NBA playoff action is underway, and there is NBA DFS on DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft. Greg Ehrenberg looks at some NBA DFS Picks to build around and fade for the Sunday, Sept. 6 slate.
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NBA DFS Picks: Values + Fades for 9/6
Value Pick: Donte DiVincenzo
DraftKings $3,300, FanDuel $4,000, Yahoo $10
Mike Budenholzer isn’t making many adjustment in the postseason, but he did quietly make one change to his rotation in Game 3. Pat Connaughton barely played and his minutes went to DiVincenzo. DiVincenzo ended up playing 21 minutes, which is his most of the postseason, as Connaughton only saw 30 seconds of action.
We also have to consider the impact of the injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s listed questionable on the injury report, and if he’s out, DiVincenzo is a candidate to start. In the regular season, he started 24 games and averaged 22.97 DraftKings points in the role. He’s an obvious play as a starter, although even off the bench, there is reason to consider DiVincenzo since his minutes are trending upward. He averages nearly a fantasy point per minute and doesn’t need to see a ton of action to pay off his salary.
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Stud Pick: Khris Middleton
DraftKings $8,100, FanDuel $7,500, Yahoo $30
As mentioned above, Giannis is questionable to play. His status is clearly the most significant news of the day. His absence almost certainly would mean the Bucks get sent home today. While I tend to think that Giannis will try to gut out the injury, oddsmakers seem to disagree. The Bucks went from favored by 5.5 points in each of the first three games of the series to underdogs today. At the very least, it appears Giannis is at less than full health. Even if he plays, I don’t think we will see the best out of him. This could lead to extra usage going to Middleton.
If Giannis is out then Middleton and Eric Bledsoe have to carry the Bucks. With Antetokounmpo off the floor, Middleton carries a 33.7% usage rating and scores 1.40 DraftKings points per minute. I would think he has to play extended minutes if Giannis is out, but I can’t reasonably predict that will happen since Budenholzer is opposed to playing starters extended minutes. Either way, he should crush if Giannis is out even if it’s in 36 minutes. His current per-minute production sans Giannis suggests that Middleton will crack 50 DraftKings points if he plays at least 36 minutes.
Fade Pick: Eric Gordon
DraftKings $5,900, FanDuel $5,600, Yahoo $20
Now that Russell Westbrook is back to full strength, I think Gordon is going to take a hit in his usage. In the last three games, we have already seen this trend start. Gordon has a 21.3% usage rating since Westbrook returned, and he opened the series against the Thunder with a usage rating over 30% through the first few games of the series. Even though this is yet to kill Gordon’s production, I think a dip in fantasy output is coming. Gordon offset a dip in usage by making over 50% of his shots from the field in the last two games. Since he only makes 37.9% of his shots for the season, it looks like shooting regression is coming his way in addition to the lower volume.
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