• Breakdown by Aaron Asmus (@asmussports on Twitter)

    Slate Overview

    We have a good general understanding of how these series are going to play out with two games in the books for these teams. Some adjustments do need to be made and as always, remain price sensitive and don’t over aggressively be chasing guys who smashed and received a big price bump with it.  This has been my favorite of the two different slates so far as we aren’t always forced into the stars and scrubs build and value has been more stable from these teams. 

    One quick note: when I list Cash and Tournament plays from each game, the order I list them in is the preference that I prefer as a play. So if Luka is listed before Kawhi in the cash section, he would be my preferred play in that format. On to the article!

    TOR-BKN

    Fred VanVleet ($7,600) I’ve been on Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam for the first two games, but it might be time to start making the adjustment and noticing that the offense has largely run through VanVleet through the first 2 games. He’s the one guy of the three they are seemingly ok extending (43 minutes in this past close game) while Lowry and Siakam were at 37 and 36 minutes respectively. For the playoffs, he’s averaging a 22% USG, 44% AST on 68% TS. The AST rate is particularly note-worthy as Lowry (17% AST) and Siakam (13% AST) are both seeing a decrease in playmaking opportunities. Even in this past game where his shooting regressed to 8-22 and 3-11 from 3, he was still able to get to 49.25 DKP in his 43 minutes. The minutes seem more secure than the other two Toronto studs (just barely), he’s taking a larger offensive workload and the Nets haven’t had an answer for him yet in this series. I think all these Toronto guys are just waiting to have monster games and if we can get the bad Nets to show up along with a close game, these prices are all just too cheap. Fully in favor of FVV in your cash core and want to be heavily overweight in tournaments. 

    Caris LeVert ($8,100) As I said before I’ve chosen Lowry over FVV and LeVert the past two games, but I think it’s necessary to make an adjustment. LeVert has increased his offensive control in the playoffs to near LeBron/Harden levels with a 28% USG, 52.7% AST and a 9.1% TRB rate. What’s held his price has been his abysmal shooting with a 5-14 and 5-22 performance. The Toronto defense is incredibly tough and they’re actively scheming LeVert into being a playmaker, but the shooting is going to regress to somewhat normal levels at some point. LeVert has also done a nice job getting to the line with 15 free throw attempts combined in these two games. There’s always going to be blow-out risk, especially with Joe Harris leaving the bubble, but that also just cedes more opportunity for LeVert. He’ll be a building block in cash games and should be a core play in tournaments. 

    Norm Powell ($4,300)/OG Anunoby ($4,600) Grouping these guys together as they are going to be two of the stronger projected value plays on the slate as good chalk. They’ll both get minutes into the 30’s if it’s a close game and are a cheap way to get good exposure to this game environment. OG will be more popular making Powell an easy tourney pivot. It’s likely I’ll have at least one in cash games and perfectly fine with two if you’re not taking a heavy stance on the expensive Raptors. 

    Cash: LeVert—VanVleet–Anunoby–Siakam–Lowry–Temple–Powell

    Tournaments: LeVert–VanVleet–Temple–Powell–Allen–Siakam–Lowry

    DEN-UTAH

    Nikola Jokic ($9,300) Eventually, a monster Jokic game is going to connect and win the slate at this price tag. He only played 32 minutes in the past game, but the expectation should be in the upper 30’s in a competitive game. The AST rate has been low for him through 2 games (21.4%), but I expect this to regress to the norm (35.2% during regular season) with how much he’s controlling the ball (33% USG, 16.9% TRB, 21.4% AST, 59.7% TS) through two games. He also got a $400 discount from his previous game, making him an excellent buy-low candidate. He’s one of my favorite expensive spends on the slate. 

    Royce O’Neale ($4,100) Everyone who kept with O’Neale were rewarded with a ceiling game, scoring 37.25 DKP in 35 minutes of play. We can’t expect the 8 assists again, but he showed that his ability to contribute in every category can get him to a ceiling performance if everything runs correctly. The 35 minutes is still pretty low as a minutes floor for him as he was subbed out with 4:09 left in the game due to the blow out. He’s an excellent value play once again in all formats despite the price hike with so few cheap plays we can project into the upper 30’s in minutes in a competitive game environment.

