Tuesday’s NBA DFS landscape features two games starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
Leading off this article is the most expensive player on both DraftKings and FanDuel with Luka Doncic. Despite a poor shooting night where he only made 36% from the field and 10% behind the arc, Doncic still recorded over 50 DraftKings points for the 16th-straight game. He is as consistent as they come while still having the highest ceiling in our Players Model once again tonight.
There is enough value, especially on the Miami Heat, to make it easier to fit Doncic into lineups. In the first game on the road against the Suns in this series, Doncic had 45 points and 75 DraftKings points. It is very tough to find that type of upside with anyone else on this slate. Not only did Doncic lead the league in usage rate during the regular season, but he leads the playoffs as well with 40.4%.
It is time to start the Miami Heat conversation. Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent, and Max Strus are all listed as questionable to play tonight. Keeping an eye on our News Dashboard will be critical for these players. This series with the 76ers is tied 2-2, and with this game being in Miami, there is more pressure on them to win after losing back-to-back road games in Philadelphia.
Lowry came back for Game 3 and Game 4 after missing the first two but played very poorly. He re-injured his hamstring in their last game. Vincent had a solid first two games, but he is questionable with a knee injury. Herro is the best bet to play as he has played every game in this series as the Sixth Man of the Year is a needed spark off the bench. Lastly, if Strus is unable to go, we may see Duncan Robinson, who has played one minute in this series and is priced at the stone minimum.
Plenty of news to decipher.
Editor’s note: Lowry has been ruled out.
Chris Paul had back-to-back really tough games in Dallas where he averaged 8.5 points and 24.75 DraftKings points per game. Coming back home with the series tied, look for Paul to have a bounce-back performance in Game 5. The upside is still there even with the Suns fully healthy. The biggest concern is the assist numbers are way down after leading the league in assists per game.
These two games present a very low-scoring slate, but the Suns still lead the slate with the highest implied total of 109.5 points as they are six-point favorites. This game also has the highest total at 213 points, which is still very low. Paul is coming off of what may be the worst game in his career. He fouled out in 23 minutes as he only had four field-goal attempts. He won’t be held quiet tonight.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Sticking with the Suns theme, the shooting guard stud on this slate is easily Devin Booker. He is best suited on DraftKings with the 3-point bonus as well as the 93% Bargain Rating. Booker has recorded a positive Plus/Minus in three of the four games during this series. The Mavericks have some solid defensive wings, but Booker can get scorching hot where no one can stop him.
Booker has the highest usage rate and points per game on the Suns during this postseason run, which should come to no surprise. He is shooting 49.8% from behind the arc as he has made at least three 3-pointers in three-straight games. Booker is also averaging 6.3 assists per game in this series, showing his versatility. He is fully healthy and is option No. 1 on the best team on the slate.
After touching on the Miami situation earlier, we’ll go to the Dallas backcourt with Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie. Brunson had a fantastic Game 3 but has still really struggled in this series, especially in the two games on the road. Dinwiddie has been even worse as he is shooting 31.5% from the field while averaging 8.3 points per game. The value is there, but the upside is minimal.
Brunson is the preferred option between the two, but of course, he comes with a higher price tag. He only has one game over 30 DraftKings points in this entire series, as he scored over that mark in every single game during the Utah series. The Suns present a much tougher spot for these two guards, but when looking at the slate, they are a way to get different in the mid-range of players.
James Harden finally looked like James Harden last game. He played over 40 minutes and had a playoff-high 31 points while also recording nine assists and seven rebounds. That was his first game where he had a positive Plus/Minus in this series, so it may be fools gold. Harden buried six 3-pointers leading the 76ers to a series tie. Can he keep that momentum going back to Miami?
Harden has struggled in this series shooting the ball. The Heat present a very tough matchup as they have a lot of bodies to make life difficult on Harden. He has shot 39.8% from the field during this series while averaging 21 points per game as he is capitalizing on his trips to the free-throw line. Having Joel Embiid back from injury has helped take the pressure off of Harden in this series.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Jimmy Butler has been one of the best players in the playoffs thus far. He has increased his scoring to 29 points per game as he is shooting a ridiculous 53.2% from the field. Butler is also averaging 7.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game during the playoffs. The salary has increased quite a bit, but over the past seven games, he has three games over 60 and three over 50 DraftKings points.
With all of the Miami Heat players questionable, as I mentioned above, Butler will be the go-to option once again tonight. Can’t lose three in a row if you are the Heat. When looking at our On/Off Tool, the more players you take off the floor, the better Butler looks. He is going to be tough to get away from on this slate as he is looking to be another fantastic option in a big game for the Heat.
Looking for other small forward options may be tough, but Cameron Johnson has the highest projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings at the position. He has a mixed bag of results in this series with two strong games and two very poor games. For Johnson, it is all about if the 3-pointer is falling. He has averaged five 3-point attempts in this series but has the upside to get really hot from distance.
