The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Monday features a four-game slate starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Damian Lillard stands out as one of the best pure values on FanDuel, where his $9,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s been an awesome fantasy value recently, posting an average Plus/Minus of +8.08 over his past 10 games, and his average of 1.31 FanDuel points per minute is the top mark at the position. Lillard has also been carrying a massive workload, and he’s coming off 43.2 minutes in his last game.
He’s in a tough spot vs. the Lakers, who have been tremendous defensively during the first three game of this series, but Lillard still leads the position with 10 Pro Trends on FanDuel.
Head coach Erik Spolestra made the decision to bench Kendrick Nunn during the first three games vs. the Pacers and Goran Dragic has been the primary beneficiary. He’s coming off 35.6 minutes in his last game and he’s increased his fantasy production to 1.22 FanDuel points per minute in the bubble. He’s an excellent option across the industry, but he’s a particularly strong target at just $6,500 on FanDuel.
Markelle Fultz stands out on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 83%. He’s coming off his worst fantasy performance of the series in Game 3, but he still played a very respectable 28 minutes. He’s averaged 0.99 DraftKings points per minute this season, so that kind of playing time bodes well for his fantasy output moving forward.
Malcolm Brogdon was an absolute monster in his last game. He exploded for 68.75 DraftKings points thanks to 34 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds. He’s definitely due for a bit of regression from a shooting perspective – he was 11-17 from the field and 4-7 from 3-point range – but he’s still an excellent value at his current price tag. He played 42.9 minutes in his last contest and he’s averaged 1.14 DraftKings points per minute this season.
James Harden has struggled a bit from a fantasy perspective during the playoffs. He’s shot just 29.7% from 3-point range, which is significantly lower than his mark of 35.5% for his career. That said, he is coming off his best game in his last outing, racking up 61.75 DraftKings points before ultimately fouling out.
Harden has significant room for improvement in today’s contest. He shot just 10-27 from the field and 3-13 from the 3-point line in Game 3. He should be looking at another increased usage rate with Russell Westbrook out of the lineup once again, so a better shooting performance would give him massive upside.
Luguentz Dort returned to the lineup for the Thunder in Game 3 and stepped right back into his usual workload. He logged 39.2 minutes in that contest, and he’s currently projected for 30.2 in our NBA Models. He’s priced at the absolute minimum on FanDuel, and min-priced players with comparable minute projections have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.64 (per the Trends tool).
It could be time to buy low on Khris Middleton. He started to show some signs of life with his jump shot in his last game, and he remains priced down at just $6,600 on FanDuel. Middleton has averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.36 with a comparable salary over the past three season, and he should play more minutes in the playoffs that he did during the regular season. This is simply too cheap.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is coming off more than 48.3 minutes in his last game and he responded with 54.4 FanDuel points. That said, his salary increased by only $100 on FanDuel for today’s contest. That’s clearly a mistake. SGA has averaged 1.02 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he can do a lot of damage with 40+ minutes.
LeBron James has scored at least 68.5 DraftKings points in two of his first three games vs. the Blazers, and there’s no reason to expect his production to slow down. The Lakers’ offense is generating excellent looks in this series – it ranks third among playoff teams in expected effective FG% — which makes sense considering how bad the Blazers’ defense is. It finished the regular season just 27th in defensive efficiency and LeBron owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.74 on FanDuel.
The Lakers are also currently implied for 116.0 points, which trails only the Bucks’ mark of 119.5 on today’s slate. LeBron is pretty drastically underpriced on FanDuel at just $10,500, and he’s too cheap on DraftKings at $10,800 as well.
Eric Gordon launched 24 shots in the Rockets’ last game, and it’s nearly impossible to find that kind of upside at just $5,300 on FanDuel. He made just eight of those shots, which kept his fantasy production down a bit, but he clearly has massive potential as long as Westbrook is out of the lineup. Overall, he’s increased his usage rate by +5.6% with Westbrook off the court, which is the second-highest mark on the team.
The Blazers are looking for answers in their series vs. the Lakers. They tried inserting Hassan Whiteside into the starting lineup in their last game, but that didn’t end up working out. It wouldn’t shock me if they went in a different direction today.
Regardless, Carmelo Anthony should be looking at another big workload. He finished with 44.2 FanDuel points over 42.1 minutes in his last game, and he leads the position with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel.
Danilo Gallinari is another mid-range option with plenty of upside today. He’s played a few additional minutes during the playoffs, and he’s averaged 1.06 DraftKings points per minute this season. He also has an excellent matchup vs. the Rockets, leading all players at the position with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.85.
The Blazers simply have no answer for Anthony Davis. He’s shooting 66.7% against Jusuf Nurkic. He’s shooting 52.9% against Whiteside. The only player who has slowed him down has been Wenyen Gabriel, but it appears that he’s fallen out of the rotation.
With that in mind, I have no problem going back to the well with him on today’s slate. He’s scored at least 52.25 DraftKings points in each of his first three games, including Game 1 where he was just 8-24 from the field and 12-17 from the FT line.
Jeff Green has become one of the most important parts of the Rockets’ rotation without Westbrook. He’s posted a ridiculous average Plus/Minus of +11.58 over his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he’s logged at least 37.3 minutes in each of his past two games. Green has averaged 0.95 FanDuel points per minute in Orlando, so he’s capable of taking advantage of his playing time.
He has been priced up a bit across the industry, but he’s still too cheap.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a PF on DraftKings, and he’s obviously in play every time he’s on the slate. He was ridiculously efficient in his last game, shooting 12-14 from the field, but he also saw fewer minutes than usual because the game was a blowout. Those factors should cancel each other out in the long run, so I’m not expecting much regression moving forward.
Jae Crowder is currently listed as questionable for the Heat, but he’s played through a questionable designation in each of the first three games of this series. He should be back in the lineup once again, and he’s coming off a solid 27.5 minutes in his last contest. He’s averaged 0.91 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he has some appeal at $4,200.
Bam Adebayo has had two excellent performances in this series sandwiched around one poor game. He’s capable of filling up the stat sheet in a variety of ways, which is a big part of the reason why he’s averaged 1.27 DraftKings points per minute. He leads the position with nine Pro Trends on DraftKings, which makes him the clear top option if you’re paying up.
Steven Adams stands out given his matchup vs. the Rockets. They have been abysmal on the glass since trading away Clint Capela, and Adams has unsurprisingly pulled down double-digit boards in each of his first three games. The bigger question is if he can score the ball, but if he does he has excellent upside. He finished with 17 points in his first playoff game vs. the Rockets, which propelled him to 33.4 FanDuel points.
Nikola Vucevic and Jusuf Nurkic are both in play on FanDuel, where both players have a Bargain Rating of at least 97%. Vucevic has the better matchup and leads the position with 12 Pro Trends, while Nurkic is more capable of contributing in every category across the board.
If Whiteside does earn another start, he could be an interesting option at his current salary. He’s averaged 1.40 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he’s one of the best producers in fantasy on a per-minute basis.