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NBA Playoffs DFS Breakdown (Friday, Aug. 21): Can Joel Embiid Carry 76ers?

The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.

Friday features a four-game slate starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Point Guard

Stud

Kyle Lowry has been carrying a monster workload for the Raptors in the playoffs. He’s logged at least 37.2 minutes in each of his first two games, and he leads the position with 38.2 projected minutes in our NBA Models. He’s also averaged 1.11 FanDuel points per minute in Orlando, which is the second-highest mark at the position.

Lowry is in an elite spot vs. the Nets, evidenced by an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.94 on FanDuel. The Raptors’ implied team total of 115.5 is also the second-highest mark on the slate.

Value

Patrick Beverley is currently listed as doubtful for tonight’s contest vs. the Mavericks, and Reggie Jackson would likely draw another start if he’s unable to suit up. Jackson didn’t crush in that spot in Game 2, scoring just 16.3 FanDuel points, but he’s still very tough to ignore at the absolute minimum on FanDuel. He’s currently projected for 26.6 minutes, and minimum-priced PGs have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.81 with a comparable minute projection (per the Trends tool).

Fast Break

Kemba Walker continues to get priced down across the industry. He’s priced at just $6,600 on DraftKings for Game 3 vs. the 76ers, and there’s a lot to like about him at that price tag. Walker has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.16 with a comparable salary, and he should see a boost in usage with Gordon Hayward out of the lineup.

If the 76ers are going to avoid falling behind the Celtics 3-0 in the series, they’re going to need someone besides Joel Embiid to step up today. Shake Milton is one potential option, and he stands out as one of the best pure values at the position on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $4,000, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 92%.

Shooting Guard

Stud

Luka Doncic is coming off a subpar 47.1 FanDuel points in his last game, but he played just 28.1 minutes. That was more than 10 fewer minutes than he played in his previous game, which is actually pretty encouraging for his fantasy prospects moving forward.

The Clippers remain a big challenge for Doncic, but he’s simply too cheap at $10,500 on FanDuel. He’s had a comparable salary in 37 previous games this season, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +3.80 over those contests.

Value

Norman Powell is one of the better values at the position on DraftKings, where his $4,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%. Powell has been an excellent fantasy value when on the court this season, averaging 0.95 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s coming off 32.3 minutes in his last game. He’s probably due for some regression in this contest – he shot 11-17 from the field in Game 2 – but he can survive some regression at his current salary.

Fast Break

Caris LeVert doesn’t have the same ceiling as Doncic, but he might be the better value given the pricing discrepancy. The Nets will be without Joe Harris, who was forced to leave the bubble for a personal reason, and they were already playing without Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie. LeVert has increased his usage rate by +9.6% with all three players off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.34 DraftKings points per minute.

Paul George has been priced down to just $7,900 on FanDuel after scoring only 30.0 FanDuel points in his last contest. That said, he played just 31.6 minutes in that game because it was a blowout, and he shot just 4-17 from the field and 2-10 from 3-point range. With some additional minutes and some shooting progression, he could absolutely smash this price tag.

Small Forward

Stud

Kawhi Leonard clearly doesn’t take the regular season very seriously, but he’s an absolute force during the playoffs. He’s scored at least 50.0 FanDuel points in each of his first two games, and he’s coming off 40.6 minutes in his last game. Kawhi has averaged 1.49 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he can do a lot of damage with that much playing time.

The Clippers also have the top implied team total on the slate, so Leonard is in an excellent spot as well.

Value

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is the most logical option to replace Harris in the starting lineup today. That makes him a very strong option at just $4,600 on DraftKings. He’s increased his fantasy production to 0.93 DraftKings points per minute in Orlando, and he’s currently projected for nearly 36 minutes in our NBA Models. TLC has scored at least 35.25 DraftKings points in two of his past three games, so he has an excellent ceiling at his price tag.

Fast Break

Pascal Siakam has struggled in his first two playoff games, shooting a combined 10-27 from the field. That makes him an interesting buy-low target on today’s slate. His salary has decreased to just $7,700 on FanDuel, and Siakam has averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.98 with a comparable salary this season. He also benefits from the same excellent matchup as the rest of the Raptors’ players, so this is a good spot for him to get right.

Tobias Harris leads the position with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel, as does his Bargain Rating of 88%. He’s another player who is due for some positive shooting regression after going just 10-30 from the field through his first two games.

Power Forward

Stud

Jayson Tatum is still building his reputation in the league, but he’s performed like one of the best players in basketball to begin the playoffs this year. He scored 57.1 FanDuel points in Game 1 vs. the 76ers and followed that up with 46.5 FanDuel points over just 30.9 minutes in Game 2.

