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 Sunday’s slate.
NBA DFS Picks: Values + Fades for Aug. 29
Value Pick: Marcus Smart
DraftKings $5,600, FanDuel $5,300, Yahoo $19
Take note of the Mavericks’ injury report. The Mavs listed four core players as questionable along with Kristaps Porzingis already ruled out. Most notably, Luka Doncic is questionable because of the ankle injury that forced him to leave a game earlier in the series. In addition, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Dorian Finney-Smith are all questionable. It is a spot likely to have value. However, it’s hard to know who as of now with so many players uncertain.
For now, Smart is a top value play. Even though his price isn’t all that cheap, he figures to play massive minutes in this series, so I think his price is too cheap. Matched up against the likes of Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry, Smart’s defense is key for Boston against Toronto. This especially true since Gordon Hayward is out. Dealing with an ankle sprain, it looks like Hayward is out for this entire series. In a close final game against the 76ers, Smart played 43 minutes.
Stud Pick: Nikola Jokic
DraftKings $9,500, FanDuel $9,300, Yahoo $43
This is do-or-die time for the Nuggets. Facing elimination against the Jazz, we know that the Nuggets’ core players will get all the minutes they can handle. We saw this is in a Game 5 win for Denver, and Jokic played 43 minutes in that game. Not only did he play big minutes, Jokic also scored 31 points with big usage. As expected, his usage rating is a touch higher in the playoffs than it was in the regular season. With everything on the line, Jokic will be more aggressive and looking for his own shot more than normal.
The other reason to like Jokic is a lack of options on the high end, particularly if Doncic doesn’t play. If Doncic is out, not only is he not an option, but the Clippers would likely blowout the Mavericks. If this is the case, then neither Paul George nor Kawhi Leonard would likely put up big games. This could make rostering Jokic essential by lock time.
Fade Pick: Fred VanVleet
DraftKings $7,700, FanDuel $7,600, Yahoo $32
Rostering VanVleet today comes with a few issues. The first issue is his price point. This is peak pricing for VanVleet, and the matchup is far from ideal. That is because of the man I mentioned above, Marcus Smart. As one of the top perimeter defenders in the league, I expect he will somewhat limit the production of Lowry and VanVleet today. Pace of play is also a slight concern. The total for this game is set at 216.5, which is the lowest of the day and one of the lowest totals of the entire postseason. From the same game, I think it makes more sense to roster Kemba Walker at a slightly cheaper salary.
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