The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Tuesday features a two-game slate starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Jamal Murray has gone absolutely bonkers in his last three games, scoring at least 60 FanDuel points in each. He’s been scorching hot offensively in those contest – he’s shot a ridiculous 64.2% from the field and 62.9% from 3-point range – so it’s fair to question if he can sustain that production moving forward.
One thing that can’t be questioned is his likely workload in this contest. He’s logged at least 41.4 minutes in each of his past three games, and he’s currently projected for 44.0 minutes in our NBA Models. Murray has averaged 1.10 FanDuel points per minute this season and 1.32 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he can definitely do some damage with that much playing time.
Brad Wanamaker stands out at just $3,500 on DraftKings. He’s become an important part of the Celtics rotation given the injury to Gordon Hayward, and he’s coming off 28.4 minutes in his last contest. Some of that came during garbage time, but he’s projected for 24.5 minutes today. Wanamaker has averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he’s more productive than the typical punt play.
Kemba Walker was dealing with an injury heading into the bubble, but he appears fully recovered at this point. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in each of his past six games on FanDuel, including his last game in which he posted a usage rate of just 18.2% over 32.0 minutes. If he can return value with subpar marks in both categories, there’s no reason he can’t do it again today.
Kyle Lowry stands out on FanDuel at just $7,500. It results in a Bargain Rating of 83%, and Lowry has averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.98 with a comparable price tag this season (per the Trends tool).
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Murray isn’t the only player who has exploded in this series between the Nuggets and Jazz. Donovan Mitchell has also posted some ridiculous offensive numbers, scoring at least 50 points in two of the first six games. He’s exploded for at least 62.3 FanDuel points in three of those contests, and he hasn’t been priced up nearly as aggressively as Murray on FanDuel. His current $8,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%.
Marcus Smart was very impressive for the Celtics in Game 1 vs. the Raptors, scoring 36.5 DraftKings points over 30.9 minutes. He will likely see some shooting regression moving forward – he’s not going to shoot 60% from the field and 55.6% from 3-point range very often – but he should be able to make up for it with some additional playing time. He played at least 38.7 minutes in each of the final two games vs. the 76ers, so he could see significantly more minutes in today’s contest.
Fred VanVleet is coming off one of his worst shooting performances of the year in his last game. He shot just 3-of-16 from the field and 2-of-11 from 3-point range, both of which were well below his regular-season averages. He’s an elite bounce-back target in Game 2.
Most of the best values on today’s slate are found on FanDuel, but Norman Powell stands out on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 88%. He’s averaged 1.00 DraftKings point per minute over the past month, and he played 26.7 minutes in his last contest.
Pascal Siakam is another interesting buy-low option for the Raptors. He’s struggled during the playoffs so far, shooting just 39.8% from the field and 25.0% from 3-point range, and he was just 5-of-16 from the field in Game 1. That said, he did average 1.17 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he should have some better performances in the future.
OG Anunoby should be a pretty cheap source of minutes on today’s slate. He’s currently projected for 35.7 minutes at just $4,800 on DraftKings, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.23 on DraftKings. He doesn’t have much of a ceiling, but he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five straight games.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid Jaylen Brown at just $6,300 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 98%. He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in three straight games, but he’s played at least 41 minutes in two of those contests. His fantasy value has been plagued by some poor shooting numbers, but he’s averaged 1.01 FanDuel points per minute this season. He’s simply too cheap if he’s going to continue to see that much playing time.
Michael Porter has SF eligibility on DraftKings, and he’s an interesting tournament option at just $5,500. He played 28.1 minutes in his last game but shot just 1-of-7 from the field. Porter is a gifted player offensively – he shot 50.9% from the field and 42.2% from 3-point range during the regular season – so he should improve in that department moving forward. MPJ has averaged 1.17 DraftKings points per minute, so 28 minutes should give him a good chance at returning value at what should be moderate ownership.
Jayson Tatum is coming off a slightly disappointing performance in Game 1 vs. the Raptors. He was basically invisible in the first quarter, tallying just two points, one assist and zero rebounds. Tatum rebounded after that, finishing with 21 points and nine rebounds, but he was unable to overcome his slow start for fantasy purposes.
Tatum has been excellent in the bubble, averaging 1.28 FanDuel points per minute, so he should be looking at a better performance on today’s slate. His price has also dropped to just $9,000 on FanDuel, resulting in a position-high Bargain Rating of 83%.
Sticking with the Celtics, Daniel Theis stands out at his current salary across the industry. He was excellent in his last game, scoring 38.75 DraftKings points over 25.4 minutes, and he’s averaged a solid 1.00 DraftKings point per minute this season.
Royce O’Neale has become a huge part of the Jazz rotation during the playoffs. He’s currently projected for 38.3 minutes on today’s slate, which is the second-highest mark at the PF position. He’s very reasonably priced at just $4,500 on DraftKings, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.88.
Serge Ibaka has been awesome from a fantasy perspective over the past month, averaging 1.32 FanDuel points per minute. That’s the top mark at the position, and a lack of playing time has been the only thing stopping him from being a fantasy monster. That could change if Marc Gasol continues to struggle, which makes Ibaka a high-ceiling option on today’s slate.
The Nuggets have handed the keys of the offense over to Murray during the playoffs, which has hurt Nikola Jokic from a fantasy perspective. Jokic has still scored at least 47.0 DraftKings points in each of his past three games, but he doesn’t have the same elite ceiling without possessing the ball as much.
Still, he’s hard to ignore at just $9,500 in a do-or-die Game 7. He could be looking at a monster workload – he’s currently projected for 39.3 minutes – and Jokic was the best producer on the slate on a per-minute basis over the course of the season.
The Celtics dusted off Robert Williams in Game 1 vs. the Raptors, and he responded with 24.75 DraftKings points at the absolute minimum. He’s been priced up a smidge to $3,300 on today’s slate, but that’s still too cheap if he’s going to continue to play around 20 minutes. He’s averaged 1.21 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s upped that figure to 1.33 over the past month.
Rudy Gobert has posted a negative Plus/Minus in each of his past three games, but no one at the position is projected for more minutes on today’s slate. Gobert has averaged a strong 1.17 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he’s definitely capable of improving upon his recent performances. He’s also been priced down to just $7,300 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 94%, and his matchup vs. the Nuggets comes with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.21.
Photo credit: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images
Pictured: Fred VanVleet