooks has averaged a respectable 0.81 DKFP per minute for the season, so he has the potential to be one of the better values of the day if he sees another 35+ minutes.
Other Options – Harrison Barnes ($5,300), Gary Payton II ($3,700)
Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors ($9,300) – Sabonis has been pretty well neutralized by the Warriors during this series. He’s been held to 43.5 DKFP or fewer in all four games, despite averaging 48.28 DKFP during the regular season.
That said, Sabonis is still seeing plenty of playing time in this series, and he averaged an excellent 1.39 DKFP per minute during the regular season. He’s also been priced down to $9,300, and Sabonis has only been priced below $10,000 on 35 previous occasions this year.
Sabonis doesn’t stand out as a priority stud target, but that should result in minimal ownership on this slate. That makes him an interesting tournament pivot.
Other Options – Anthony Davis ($10,200)
Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers ($4,800) – Robinson is basically a non-factor on offense, with his only real value coming on dunks. However, he’s had a strong impact on this series on the glass and on defense. He’s coming off his best performance in Game 4, finishing with a double-double and 32.75 DKFP. He’s a threat for another cheap double-double on Wednesday, making him the best option for those spending down at the position.
Other Options – Jarrett Allen ($6,200), Xavier Tillman ($5,500)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.