NBA playoff action is underway after a hiatus and there is NBA DFS on DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft. Greg Ehrenberg looks at some NBA DFS Picks to build around and fade for Saturday’s slate.
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NBA DFS Picks: Values + Fades for Aug. 29
NBA DFS Value Pick: Gary Trent Jr.
DraftKings $4,800, FanDuel $4,500, Yahoo $10
It stands to reason that any play we liked for the canceled Wednesday slate, we will also like today. Damian Lillard left the bubble because of a knee injury and is out for the season. With Portland down 3-1 in the series and 13.5-points underdogs tonight, the final result of this series is all but a formality. Even with Lillard, the Blazers are getting throttled by the Lakers in this series. Outside of Game 1 where the Lakers missed a ton of open looks, Los Angeles won games by an average of 17 points.
With Lillard out, I expect Trent to draw into the starting lineup. It’s a role he took on earlier in the season when Lillard was out but didn’t have much success. I am not too concerned about this because Trent is a better player now than he was earlier in the season. In the bubble, Trent is serving as a knockdown shooter and is scoring 21.56 DraftKings points per game. Now starting, he could push for close to 40 minutes in a must-win game for Portland. The Blazers only shot to win this game is to try to play with variance by launching a 3-point barrage. If there’s one thing we know Trent can do, it’s shoot the basketball.
NBA DFS Stud Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo
DraftKings $11,300, FanDuel $11,500, Yahoo $56
On Wednesday, I had James Harden as my top player to pay up for. The issue is that the Rockets’ circumstances changed a ton in the last few days. In the last article I wrote, Russell Westbrook was listed out at the time. After the article went up, Houston upgraded him to questionable and then the slate got canceled. Now, Russ is expected to play today. This is a big hit to the expected usage and production for Harden. In addition, Harden is more expensive today than he was on Wednesday when we thought Westbrook would not play.
With the downgrade to Harden, I am looking to Giannis as the top pay up option. He led the league in fantasy points per minute this season and he’s somewhat quietly off to a huge start in the postseason. Despite playing just 32 minutes per game against the Magic due to some lopsided scores, Giannis is averaging 63.94 DraftKings points in the series with a 36.3% usage rating. He’s putting up these numbers even though every game in the series finished decided by at least 12 points. Giannis could put up a big game even in a blowout.
NBA DFS Fade Pick: Markelle Fultz
DraftKings $5,100, FanDuel $5,400, Yahoo $18
The Magic are another team likely getting sent home today. Trailing 3-1 in their series to the Bucks, none of these games have played competitively since Game 1. In the playoffs, Fultz has popped as a good value in a handful of games. The results were mixed, and he does have a few big value games in his logs. The issue I have here is potential ownership. After a big game on Monday, I think the masses will likely go back to the well with Fultz since he was projected for high ownership on Wednesday. This is fine, and I don’t actually have a massive issue with him in a vacuum. I lean towards D.J. Augustin due to the potential leverage. Two points guards are negatively correlated, and I think it always makes sense to go the one with less ownership on these smaller slates.
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