Friday features a two-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.
NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
The Mavericks have dropped the first two games in their series vs. the Suns, making Game 3 essentially a must-win. Luckily, they will have the benefit of homecourt, and they’re listed as just 1.0-point home underdogs.
They’ll likely need a huge performance from Luka Doncic to get into the win column. He’s had some solid performances in this series, particularly his 75.0 DraftKings points in Game 1. His usage rate has been sky-high over his past two games, and he could see a few additional minutes in a crucial Game 3. Overall, he’s averaged 1.69 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he’s projected for 40 minutes in our NBA Models. His ceiling projection ranks first on the slate by nearly 20 points, making him an extremely tough fade.
Sticking with the Mavs, Spencer Dinwiddie has been a disappointment since Doncic returned to the lineup. He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in all five postseason contests alongside Doncic, which has caused his price tag to drop drastically across the industry.
However, Dinwiddie continues to see a solid handful of minutes, racking up at least 27.9 in each of his past four games. He’s averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute this season, so that should be enough to pay off his reduced price tag. He’s a solid buy-low option, especially on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 91%.
Chris Paul is an absolute steal at just $8,300 on DraftKings. His price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%, which is the top mark on the slate regardless of position. Paul has also been excellent during the postseason, increasing his production to 1.34 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. He’s scored at least 48.5 DraftKings points in three of his past four games, and there’s no reason he can’t do it again on Friday.
Kyle Lowry has missed the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals, but he’s been upgraded to questionable for Game 3. He’ll likely be limited if he’s able to suit up, but that would still give him some appeal at a modest price tag across the industry. Lowry has averaged 0.97 DraftKings points per minute this season.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
Devin Booker has been fantastic in the first two games of this series. He put his full skill set on display in Game 1, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, and he scored a highly efficient 30 points in Game 2.
Like Paul, Booker stands out as an excellent option on DraftKings. His $8,500 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 75%, which is tied for the top mark at shooting guard.
The value options at shooting guard are slim on Friday, so paying up for Booker or James Harden feels like the strongest option.
If you do need to save some money, Jalen Brunson is probably your best bet. Like Dinwiddie, he’s struggled since Doncic returned to the lineup, but he’s been a strong contributor all season. He’s averaged 0.94 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s projected for 36 minutes in our NBA Models. That gives him some buy-low appeal at his current salary.
Harden has been asked to pick up the slack with Joel Embiid out of the lineup recently, and it has not gone well. He’s finished with less than 40 DraftKings points in each of his past two games, and he’s shot just 11-28 from the field. It’s clear that he’s not the same player that he was in his prime.
With that in mind, the possible return of Embiid in Game 3 could actually be a positive for Harden. He wasn’t taking advantage of the extra usage, and he has more assist upside when sharing the court with Embiid. Booker is the stronger target on DraftKings, but Harden leads the position with 12 Pro Trends on FanDuel. His $8,700 price tag also comes with a Bargain Rating of 85%.
Max Strus has started for the Heat recently, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of the past seven games on FanDuel. He remains massively underpriced at just $4,200, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
Jimmy Butler is in a class of his own at small forward on DraftKings. He’s priced at $9,300, and no other player is priced above $5,900. That gives him the inside track to being the highest-scoring player at the position.
Additionally, Butler also stands out as one of the best pure values at the position. He leads all small forwards with a Bargain Rating of 88%, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in four of his past five games. The only exception was Game 1 vs. the 76ers, where he was limited to just 30.3 minutes in a comfortable win. Expect him to carry significant ownership, but he’s tough to avoid.
Dorian Finney-Smith is coming off easily his worst game of the playoffs, finishing with just 6.75 DraftKings points. However, he struggled with foul trouble early, and the game turned into a blowout late. Those factors combined to limit him to just 20.4 minutes, which is a major outlier. DFS logged at least 39.8 minutes in each of his previous postseason contests, so expect him to return to a monster workload on Friday.
Mikal Bridges is another player who should see all the minutes he can handle. He leads the position with 41 projected minutes on Friday, and he’s averaged a respectable 0.76 DraftKings points per minute this season. His upside is limited, but he’s a safe option.
Cameron Johnson has seen a significant reduction in value with the Suns back at full strength, which has caused his price tag to dip to just $4,100 on FanDuel. He has some buy-low appeal at that figure. Johnson has averaged 0.84 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s currently projected for 22 minutes in our NBA Models.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Tobias Harris has looked like a stud at times during the postseason, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of his past eight contests. That said, his price tag has actually decreased for Game 3, and his current $7,300 salary on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 83%. Harris figures to lose some value if Embiid is able to return to the lineup, but he’s still been a factor even with Embiid on the court recently. He’s averaged 0.93 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he should see plenty of minutes in a must-win game.
P.J. Tucker continues to do the dirty work for the Heat, just like he’s done at every stop in his NBA career. He’s coming off a poor fantasy performance in his last outing, finishing with just 9.2 FanDuel points over 25.8 minutes, but he had posted a positive Plus/Minus in three of his previous four games. He’s a nice value option on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 89%.
Jae Crowder has been awesome for DFS players during the playoffs. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in each of his past seven games, including a playoff-high 32.9 FanDuel points in his last outing. He’s a streaky shooter, but he has solid upside for his price tag on nights where his shot is falling.
Maxi Kleber has started to get a bit more run for the Mavericks. He’s coming off more than 28 minutes in his last outing, and Kleber has increased his production to 0.84 DraftKings points per minute over the past month.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Embiid’s status will obviously be huge on this slate. If he suits up, he’ll be a very interesting option in tournaments. Most people don’t like to roster players in their first game back from injury, especially players who cost more than $10,000. That should lead to reduced ownership for someone who averaged 1.63 DraftKings points per minute this season. The Heat are a brutal matchup for centers, but Embiid is the definition of a leverage play on this slate.
Center is not a position to save at on Friday. After the top three options, no one is a particularly strong bet to return value.
If you are looking for a punt play, JaVale McGee is an interesting shot in the dark at $3,200. He’s only expected to play around 10 minutes, but McGee can rack up fantasy points in a hurry. He had 15.0 DraftKings points in 9.8 minutes in Game 2, which was good enough to return value.
If Embiid is out, Bam Adebayo has the claim to the top spot at center. He’s been excellent recently, scoring at least 40.25 DraftKings points in three straight games, and he hasn’t even needed to play full minutes vs. the 76ers. However, the return of Embiid would make life a bit more difficult for him. Adebayo has shot a ridiculous 15-21 from the field in this series, but his looks will be much tougher with Embiid patrolling the paint.
Deandre Ayton wasn’t really needed in the Suns’ last game, finishing with just 11.25 DraftKings points over 18.5 minutes. He picked up a few early fouls and sat in the fourth quarter of a 20-point blowout win. He should return to his usual workload on Friday, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +4.25 over his past 10 games on FanDuel. He’s also the best pure value among the stud centers on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 83%.