The NBA playoffs are underway, and there is NBA DFS on DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft. Greg Ehrenberg breaks down some of the key news in his Switch and Hedge article.
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First Giannis Antetokounmpo, Now Nikola Jokic
As if dealing with the Giannis injury yesterday wasn’t annoying enough, Jokic is questionable to play today due to a wrist injury. This injury doesn’t appear as serious as the one Giannis dealt with, but I think what happened to Giannis yesterday could impact Jokic’s ownership. Since Giannis was only able to play 11 minutes, DFS players could draw a parallel between the situations and fade Jokic if he’s active. I am fine with putting Jokic in lineups if we get word that he is expected to play without any restrictions.
If Jokic is out, it’s tough to imagine that this game against the Clippers stays competitive. I’ll immediately bet the Clippers spread if the Nuggets’ play without their star center. For NBA DFS purposes, his absence would create a ton of value. The primary target if Jokic can’t play is Mason Plumlee. I expect Plumlee would start, and he’s a strong per-minute fantasy producer. Denver would also have to lean on Paul Millsap and Jamal Murray a bit more. Murray makes me nervous to have a ton of exposure to in a game without Jokic. The Clippers’ defense could hone in him, and due to blowout risk, a situation without Jokic makes Murray risky.
Raptors Continue to Play With Desperation
I can’t get past the workload for the Raptors’ core players. With Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet all playing over 40 minutes, all three make for great plays. Lowry is my favorite option of the three as he was on Saturday. He’s playing close to the entire game, giving him a massive ceiling and a really safe floor. Even though there is some narrative that Siakam isn’t playing well in the postseason, he’s scored over 42 DraftKings points in four of his last six games. If his ownership starts to dip because of public bias, Siakam is a great target to have more exposure to than the field.
As for the rest of the Raptors’ players, O.G. Anunoby is the only other player I am considering. The Raptors play a really tight core, so there are only so many players to seriously think about rostering. With Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol splitting center minutes, it’s tough to think either have much upside. Gasol has under 23 DraftKings points in every playoff game and Ibaka is only averaging 22 minutes in the last two games.
Figuring Minutes for Montrezl Harrell and Patrick Beverley
All postseason, I waited for Harrell to play extended minutes. It’s yet to happen, and I am starting to wonder if his role in the playoffs isn’t bouncing back. Since Ivica Zubac is still playing well and Harrell isn’t producing when on the court, he might not take his job back. Harrell is a viable target, although I am playing him much less in recent games than I did at the end of the series against the Mavericks. He only played 18 minutes last game, and it looks like the Clippers will continue to prioritize giving minutes to Zubac over Harrell.
As for Beverley, he remains on a minutes restriction. The reason it’s hard to know his intended workload is because the Clippers won via blowout in Game 1, and then Beverley got ejected for picking up a pair of technical fouls in Game 2. Who knows how much run he would have had if the first couple games of the series played out differently. For now, I am assuming he will play a little over 20 minutes tonight. If this is the case, he makes for a decent value play relative to the other options currently available to us.
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