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.
The Raptors played their starters sparingly over the past few games in the bubble, which has created some value on today’s slate. Kyle Lowry has been priced down to just $7,300 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%. Lowry has averaged a Plus/Minus of +7.90 with a comparable price tag this season (per the Trends tool).
He’s also in a phenomenal spot today vs. the Nets. They have the second-highest implied team total on the slate at 115.75 points, and Lowry owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.88.
The Jazz are going to be without Mike Conley for the start of the playoffs, so they’ll have no choice to but to thrust Jordan Clarkson into a larger role. That might not be great for the Jazz, but it’s very good for DFS players. Clarkson has been awesome when on the court in Orlando, averaging 0.96 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s currently projected for 32.5 minutes in our NBA Models.
He’s an absolute steal on DraftKings at $3,800 given his Bargain Rating of 88%.
Kemba Walker is another player who has been priced way down recently on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $6,000, which is crazy low for him. Walker has been limited in Orlando due to an injury, but all indications are that he’s close to 100%. He’s currently projected for 33.5 minutes, and it’s hard to see a scenario where he doesn’t return value at $6,000 if he sees that much playing time.
Jamal Murray is a bit of a boom-or-bust option, but there’s a lot to like about him at his current salary. He’s actually increased his fantasy production to 1.21 DraftKings points per minute in Orlando, and he scored 53.5 DraftKings points in the only game where he played more than 25.1 minutes. He should see significantly more minutes than that in a postseason game.
Luka Doncic has SG eligibility on FanDuel and PG/SF eligibility on DraftKings, but he has the highest ceiling on the slate regardless of where you play him. He’s averaged 1.67 FanDuel points per minute this season, and his 10 Pro Trends rank second on the slate.
The big question is how he will fare in a really tough matchup vs. the Clippers. They have a host of elite perimeter defenders to throw at him, starting with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Those guys didn’t serve as his primary defender for a ton of minutes during the regular season, but they held him to a combined 4-10 shooting from the field.
Ultimately, the Mavericks’ implied team total of 112.0 is well below their season average (117.0), and Doncic owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of just +0.67. He obviously has tons of upside, but he has a little more downside than usual as well.
It’s hard to look past Garrett Temple at just $3,800 on FanDuel. He’s currently projected for 32.7 minutes, and players with comparable price tags and salaries have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.58 on FanDuel. Temple has also averaged 0.82 FanDuel points per minute during the seeding games, so he has slightly more upside than the typical $3,800 player.
Donovan Mitchell is going to have to carry a pretty large workload for the shorthanded Jazz. In addition to Conley being out of the lineup, they will still be without Bojan Bogdanovic. That leaves the team without two of their four highest usage players from the regular season. Mitchell has increased his usage rate to 31.8% with both players off the court, resulting in an average of 1.10 DraftKings points per minute.
Alec Burks is someone who could provide some value at just $3,900 on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He’s averaged 1.17 DraftKings points per minute in the bubble and should operate as one of the focal points for the 76ers’ backup unit.
The playoffs have officially arrived, which means it’s time for the Clippers’ to unleash Kawhi Leonard. The regular season is basically just a long preseason for Kawhi, and the postseason is where he truly shines. He’s currently projected for 36.4 minutes in our NBA Models after averaging just 32.4 minutes during the regular season. Historically, Kawhi has averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.41 when projected for a comparable workload.
He’s not cheap on today’s slate, but his $9,300 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%.
OG Anunoby is another cheap source of minutes today. He’s currently projected for 31.2 minutes despite being priced at just $3,500 on DraftKings. He doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he is one of the safest plays on a points per dollar basis. Anunoby will also allow you to jam a couple studs in your lineup if you want to go with a stars-and-scrubs approach.
Pascal Siakam is grading out as one of the best plays on FanDuel today at just $7,400. He’s another member of the Raptors who wasn’t leaned on very heavily during the seeding games, but that should change in the postseason. He’s averaged 1.17 FanDuel points per minute this season, so $7,400 is simply too cheap for him in a matchup vs. the Nets.
Joe Harris is one of the best role players in the league, and he’s had the opportunity to spread his wings a bit in Orlando. He’s increased his fantasy production to 1.11 DraftKings points per minute, which is not all that surprising given all the Nets’ absences. He’s increased his usage rate by +7.1% with Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie off the court this season.
Kristaps Porzingis has somewhat quietly been a fantasy monster recently. He’s averaged 1.41 FanDuel points per minute during the restart, which trails only Doncic and Joel Embiid among today’s players. Overall, he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +9.23 over his past 20 games on FanDuel.
His individual matchup vs. the Clippers is also better than Doncic’s. They are a little thinner on the interior than on the wing, giving Porzingis an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.40.
Al Horford is basically a free square on FanDuel, where his $5,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%. He’s moved back into the starting lineup following the injury to Ben Simmons, and he should see plenty of minutes vs. the Celtics. He’s averaged 0.96 FanDuel points per minute in the bubble and 1.03 FanDuel points per minute overall.
It will be interesting to see how the Nuggets handle their frontcourt rotation in the postseason. They have a bunch of options at PF, but Paul Millsap is still probably the best. He’s also an excellent fantasy value when on the court given his average of 1.06 FanDuel points per minute. Even if he plays less than 30 minutes, he still has a very good shot of returning value at just $4,300 on FanDuel.
The Jazz are really going to need Royce O’Neal given their current lineup, which makes him a nice play at $3,500 on DraftKings. He’s currently projected for 34.3 minutes, and he’s averaged 0.91 DraftKings points per minute in the bubble.
If you’re paying up at center today, it comes down to a decision between Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.
Let’s start with Embiid. He obviously has the potential to carry a huge workload with Simmons sidelined in a matchup he his historically dominated. He did score just 20.5 FanDuel points in his last meeting vs. the Celtics, but he averaged 53.85 FanDuel points in their previous two matchups. Embiid is simply way too cheap at $8,500 on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 99%.
It’s easy to give the edge to Embiid over Jokic, but don’t forget how dominant Jokic was during the postseason last year. He averaged over 25 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists, making him just the second player in the history to hit all three thresholds in the playoffs (Oscar Robertson). Any time you do something that hasn’t been done since the Big O, you’re doing something special.
Jokic also has a matchup vs. the Jazz, who have struggled a bit vs. centers this season. It results in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.58 on FanDuel.
The price difference between Jokic and Embiid is starker on DraftKings than on FanDuel, which makes him the easy choice over there.
Marc Gasol has been priced down to just $4,300 on DraftKings, which makes him a nice value play. He’s averaged 1.03 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to pay off his current price tag.
Ivica Zubac is another potential value option. Montrezl Harrell is expected to join the Clippers for the first time in Orlando, but Zubac’s playing time shouldn’t really be affected. He’s currently projected for 24.3 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged 1.33 DraftKings points per minute in the bubble.
Rudy Gobert could be a bit overlooked at the position given the presence of Embiid and Jokic. That said, no one at the position is projected for more minutes, and Gobert has seen a slight bump in production with Conley and Bogdanovic off the court this season.