• By Brenton Eckersley (twitter: @terrain72)

    Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors

    DFS Picks (Note: DraftKings pricing)

    Celtics

    Kemba Walker ($8,000 DK)

    Kemba’s fantasy output has been a little hit or miss in the last couple and is seemingly tied to his 3-point percentage at the moment. He’s actually exceeded this price tag in 4 of the last 6 playoff games but of course, two of those were against Philadelphia… not the Raptors who guard the arc really well. In all honesty, at the $8000 salary I’d usually be looking on the other side of the ball, but the argument here is ownership. It’s highly possible that Walker is a surprise lower-owned PG on this slate vs the two Raptor guards, which keeps him in play for me.

    Jaylen Brown ($7,500 DK)

    I’ll think I’ll just leave Jaylen alone at that price for the most part. For the moment, anyway. It’s a decent price for him so you could definitely drop him into a few lineups but he’s only beaten that price in DK points three times in his last 7 outings. Even though he’s SG/SF eligible I think that there are better options for the dollars at both spots coming up later.

    Jayson Tatum ($9,300 DK)

    $9300 is a little high for what Tatum has been returning on most nights so while I’m not going to be playing high ownership of him in my lineups, I’m still willing to have more shares in him than I am in Jaylen Brown. The real problem is that at just above that salary we can get to some absolute studs in better matchups on this slate. We all know he’s capable of a 55-60 DK point game at any time but he hasn’t been hitting his 3 ball in this series – going 2/5; 1/4 and 1/6 in three of the last 4 Raptor matchups. That’s due to the Raptors guarding the arc really well but… I’m still willing to own Tatum a little tonight. Maybe as a Kawhi pivot, who is likely going to be higher owned. I’m just not 100% sold on paying $9300 for Jason vs this Raptors perimeter defense.

    Daniel Theis ($5,400 DK)

    If you’re not paying up for Jokic at centre, then Thiess is a nice, safe ‘floor’ type of play. In this series he’s averaging right on 27 DK points vs the Raptors but that is also due to a big outing in Game 1 of 38.75. The minutes, FG attempts and rebounds are there to keep him close to this value, but he really hasn’t shown significant upside, so it’s a Cash play for Theiss for me more than anything… or just as a ‘safe’ kind of guy to help you spend up elsewhere. He’s not going to burn you too badly with a fairly solid floor around this value and he does have PF eligibility which helps. If you’re looking for some upside, you’re probably better off on the other side of the ball.

    Robert Williams ($3,800 DK)

    The only guy outside the Boston starting 5 that I’d look at – and even then, the $3800 tag is slightly high. But, in these two game slates we’ve gotta find value somewhere. He produces pretty well in PPM and drags down a high clip of boards in the minutes he does get (which are around 14-18 mins a night at the moment). Should Thiess get into foul trouble, you can expect a lot more minutes and production from The Timelord. Definitely not the worst low salary play on the board and if he can get a couple of extra defensive stats in there tonight, he’s probably worth some low percentage shares.

     

    Raptors

    Kyle Lowry ($8,200 DK)

    A price bump of $400 up to $8200 for Lowry, but I’m definitely still willing to pay it. Lowry just does everything on the court and averages 43 DK pts vs Boston usually anyway. In this series he’s dished out 8,7,8 & 7 assists; he’s pulled down 6, 5, 6 & 11 rebounds, and because he’s a little pest – he gets those super important defensive stats as well. Add to that the fact that he got up a whopping 23 shot attempts in Game 3! In the last two vs Boston we’ve seen what he can really do when he’s in playoff mode and the $8200 price is really more around his floor at the moment. He’s easily the PG play on this slate for me. Lowry will probably be fairly high owned but rightly so and apart from maybe a hot shooting night from Jamal Murray, I think Lowry has the best upside of the guys under the $9k salary on this card.

    Fred VanVleet ($7,800 DK)

    I love the way Freddy plays and while I don’t mind the salary; ultimately, I’m paying the extra $400 in most of my lineups for Kyle Lowry. VanVleet has a really safe floor but if you look at it right now, Lowry’s floor seems to be Freddy’s ceiling at the moment. If you want to mix things up, here’s just another guy in this matchup that you can still definitely feel safe in playing. Thanks to Nick Nurse knowing how to actually run a playoff rotation, the minutes are constantly in the 40s for VanVleet & Kyle so he’s just unlikely to let you down… and if he happens to have a hot shooting night he could blow right through the $7800 and be a differential pivot away from Lowry.

