• By Brenton Eckersley (twitter: @terrain72)

    Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks

    (Note: DraftKings pricing)

    Jimmy Butler ($8,100 DK)

    Game 1 of a playoff series always comes with a lot of questions. Matchups, minutes, coaches looking for an edge…

    I don’t have any questions about this one though, it’s straight back to the well in Jimmy Buckets. I have a feeling that much like the Pacers in the first round, the Bucks may struggle to find a matchup for Butler. He’s too physically imposing for Khris Middleton to be able to stop and I’m not sure who else the Bucks can throw at Jimmy to slow him down. Against the Pacers he basically got to value or pushed well through a similar price tag in each game except for Game 4 (where he was only required for 23 minutes) and if you remove the two low-minutes outings he’s had since entering the bubble, Butler has been averaging 45 DK points a night. He’s been removed from the injury list with a decent break after a sweep of Indiana and then the shutdown while the bubble addressed social injustice. He should be fresh and ready to roll.

    Kelly Olynyk ($3,900 DK)

    In a short slate with two big guns both priced over $11000 on DraftKings, we need to find value if we want to play one (or both) of them. Here is the same value play that Mike Apotria and I both found ourselves looking at – if you heard our podcast today (if you didn’t you can find it here by the way… https://t.co/n8ZxGhBMGl?amp=1).

    Consider this. Bam will probably guard Giannis. That would leave the regular Heat starter from the Pacers series in Jae Crowder trying to guard Brook Lopez – well and truly undersized – and that may play Crowder off the court. Enter Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk got minutes only in the mid-teens vs the Pacers in round one but here are the DK points vs minutes performances. 11DK in 14mins; 17.25DK in 12mins; 12.75DK in 13mins; 24DK in 15mins.  Kelly-O can shoot the three and guess what the Bucks don’t defend well? I’ll be playing a lot of Olynyk today.

    Derrick Jones Jr ($3,200 DK)

    I want a sneaky GPP punt look at Jones Jr here too. In previous matchups against the Bucks, Miami has thrown Jones out there to help guard Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s only a minutes thing here, but especially considering that Bam Adebayo is logically the first guy who will be called upon to guard Giannis, and if Bam gets into foul trouble… we could find Derrick on court for extended minutes. He can score at the rim in bunches too – so he’s a dart only, but a dart worth looking at.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400 DK)

    OK, so you want to pay up for either James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak averaged 62.6 DK points against Orlando and did play a healthy allotment of minutes most nights (34/32/31/33/28). He didn’t go under 57 DK points in that series and topped out at 66.75 DK in Game 3.


    The problem here for me is I don’t want to try and get Giannis and Harden into a single line up more than a few times in multi-entry games. To do that you have to sacrifice almost everywhere else in your lineup – so I’m probably looking at one or the other (and in some lineups, neither). So, for me it comes down to match up. Harden against the Thunder who are now showing signs of faltering and if Luguentz Dort can’t stop him then he does what he wants?… or Giannis, against the stellar system at the defensive end that is the Heat?

    Smart money says The Beard. I’ll take Harden in most of my lineups and then just pivot a percentage of my lineups to get Giannis in there as well.

    Khris Middleton ($7,900 DK)

    I’m only really interested in Middleton if Eric Bledsoe (questionable) doesn’t suit up. Sure, he was finally firing at the end of the Pacers series, but that’s the Pacers. I expect Middleton to draw the Jimmy Butler defense for this entire series, so I’ll only play him if Eric Bledsoe is out and the pure weight of usage will be there for Khris.  

    Brook Lopez ($5,300 DK)

    I like Lopez here in a centre position that doesn’t offer much in a mid-range price tag. You could pay up for Bam Adebayo for the hope of pure DK points. However, I’m looking to pay down and grab me some Brook Lopez. As I mentioned above, I believe Brook will face either Jae Crowder or Kelly Olynyk, or a combination of both, and he should beat both of those guys. With no Myles Turner in this series to steal boards, those numbers could be up for Brook too. Value play with decent upside, especially if he can get the 3-ball rolling.

    Houston Rockets vs OKC Thunder

    James Harden ($11,300 DK)

    I think I covered Harden enough in the Giannis section above. He’s shown that even with a fantastic defender in Luguentz Dort wearing him like a glove, he is still unstoppable. He’s also $100 cheaper than Giannis on DK tonight.

    Eric Gordon ($6,100 DK)

    Eric Gordon was still super aggressive in shot taking in Game 5 and even with Russell Westbrook back, he got to value. Russ will still most likely be on a minutes limit here so I’m fine with Gordon at $6100. It’s a CASH play only though for me, I wouldn’t be loading my GPP lineups with him.

    Russell Westbrook himself at $9700 DK is still too high for me with those minutes being questionable. He could get there of course, but if he does, I’ll just let him beat me and pay down for other guys. If I hear he’s going to get minutes above 30+, things obviously change. Monitor the news.

    PJ Tucker ($4,300 DK)

    I rarely play Tucker but that’s a decent CASH price for me. He’s exceeded that value in this series 3 out of 5 times and that value is around his floor too. Keep in mind that both he and Dennis Schroder were ejected last game, and he still got to 19 DK points. If you’re into GPP though, I’d be looking at Brook Lopez at $1000 more, or paying down for Kelly Olynyk.

    Chris Paul ($8,200 DK)

    It’s win-or-go-home here for the Thunder. I want a lot to do with CP3 here, and it’s absolutely a narrative thing. I mentioned on our podcast today that I feel like Chris hasn’t been aggressive enough in the early stage of these games, he’s been content to hang back a little and see where the pieces around him get OKC to the half. He can’t afford to do that here and I think he comes out shooting. Paul has been getting his mid-range jumper off at will in the second half of games in this series and I think some extra aggression and the fight to stay in the series sees Paul fill it up from the jump.

    Dennis Schroder ($6,400 DK)

    All in on Schroder for me. SO incredibly aggressive offensively in this series, especially in the last couple. Don’t forget the ejection last game, where he got to 26 DK points still. The casual DFS player may see that drop in DK points and be warned off him without reason. I expect another big outing from Dennis in this one.

    Nerlens Noel ($3,300 DK)

    Another GPP value/dart/punt play. If you’re trying to get to say… a Giannis & CP3; Harden & CP3 or even a Giannis & Harden type of high/low entry, then you need value somewhere. There are a few low salary options that I like and this is probably my least favorite of the ones I’ve mentioned to be honest – but it’s still on the board. In a two-game slate, we have to be fluid and experiment a little. In 3 out 4 games against the Rockets, Nerlens has actually got to this value.

    Example Line Up (DraftKings)

    Here’s an example of a High/Low lineup that I like to try at times… go big or go home!

    PG – James Harden ($11300)

    SG – Donte DiVincenzo ($3400)

    SF – Jimmy Butler ($8100)

    PF – Kelly Olynyk ($3900)

    C – Brook Lopez ($5300)

    G – Chris Paul ($8200)

    F – Derrick Jones Jr ($3200)

    Util – Dennis Schroder ($6400)

    $200 salary remaining

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