Wednesday features a three-game slate starting at 7 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.
The Raptors have looked thoroughly outclassed in their first two games vs. the 76ers, losing both games by a combined 35 points. However, they are headed back to Toronto for Game 3, and the team will get a slight boost from the absence of Matisse Thybulle. He’s an excellent perimeter defender, so life should be a bit easier for Fred VanVleet and company. VanVleet has also taken his already massive workload to another level during the postseason, racking up 43.8 minutes in his last outing. He’s averaged 1.08 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he can do a lot of damage with that much playing time.
Value is tough to come by on Wednesday’s slate, but Marcus Smart is a steal at just $5,800 on DraftKings. He racked up 36.3 minutes in the Celtics’ Game 1 win over the Nets, and he responded with 42.25 DraftKings points. That was his second game with at least that many fantasy points in his past three outings, and Smart has increased his production to 1.00 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Derrick White stands out as a nice potential source of value on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $4,800, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 85%, and he racked up 27.9 minutes in Game 1 vs. the Nets. He’s projected for 28 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged a respectable 0.80 FanDuel points per minute over the past month.
Jrue Holiday could be a bit overlooked at the point guard position on Wednesday. He’s not a true stud, but he racked up 39.2 minutes in Game 1 and leads the position with 10 Pro Trends on FanDuel. Holiday has also averaged 1.13 FanDuel points per minute this season, and his $7,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 83%.
There are some concerns about how much James Harden has left in the tank. He’s started to show clear signs of decline – particularly as a scorer – but he still has the potential for monster fantasy performances. He racked up 22 points, 14 assists, and five boards in Game 1, resulting in a team-high 56.25 DraftKings points. Harden also continues to play north of 40 minutes during the postseason, and he’s averaged 1.24 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Harden’s price tag has also dipped to $8,900 on DraftKings, which is virtually unprecedented for him. He’s only owned been priced below $9,500 in five previous games over the past four years, and he’s averaged 50.45 DraftKings points in those contests (per the Trends tool).
Seth Curry hasn’t been able to duplicate his success with the 76ers with the Nets, but he’s still expected to see around 30 minutes of playing time on Wednesday. That’s a nice chunk of run in the playoffs for someone who costs just $4,500 on DraftKings. Curry is also one of the best perimeter shooters in the league, and he can provide excellent value on this salary if he gets hot from behind the arc.
No shooting guard on Wednesday’s slate has been more productive than Jaylen Brown over the past month. He leads the position with an average of 1.29 FanDuel points per minute over that time frame, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +9.18 over his past 10 games. He racked up 49.5 FanDuel points in Game 1 vs. the Nets, and there’s no reason he can’t do it again in Game 2. Overall, he leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $8,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%.
Alex Caruso is another option for those looking to pay down at the position. He’s currently projected for 33 minutes at just $4,300 on DraftKings, and players with comparable salaries and minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.42.
Jayson Tatum has blossomed into one of the best players in basketball. He’s always been a gifted scorer, but he’s improved the other areas of his game to the point where he’s now a top 10 NBA player.
From a fantasy perspective, he’s increased his production to 1.43 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he tallied nearly 45 minutes in Game 1 vs. the Nets. The Nets are also one of the best defensive matchups among the postseason squads, and the Celtics’ implied team total ranks second on the slate. He’s underpriced at $9,500.
Bruce Brown struggled mightily in Game 1 of this series, racking up just 12.75 DraftKings points over 36.6 minutes. Still, the playing time is encouraging. Brown has averaged 0.99 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he’s an excellent candidate for some positive regression. He’s logged at least 32 minutes in 46 career games, and he’s averaged 30.83 DraftKings points in those contests.
Zach LaVine has been priced down to $7,200 on DraftKings, and he has plenty of buy-low appeal at that price tag. He’s taken a backseat to DeMar DeRozan recently, but he’s still averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s currently projected for 38 minutes in our NBA Models, so he’s a great bet to return value at his reduced price tag.
OG Anunoby is simply too cheap for the number of minutes he’s playing currently. He’s coming off 38.4 minutes in his last outing, and Anunoby has averaged 0.90 FanDuel points per minute this season.
Love him or hate him, Mike Budenholzer is going to do his thing during the playoffs. While the rest of the league is pushing their stars to 40+ minutes, coach Bud simply stuck with the game plan in Game 1 vs. the Bulls. Giannis Antetokounmpo played his usual 33.8 minutes, but the team still pulled off a narrow win.
The lack of 40+ minute upside is a negative for Giannis on Wednesday, but he makes up for it with elite per-minute efficiency. He’s averaged 1.77 DraftKings points per minute this season, which is the top mark on the slate by a wide margin. There’s also the chance that Giannis sees closer to 36 minutes in Game 2, and he’s significantly cheaper than usual at $10,900. He has the top ceiling on the slate.
Al Horford is another outstanding value proposition for the Celtics. Robert Williams is sidelined indefinitely, and Horford is going to be a massive beneficiary during the postseason. The 35-year-old logged nearly 41.5 minutes in Game 1, and he responded with 45.75 DraftKings points. Horford has averaged 1.11 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so that production doesn’t feel fluky either. Overall, he’s one of the best pure values on the slate.
Tobias Harris had a rough stretch after the 76ers acquired Harden, but he has found his role for the new-look squad. He’s scored at least 42.0 DraftKings points in each of their first two playoff games, and he’s averaged 0.99 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. His price tag has yet to reflect his increased production, particularly at $6,900 on FanDuel.
Kevin Durant was surprisingly inefficient in his first game vs. the Celtics, finishing with just 23 points on 24 shot attempts. Durant is one of the most efficient scorers in the history of the league, so I’m willing to bet on some positive regression on Wednesday. He should finish with at least 40 minutes if this game stays competitive, and Durant has averaged 1.43 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
Joel Embiid is the only player on this slate who was even close to Giannis in terms of per-minute efficiency this season. He averaged 1.66 DraftKings per minute, but that hasn’t translated to success to start the postseason. He’s racked up 47.25 DraftKings points or fewer in each of his first two games, and the Raptors are a brutal matchup for opposing big men. That makes Embiid a bit riskier than some of the other studs on Tuesday’s slate. Still, there’s no denying his upside when things break in his favor, and he should carry reduced ownership.
The Raptors have had a bit of tough injury luck to start the postseason. Scottie Barnes missed their last game, and he’s doubtful for Game 3. A doubtful designation doesn’t carry quite as much weight during the postseason – Gary Trent Jr. played through a doubtful tag in Game 2 – but it still means the team could be without their talented rookie.
If that happens, Precious Achiuwa should be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He played just under 29 minutes in Game 2, and Achiuwa has averaged 0.88 DraftKings points per minute this season. On a slate without a ton of true salary-savers, Achiuwa is a strong option.
Nikola Vucevic is almost always underpriced on FanDuel, and Wednesday’s slate is no exception. His 11 Pro Trends are tied for the top mark at the position, and his Opponent Plus/Minus of +8.38 ranks first on the entire slate.
Brook Lopez was basically a non-factor during the regular season, but he’s going to be heard from during the playoffs. He racked up 32.2 minutes in Game 1 vs. the Bulls, and Lopez has averaged 0.99 FanDuel points per minute over the past month. He’s underpriced across the industry.