There’s no reason to expect anything different in Game 3. He’s seen a team-high usage bump of +2.9% with Hayward off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.15 FanDuel points per minute.

Value

Rodions Kurucs is another potential value option for the Nets. He’s priced at the absolute minimum on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 86%, and he’s currently projected for 25.4 minutes in our NBA Models. He’s averaged 0.80 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he’s more productive than the typical punt play as well.

Fast Break

Al Horford was benched in favor of Matisse Thybulle in his last game, and he responded with a dismal 9.4 FanDuel points. That said, he’s still an interesting option today on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 98%. He should still see a solid handful of minutes off the bench, and he’s averaged 1.02 FanDuel points per minute this season.

Maxi Kleber is coming off 32.8 minutes in his last game, and it’s hard to find that much playing time at such a cheap price tag. He’s priced at just $3,900 on DraftKings and $4,000 on FanDuel, and he’s averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute this season.

Center

Stud

The 76ers got absolutely walloped in their last game, but it didn’t stop Joel Embiid from putting together a strong fantasy performance. He increased his usage rate to 38.1% in that game, and he finished with 51.5 FanDuel points. He also played just 34.3 minutes in that contest, and he has the potential to play much more if today’s game stays competitive. If he can combine his offensive aggression from Game 2 with his minute total from Game 1, he could be looking at a big performance.

Value

Montrezl Harrell is still working his way into the rotation after sitting out all eight seeding games in Orlando, but his playing time should only continue to increase. That makes him an interesting tournament option today at just $4,100 on DraftKings. Harrell has averaged 1.20 DraftKings points per minute this season, so any boost in playing time would be huge at such a low price tag.

Fast Break

Nikola Jokic posted a usage rate of 41.1% in his last game, which is really high for him. He’s typically someone who fills up the stat sheet but doesn’t necessarily dominate with his scoring. The only thing that kept he from putting up a bigger performance was that he was limited to just 31.7 minutes in a blowout. Jokic has arguably the highest ceiling on the slate, and he doesn’t have nearly the same bust potential during the playoffs that he does during the regular season.

Marc Gasol has arguably the best matchup at the position given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.24 on FanDuel. He’s not playing a ton of minutes at the moment, but he doesn’t need to play much to potentially pay off his $4,200 salary on FanDuel.

The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.

Friday features a four-game slate starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Point Guard

Stud

Kyle Lowry has been carrying a monster workload for the Raptors in the playoffs. He’s logged at least 37.2 minutes in each of his first two games, and he leads the position with 38.2 projected minutes in our NBA Models. He’s also averaged 1.11 FanDuel points per minute in Orlando, which is the second-highest mark at the position.

Lowry is in an elite spot vs. the Nets, evidenced by an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.94 on FanDuel. The Raptors’ implied team total of 115.5 is also the second-highest mark on the slate.

Value

Patrick Beverley is currently listed as doubtful for tonight’s contest vs. the Mavericks, and Reggie Jackson would likely draw another start if he’s unable to suit up. Jackson didn’t crush in that spot in Game 2, scoring just 16.3 FanDuel points, but he’s still very tough to ignore at the absolute minimum on FanDuel. He’s currently projected for 26.6 minutes, and minimum-priced PGs have historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.81 with a comparable minute projection (per the Trends tool).

Fast Break

Kemba Walker continues to get priced down across the industry. He’s priced at just $6,600 on DraftKings for Game 3 vs. the 76ers, and there’s a lot to like about him at that price tag. Walker has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.16 with a comparable salary, and he should see a boost in usage with Gordon Hayward out of the lineup.

If the 76ers are going to avoid falling behind the Celtics 3-0 in the series, they’re going to need someone besides Joel Embiid to step up today. Shake Milton is one potential option, and he stands out as one of the best pure values at the position on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $4,000, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 92%.

Shooting Guard

Stud

Luka Doncic is coming off a subpar 47.1 FanDuel points in his last game, but he played just 28.1 minutes. That was more than 10 fewer minutes than he played in his previous game, which is actually pretty encouraging for his fantasy prospects moving forward.

The Clippers remain a big challenge for Doncic, but he’s simply too cheap at $10,500 on FanDuel. He’s had a comparable salary in 37 previous games this season, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +3.80 over those contests.

Value

Norman Powell is one of the better values at the position on DraftKings, where his $4,300 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%. Powell has been an excellent fantasy value when on the court this season, averaging 0.95 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s coming off 32.3 minutes in his last game. He’s probably due for some regression in this contest – he shot 11-17 from the field in Game 2 – but he can survive some regression at his current salary.