    With Conley probable for this game, I’m not interested in the primary Utah creators as they’re all priced up and we aren’t sure if he’s going to get right back into a normal playoff minute right away. Regardless, he’s going to take from Mitchell, Clarkson and Ingles USG and playmaking opportunities making them primarily tournament plays.

    Cash: O’Neale–Jokic–Ingles

    Tournaments: Murray–Jokic–Mitchell–Porter Jr. 

    BOS-PHI

    Kemba Walker ($6,600) Another excellent pricing play as Kemba works his way back into big minutes and increased USG opportunities without Hayward on the floor. None of the Boston studs played more than 30 minutes, but it was encouraging to see Kemba with a 32% USG rate in his 25 minutes. Assuming this game remains competitive, I’m comfortable projecting mid 30’s in minutes for Kemba which is too cheap for a starting PG with his offensive ability and added USG from their main rotation. 

    Joel Embiid ($9,800) I played Embiid in cash the last game, but I don’t think I want to go back to the well. The offense ran through him but without Simmons on the floor, the team just doesn’t have any playmaking creativity, which makes Embiid easier to stop. He played 34 minutes in the blowout and you can probably add 3-4 minutes to that projection in a competitive environment. My initial lean is Jokic over Embiid in cash. 

    Jayson Tatum ($9,200) He’s incredibly expensive but I’m not sure it’s enough for how much he’s controlling the ball on offense. He’s not in cash consideration for me, but his upside is as good as anyone on this slate if he can get to his stocks upside. He operated at a 31% USG and a 30.6% AST rate in the last game without Hayward. Look to Tatum in tournaments as a lower-owned expensive play. 

    Cash: Walker–Richardson–Embiid–Brown

    Tournaments: Tatum–Embiid–Tobias

    LAC-DAL

    Luka Doncic ($10,800) Luka faders got pretty lucky in the last game that he was in foul trouble and the game was a semi-blowout at the end. He was at 8 pts 4 rebounds and 4 assists within the first 4 minutes of the game. His floor ceiling combo is just absurd right now (39.9% USG, 46.1% AST, 12% TRB on 70% TS) in the first two games of this series. He’s also managed to take 27 FTA, leading to easy points. The shooting efficiency will regress, especially with the level of defenders on the Clippers, but that will be off-set in a competitive game where Luka will be on the floor for 40 minutes. There’s enough value where it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit him into your cash games.

    Maxi Kleber ($3,900) Kleber still managed to get to 33 minutes with Porzingis getting full run, which is a great sign that he’s going to keep playing a big minutes role in this series. The FPPM and rates aren’t pretty but if we’re trying to play Luka and Jokic and LeVert, plays like Kleber are necessary and he’s one of the few we can feel reasonable with a 30+ minutes role. 

    Seth Curry ($3,900) Curry’s minutes are a little more volatile than Kleber as I think he gets a reduced role if Trey Burke comes in hot and shooting well like he did last game. Still, in a competitive game I think he’s got a good chance to close because of his shooting and a path to low 30’s in minutes. Depending on your construction, he’s perfectly fine to play with Kleber or instead of him to fit in Luka.

    Paul George ($8,300) George is in an excellent buy-low scenario for tournaments where everyone just watched him play horribly on prime-time in the last game. He’s $300 cheaper, he’s going to get 37+ minutes in a competitive game and I think you probably get single digit ownership in tournaments. 

    Cash: Doncic–Kleber–Curry–Kawhi

    Tournaments: George–Doncic–Porzingis–Curry

    That’s it! I think the first game is going to be important to get right, sorting through the VanVleet, Lowry, Siakam and LeVert tier and finding which of those plays are the most important. My initial lean is to start cash games with Luka, but playing 3 or 4 of the studs in the Nets-Raptors game and Jokic is perfectly viable as well. Please hit me up @AsmusSports on twitter if you have any questions about this slate. Thank you for reading and good luck!

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