Friday features a two-game slate starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
How you choose to approach Game 7 between the Raptors and Celtics will likely dictate your success today. On one hand, the key players for both teams will likely play huge minutes. On the other, Game 7’s tend to be low scoring affairs, and both teams should be exhausted after playing a double-OT contest in Game 6. With that in mind, those minutes might not be all that productive.
Kyle Lowry figures to see one of the largest workloads in this contest. He ranks second on the slate with 43.2 projected minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s scored at least 54.0 DraftKings points in his last three contests with at least 43 minutes of playing time. Even if his legs aren’t fully there, it’s hard to see him failing to return value with such a massive minute projection.
Lou Williams is one of the best pure values at the position on FanDuel, where his $5,500 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86%. Williams hasn’t displayed his usual high ceiling during the playoffs, but he does have a solid floor at that price tag. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in two of his past three games, and he doesn’t need a ton of playing time given his average of 1.05 FanDuel points per minute.
Jamal Murray exploded vs. the Jazz, which caused his salary to get way too high for this series vs. the Clippers. His price has finally come back to reality a bit, especially on FanDuel at $8,200. His Bargain Rating of 86% is tied with Williams’ for the top mark at the position, and he leads the position with nine Pro Trends.
Kemba Walker could not buy a bucket in Game 6. He shot just 2-11 from the field and 1-6 from 3-point range, ultimately finishing with just 17.3 FanDuel points over 51.8 minutes. I don’t think I’m going out on a huge limb by saying he’ll be better today. He also has one of the better individual matchups at the position, leading all PGs with an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.41 on FanDuel.
Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semis might garner the most attention on the slate, but the Clippers deserve to be the top option. They’re currently implied for 112.25 points, which is at least 8.5-points higher than every other team on the slate.
Paul George wasn’t really needed in the Clippers’ last game – Kawhi Leonard took care of basically everything on both ends of the court – which makes this a nice opportunity to buy low on him. He’s priced at just $7,700 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 95%, and he scored at least 44.1 FanDuel points in each of his two previous contests.
Marcus Smart isn’t a true “value” at $6,400 on FanDuel and $6,800 on DraftKings, but he might be the top option at the position. He stuffed the stat sheet in his last game, finishing with a triple-double and 60.25 DraftKings points. He should continue to see a heavy workload with Gordon Hayward out of the lineup, and Smart has averaged a solid 0.92 DraftKings points per minute this season.
Jaylen Brown also went off in the Celtics’ last game, exploding for 60.0 DraftKings points. He poured in 31 real points, and it was the first time all season that the Celtics lost with Brown scoring at least 25 points. The most encouraging thing for Brown from a fantasy perspective is that he didn’t even shoot the ball that well. He was just 11-30 from the field, so he can make up for a reduction in volume with an increase in efficiency.
Speaking of volume, Fred VanVleet continues to hoist shots up at a high rate in this series. The only problem is he isn’t making any of them. He’s now shooting just 33.9% from the field and 29.9% from 3-point range in this series, and he was a much better shooter than that during the regular season. His shots should eventually start falling, even in a tough matchup vs. the Celtics.
Kawhi Leonard is just so dominant in the playoffs. He reminded everyone of that in Game 4 vs. the Nuggets, finishing with 30 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, four steals, and two blocks. That’s the kind of stat line that only Leonard and LeBron James are really capable of producing.
He’s an easy choice for the top spot today on DraftKings, where his $10,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%.
Norman Powell is coming off 34.0 DraftKings points in his last game, and the Raptors’ coaching staff clearly trusts him in big spots. He got the opportunity to shoot the final shot in overtime, and he came up with a couple of clutch buckets during the second overtime period. He should be back on the court for heavy stretches in Game 7, and he has a chance to be a little fresher than some of the other options in this game. Powell finished with “just” 38.3 minutes.
OG Anunoby has gotten a little pricey across the industry, but his $6,000 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 71%. He’s projected for a whopping 39.2 minutes on today’s slate, and Anunoby has averaged a respectable 0.83 FanDuel points per minute this season. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.96 (per the Trends tool).
Jerami Grant has been dreadful in his past two games, scoring just 14.6 and 6.0 FanDuel points. That said, he continues to log big minutes for the Nuggets, which makes him a solid buy-low option on today’s slate. He’s averaged just 0.58 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, but that number increases to 0.81 over the full season.
The Celtics have looked dominant at times in their series vs. the Raptors despite the fact that Jayson Tatum has been pretty pedestrian. Tatum was supposed to be the guy that carried the Celtics’ offense during the playoffs, yet he’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in four of his past six games.
Can he turn it around in Game 7? It’s definitely possible. I would expect him to hunt his shot a little more aggressively in this contest, and he’s provided excellent rebounding numbers during this series. Tatum leads the position with eight Pro Trends on FanDuel, so he clearly has upside if he can score the ball a little better today.
Michael Porter Jr. made headlines in Game 4, and not in a good way. He called out his teammates and coaching staff after the game for essentially not getting him the ball enough. That’s definitely not a great look for a rookie, but there is probably some truth to his statement. He scored 15 points on 5-6 shooting during the first half but scored zero points on 0-2 shooting in the second. Porter isn’t on the court to play defense, so he’s pretty useless if he’s not going to be given the opportunity to score.
It will be interesting to see if the Nuggets try to utilize him a bit more today. MPJ has averaged 1.17 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he clearly has upside if that happens.
Pascal Siakam has been a disaster in this series. He couldn’t even return value in Game 6 despite the fact that he played 54.2 minutes. Still, he has a long track record of producing at a high level, and no one on the slate is projected for more than his 44.0 minutes. I’m going to continue to buy-low on him, especially since he might carry lower ownership than usual.
Daniel Theis impacts that game in a lot of ways for the Celtics, but that doesn’t always show up in the box score. Still, he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus of four of six games vs. the Raptors during the playoffs, and his Bargain Rating of 76% is tied for the top mark at the position on FanDuel.
There is only one stud choice at center today, but lucky it’s a good one. Nikola Jokic has been feasting vs. the Clippers, whose biggest defensive weakness is on the interior. He’s scored at least 51.75 DraftKings points in each of his past three games, and he’s gone for at least 60.5 DraftKings points in two of them. He’s been much more aggressive offensively, which definitely bodes well for his fantasy output. Jokic is a great rebounder and an elite passer for a big man, so more scoring potential definitely increases his overall upside.
The Clippers’ leaned on Ivica Zubac a bit heavier in their last contest to try and slow Jokic down. He finished with 29.8 minutes – which was his top mark of the series – and ultimately responded with 25.75 DraftKings points. He’s an elite target today on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 86%.
Serge Ibaka was questionable heading into Game 6 but didn’t appeared to be slowed by an injury. His playing time was limited, but he kept the Raptors alive by draining three 3-pointers in the second half. I would expect a few additional minutes today, which makes him an interesting buy-low target on DraftKings at $5,400.