NBA DFS Playbook & Core Plays: May 3
Published: May 03, 2022
Tonight, we get a duplication of the two-game slate from Sunday, but it doesn’t mean the action and production we see on the court will also be identical. All we should feel comfortable about, and even that could be up for debate, is that we will see two competitive and exciting games.
What that also means though, is that it is the time of year when rotations tighten up and values become more difficult to find. Let’s dig in and take a look at some players to watch for tonight’s games and also some Core Plays for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo Fantasy.
If you take a quick glance, you would think it was a disappointing, or pedestrian afternoon for Giannis Antetokounmpo as he “only” finished with 24 points on Sunday while turning the ball over five times. It’s obvious I buried the lead though as Antetokounmpo grabbed 13 rebounds to go along with 12 assists on his way to a “typical” 65 DK point effort. It is clear that he will have a tough time with Boston’s defense but if nine of 25 shooting is Antetokounmpo’s floor on his way to another triple-double, there is no harm in that.
While Jrue Holiday has been more active on the boards this postseason, the nine rebounds he grabbed on Sunday are the absolute high point, and I wouldn’t go chasing those. What we can believe in though, is the additional role Holiday is picking up on the offensive end. The efficiency wasn’t fully there as Holiday made eight of his 20 shots from the field, but he was also perfect from the free-throw line making all six of his attempts, and the value led to a 25-point effort. Holiday’s production will likely be up and down to a point, but he is a true second option with Khris Middleton sidelined.
We get Bobby Portis at a solid price as he looks for his fifth straight double-double. In each of his last four games, Portis has made six or seven shots from the field while attempting between 12 and 14 shots. I wouldn’t look for much more than what we have seen from Portis, but there is also nothing wrong with that as he continues to carve out a solid supporting role for the Bucks.
It would be nice if Grayson Allen scored at the same level he did to close out the Chicago series (22 and 27 points, respectively) as with Middleton out, Milwaukee needs the offense, but he had a rather pedestrian 11-point performance on Sunday. Allen made four of eight shots from the field (three of six from downtown), and as per usual, that was the majority of his production.
Fewer games mean fewer options at the center position, and for that reason, we can’t truly ignore Brook Lopez. He only scored six points on Sunday, but he does have double-digit potential while grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking three shots while providing a little more than a 5x return.
Quite simply, Jayson Tatum has to be better after making just six of 18 shots from the field and finishing with 21 points, but we know he is better than that. At the risk of being dramatic, it’s close a to a must-win game for Boston before the series heads to Milwaukee as the Celtics are getting a tougher test than they did against Brooklyn in the first round. Tatum’s six rebounds and six assists do give him a solid floor to work with.
Jaylen Brown is still dealing with a hamstring and while he did play 31 minutes on Sunday, it’s clear that he isn’t 100% either. While he did grab nine rebounds, Brown only managed to make four of 13 shots from the field, and there is some risk in looking for a bounce-back effort tonight. He is capable of it, but I’m erring on the prove-it side of things.
Derrick White only played 16 minutes on Sunday, but with Smart and Brown not operating at full strength, it’s possible his role increases tonight. With 10 points and four rebounds, White showed he can compete in the playoffs and the price isn’t too bad either.
After monitoring his workload in the regular season, the time is now to let Al Horford loose. That was the case as he played 36 minutes on Sunday and turned in a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The shot selection was interesting though as nine of Horford’s 11 field goal attempts came from downtown but he did hit double digits for the fourth time in five games.
Robert Williams played a solid role for Boston in 22 minutes of action as he scored six points to go along with eight rebounds and two blocked shots. While the Celtics will need more from Williams now that he is back in the starting lineup, it was still good for a 5x return.
Golden State Warriors
It wasn’t for lack of trying as Stephen Curry took 20 shots on Sunday, but he only made eight of them on his way to a pedestrian (for him) 24 points with four assists and three rebounds. Despite Golden State emerging with the victory, they are going to need more from Curry as the series progresses, and even if it didn’t fully show it in Game One, he is capable of it. A few more three-pointers, and it’s a totally different game for Curry.
Klay Thompson is looking to get back on track after two rough shooting nights in which he finished with 15 points in consecutive games. Volume won’t be a problem for Thompson but the guard needs to get back on track with his shot. The good news is that Golden State will give him the minutes and opportunity to make that happen.
While Curry and Thompson had a rough go of it offensively, Jordan Poole picked up the slack as he continued his high-scoring ways. The Warriors kept on giving Poole the volume and he came through making 12 of 20 shots from the field which was good for 31 points as part of a well-rounded game with nine assists and eight rebounds. Poole’s price on DK remained essentially unchanged, and there’s no reason for Golden State not to keep on rolling with the hot hand.
After 17 minutes of action, Draymond Green went on and got himself ejected from Sunday’s game. He was on his way to a typical effort (six points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals) before the early exit and the Warriors will need more from him tonight. While Green is capable and has had success in the past, we haven’t seen as much of it as we would like this year.
Even with Green’s ejection, Kevon Looney only got 19 minutes of playing time on Sunday but he was efficient. I wouldn’t expect anything more from the center than the eight points and six rebounds we got from Looney on Sunday, but at the price, there is some value to be found.
I wouldn’t count on Ja Morant missing a layup at the buzzer for the second straight night as it was about the only thing he did wrong on Sunday. Morant finished a rebound shy of a triple-double with 34 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in what continues to be a banner season for the point guard. After seeing Morant take 31 shots as the Grizzlies tried to keep pace with the Warriors we don’t have to worry about volume or usage here, but I’m also not sure he’s going to take 31 shots once again tonight.
Desmond Bane played 32 uninspiring minutes on Sunday as he scored just nine points on three of 10 shooting while only adding one rebound and one assist. The swingman is listed as questionable heading into tonight’s game with a back injury, and even if he does play, I’m not sure he’s worth the risk tonight.
Someone has to support offensively, and if Bane is banged up or at less than full strength, then Dillon Brooks would be that player. It wasn’t the case on Sunday as Brooks made just three of 13 shots from the field, but the Grizzlies are going to need him to be better tonight. Brooks is capable of doing so as he had games of 23 and 24 points to close out Minnesota and there is a path to 5x tonight.
We talked about the need for an additional scorer alongside Morant, and Jaren Jackson Jr. tried to do everything he could on Sunday to be that player. In 31 minutes of action, Jackson made 10 of 18 shots from the field for 33 points as he picked up his second straight double-double while grabbing 10 rebounds. Jackson is capable of performing at this level but he hasn’t consistently shown the ability to do so.
Clarke has increasingly been performing at a high level this postseason, and in doing so, he has emerged as a legitimate option even though we aren’t getting him as cheap as we previously did. He missed his third straight double-double by a single rebound on Sunday and I would look for Clarke to keep things going after averaging 16.3 points and 10 rebounds per game in his last four.