Well another decent night for us for NBA DFS but a weird night for sure. Every game went under the Vegas total. One has to wonder if the high frequency of games in a short period of time is taking a toll on these players. They did, after all, play 8 regular season games in 2 weeks with several back-to-back nights and now the NBA Playoffs is featuring games every other night for each series given the fact that there is no travel in between playoff games. I never liked the long layoff in between games during the NBA Playoffs. For example, a marque matchup between the Warriors and Rockets that played Game 4 on a Tuesday would not have Game 5 until Saturday even though the flight from Houston to Oakland (or vice versa) is just a shade under 4 hours. However, these NBA players need rest and I believe this accelerated schedule could adversely impact shooting percentages.
For tonight, we will focus on players who are not completely shooting dependent. That means we will want to grab players who can rack up assists and rebounds. It's awfully hard to predict steals and blocked shots but we will still want players who have a knack for picking up defensive stats. That means Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard are a must. Don't be cheap here. Doncic is a triple-double threat every time he plays and Kawhi Leonard is one of the leaders in steals.
For point guards, get the top talent and, again, focus on those who can do more than score. Kyle Lowry is the way to go if you can afford him. Jamal Murray and Mike Conley come next. Avoid Kemba Walker as he tends to rely more on scoring and is now priced up with Gordon Heyward out for a while. After that, it's really slim pickings at PG and you could get burned with a sub-20 score on both DK and FD.
If you can get Caris Levert or Fred VanVleet, do so. They have been reaching double digits in assists lately and of course they can score. Avoid pure shooters such as as Jordan Clarkson and Alec Burks. If the shots are not falling, they may not even hit double digits with their DK and FD scores. Lou Williams could be nice value since he does so much on the court. There is a reason why he is such a high usage player off the bench.
As for SF, pass on Tim Hardaway. Too bad he is not nearly as good as his father. Joe Ingles does quite a bit with assists and rebounds but with Conley back, Ingles might lose some of his ball handling duties. With Joe Harris out, Garrett Temple might be able to pick up more opportunities for rebounds.
Lastly, try to go for savings at PF and Center, especially if you are paying up at PG and grabbing the two biggest stars in Doncic and Leonard. I really like Marcus Morris and Jarrett Allen. Both are double-double threats and they can pick up some blocked shots and steals.
As I did with my article yesterday, I am making all of my analysis public with the projected fantasy outputs based on my machine learning model. Here is that link which also shows results from the previous playoff games.
Here are two lineups (DK and FD) I am really excited to enter into some contests today.