After two home games for the favorites, these series changed location. Not to the land of my forefathers, though. Thank goodness because I’m Asian. Will home court be a haven? Can the Suns be brazen after dropping two in Denver? Or will it continue being a horror show like the one written by Wes Craven? With Chris Paul out, everyone will need to step up, especially those defensive mavens. So here’s the situation: With a Denver win tonight, they gain Pacific Ocean-esque separation. The winner of Philadelphia and Boston will get them one step closer to their destination.
Joel Embiid ($10,200) is the only notable player listed as questionable on the injury report. Keep abreast of all the injury news @dklive.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the BOS/PHI game with a 214.5 total and the visiting Celtics are favored by 2.5 points. The DEN/PHO game has a 225 total with the home team Suns favored by 4.0 points.
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets ($9,500) – Booker averages 1.26 DKFP per minute and is a true professional getter of buckets. I used to love watching USA Basketball King of the Court videos because Booker is so smooth torching his fellow Olympians. He has scored 70 points in a game before! Anyways, with the Suns coming back home down 0-2 and Chris Paul ruled out, I expect Booker to at least go down swinging. With Paul off the court this season, he has seen a 3.19% usage bump to 35.52%. Booker has played over 40 minutes in each of the last seven games and a 60 or 70-DKFP burger is in play.
Other Options - Jamal Murray ($7,900), James Harden ($8,700) and Tyrese Maxey ($6,400) if Embiid is out
Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets ($4,800) – With Paul out, Payne should get the start. He does average 1.06 DKFP per minute and made 15 starts this season, averaging 30.4 minutes, 14.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 0.9 steals while garnering a 20.9% usage rate. Those starts were all early in the season, though, before the acquisition of Kevin Durant ($9,800), so the usage will likely be lower. That said, he should play close to 30 minutes and still have plenty of opportunities to provide those fantasy goodies.
Other Options - Marcus Smart ($5,200) Malcolm Brogdon ($5,400)
Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets ($9,800) – I guess I’m Team Phoenix tonight. Well, it makes sense since I am a Son and they are the Suns. Durant only played eight games during the regular season with Phoenix, so the sample size is small. In 50 minutes with Paul off the court, Durant saw a 9.81% usage rate spike to 38.45%. He and Booker will both likely have usage rates over 35% in this one, and I expect both to be very aggressive on offense in this one.
Other Options - Jayson Tatum ($9,700)
Al Horford, Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers ($5,300) – Horford will likely have a usage rate below 20%, so ceiling games aren’t likely. He has utility, though, because he contributes in every statistical category and will probably play around 30 minutes. Over the last four games, he’s racked up 2, 3, 3 and 5 blocks while chipping in some dimes and grabbing rebounds. His ability to defend the paint, especially against Embiid, while also being able to make it rain from downtown provides a relatively safe floor.
Other Options - Bruce Brown ($4,400)
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets at Phoenix ($10,900) – I expect the Suns to play well in this one, and DK Sportsbook has Phoenix favored by 4 points. The total is also a healthy 224.5 points. Since it looks like I’m Team Phoenix tonight, that would bode well for the fantasy prospects of Denver players because they will be pushed. And if they are pushed, then Jokic could access a ceiling game. He’s already a threat to triple-double on any given night and has gone for 73.5, 55.75, 80.25 and 71.75 DKFP in the last four games. The only question is: Will you be able to fit him in?
Other Options - Joel Embiid ($10,200) if he plays
Paul Reed, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics ($4,700) – Fantasy nerds have always clamored for more Paul Reed, and he’s shown why in these playoffs. Filling in for Embiid, he’s put up 46.5, 36.75 and 34.75 DKFP. He went for 20.5 DKFP last game due to the blowout nature of the game. During the regular season, he averaged 1.08 DKFP per minute. If Embiid is out, then Reed is an auto-start. Even if Embiid plays, Reed could have utility. The ownership would be low and Embiid could re-aggravate the injury.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is sontzu) 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.