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 two-game slate starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Given the limited options, I’ve condensed the breakdown by removing the “Stud” section, instead noting studs where appropriate in either the “Value” or “Fast Break” sections.
The Jazz are better off defensively with Royce O’Neale in the lineup instead of Ricky Rubio, but with Joe Ingles struggling and a target on Donovan Mitchell’s back, Rubio remains integral to running the offense. Plus coach Quin Snyder is still finding a way to play him 30-32 minutes a night. Rubio has the top Projected Plus/Minus among point guards.
After betting over 15.5 on Eric Bledsoe’s points prop in Game 3 (he finished with 27), I was kicking myself for not going back to the well in Game 4 (19). Bledsoe has fried the Pistons all season, averaging 20.4 points on 51.4% shooting with 6.0 assists and 1.0 turnovers across seven games. Our NBA Player Models give Bledsoe a slight edge over Chris Paul in projected floor for this slate.
James Harden has become not only the league’s most unstoppable scorer, but also its most unflappable — is there any superstar you’d be more confident in after they had shot 0-of-15 to start a game? As Harden’s Rockets look to bring out the brooms in Salt Lake, our models have him projected for the top Plus/Minus on the slate on DraftKings and the second-highest on FanDuel, as well as the highest floor and median on both sites.
Having Harden on your squad will force anyone who doesn’t to do what Jazz on-ball defenders did against him in Game 3: Play from behind.
The Bucks do a good job of staying attached to knockdown shooters on the perimeter, which has made life difficult on Wayne Ellington. Still, the 10th-year pro’s minutes have increased from 28 to 35 to 39 over the first three games of the series, and his 37 projected minutes on Monday night are enough to make him the top value for less than $5,000 at the position on both sites.
Giannis Antetokounmpo lays claim to the highest Projected Plus/Minus on the slate on FanDuel and is second behind only Harden on DraftKings. He’s best suited as a tournament play, though, as the Bucks have jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the series without playing the Greek Freak for 30-plus minutes in any contest.
Much of the non-Giannis value at small forward comes from the Jazz. Royce O’Neale’s $3,500 salary on DraftKings gives him an 89% Bargain Rating and a top-three Projected Plus/Minus on the site. Meanwhile, Jae Crowder is $200 cheaper than O’Neale on FanDuel, giving him the second-best Projected Plus/Minus there at the position, behind only Giannis.
We have O’Neale (26.5) projected for two more minutes than Crowder (24.5), who will need to rediscover confidence in his shot after shooting 3-of-18 in Games 1 and 2 in Houston, subsequently attempting only three shots in Game 3.
P.J. Tucker has two main jobs against Utah: Serving up dagger 3s from the corner and securing clutch, crowd-silencing rebounds. That role affords him minutes in the mid- to high-30s, making him one of the top values less than $7,000 on the slate on both sites.
Blake Griffin turned in a gutsy 27-point, 7-rebound and 6-assist performance on his heavily-taped knee in Game 3. He’s a top-two value at the position on DraftKings, where he’s only $7,700, and his 97% Bargain Rating is tied for third on the slate.
On FanDuel, Griffin’s floor is double that of any other power forward-eligible player, but his inflated $9,100 salary puts him in the negative in terms of Projected/Plus Minus.
Andre Drummond has been held in check all series, but his numbers at home — +6.0 Plus/Minus and 78% Consistency Rating, per our NBA Trends tool — inspire some confidence that he can get it going in Game 4. Drummond leads all centers on both sites in Projected Plus/Minus.
Brook Lopez has found success against the Pistons all season, posting a +6.42 Plus/Minus and 86% Consistency Rating across seven regular and postseason games against them. He has blocked four-plus shots in two of the three games of the series, which gives him the requisite upside to equal the production of the more expensive alternatives at the position.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our NBA news feed.
Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports