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NBA DFS Playoff Primer (FREE!): Can Portland Continue Their Improbable Run Vs A Rested But Kevin Durantless Warriors Team At Home?

Chris Spags



Our FREE NBA DFS picks cheatsheets gives out top plays for daily fantasy basketball lineups on DraftKings for Friday, January 17th (1/17)

We’re onto the Conference Finals and that makes for one big change to this NBA DFS column which, up until now, has been known as the Premium Playoff Primer. For the rest of the NBA DFS season, the former Triple P will lose one P and be available FREE every weekday as we continue our march through the NBA Finals. We’ve unearthed a lot of advantages and seen solid results thus far and there are still massive tournaments industry wide across the world of NBA DFS coming up. I’m excited to discuss all the matchup information, game watching, and data we have here at, to take us all through what should be a killer final four.

I’ll focus on the showdown slates the rest of the way (although we do have NBA DFS rankings and NBA DFS projections for the two-game multiday slates if you’re playing any of those) and, if you’re not familiar with the premium version of the column, I’ll hone in on the adjustments teams could make relative to what the box score chasers out there may see. So let’s get to it, today’s Double P, NBA DFS Playoff Primer.

Portland Trailblazers (106.8 implied points, -7.7 on season average) at Golden State Warriors (113.8 implied points, -4 on season average)

Damian Lillard was largely marginalized in the Denver series but the usage was there for him and the same has been the case this season vs. Golden State, with 20 or more shots on three of the four regular season games. Lillard will likely see some tough defense again but this matchup should offer him a little more room to operate than he saw with a lot more defensive wing depth for Denver than the Warriors currently have

CJ McCollum was the big Game 7 hero for Portland and even though he’s seen less success this season vs. Golden State than Lillard I think he should see a comparable amount of usage today. I’ll have good amounts of both guys with at least one of them likely to score at a decent clip, particularly if Portland stays competitive

Enes Kanter is an interesting case for this series with a super cheap price but a decent risk that he gets played off the floor. Kanter’s a stellar value for a Showdown slate and he’ll certainly get the first opportunity to excel today so I’ll have a good bit of exposure with him averaging 14.5 boards in 22.5 minutes of action vs the Warriors this year. Andrew Bogut starting again would be a good sign for his opportunity

Zach Collins lurks behind Kanter but feels less likely to get minutes next to him due to the lack of size Golden State has compared to Denver where they needed him to help with Nikola Jokic and pitch in on Paul Millsap. Guys like Al-Farouq Aminu and Mo Harkless seem like better fits vs a Warriors lineup who has often gone small this postseason and will ask a lot of switching from the opponent. Collins can also be foul prone so I’m really not inclined to pay more for him than Kanter on this slate, especially if the ownership is meaningfully there for Collins

-I’d slightly favor Harkless over Aminu even though I think both end up less marginalized this series. Aminu can still lose minutes particularly without his size needed vs. the sidelined Kevin Durant but Harkless has the ability to keep up and switch in a way that I’d think will earn him more minutes as long as he offers something defensively and the scoring doesn’t get out of control to the point where Portland needs more shooters out there to balance things out

Rodney Hood is questionable but the tea leaves on his knee bruise seem to favor him not being active tonight, a situation that could stabilize Harkless’s minutes as well as open some more for Seth Curry and/or Evan Turner. There’s a lot of narrative noise re: the Curry vs Curry battle so I worry a little for Seth’s ownership but if he’s in the low 20s minutes he could be a nice value. I’m a little less into Turner with him likely to see some point chasing of his Game 7 effort vs Denver even though his playmaking ability could be an asset if everything else fails

Draymond Green seems like he’s in a fine spot to continue his playoff success even though he can lose some opportunity if we see more lineups with Andrew Bogut and Kevon Looney at center hurting some of his rebounding opportunity. I’m still perfectly okay with him today but Bogut’s likely start after he took Durant’s starting role last game makes Draymond fractionally less interesting

-Bogut himself seems like he could be a sneaky play at a near-minimum price on the slate but I’d favor him in lineup builds that presume Kanter also gets a steady diet of minutes. It’s also possible that much like in Golden State’s last game we see Looney seize the minutes away from Bogut so I don’t have an issue with exposure to both and to a far lesser extent Jordan Bell. This position seems the most likely to be fungible given the performance from Portland’s side and how much the Warriors need to adjust as a result

Steph Curry is priced way up and with Portland really struggling to defend and Curry’s usage likely to stay sky high with no Durant, I’d consider him close to a must-play for me today. Curry averages 49.4 FP vs Portland this year and he’s fresh vs a team who just had a high energy expense in a seven game series

-I’d think Klay Thompson can end up seeing more meaningful defense from Mo Harkless but I still have no real issue with him given that he also averaged a solid 38.2 FP vs. Portland this year with that number lowered as a result of a 26.5 FP day on a 2-for-16 shooting day to close out their season series. Klay’s price is reasonable and the usage will be there for him too sans Durant

Andre Iguodala seems expensive but mostly fine given that he saw 38 minutes last game with no Kevin Durant. It’s possible he sees less minutes in a series where Golden State will likely feel they can handle Portland without as much of an energy expenditure as last round vs the archrival Rockets but I’m still not opposed to paying his price in some lineups

-It’s possible we see more minutes for the Jonas Jerebko/Alfonzo McKinnie class of players to open this series with no Durant and the Warriors emptying the chambers to ensure victory last series vs Houston. And while I’d slightly favor Jerebko (and also don’t hate Quinn Cook in a blowout build), I think this game will stay competitive enough that these guys don’t see a meaningful enough amount of run to force your way to, particularly since it seems likely Andrew Bogut gets a decent shot at minutes to start the series at an even cheaper price

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags and I’ll see you guys tomorrow for another Double P on the NBA DFS ramifications of the Eastern Conference Finals’ opening battle between Toronto and Milwaukee.

Chris Spags is the senior director of editorial strategy at and contributes to the site's NBA, NFL, and MLB coverage as a writer and host of video content. Chris's content background from sites like Guyism, Uproxx, and Barstool Sports allows him to bring a unique spin to the world of daily fantasy sports analysis. Chris writes regular columns with NBA and NFL analysis as well as his inimitable style and his 'Four Corners' videos for basketball, baseball, and football DFS are the primary short form content offering on Awesemo's YouTube channel. You can find him on almost any given night providing analysis right up to slate lock on Awesemo's flagship Live Before Lock livestreams or on Twitter @ChrisSpags. You can contact Chris by emailing