Fast Break

Caris LeVert doesn’t have the same ceiling as Doncic, but he might be the better value given the pricing discrepancy. The Nets will be without Joe Harris, who was forced to leave the bubble for a personal reason, and they were already playing without Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie. LeVert has increased his usage rate by +9.6% with all three players off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.34 DraftKings points per minute.

Paul George has been priced down to just $7,900 on FanDuel after scoring only 30.0 FanDuel points in his last contest. That said, he played just 31.6 minutes in that game because it was a blowout, and he shot just 4-17 from the field and 2-10 from 3-point range. With some additional minutes and some shooting progression, he could absolutely smash this price tag.

Small Forward

Stud

Kawhi Leonard clearly doesn’t take the regular season very seriously, but he’s an absolute force during the playoffs. He’s scored at least 50.0 FanDuel points in each of his first two games, and he’s coming off 40.6 minutes in his last game. Kawhi has averaged 1.49 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he can do a lot of damage with that much playing time.

The Clippers also have the top implied team total on the slate, so Leonard is in an excellent spot as well.

Value

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is the most logical option to replace Harris in the starting lineup today. That makes him a very strong option at just $4,600 on DraftKings. He’s increased his fantasy production to 0.93 DraftKings points per minute in Orlando, and he’s currently projected for nearly 36 minutes in our NBA Models. TLC has scored at least 35.25 DraftKings points in two of his past three games, so he has an excellent ceiling at his price tag.

Fast Break

Pascal Siakam has struggled in his first two playoff games, shooting a combined 10-27 from the field. That makes him an interesting buy-low target on today’s slate. His salary has decreased to just $7,700 on FanDuel, and Siakam has averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.98 with a comparable salary this season. He also benefits from the same excellent matchup as the rest of the Raptors’ players, so this is a good spot for him to get right.

Tobias Harris leads the position with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel, as does his Bargain Rating of 88%. He’s another player who is due for some positive shooting regression after going just 10-30 from the field through his first two games.

Power Forward

Stud

Jayson Tatum is still building his reputation in the league, but he’s performed like one of the best players in basketball to begin the playoffs this year. He scored 57.1 FanDuel points in Game 1 vs. the 76ers and followed that up with 46.5 FanDuel points over just 30.9 minutes in Game 2.

There’s no reason to expect anything different in Game 3. He’s seen a team-high usage bump of +2.9% with Hayward off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.15 FanDuel points per minute.

Value

Rodions Kurucs is another potential value option for the Nets. He’s priced at the absolute minimum on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 86%, and he’s currently projected for 25.4 minutes in our NBA Models. He’s averaged 0.80 FanDuel points per minute this season, so he’s more productive than the typical punt play as well.

Fast Break

Al Horford was benched in favor of Matisse Thybulle in his last game, and he responded with a dismal 9.4 FanDuel points. That said, he’s still an interesting option today on FanDuel given his Bargain Rating of 98%. He should still see a solid handful of minutes off the bench, and he’s averaged 1.02 FanDuel points per minute this season.

Maxi Kleber is coming off 32.8 minutes in his last game, and it’s hard to find that much playing time at such a cheap price tag. He’s priced at just $3,900 on DraftKings and $4,000 on FanDuel, and he’s averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute this season.

Center

Stud

The 76ers got absolutely walloped in their last game, but it didn’t stop Joel Embiid from putting together a strong fantasy performance. He increased his usage rate to 38.1% in that game, and he finished with 51.5 FanDuel points. He also played just 34.3 minutes in that contest, and he has the potential to play much more if today’s game stays competitive. If he can combine his offensive aggression from Game 2 with his minute total from Game 1, he could be looking at a big performance.

Value

Montrezl Harrell is still working his way into the rotation after sitting out all eight seeding games in Orlando, but his playing time should only continue to increase. That makes him an interesting tournament option today at just $4,100 on DraftKings. Harrell has averaged 1.20 DraftKings points per minute this season, so any boost in playing time would be huge at such a low price tag.

Fast Break

Nikola Jokic posted a usage rate of 41.1% in his last game, which is really high for him. He’s typically someone who fills up the stat sheet but doesn’t necessarily dominate with his scoring. The only thing that kept he from putting up a bigger performance was that he was limited to just 31.7 minutes in a blowout. Jokic has arguably the highest ceiling on the slate, and he doesn’t have nearly the same bust potential during the playoffs that he does during the regular season.

Marc Gasol has arguably the best matchup at the position given his Opponent Plus/Minus of +3.24 on FanDuel. He’s not playing a ton of minutes at the moment, but he doesn’t need to play much to potentially pay off his $4,200 salary on FanDuel.