The NBA regular season is in the books, and we have another trio of postseason contests on Wednesday. The action gets underway on DraftKings at 7 p.m. ET. Let's dive into some of the top studs and values to help build your DraftKings lineups.
Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($7,500) – The Raptors have looked thoroughly outclassed in their first two games vs. the 76ers, losing both games by a combined 35 points. However, they are headed back to Toronto for Game 3, and the team will get a slight boost from the absence of Matisse Thybulle. He’s an excellent perimeter defender, so life should be a bit easier for VanVleet and company. VanVleet has also taken his already massive workload to another level during the postseason, racking up 43.8 minutes in his last outing. He’s averaged 1.08 DKFP per minute this season, so he can do a lot of damage with that much playing time.
Other Options – Jrue Holiday ($7,600)
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets ($5,800) – Value is tough to come by on Wednesday’s slate, but Smart is a steal at just $5,800. He racked up 36.3 minutes in the Celtics’ Game 1 win over the Nets, and he responded with 42.25 DKFP. That was his second game with at least that many fantasy points in his past three outings, and Smart has increased his production to 1.00 DKFP per minute over the past month.
Other Options – Alex Caruso ($4,300)
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors ($8,900) – There are some concerns about how much Harden has left in the tank. He’s started to show clear signs of decline – particularly as a scorer – but he still has the potential for monster fantasy performances. He racked up 22 points, 14 assists, and five boards in Game 1, resulting in a team-high 56.25 DKFP. Harden also continues to play north of 40 minutes during the postseason, and he’s averaged 1.24 DKFP per minute over the past month.
Harden’s price tag has also dipped to $8,900, which is virtually unprecedented for him. He’s only been priced below $9,500 in five previous games over the past four years, and he’s averaged 50.45 DKFP in those contests.
Other Options – Jaylen Brown ($8,600)
Seth Curry, Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics ($4,500) – Curry hasn’t been able to duplicate his success with the 76ers with the Nets, but he’s still expected to see around 30 minutes of playing time on Wednesday. That’s a nice chunk of run in the playoffs for someone who costs just $4,500. Curry is also one of the best perimeter shooters in the league, and he can provide excellent value on this salary if he gets hot from behind the arc.
Other Options – OG Anunoby ($6,400), Derrick White ($5,100)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets ($9,500) – Tatum has blossomed into one of the best players in basketball. He’s always been a gifted scorer, but he’s improved the other areas of his game to the point where he’s now a top 10 NBA player.
From a fantasy perspective, he’s increased his production to 1.43 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he tallied nearly 45 minutes in Game 1 vs. the Nets. The Nets are also one of the best defensive matchups among the postseason squads, and the Celtics’ implied team total ranks second on the slate. He’s underpriced at $9,500.
Other Options – Zach LaVine ($7,200)
Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics ($6,000) – Brown struggled mightily in Game 1 of this series, racking up just 12.75 DKFP over 36.6 minutes. Still, the playing time is encouraging. Brown has averaged 0.99 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s an excellent candidate for some positive regression. He’s logged at least 32 minutes in 46 career games, and he’s averaged 30.83 DKFP in those contests.
Other Options – Gary Trent Jr. ($5,000), Danny Green ($3,600)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls ($10,900) – Love him or hate him, Mike Budenholzer is going to do his thing during the playoffs. While the rest of the league is pushing their stars to 40+ minutes, coach Bud simply stuck with the game plan in Game 1 vs. the Bulls. Antetokounmpo played his usual 33.8 minutes, but the team still pulled off a narrow win.
The lack of 40+ minute upside is a negative for Giannis on Wednesday, but he makes up for it with elite per-minute efficiency. He’s averaged 1.77 DKFP per minute this season, which is the top mark on the slate by a wide margin. There’s also the chance that Giannis sees closer to 36 minutes in Game 2, and he’s significantly cheaper than usual at $10,900. He has the top ceiling on the slate.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($10,000)
Al Horford, Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets ($6,400) – Horford is another outstanding value proposition for the Celtics. Robert Williams is sidelined indefinitely, and Horford is going to be a massive beneficiary during the postseason. The 35-year-old logged nearly 41.5 minutes in Game 1, and he responded with 45.75 DKFP. Horford has averaged 1.11 DKFP per minute over the past month, so that production doesn’t feel fluky either. Overall, he’s one of the best pure values on the slate.
Other Options – Chris Boucher ($4,500), Patrick Williams ($4,000)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors ($10,600) – Embiid is the only player on this slate who was even close to Giannis in terms of per-minute efficiency this season. He averaged 1.66 DKFP per minute, but that hasn’t translated to success to start the postseason. He’s racked up 47.25 DKFP or fewer in each of his first two games, and the Raptors are a brutal matchup for opposing big men. That makes Embiid a bit riskier than some of the other studs on Tuesday’s slate. Still, there’s no denying his upside when things break in his favor, and he should carry reduced ownership.
Other Options – Pascal Siakam ($9,000), Nikola Vucevic ($7,300)
Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($4,600) – The Raptors have had a bit of tough injury luck to start the postseason. Scottie Barnes missed their last game, and he’s doubtful for Game 3. A doubtful designation doesn’t carry quite as much weight during the postseason – Gary Trent Jr. played through a doubtful tag in Game 2 – but it still means the team could be without their talented rookie.
If that happens, Achiuwa should be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He played just under 29 minutes in Game 2, and Achiuwa has averaged 0.88 DKFP per minute this season. On a slate without a ton of true salary-savers, Achiuwa is a strong option.
Other Options – Andre Drummond ($5,500), Brook Lopez ($4,800)
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