Happy Labor Day! We are well under way in Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs. This article aims to highlight some of the best plays at each position for today’s main NBA slate. Keep in mind that the following player write-ups were constructed earlier in the day, and sometimes injury/rest situations can alter the fantasy landscape. Monitoring our NBA News & Headlines Feed throughout the day will keep you in the loop. Today’s main slate on FanDuel, Yahoo and DraftKings includes two games starting at 6:30 ET.
Kemba Walker – Boston (at Toronto) – Yahoo: $29, DK: $8000, FD: $8300
Walker is still more affordable than Kyle Lowry, who is admittedly playing great basketball right now, and a big reason the Raptors have been able to even this series, and Jamal Murray, who had the expected rebound game Saturday night to even that series. Positional scarcity at SF and C sort of drives me to use Walker at one PG or G slot tonight. I’m happy with any of these three that fit the rest of my lineups, and it’s likely going to be a site-specific choice. That said, Walker certainly isn’t going to hurt your lineups, even if he doesn’t have the upside of the other two.
Marcus Smart – Boston (vs. Toronto) – Yahoo: $19, DK: $6500, FD: $5700
Consistency is one of the things to hang your hat on in these small slates, and Smart has been playing heavy minutes and returning that 25-30 fantasy points you want for this salary in every game of the Toronto series.
Kawhi Leonard – LA Clippers (vs. Denver) – Yahoo: $49, DK: $10,600, FD: $10,300 (SG)
Leonard is the one SF that you can use on all three sites, and he really needs no explanation here. Our NBA DFS Optimizer, however, actually prefers to avoid Leonard’s high salary tonight, instead opting to fill this slot with Paul George, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, or Jayson Tatum, depending on this site and player’s eligibility. If you do want to spend up for one superstar tonight though, and don’t have time to monitor the injury report on Nikola Jokic, it’s got to be Leonard.
Jayson Tatum – Boston (at Toronto) – Yahoo: $40, DK: $9300, FD: $9400
Nearly reaching that superstar five-digit salary threshold, Tatum is everything you want in a DFS lineup. A super-solid floor with 60 fantasy point upside. The defensive attention of the Raptors has slowed him down a little, but he’s still capable of the big double-double, as he showed in Game 4.
Also Consider: Daniel Theis
Serge Ibaka – Toronto (vs. Boston) – Yahoo: $23, DK: $5900, FD: $6100(PF)
Ibaka solves the center problem for you everywhere except FanDuel, where he works as a partner to Tatum. Ibaka disappointed in Game 3, but has otherwise scored 15-18 real points, along with 7-9 rebounds per game. He has five blocks in his last three games, and all in all has been able to return 4-6X value throughout the playoffs. Another massive effort like the series finale against Brooklyn is possible, but keep expectations in check; we have him projected for 24-25 fantasy points tonight.
Bargains of the Night
Lou Williams (G – LAC) Williams checks in today as the best value in dollars per fantasy point on all three sites among guards. Are we too optimistic? Williams is coming off his best game since Game 4 vs. Dallas (a 36-point monster), and his field goal percentage and minutes are trending up in this series. He turned in a balanced stat sheet Saturday, and that, combined with his ability to score in bunches, makes him a lock at this salary ($20 Yahoo, $5800 DK, $5100 FD).
JaMychal Green (PF - LAC) We’re looking at even deeper value with the versatile Clippers forward: $10 Yahoo, $3600 DK, and $3900 FD. With a projection of about 20 fantasy points, our NBA DFS Optimizer loves using him in about 70 percent of lineups. Green’s minutes have trended up from 15 in the last game of Round 1 to 21 and 26 in the two games vs. Denver. The Clippers like what they’re getting from him, and so should we.
Michael Porter (F – DEN) If Jokic were to miss the game, Porter would be one of the beneficiaries. I don’t think that’s too likely to happen (see below), but if the wrist bothers him during the game, Porter could again be in line for a bigger role. He’s only been seeing about 18 MPG in this series, but he hasn’t been bad in them. I’d reserve Porter, who is affordable on all three sites ($19 Yahoo, $5000 DK and FD), for tournament lineups only.
Nikola Jokic (C – DEN) Jokic is questionable with a sprained wrist tonight. It seems likely that he’d play, as he didn’t seem bothered by it Saturday night, but it is news to watch out for closer to lock. Given the holiday, some people might not be paying much attention later on, simply choosing to fade the big man and avoid the risk. That could get you a big game from a lower roster percent than usual Jokic.
Jaylen Brown (G/F – BOS) Brown has been somewhat up and down, and given the other options at his position, it’s easy to fade him, especially at his salary. He’s a consistent scorer, but his peripherals are all over the place. Brown is a good candidate to have a bounce-back fantasy game tonight after a disappointing Game 4, but I think George and VanVleet will dominate rosters tonight.