The NBA Playoffs have finally hit the Conference Finals so that means it is Showdown Time! This is one of my favorite periods given the game theory nature of Showdown and want to do everything I can to get you guys the information you need to separate yourself from the pack and be unique while also having a shot at 1st place. There are four key things I look for in a player to have the highest probability of being optimal!
These four statistics paired together are the best suitors to find a gem. Almost everyone I mention below hits on atleast 2 of these if not all of them! Hopefully this will help you be more successful while building lineups and give you a higher chance of winning the big bucks!
I would also like to note that I write these articles early in the day. It is always beneficial to check @Underdog__NBA for lineup changes. Those changes could have a direct effect on some of my "favorite plays" in the sense that if a cheap guy that was one of my favorites doesn't start, then they might no longer be a favorite play or even a play at all. Check out my Twitter @HeatingUpDFS for any updates on favorite play changes!
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The injuries and referees all but ruined Game 3 in which the Heat took in Boston. I think not having Robert Williams was a major factor in that happening which I will get into later. I think this is for sure a must win game for Boston and they still should win. They come in as 6.5 point favorites and should have everyone healthy for this game. Just be sure to factor that in while building your lineups. Also be sure to monitor all of the injury designations for this game. Things could change big time if someone is ruled out. Stay fluid!
For Showdown slates it is always crucial that you get the CPTN correct or you won't stand a chance at the top prize. Usually the top 0.1-1% of the highest scoring lineups in a SD setting feature the same CPTN with varying UTIL spot choices to round out the lineup. Given the rotations should remain fairly tight, there might only be two roster constructions you can choose tonight. The 1st is a stars and scrubs approach. That is where you take a top 3 option at CPTN, follow it up with 3 more of the top 5 priced options, and round it out with two guys that are extremely cheap in hopes that the stars get 80%+ of the usage and you only need 3-10 DK points from the cheap guys to get you to the top. The 2nd option, which will likely be my personal approach, is a balanced approach. Usually it comes with taking a mid range CPTN option, then multiple high to mid priced options at UTIL and only have to lean on one cheaper option that still has scoring viability. With how much usage the mid range gets from both of these teams, I think this is likely the most efficient approach.
Draftkings has done a good job of pricing up the mid range to almost force you into having to think about rostering a top 3 priced option. Last night we saw the optimal remain with Luka and Steph. However it was a clear stars and scrubs build with the 5th/6th spot in the lineup being low priced options that only needed 7 and 3 DK points respectively. It will be interesting to see if people try to mimic that type of build tonight which will inflate the cheap option's ownership. Only time will tell. The following options make the most sense at CPTN, for me, that give you high upside while also gaining some leverage ownership wise.
Jaylen Brown ($14,700 CPTN)
I still think most of the field (50% or more) will CPTN Tatum or Butler which makes it hard to get to Brown in general. We also get a Bam Adebayo price down after a monster game which will also eat up a TON of ownership at CPTN just with what it can afford you. That should leave us with Jaylen Brown under owned across the board, especially at CPTN. He has scored north of 40 DK points in all 3 games with a 55 DK point outing last game. He was overshadowed by a Bam masterclass last game yet still produced in a massive way. I think he should continue to dominate this series with eyes on Tatum at all times. I just really like him here given the balance in lower ownership and high upside.
Robert Williams ($9,600 CPTN)**
Just be sure to monitor Williams' availability tonight because if he is out this play changes directly to Al Horford. Williams is a high FPPM type of guy that does it across the board. After what Bam did to them last game I think they need Robert in a big way to get back and play close to 30 minutes. The Heat took all of 2 minutes to figure out how to beat the Celtics without Robert and I don't think they can afford to be without him. His defensive presence in defending Bam is just to large of an advantage. So if Williams starts, he should play 25-30 minutes, be lower owned, and have a shot at 30+ DK points. He lets you afford atleast 2 of the top 4 priced plays as well if you CPTN him which I really like the prospects of. This is a boom or bust type of play, but if it hits you could be looking at a top 0.1-1% lineup for sure.
PJ Tucker ($6,300 CPTN)
I just think Tucker is too cheap for the minutes he should be getting. That is about it. He is not what I would call a high FPPM type of guy like Williams, but he shoots 3's, grabs rebounds, will play 30+ minutes and open up the salary to get possibly 3 top 4 priced options with the rest of your lineup. Again, this could fail miserably but with the way DK is pricing the mid range you might have to punt down at CPTN which Tucker allows you to do.
Along with all of the CPTN options, the following players look to be a good value tonight for a number of different reasons (pricing, matchup, ownership leverage, etc.)
