Basketball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

04/24/2018
Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy NBA Playoff Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Round 1 4/24/18

We are starting to close out the first round. One series is already in the books and two more could go that way on Tuesday. A couple of teams will set their sights on the second round while the Bucks and Celtics each look to gain a game in the series.

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Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics

Series tied at 2-2

After dropping the first two games of the series, the Bucks rallied back to take Games 3 and 4, with the latter coming down to a Giannis tip-in with five seconds to go. Now the series shifts back to Boston where the Celtics will work to right the ship.

John Henson has sat out the last two games with a sore back and is doubtful for Game 5. It’s moved Tyler Zeller into the starting lineup, but really meant more minutes for Jabari Parker (FD 5200 DK 6200) and Thon Maker (FD 3500 DK 4200)off the bench. The latter ran 31 minutes in Game 4 and played crunch time. He hit value on the blocks alone (not likely to repeat) but remains a solid cash game value on the cheap if Henson sits again. I’m also fine with Parker’s prices as he put up 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals and blocks combined in only 25 minutes. Both rate as places to save some on your salary cap (again, only if Henson is out).

Giannis Antetokounmpo (FD 11300 DK 9900) still has a big-time minutes ceiling and has been able to essentially meet value on these salaries in the series. He’s not an auto-play considering some of the other options but does maintain a high floor because of how Milwaukee uses him in all facets of the game.

I’m still interested in four of the five Celtics’ starters at their respective price points. Jaylen Brown (FD 7300 DK 7300) feels like the safest of the bunch at this point simply because the Celtics have relied so heavily on his scoring. He’s taken 19 or more shots in three of the four games and is averaging 24 points, five rebounds, and two assists. He’s shooting 46% from beyond the arc, which isn’t sustainable, but I’m most encourage buy the volume shooting.

Al Horford (FD 8000 DK 6900) hasn’t been able to repeat his Game 1 fantasy performance, but in close games, the minutes should be there. He’s still averaging a 17/7/3 for the series with some defensive stats thrown in. I’ll continue buying on that DK price.

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia leads series 3-1
If you aren’t rooting for the Sixers at this point, well I don’t really know what to think about you. Maybe your heart is made of coal or you are just completely dead inside. Either way, Philadelphia has captured a piece of something in this playoffs that’s just so rare from year to year. Namely, they are a young team coming into its own at the right time and becoming something of a Cinderella story in a league where such a thing is very tough to come by. Two big wins on the road in Miami has them back in Philly looking to close out the series on Tuesday.

From a fantasy perspective, having Joel Embiid (FD $9500 DK $8900) back cuts into just about everyone’s usage and all of Philly’s core players are priced up since Embiid had been off the court so long. If you think they extend Embiid in a closeout game, then I’m fine with his price on DraftKings.
But after him, we’re in something of a predicament about how to roster the rest of the team. Embiid himself didn’t play more than 32 minutes in either of the first two games back. And really only Ben Simmons (FD $10200 DK $10100) has his minutes cemented. He put up a triple-double in Game 4 and is probably the safest of any Sixer. I think the prices on most Philly guys has me staying away on this slate.

Miami has consolidated some of its minutes around a core group. James Johnson (FD $6100 DK $6600) is averaging 33 minutes a game and has put up 15 points, six rebounds and five assists per game in the series. That’s right about at value on his FanDuel price, and considering we need to roster two power forwards there, he becomes a safer cash game play.

Josh Richardson (FD $5500 DK $5700) and Goran Dragic (FD 6300 DK 6100) are the other two I “trust” with the latter likely a chalkier play on this slate. His price is reasonable and in Game 4 he put up 19 shots in 37 minutes. It stands to reason he sees full run on Tuesday. Richardson’s defense is what keeps the combo-guard in games and dude threw in seven steals last game. That number isn’t going to repeat but he’s still coming on the cheaper side (for these slates).

And finally there are Hassan Whiteside (FD 5400 DK 5500) and Kelly Olynyk (FD 6500 DK 5400). If you catch them on the right minutes night, then you are talking about major GPP upside. But good luck figuring out Coach Spo’s rotations in advance. After averaging 33 minutes a game in the series, Olynyk only played nine in Game 4.

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The Spurs but off the inevitable for at least one more game by beating the Warriors in Game 4 and moving the series back to the Bay Area. It was some fun watching Manu Ginobili (FD 4500 DK 4300) turn back the clock as he carried the Spurs in crunch time, finishing with 16 points, five assists and three rebounds. The Spurs might finally be consolidating their rotations enough to “trust” the minutes.

Dejounte Murray and Danny Green, while starting, aren’t big enough contributors. Whereas LaMarcus Aldridge (FD 9300 DK 8700), Rudy Gay (FD 6700 DK 5900), Patty Mills (FD 4600 DK 4700) and the aforementioned Ginobili are all coming in close to cash game plays. Again, the Spurs are still heavy underdogs in the series and Game 5 could be the end of the road. But you have to imagine those guys all see full run and most of them are coming cheap enough to consider in cash games.

The reason the Warriors lost on Sunday is quite simple: they shot 25% from three and the Spurs shot 54%. I’m not trying to undersell San Antonio’s performance, but that outcome isn’t likely to repeat on Tuesday. Kevin Durant (FD 10900 DK 10300) remains an elite big money pay up and was awesome again in Game 4, finishing with 34 points and 13 rebounds. Draymond Green (FD 8200 DK 7900) also maintains a high minutes floor and if the game stays close should push towards 40 again.

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