The first two days of the 2018 NBA playoffs went about as expected. The only upset was the Pacers taking down the Cavaliers and just about every other game delivered the result the NBA betting community projected.
Kind of. The Sixers completely waxed the Heat, the Bucks forced overtime against the Celtics and Minnesota put up a much stiffer test against the Rockets than I personally expected.
That made for some shaky daily fantasy basketball production. Stacking the Bucks/Celtics game proved to be one of the better strategies over the first two nights of playoff action, and stacking games in general may make a lot of sense on these small slates.
I’ve touched on “taking stands” in the past and that’s no different during postseason play. Especially in tournaments, you may want to just bite down hard on the game you covet and never look back.
Monday’s NBA DFS slate is even smaller than the first two, as just four teams hit the hardwood. Let’s take a closer look at this slate as I try to gauge the best team to use for GPPs:
PG: Goran Dragic – Miami Heat ($6.3k)
There are only two games on tonight’s NBA DFS slate, so my main strategy will be trying to load up as many studs as makes sense and taking some GPP dives that could potentially pan out.
I want the safest point guard on this slate first, and that’s The Dragon by a mile. Neither of these games is projected to necessarily stay close if you look at the top NBA betting sites, but this one should be fast and provide a lot of points.
That has me on Dragic, who put up 23 fantasy points in 31 minutes in game one. Look for a slightly better showing and if he can top 30+ fantasy points, he’ll be worth the price on this shaky slate.
PG: Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs ($3.5k)
I’m not sure you can truly trust a second PG tonight, so I don’t mind punting and hoping Coach Pop turns to his veterans to keep game two against the Dubs a little more competitive. Hopefully that means more of Parker, who logged just 13 minutes in game one.
The Spurs don’t have much to lose to see if he can help them, while the gap between him and the other point guards doesn’t feel that huge tonight. If he can push for 20 minutes, he may blow away this price tag.
SG: Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat ($4.4k)
I’m thinking along the same lines at shooting guard tonight. Klay Thompson and J.J. Redick are the “elite” options at SG on this slate, yet they are boom or bust plays that usually do little else beyond scoring the ball.
Both of these guys could go off as shooters, but I don’t love their floors or ceilings right now.
I’ll instead turn to Wade, who probably needs to show up with a big game or two if the Heat are going to make this a series. He didn’t do much in game one, so don’t be shocked to see him come out a bit more focused as he tries to will his team to a tied series.
SG: Danny Green – San Antonio Spurs ($3.8k)
I also like Manu Ginobili here, but Green is considerably cheaper and is probably about as good of a play. Green actually possesses more natural upside, as he starts and is a safer bet to get 25-30 minutes if the game can stay close.
Green can pop off as an outside shooter, while he’s also been known to turn in big outings with rebounds, steals and blocks. If the Spurs are to hang tight in this one, my guess is Green will have to put the clamps down on Klay Thompson and chip in with some peripherals. That might make him an elite value play on this short NBA DFS slate.
SF: Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors ($11.8k)
Normally I wouldn’t deem KD a must in the face of a potentially tough Spurs defense. However, no other SF can match his upside and San Antonio really didn’t stop him at all in game one.
Durant seems totally safe in game two and while he probably won’t match his lofty price tag, I think he’s necessary for a winning lineup tonight.
SF: Andre Iguodala – Golden State Warriors ($4.8k)
I like Rudy Gay here and also don’t mind Josh Richardson. Robert Covington ($7.9k) is an easy fade at a gaudy price, while the first two guys probably don’t have great ceilings.
Iggy might not have a super high ceiling either, but he figures to start again tonight and if this game can stay remotely close he could push for 30 minutes and return killer value.
He was on pace to crush in game one, so if he is healthy and this game is competitive, he feels like one of the best dollar for dollar options on this entire slate.
PF: Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers ($10.5k)
I’m not fading Simmons on this slate. He sliced and diced the Heat in game one and could have gone nuts if the game actually stayed close in the second half. Miami doesn’t seem to have much of an answer for him and if they can keep it relatively tight in game two, he could wreck.
Simmons is actually still a mild value considering his immense upside, so I’ll gladly pay for him on this tiny slate.
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio Spurs ($9.7k)
There is blowout risk in both of tonight’s playoff games, so I’m not shying away from studs just because they might see their teams get housed. Should the Spurs hang in game two even for a short while, it will largely be due to Ridge.
The pivot here would be Draymond Green, while Ersan Ilyasova is too high-priced for my liking. I’ll just spend at both PF spots and hope that is a contrarian strategy.
C: Pau Gasol – San Antonio Spurs ($4.6k)
Center is trash tonight. Joel Embiid (eye) remains out for at least one more game and Hassan Whiteside doesn’t seem worth the risk until he’s back. With Embiid out, Miami is going small to match Philly and it just doesn’t give way to big minutes for Hassanity.
You can really make an argument for any center, but again, if the Spurs are going to make it a game tonight, I expect a lot of their guys to step up. That includes Gasol, who can impact the game as a shooter outside, as well as on the glass and with blocks. I don’t exactly trust him, but center is a wash so I’ll aim high and hope he delivers.