    O.G. Anunoby ($5,700 DK)

    In Game 1 of this Boston series, OG was priced $4700. Now he’s a full $1000 above that and starting to get up there. Granted, he’s smashed through that value twice in the series with 32.25 and 38.5 DK points in Games 2 & 3, but we have to keep in mind that Game 1 was only 24.75 from Anunoby and Game 4 was only 22.75. He’s another fairly safe option and again, we need value from some of the ancillary guys on the card. OG is not going to burn you, but he’s probably not going to win you a line up either. Unfortunately, we don’t get extra DFS points for crazy, out-of-nowhere game winners 🙂 If you’re looking for a guy to have a flyer at this kind of salary then you could look at a couple of guys in the other game on the card. If you want to play safe money, then OG is your guy.

    Pascal Siakam ($8,100 DK)

    At the higher priced PF options on this slate it’s a pretty simple equation – Jason Tatum at $9300 or Pascal Siakam at $8100. Pascal is definitely starting to hit his straps against the Celtics despite some poor shooting, so this might all just come down to how your builds are looking at other spots. If you want to pay up for, say, Nikola Jokic or Kawhi Leonard then you’re going to have to spend down elsewhere and that might mean not playing Tatum. You save $1200 by playing Pascal and if you grab some value plays around the board then you might even be able to grab three higher priced players for your lineup.  When the other PF options tonight drop away to OG Anunoby, Jerami Grant and Morris, I’m probably going to play a fair amount of Siakam – and he should be lower owned than Tatum here as well. The upside is probably with Tatum but if you want to save the dollars, it’s Pascal.

    Serge Ibaka ($5,900 DK)

    Serge holds his salary at $5900 tonight and that’s still a good price for him in this series. While Boston are busy guarding Lowry, FVV and Siakam, Ibaka is finding himself open at the three-point line all night and is firing nicely. He had an off shooting night in Game 3 against the Celtics but otherwise he’s been around that price in each of the other three. There’s been a slight reduction in minutes in the last couple but it still feels like a pretty safe play. We have to find value and right now, Serge is a pretty rock solid option.

     

    LA Clippers vs Denver Nuggets

    Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard ($10,300 DK)

    It’s crazy to think that in Game 2 of this series, Kawhi can go 4/17 from the field and still get to 45 DK pts. Board man gets paid.

    So… in Game 1 vs the Nuggets, he goes 12/16 from the floor but his rebounds and assists are way down at 2 & 3. In Game 2 he goes 4/17 from the floor and his boards and assists are at 10 & 8. I think we get the Kawhi game here where he bounces back and puts the package together. He can get to 51 DK points without even breaking a sweat and he will NOT like the shooting performance that he put out there in Game 2. I’m looking for a huge response from a focused Fun Guy in this one. If he can get to his usual clip of boards and assists plus those elite defensive stats then anything is possible. Nikola Jokic is $600 cheaper but is also questionable at this point. I think you have to pay up for the highest priced players on the card tonight if you want to stay competitive with the field so I’ll be building lineups around #1 – Kawhi and #2 – Jokic.

    Paul George ($8,300 DK)

    PG13 averages 40 DK points against the Nuggets and that places him at right around value. The shooting is around 40% from the floor now and he’s actually showing something here as a decent pivot away and down from Jason Tatum at the SF spot. If you are looking to play George, it might be better to actually take him at SG (on DraftKings) as there are probably more options to work around him in that SF spot. The only concern I have with the $8300 price tag is that I expect Kawhi to be grinding in this one on the bounce back – which might take some usage away – but otherwise it’s a fine price for George and he should still get to, or near, that salary.

    Marcus Morris ($5,100 DK)

    Here’s Morris in his last four outings – 29 DK points, 12 DK points, 33 DK points, 14 DK points. If you play that law then Morris must be in for a huge night lol. In all seriousness though, the salary drop to $5100 actually puts him in play. He’s averaging 27.7 against the Nugs and got up 9 & 10 shot attempts in Games 1 & 2 of this series. I still think I’d rather take a look at Michael Porter Jr on the other side of the ball at $100 less, and with more upside. Close call. 

