Greetings ladies and gentlemen! The NBA Playoffs are upon us, and the games will once again have meaning! It’s funny how things work out sometimes, because we have a bunch of outstanding match-ups for each series. We have a four game slate to kick things off Monday, and I’m here to guide you through making your lineups.
If you’re not a member of the SGPN Slack channel, then you should be. However, those who do partake in the conversation have seen that I’ve been somewhat on a roll in DFS. Sure, some of this can be attributed to luck. I feel like more of it comes from my unique approach and disregarding the stacks that some experts recommend however.
If you’re a longtime reader, then you need no introduction as to how things work. But for my new readers, today I’m going to take a look at the more expensive DFS must-plays, the mid-level must-plays and finally some great longshot/value plays. Best of luck to all who are playing, and hopefully we at SGP can help lead you to that $150,000 lineup.
Expensive Must-Plays ($8,000-$11,000)
Kawhi Leonard LAC ($9,800)
Let’s start things off with a bang, shall we? It’s worth noting that I do like Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid, but I have my concerns with both of them as well. I feel like Kawhi is the only one worth spending up for on Monday.
He’s been the personification of clutch the past few years, and his Clippers are drawing a Mavericks team who is less than great on defense. Leonard averaged 30.5 points per game during the 2019 playoffs. He scored at least 30 points in 14 of his 24 playoff games and topped 40 twice. Kawhi has 111 career playoff starts with double-doubles in 27 of those games.
Jayson Tatum – BOS ($8,500)
I’m looking towards Jayson Tatum for another more-expensive option for Monday’s slate. This will be his third straight year in the playoffs, and he’s playing better than he ever has before.
The Celtics are drawing the 76ers who are without the services of Ben Simmons. This is not going to be a good match-up for Philadelphia as Boston has way too much talent to overcome. Tatum has been playing very consistently since the return and I am expecting big things from Tatum against this 76ers team whose perimeter defense can be spotty.
Mid-Level Must-Plays ($5,000-$7,900)
Tobias Harris – PHI ($7,800)
I can’t pass up the opportunity to grab Tobias Harris this cheaply. With Simmons out, Harris’s usage skyrockets and he is left to be the force beyond the paint. Sure, Joel Embiid will normally carry his load as well, but Harris can be considered as their most trusted hand offensively. Not only will the shot attempts be there, but you can also grab Harris for $2,400 cheaper. I know a bargain when I see it, and you can’t pass the consistency from Harris with the upside that he flirts with the 60+ fantasy point mark.
Caris LeVert – BKN ($7,600)
Remember what I was just saying when I mentioned a bargain? Well, this is another bargain considering what you’re getting for the price. In case you’ve been living under a rock the past week, Caris LeVert has seemingly kicked things into another gear.
Although Brooklyn is slowly getting their team back, they will still remain short-handed even at “full strength” without the services of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. I’m not sure if LeVert has been playing for a raise or for an audition for a new team, but either way you best roster him. LeVert has proven time and time again that he is capable of carrying this team with at least 45.25 fantasy points in five of his seven games in the bubble.
Jamal Murray – DEN ($6,500)
Give me Jamal Murray any day of the week at only $6,500. He’s become somewhat of the forgotten man on the Denver offense given the recent emergence of Michael Porter Jr. However, I haven’t forgotten about him and I can’t pass this up.
Murray is one of the most consistent point guards in the NBA when he’s on the court for 35 minutes or so, and he can expect a nice run given that the Nuggets are still short-handed. Denver draws Utah in the first round and these two teams just met back on August 8th. In that contest, Murray dropped a cool 53.5 fantasy points, his best of the bubble. The Jazz will be without Mike Conley which hurts their perimeter defense.
Joe Ingles – UTA ($5,300)
As I just mentioned, Utah will be without the services of Mike Conley for the immediate future as he’s left the bubble for the birth of a child. What this means is that the primary ball-handling duties will now fall in the hands of the consistent veteran Joe Ingles. He’s certainly not the most flashy player by any means and he will rarely drop 30 points on a team.
However, Ingles does a great job of facilitating the offense and filling up the stat sheet with a nice line of 15 points, five rebounds and five assists or so. When Conley is off the court, Ingles’s usage sees a spike and I like him to put up at least 35 or so fantasy points on Monday which is all you can ask from someone with this price tag.
Long-shots and Value Plays ($3,000-4,900)
Marcus Morris Sr. – LAC ($4,200)
I wasn’t sure I was seeing things right when I saw Marcus Morris’s pricing. Granted, he’s not been then the high-scoring threat that he was before the trade. However, a lot of these cheaper players to look at will simply come down to who is going to see the most playing time and he’s pretty much a lock to be on the court for at least 30 minutes.
Montrezl Harrell is listed as questionable and when he’s fully healthy, he will cut into Morris’s playing time. Harrell has yet to play in the bubble though and I doubt he will play more than 20 or so minutes when he returns. I expect Morris to carry the bulk of the load in the paint and I think he’ll be good for around 25 fantasy points or so.
Seth Curry – DAL ($3,700)
I don’t have a ton of long-shots or value plays on Monday and this is more or less a dartboard throw. Seth Curry is a player who’s fantasy production relies almost solely on his three point shooting. He’s been having another year consistent with his career average at 49.5% from the floor and 45.2% from three on the season.
Curry is currently sitting third on the season in three point percentage and although he’s had a rough bubble so far, I believe he’s due for a good game and what better time than the first game in the playoffs. I certainly wouldn’t throw Curry in all of your lineups if you’re playing multiple entries, but he’s certainly worth a look.