The 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs has been more predictable, but somehow still as entertaining as the 1st Round. With strategies and matchups now well-defined, let’s dive into who may be the best targets for DFS. The other night’s stars might not make for the best targets tonight. Adjustments are the name of the game in the playoffs.
Playing NBA DFS can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also make your head spin. It’s our job to make sure you’re winning as much as possible! There are countless variables that can lead to a player’s individual performance, but I’ve found it’s best to focus on just a few that can lead to better predictability.
My favorite factors to track for NBA DFS targets: Matchups (Offensive/Defensive Ratings), Opportunity (expected player minutes, game pace), and Recent Form.
This is the AM VERSION of a living article that will be updated throughout the day, as news comes through the wire.
LET’S GET INTO THE SLATE!!!!
NBA DFS Targets and Preview for May 6
Heat (53-29) vs. 76ers (51-31)
Offensive Rating: 12th vs. 11th in the league
Defensive Rating: 4th vs. 11th in the league
Net Rating: 6th vs. 10th in the league
Pace: 28th vs. 26th in the league
Predicted Outcome: The Heat are up 2-0 in this one, and in relatively easy fashion. There are two things that represent a major difference in tonight’s matchup though: 1) the 76ers are at home for this game. 2) Joel Embiid is likely to return to the court. The second reason changes everything. DeAndre Jordan has been getting major minutes, and has a horrendous +/- to show for it. Paul Reed has also been getting major minutes, and for all the offense and rebounding he provides, he simply can’t stop fouling. Embiid changes the way the Heat defense plays, and makes James Harden, Maxey, and Harris more valuable. The Heat are the better team and should still win this game, but the 76ers are at least DFS viable again.
DFS Targets: On the Heat, Jimmy Butler has a tendency to take over games when the going gets tough. I love him tonight. He’s never priced at the superstar levels of an Embiid, Harden, Luka, etc. But he should be, so he provides value. I’ll fade Bam against Embiid, as he may have some foul trouble, and/or have less offensive load because he’s tasked with guarding Embiid. PJ Tucker is always value, sub-$5000. You’ll have to forget the fact that he’s hit or miss. Same goes with Max Strus sub-$5000. I’ll be avoiding the Heat guards, considering that I expect Jimmy Butler to eat up the usage. On the 76ers, I like Embiid and Harden, and I’ll choose one of Harris or Maxey. However, I stress that you shouldn’t be loading up on 76ers players as the Heat have a top 5 defense and one of the most switchable teams in the league. Stick with the high usage players, and find your value plays in the Suns/Mavs game.
Suns (64-18) vs. Mavericks (52-30)
Offensive Rating: 5th vs. 14th in the league
Defensive Rating: 3rd vs. 7th in the league
Net Rating: 2nd vs. 7th in the league
Pace: 8th vs. 30th in the league
Predicted Outcome: The Mavs are back at home for this one, but I’m not sure it matters. The Mavs are overmatched on offense, and they can’t stop anyone on the Suns defensively. The strategy that they deployed against the Pelicans won’t wok against the Suns because Ayton has been so versatile. At least the Mavs know they’ll need to add an inside presence that can score, this offseason. Suns win.
DFS Targets: On Phoenix, I like Booker and Ayton, as the offense has been going through them the first two games. Chris Paul is always dependable, but he doesn’t look to score when he doesn’t need to, and that significantly limits his DFS upside. Further, there’s a legitimate chance of a blowout, so I love Cam Payne sub-$4500. More values on the Suns include the other Cam, Bridges, and Crowder. Javale McGee is also in play, too, if you’re expecting a blowout like me. McGee and Payne are particularly critical to fitting multiple stars in your lineups. On the Mavs, I like Luka Doncic, and that’s it. He’s the only one you can count on to hit his value in a blowout. On the other hand, if you think it’ll be closer, Brunson, and Finney-Smith have been the ancillary stat stuffers for Dallas. Maxi Kleber has had the 3-point touch for the past few games as well, but I view him the same way I view PJ Tucker (except he plays less).