This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We've got three elimination games on tap Wednesday as the Bucks, Grizzlies and Cavaliers fight to stay alive. The slate kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET, and FanDuel is rolling out the $300,000 Clutch Shot again, with a $15 entry fee and $100,000 to first place.
It's wise to emphasize players with everything on the line, but I also like the Warriors with the series deadlocked at 2-2 against the Kings. The game has the highest projected total by a wide margin, and it seems to be a perfect spot for the Warriors to turn on the gas and assert themselves on the road, where they've struggled mightily this season. I've gone very light on Memphis and the Bucks despite potential elimination. The Lakers and the Heat are getting hot at the right moment and offer better DFS options.
SAC De'Aaron Fox (finger) - QUESTIONABLE
Fox says he intends to play Wednesday, but it will be wise to check in and see how well his finger responds during the team's shootaround. If Fox is unavailable, Malik Monk ($6,300) would be my top candidate for an improved result.
Anthony Davis ($11,700) and LeBron James ($10,900) were not very prevalent in my initial build, but I manually tinkered with James because it's too foolish to ignore him in a playoff model. I think I can pass on Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,000), as their ability to stroke 5x value is less likely.
I don't doubt Ja Morant's output tonight, but with better values like Stephen Curry ($9,900) at just under 10k and more value like Jalen Brunson ($8,600) and Jrue Holiday ($8,300) below that, I think I can take a pass on Morant and get better value at point guard.
One player I am willing to pay 10k for is Jimmy Butler ($10,200). Granted, we probably won't see 56 points from him again, but he'll be instrumental in the Heat's potential ousting of the top-seeded Bucks.
One guy I am willing to pay 10k for is Jimmy Butler ($10,200). Granted, we probably won't see 56 points from him again, but he'll be instrumental in the Heat's potential ousting of the top-seeded Bucks.
There's merit to taking Domantas Sabonis ($9,100) as the first center off the board now that his salary has settled in line with his recent production. However, I think this team grouping has good budget value for the position, and I'd only include him sparingly in MME builds.
EXPECTED CHALK AND VALUE PLAYS
Darius Garland, CLE ($7,800) vs. NYK
We know that Donovan Mitchell has the potential to explode, but Garland comes in as a slightly better value with a reliable floor at this salary. I would have ridden Mitchell throughout this series, but his recent ice-cold shooting and prohibitive salary haven't allowed for that. Garland has responded well amidst Mitchell's faltering totals, and the Cavs need to make a stand at home to stay alive.
Bam Adebayo, MIA ($7,500) @ MIL
Adebayo's salary is right where we need it, and although I think I can find some less expensive options for the position, Miami's big man makes a lot of sense for Wednesday. Adebayo held his own despite a historic performance from Brook Lopez, who is at an undesirable salary for me. Adenayo's potential upside at this salary is more valuable, and if I can find enough value at other positions, he's a solid mid-range option.
The series returns to Sacramento Wednesday, and I think the Warriors and their vast playoff experience will begin to take control here. Although Wiggins and Thompson offer vastly different skill sets, they are practically interchangeable regarding production, upside, and opportunity. Their viability depends on where you can fit them. Thompson can only give you SG eligibility, while Wiggins can play in the scarce SF category and the more plentiful PF slot. Wiggins' dual eligibility makes him a slightly better value, but DFS players shouldn't overlook Thompson.
Jarrett Allen, CLE ($6,900) vs. NYK
Allen did not play well on the road, and his salary has dropped. He is worth a risk as they return to Cleveland, where he gave us multi-category production that matched 5x value at this salary. I'm not giving Allen a lot of exposure, but he should play some part in tournament builds.
D'Angelo Russell, LAL ($6,100) @ MEM
I get why Russell's salary is this low, but the discount is a bit ridiculous. It's challenging to roster other Lakers with James and Davis dominating the storyline, but Russell only needs 30 FDFPs to match 5x value. He's been able to beat the number twice in four games, and this is the first time I'll take him over Austin Reaves ($6,500).
Caris LeVert, CLE ($5,900) vs. NYK
LeVert is an intriguing option. He's sneakily posted good numbers in the past three games after struggling in Game 1 of the series. There seems to be a correlation between LeVert's success and Mitchell's struggles, so you're rostering LeVert hoping that Mitchell's shooting woes continue. At $5,900, I believe LeVert is worth the risk.
Dillon Brooks, MEM ($4,900) vs. LAL
Brooks probably won't stay out of trouble tonight, but the premier agitator of the playoffs is at a good salary point, and despite carrying some risk, he's a wild card worth considering. FanDuel has placed him at this lowest salary of the entire series, and he finally becomes more viable after swimming in the 5k pool previously.
Kyle Lowry, MIA ($4,600) @ MIL
Thanks to season-ending injuries to Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo, the Heat are using Lowry more extensively off the bench, and he's a candidate to get above the 20 FDFPs he needs to be viable. He'd be an easy call if he had dual eligibility, but you can only get him in two slots. If you can spend up at SG, he becomes much more valuable.
Also consider: Xavier Tillman, MEM ($6,700) vs. LAL