Daily Fantasy NBA Playoff Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Round 1 4/28/18
It's just a two game slate, with Boston and Milwaukee finishing their series and New Orleans and Golden State starting their series. With Steph Curry ambiguously listed as "questionable" just a week after Steve Kerr claimed he'd be out a while, so things are still fairly up in the air here. Let's see if we can make sense of things.
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Milwaukee Bucks at the Boston Celtics
Series tied 3-3
Things are officially wild in the East, with the Cavs/Pacers series being pushed to seven games on Friday and Celtics/Bucks being decided in seven today. Things looked really hard for the Celtics in this one, following up their 42% shooting from game 5 with a dismal 37% shooting effort in this one. Thankfully they've still got a fantastic defense. These two teams have split the last two games with neither team topping 100 points in either game, so it doesn't seem as though there is a lot of offense to be passed around right now. On the Celtics' side of things only Rozier, Tatum, and Horford topped 30 fantasy points in game six, and only Tatum can claim that he paid his price in that one.
I'm still optimistic about Jaylen Brown (FD $6600 DK $6500) here. He's playing 40 minute rotations right now, and while it didn't come together in game six he did pay off his prices in game five. I'd also play Al Horford (FD $7700 DK $6700) today simply because center is so thin.
The Bucks have been generally terrible from a fantasy perspective in the last two games of this series, with Giannis having a nice game and the rest of the team basically disappearing. Malcolm Brogdon (FD $4300 DK $4500) was solid on these prices, and Jabari Parker was reasonable.
My general take on this series is that I'd like to play as few players as possible, and prioritize the next series instead.
New Orleans Pelicans at the Golden State Warriors
Series tied 0-0. Implied Vegas total is 223.5. Golden state favored by 9.5.
Steph Curry went through a 5-5 scrimmage, as of this writing is still listed as questionable for game one of this series. I'm going to write this up as though he's sitting, since that still seems like the most likely outcome here.
So what are we getting from this series? For starters, we're getting a game with an implied Vegas total nearly 30 points higher than the Bucks-Celtics series, so we know there is potentially a lot of fantasy value to be had here.
Let's start with the challengers. The Pelicans were arguably the most impressive team of round one, sweeping the Blazers in short order on the back of greatly tightened rotations. While it's hard to call the Warriors a good match-up for anyone, you could argue that this is actually one of the better spots they could find themselves in the West right now. The reason? The Dubs should allow them to employ the same small(er) ball lineup that worked against the Pelicans, playing Mirotic at the four and Brow at the five. They did this against Portland to great effect, and again, the shortened rotations make all the difference here.
It seems as though they're content to play Rajon Rondo (FD $7100 DK $7500) and E'Twaun Moore (FD $4400 DK $3900) 35-39 minutes, and Jrue Holiday (FD $8300 DK $7800), Anthony Davis (FD $12500 DK $11100), and Nikola Mirotic (FD $7900 DK $7400) seem locked into 40+ minutes. There's a little big of blowout risk here, but man, it's a two game slate. I'll play as many Pelicans as I can, prioritizing Moore the least since I'd guess his minutes are most at risk.
On the Golden State side the rotation isn't quite as small, but we're getting some crazy value thanks to the other-worldly match-up here. It's easy to forget after what we saw in round one, but the Pelicans are the worst defensive team left in the playoffs this side of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Durant (FD $10200 DK $9700) on a Steph-less Warriors team looks like a fair bet to hit 60 fantasy points, Andre Iguodala (FD $4200 DK $4000) looks like a terrific value on 30+ minutes as the pseudo-point guard, and Thompson and Green look like fine values as well. Kevon Looney (FD $3000 DK $3200) is a cute play because he's just too cheap at ~$3,000 on both sites, and playing 20-25 minutes in many games.