Jayson Tatum ($11,000)
Tatum got a stinger last game and was apparently "hurt" which I think is a load of garbage. It was an excuse for his crappy play which I still think was an outlier. He should bounce back here and play similar to his Game 1 and 2 scores where you likely will need him if you want to win. I think his "injury" is less of a concern than Butler's who I actually think could end up being an issue tonight if he sits tonight. Again just be sure to monitor everything, but I still like Tatum on DK more than Butler in general.
Jimmy Butler ($10,600)
Butler left with knee inflammation in Game 3 which is definitely something to be concerned about. He looked generally fine until the news broke unexpectedly after the half that he wasn't going to return. I really think that Butler is a guy that if he will be low owned tonight then I will go there, but if there is ownership I would lean towards Tatum and Brown. I think they are more in a must win spot and will be more locked in to produce.
Marcus Smart ($8,600)
If you want some leverage then just play Smart tonight. His price is wayyy too high for the production and I expect Tatum to get back on track tonight. He now has a bit tougher of a matchup against Lowry which could limit the upside. I still like him and think he should get close to 40 DK points, but he legit needs to hit that to have a shot at being optimal. The price just doesn't do him any favors.
Bam Adebayo ($7,600)
I want whatever drugs DK is smoking with this price down of Bam. He just went for 63 DK points yet they brought him down $400. He will be insanely owned tonight and I want nothing to do with that, especially if they bring back Robert Williams. They just employed a horrible gameplan against him starting Theis at the 5 and not Horford. They should have gone to Grant Williams/Horford. Nonetheless if the Celtics go right back to Theis starting in the event that Robert Williams is out then I would roll out Bam with confidence regardless of ownership. If they start Robert Williams I would fade Bam. He will likely regress in a massive way.
Al Horford ($7,400)
I would much prefer to pivot down to Horford over Bam if Robert Williams is starting 100%. He will get points in a multitude of different ways. He will get the minutes and has a massive height advantage over PJ Tucker. This is a leverage play more for me over a projection guy. I just don't think he will come in too highly owned. Other than that he is just a decent play.
Max Strus ($6,800)
I still am not a huge fan because the ceiling isn't exactly there. I wish he was low 6k or high 5k range and I would be intrigued. The only thing going for him will likely be ownership. He won't be too highly owned but I think that is for a reason. I wouldn't really play him here and just find the salary to go up to one of the guys above.
Kyle Lowry ($6,600)
If there is a guy in this range I am going to go to from MIA it is Lowry. He is going to handle the ball plenty, should get the minutes even with Butler back. His usage was really solid in his game back and got solid usage. I just think he is a great value. If he comes in with a low ownership projection then I would try to play him wherever I can. He checks all of the boxes tonight.
Tyler Herro ($6,200)
I am not a fan of Herro here. His minutes are dropping and his shot isn't falling. Given the price he just doesn't make much sense. I would try to fade him here even at a lower ownership.
UPDATE: He is out. Lowry and Strus become a lot more appealing
Derrick White ($5,400)
White has been truly horrible in this series which gives me all the reason to fade him. His minutes are dropping, the usage is horrible and his shot isn't falling. Even at a cheaper price tag I would try to go up to Lowry or down to Williams about 99 times out of 100.
Grant Williams ($5,200)
Even with Robert Williams projected to come back I really like Grant's minutes at this price. He has 27 and 21 DK points in the last two games off the bench which I think fits his role well. He gets cleaner looks and better usage there against softer defenses. With DK pricing a lot of guys up I think Grant at a lower price point is actually really solid. He makes for a great 5th options tonight in your lineups.
Payton Pritchard ($5,000)
I am not a big fan of Pritchard with White back and a somewhat healthy smart eating up a ton of minutes. The price is just too steep. Unless this blows out there is no way he cna be optimal with this role and minutes.
Gabe Vincent ($4,600)
Even with Herro out I am not a huge fan. I would look to Oladipo for $200 less that actually fills Herro's role and minutes. Vincent is more of a Lowry backup and the price difference between those two isn't enough.
Victor Oladipo ($4,400)
I love this guy tonight. His minutes should come up big time with Herro out. He played amazing defense in the second half without Butler. The DK points didn't translate well in the last game which should keep his ownership suppressed. I think he could be a homerun play tonight.
Caleb Martin ($1,400)
This is about the last guy I would consider playing just because after him there is almost no one that could crack even 5 DK points or 6 minutes of action. There is no upside from anyone else. Martin atleast you know will get you 10 minutes with a decent FPPM output to boot. If you want a pricey CPTN you might have to go Martin here so keep him in your player pool.
Daniel Theis ($1,200)
I would only consider Theis if Robert Williams is out. If he plays then odds are Theis is a DNP-CD. Just keep an eye on Robert's availability before considering Theis.