    Montrezl Harrell ($5,100 DK)

    Harrell can always explode and is priced right up against his average vs Denver in the past 4 games, which is close to 32 DK points. We just haven’t really seen that sign of an explosion yet, so I’m a little hesitant. He’s definitely in play against the Nuggets bench if you’re looking for that GPP tournament upside. I just keep seeing a couple of other lower salaries (including Robert Williams) and think they might be safer options if you’re looking at a low cost centre that allows a higher spend elsewhere. Happy to throw some Montrezl into some lineups for that potential break out upside game though.

    JaMychal Green ($3,600 DK)

    Looking for value here, and Green has to be a shot as a GPP pivot play, even at a slight price bump of $300, to $3600. If he’s going to play between 21 and 26 mins which we’ve seen in Games 1 & 2 in this Denver series, then he’s definitely worth some of our time. He’s actually put up more shot attempts than Patrick Beverley in those two outings and even though it’s low(ish) attempts, when he’s hitting more than 50% from the floor and dragging down 5,7 & 11 rebounds in his last three – then he’s a great value play at $3600 for me. Might be a low owned value option as he’s also a name that the casual fantasy player might skim past.

     

    Nuggets

    Jamal Murray ($8,900 DK)

    Decent price for Murray given the way he’s playing in these playoffs and we’re seeing the next level that Jamal can go to. However, that was the Jazz, this is the Clippers. His 15 shot attempts in Game 1 vs the Clippers (26.75 DK points) rocketed to 21 shot attempts in Game 2 (45.75 DK points) which is definitely worth mentioning. I just think I’ll be looking at the Raptors and Celtics guards at slightly below this salary rather than Jamal against the Clippers (where – by the way – he only averages a low 28 DK points in his last 5). I’m going elsewhere and if he beats me then he beats me.

    NOTE: Nikola Jokic is Questionable

    So, to rephrase – unless Jokic sits… I’m looking elsewhere. If the Joker isn’t suiting up then I’m looking at the obvious increase in usage to get Jamal Murray where we need him to be. He’ll have to put the Nuggets on his back and carry them as far as he possibly can.

    Jerami Grant ($5,200 DK)

    If Jerami Grant is going to play 40 minutes against ANYONE I’ll take him at that salary. His minutes are up on two fronts. One, because of Michael Porter Jr‘s suspect defense, and two – because he’s out there guarding Kawhi Leonard. In Game 2, Grant had a terrible shooting night with 1-9 from the field and 0-5 from behind the line but still got to 28 DK points somehow. Before that in Game 1, he went 4-8 (and 3-6 from three) in 26 minutes. So, let’s do the math… if he can get his FG% to closer to that usual 30-40% and play 40 mins while he’s guarding Kawhi – then this is a fantastic lower salary play.

    Paul Millsap ($4,700 DK)

    I wouldn’t play both Jerami Grant and Paul Millsap in the same lineup, but as long as this game stays close, Millsap is a decent play at $4700. He had 11 shot attempts in Game 2 vs the Clippers and got to 32 minutes, another guy benefitting while MPJ’s minutes are being kept low. I’m not going all in to get Paul in my lineups but he’s definitely in play – especially as a Cash game option or to help build your GPP lineups with a few studs.

    Nikola Jokic ($9,700 DK)

    (NOTE: Questionable)

    Oh man, which Nikola Jokic will we get vs the Clippers this time? The 22.75 DK points Jokic from Game 1 in this series; or the 61 DK points Jokic from Game 2?

    We have to keep in mind the score line in Game 1 and that Jokic only played 30 minutes. Still, there was a noticeable difference in focus and aggression between those two games from the Joker. I’m leaning towards the fatigue and “letdown” factors contributing to that score in Game 1, where the Nuggets were coming off a strenuous 7 games vs the Jazz – and I’m betting that we see Nikola still in the zone for us in this one. If that’s the case, then 47 DK points is a literal walk in the park for Jokic and I’m happy to build 40-50% of my lineups around him and then pivot to Kawhi Leonard in most of the others. In the previous four games (before Game 1 in this series), he beat this kind of salary easily and some of that was against a defensively talented Rudy Gobert. The Clippers do not have Gobert… and have been giving up big fantasy points to centers all season long. Jokic should blow through this salary blindfolded.

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