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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA DFS Targets, Values for August 23

Zach Thompson gives his top studs and value plays at each position for Sunday’s fantasy basketball slate on DraftKings, which starts at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Los Angeles Clippers v Dallas Mavericks - Game Three Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images

We’ve reached the fourth game of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, so there is a chance two of the series on Sunday will come to a conclusion. The Celtics and Raptors can advance to the next round with a win on Sunday over the 76ers and Nets, respectively. The other two series are 2-1 with the Jazz leading the Nuggets and the Clippers ahead of the Mavericks. Dallas and Denver will be looking to level those series while Utah and Los Angeles will try to take commanding leads.

It should be a fun Sunday of action from the hardwood and there are plenty of good options for fantasy. To keep up with all the latest news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive to keep up with any injury news that should impact your roster.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $500K Sunday Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

Point Guard


Fred VanVleet, TOR at BKN, $7,700 – VanVleet comes at a nice price point but is more than just a way to save salary since he has been a dominant force in the three games so far in this series. He had 60 DKFP in Game 1 on 30 points and 11 assists and followed that with another double-double of 24 points, 10 assists and 49.25 DKFP. In Game 3, he played fewer minutes since it was a blowout and still had 22 points and 40.25 DKFP.

The Nets haven’t been able to slow him down at all in the series and he doesn’t have to be one of your biggest investments since his salary is still under $8K. VanVleet has been excellent since play resumed and will look to keep building momentum and help the Raptors advance.

Other options – Caris LeVert ($8,200), Mike Conley ($6,300)


Shake Milton, PHI vs. BOS, $4,400 – Milton’s Sixers are on the other end of a 3-0 series and will be hoping to avoid elimination. Milton has scored in double digits in each of the first three games in the series playing more minutes and chipping in more non-scoring production as the series has progressed, culminating in a solid 31.5 DKFP in Game 3 on 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal.

Philadelphia needs more efficiency and better shooting from its secondary scoring options but Milton is definitely emerging as an option. He’s still pretty affordable and definitely trending in the right direction. If the Sixers start to look to next season, the 23-year-old PG is a key part of their plan, so getting him plenty of playoff experience is also important moving forward.

Other options – Tyler Johnson ($4,600), Chris Chiozza ($3,700)

Shooting Guard


Jaylen Brown, BOS at PHI, $7,300 – Brown has at least 20 points in each of the Celtics’ three victories in the series and managed 33.25 DKFP despite shooting just 6-for-16 from the field in Game 3. He hasn’t added elite non-scoring numbers but was still able to deliver 50 DKFP in Game 1, so the ceiling is definitely there for him to return big value.

Brown gets a little more usage with Gordon Hayward (ankle) sidelined and should continue to play heavy minutes as Boston tries to advance. Seeing both Brown and VanVleet as rising stars sets up as a fun matchup to watch if both advance to the second round to go head-to-head.

Other option – Donovan Mitchell ($9,500)


Seth Curry, DAL vs. LAC, $4,600 – Even if Luka Doncic ($10,800) is able to play through his sprained ankle, the Mavs will likely try to help him not have to carry all the play-making responsibilities for the whole game. One option to help pick up some of the PG play but also still offer good shooting next to JJ Barea is Curry, who has looked sharp despite dealing with a leg injury at the end of the seeding round.

Curry made 9-of-11 shots from the field in Game 3, scoring 22 points to go with three assists for 30 DKFP. He has over 13 points in each of the three games in the series, producing 23.25 DKFP, 23.25 DKFP and that 30 DKFP. If he picks up more workload for Doncic, he should be a great play under $5K.

Other options – Josh Richardson ($5,200), Norman Powell ($4,700)

Small Forward


Kawhi Leonard, LAC at DAL, $9,800 – With Paul George ($8,000) struggling, Leonard has had to carry the Clippers’ offense through the first three games in this series but has risen to the occasion in true playoff form. Leonard has scored 35 and 36 points in his past two games with over 53 DKFP in each of the first three games of the series.

He will need some help from his teammates at some point but he can probably single-handedly get them through this round, especially with Doncic at less than full strength. The Mavs don’t have an answer for playoff Klaw and I think Leonard is one of the best big-salary options on this slate and definitely worth paying up for if you can.

Other options – Tobias Harris ($7,500), Michael Porter Jr. ($6,500)


Landry Shamet, LAC at DAL, $3,400 – Shamet entered the Clippers’ starting lineup in Game 3 and showed some nice potential as a secondary option for Kawhi. He drained 7-of-13 shots from the field to score 18 points to go with three rebounds, a block and a steal on his way to 26.25 DKFP. I’ve was high on Shamet as a fantasy contributor all season but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Maybe now is the time for him to emerge and he should continue to get the chance with Patrick Beverley ($3,300; calf) doubtful.

Other options – Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot ($5,000), Dorian Finney-Smith ($4,500)

Power Forward


Pascal Siakam, TOR at BKN, $7,900 – Spicy P had a series-high 26 points in Game 3 against the Nets and added eight boards and five assists to total 45.5 DKFP. He has over 34 DKFP in all three games in this series and posted a double-double in Game 1. The undermanned Nets just don’t have answers for Toronto’s depth and defense, so I think Siakam, VanVleet and company will be able to get to Round 2 with a win on Sunday.

Other options – Jayson Tatum ($9,000), Al Horford ($6,200)


Royce O’Neale, UTA vs. DEN, $4,000 – O’Neale is always reliable as a defensive presence and as a result, gets a lot of minutes for the Jazz. He has improved his play-making this season and showed off his efficient, multi-faceted game in the past two contests.

In Game 2, he had nine points, a career-high eight assists and two blocks on his way to a massive 37.25 DKFP. While the assists came down to four in Game 3, he added eight boards and a steal to still get to 19.5 DKFP. He logs such heavy minutes that he is a solid value play at $4K and can provide the salary relief you need at forward to spend up for some big-name, high-scoring options.

Other options – Jerami Grant ($4,300), Grant Williams ($3,300)



Joel Embiid, PHI vs. BOS, $10,000 – Center is stacked on this slate with Embiid, Nikola Jokic ($9,300) and Kristaps Porzingis ($9,200), who may actually end up the best play of the bunch if Doncic is out or limited. However, I’m sticking with Embiid since the Celtics still haven’t shown they have any answer for The Process.

Embiid has averaged 30 points and 13 rebounds in the first three games of the series producing 53.0, 53.5 and 52.25 DKFP. He hasn’t shot the ball well but gets plenty of shots as the focal point of the Sixers’ offense. He will have to be ready to leave it all on the floor in this one since he is in a win-or-go-home situation. As good as he has been, I feel like he may have an even bigger monster game in him before he’s done for the postseason.

Other options – Nikola Jokic ($9,300), Kristaps Porzingis ($9,200)


Ivica Zubac, LAC at DAL, $4,400 – Zubac played a season-high 30 minutes on Friday in Game 3 and contributed a solid 24.5 DKFP on 15 points and six rebounds along with a blocked shot. He had a big Game 1 with 29.5 DKFP on a double-double but was quiet in Game 2. Even with Montrezl Harrell ($4,000) working his way back, Zubac is still starting and getting enough workload to be a solid option at this affordable price. Most people will likely be paying up for an elite option at center, so Zubac could be a low-owned source of good value.

Other options – Serge Ibaka ($5,800), Montrezl Harrell ($4,000)

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NBA $500K Sunday Shootaround [$100K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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 I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.