The play-ins! Our long wait for competitive NBA basketball is finally over, as we have the first round of play-in games tonight. These games decide who will be advancing into the playoffs, and we expect teams to go into them with a playoff mindset. Over the past few months, we have had an embarrassment of riches regarding DFS value. We are used to having countless strong plays under $4,000, and we must be prepared for a stark difference come playoff time. During the playoffs/play-ins we expect teams to play their starters closer to 40 minutes, and younger value guys to see less floor times. As a result, we always have a lot of enticing options at the top of the slate. It is often harder to find strong value plays come playoff time but were here to help talk about some good opportunities. We are going with a much more balanced lineup here then we have been running the past few months, as it is a lot harder to fit in superstars like Russell Westbrook tonight.
|Shooting Guard||M. Smart||$5,800|
|Small Forward||B. Beal||$9,000|
|Power Forward||D. Bertans||$4,200|
The Boston Celtics look good tonight, as we expect the matchup with the Wizards to remain fruitful going into the playoffs. Marcus Smart is a priority for us at $5,800 as we expect him to be in for a pretty big role. Smart should play massive minutes here; we would not be surprised if he surpasses the 40-minute mark in this one. If you remember last playoffs, you will remember that Smart was around $1,000 more expensive then this come mid playoffs. Smart is a great playoff performer and Boston is going to need his defense for this matchup. While Jaylen Brown remains out, we have a lot of value from the Celtics and the minutes look especially solid for the rest of the starters.
We mentioned in our introduction we are avoiding spending up all the way for Westbrook on this slate. Instead, part of our strategy involves rostering Bradley Beal at a much more manageable $9,000 price tag. We expect Beal to be in for around 40 minutes for tonight’s huge game against Boston. Beal and Westbrook are the only offensive creators for this team, and Beal is the only efficient scorer on the Wizards. No doubt he will be relied on heavily for his scoring abilities tonight, as he is who they want shooting the ball. Beal comes with a bit of risk due to his reliance on scoring. however, he is giving us upside equal to the top studs on the slate at a much lower price tag.
The biggest difference we have going into the playoffs is the caliber of budget plays available. Due to all the injuries and resting this season, we have had fantastic value plays that brought very little risk available on most slates. However tonight we must rely on riskier value plays who have much lower floors. Davis Bertans is one of our favorite value plays available at $4,200, as we expect him to be in for some nice floor time. Shooting is a necessity in the playoff and Washington gets a lot of theirs from Bertans. We expect him to be one of the top forward options for Washington, and for his role to be solid in the playoffs. For the first playoff/play-in game we really have to speculate where the minutes will go, and Bertans seems like as good a guess as any.
The center rotations are particularly difficult to predict for tonight, as we have a few teams that have been starting different centers all year. The Charlotte Hornets certainly fit that description, and we are eagerly watching for what they choose to do with the frontcourt tonight. It is likely they go smaller here and start PJ Washington at center, which would make him a priority for us at $7,200. Washington should be in for some massive minutes regardless, but his role and floor time are solidified if he plays center. Washington has a lot of upside and we have seen some big games from him lately. We are mostly interested if he gets the center here, as he is very import for the Hornets if they want to go small. If he starts at center the bigger centers may not see the floor much, which would be fantastic for Washington’s minutes.
Now what do you get if you sign up now?
• A very cheap center with nice upside
• A few stud guards who should have a big role for the playoffs
• Get 7-days for free and all-access for all sports for $99 per year after
Kemba Walker – PG ($7,300 DK) Walker is a little too cheap here for the production he has been putting out and the role we expect from him in the playoffs. Walker has been fantastic, going for over 54 FPTS in the last game he played. He has been playing huge minutes for the Celtics and we expect them to go up for the playoffs. Walker should be playing around 40 minutes a night here, given his usage that makes him a fantastic option at this price. Walker has fantastic upside here, as he should benefit to some degree with Brown remaining out. At this price, we are getting a stud without really having to pay for it.
LaMelo Ball – G ($8,100 DK) The Hornets look good tonight as we still expect their matchup against Indiana to be a fast paced one. This is an all or nothing game for Charlotte, so we expect Ball to play all the floor time he can. Ball has a lot of upside as we have seen him stuff every stat possible. We like all the Hornets guards here, as we expect they will be taking a ton of the offense in their own hands.
Rui Hachimura – F ($5,000 DK) With Washington trying to run the best lineup possible tonight, it is hard to imagine Hachimura not being in for a ton of minutes. The Wizards do not have a lot of strong forward options and we expect Hachimura to be on the floor for almost the entire game. We do not have a lot of value on this slate and getting a somewhat cheap Hachimura is a play that stands out. We know he is a solid DFS producer, and he is cheaper tonight then he has been for a little while. We expect a small minute’s boost tonight, which is enough to make Hachimura a very enticing play.
Robin Lopez – Util ($3,100 DK) Washington is one of the teams whose center rotation is hard to crack for tonight. We have no idea who gets the start at center an where the minutes are going. However, we are interested in Lopez here for a few reasons. Firstly, Lopez has been good lately and we have seen some solid minutes. The Wizards had an important game last game and we saw Lopez play 27 minutes. As a veteran we would expect Lopez to see more run in the playoffs then the younger guys anyway. Lopez could be in for some nice floor time if he is the Wizards center of choice here. Furthermore, Lopez is just so cheap tonight on DraftKings tonight, so we really do not need much for him to fit into lineups.
Here’s a balanced lineup For DFS Basketball 5/18/21 (using FanDuel Values)
|Point Guard||K. Walker||$8,200|
|Point Guard||L. Ball||$7,200|
|Shooting Guard||B. Beal||$10,000|
|Shooting Guard||M. Smart||$5,700|
|Small Forward||R. Hachimura||$5,100|
|Small Forward||M. Bridges||$6,800|
|Power Forward||P. Washington||$7,200|
|Power Forward||D. Bertans||$4,500|
Miles Bridges – SF (6,800 FD) Bridges is a fantastic play on FanDuel as he is a fairly good price tag, but he looks solid on both sites. Of all the Hornets, the minute are the safest for Bridges as we expect him to see massive run regardless of if Charlotte goes small or big here. Bridges is the top wing option for the Hornets, so they will likely play him massive run in this must-win matchup.
Go win your lineup and tell us how you did. Twitter (@FantasyDFSX) is a good place for that.
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