Now that the Suns are fully healthy, Johnson is coming off the bench again, but his salary remains a great value on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He is one of the better options to fit in Doncic tonight, which we all want to do. Johnson has increased his peripherals a little bit, which also helps his floor, which can be extremely low. All in all, Johnson is a cheap piece on this slate.
Once again, staying with the Suns, we’ll look at Mikal Bridges, who never takes a day off. This dude is the ultimate warrior as he never misses any game action and leads the Suns this postseason, playing over 40 minutes per game. In their 10 playoff games this season, Bridges has recorded a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in seven of those games. His mid-range salary provides upside.
The playing time is extremely beneficial when it comes to opportunities. Playing 40+ minutes a night is going to lead to some fantasy points that just fall into his lap. It is tough to look at the Suns last two games because they simply didn’t come to play on the road. They are all looking like much better plays at home as the biggest favorite on the slate. Bridges is a great piece to get too tonight.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
It is weird calling Tobias Harris the stud power forward on this slate, but that is what we are presented with tonight. With Joel Embiid back in the lineup, the biggest hit has been to the production of Harris. The last two games it also didn’t help that Harris got himself into foul trouble. He still played a ton of minutes, but Harris fouled out in Game 3 and finished with five fouls in Game 4.
The scoring and rebounding production is what takes the biggest hit for Harris with Embiid back. His salary is in a range where it is a little tough to get too as well. He is still projected for nearly 40 minutes and still has the upside, especially if the Heat are losing several bodies on the perimeter tonight. Harris is a filler play and a way to get different on this slate, but use him with caution.
Maxi Kleber is one of the best options on the slate, especially on FanDuel. He has a 91% Bargain Rating and has recorded a positive Plus/Minus in every game during this Suns series. It helps when Kleber is shooting 60.1% from the field while averaging 13.3 points per game. Much better production than the Jazz series and, quite frankly the entire series. He is heating up right now.
Over the last two games, Kleber has played 33 and 34 minutes, which is by far the highest of the playoffs thus far. If his shot continues to fall, the minutes will continue to rise. The Mavericks have a shot to take three games in a row but will need more scoring from Kleber to do so. Our model has Kleber projected for 32 minutes and one of the best values on FanDuel tonight.
There are not many other power forwards, especially on DraftKings, worth discussing. However, Dorian Finney-Smith put on a clinic in Game 4. He made EIGHT 3-pointers in Game 4 as he finished with 24 points and eight rebounds. He had over 40 DraftKings points for just the first time in this series. The salary continues to rise, but he is another mid-range player worth targeting.
Similar to Mikal Bridges, Finney-Smith plays nearly the entire game. In Game 2, he only played 20 minutes due to foul trouble, and then the game got out of hand. However, in the previous nine games during the playoffs, Finney-Smith is averaging 42.1 minutes per game as none of those games even went to overtime. The playing time is fantastic when targeting players in DFS.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Now we finally get to the three best players on the slate. We’ll start with the big man who led the league in scoring this season in, Joel Embiid. After missing Game 1 and 2 due to injury, Embiid returned for the last two games, and despite recording back-to-back double-doubles, he still doesn’t look fully healthy. However, just his presence alone makes this 76ers team so much better.
Embiid is projected to be the highest owned player on the slate. There is some risk still involved with that as the 76ers have the lowest implied total at 103 points tonight, and Embiid doesn’t look fully back quite yet wearing a mask. The Heat also have one of the best interior defenses as they led the league in least amount of points scored in the paint this season. Risky, but Embiid is always a scary fade.
Embiid has the highest projected Plus/Minus of anyone on the slate, but Deandre Ayton isn’t far behind, especially on FanDuel. Ayton has recorded a double-double in back-to-back games but has still be a little disappointing from scoring the ball. It didn’t help both games kind of got out of hand late, which resulted in decreased playing time. This is still a major mismatch for Ayton.
The Mavericks simply don’t have the size to match with Ayton. After a dominating Game 1, scoring 25 points on 60% shooting from the field, Ayton hasn’t topped 16 points since. He is a threat to double-double again tonight, but he is also a major threat to have a slate-breaking performance due to this matchup. He is one of my favorite plays on the slate, especially on FanDuel.
The last center on the slate to discuss is Bam Adebayo. He feels like the preferred option on DraftKings compared to Ayton if you are looking to go double centers. After dominating the 76ers without Embiid in the lineup, Adebayo had a rude awakening in Game 3, where he got into foul trouble and only finished with 16.75 DraftKings points. Stay out of foul trouble, and he can have upside.
Playing against Embiid obviously takes a toll on Adebayo and does limit his ceiling, but Embiid still isn’t 100% quite yet, and the Heat are playing at home, where it is unlikely that he will find his way into foul trouble. Adebayo is still leading the team in rebounds and is second to Butler in scoring. He is almost averaging a double-double and shooting 57.1% from the field. Don’t ignore Adebayo tonight.