NBA playoff action is underway and there is NBA DFS on DraftKings, FanDuel and SuperDraft. Greg Ehrenberg looks at some NBA DFS Picks to build around and fade for Monday’s slate.
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NBA DFS Picks: Values + Fades for Aug. 31
Value Pick: Robert Covington
DraftKings $5,800, FanDuel $5,300, Yahoo $24
Guess who is playing big minutes again? After losing out on playing time to Jeff Green earlier in the series, Covington is playing bigger minutes in the last couple of games. He’s played over 30 minutes in back-to-back games. This is great news for Covington’s production, and his salary is yet to adjust. Covington averages around 30 fantasy points for the season and scored 43.75 DraftKings points last time out, so he appears a bit too cheap across the industry. Frankly, I am not sure where he isn’t playing massive minutes in this series. Houston traded Clint Capela to land Covington at the deadline, so it seemed he was in line for a massive playoff role. He saw 43 minutes of action in the first bubble game, and that type of playing time upside isn’t out of the question.
Stud Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo
DraftKings $11,400, FanDuel $11,500, Yahoo $56
On a two-game slate, this decision comes down to Giannis or James Harden. Depending on the value situation, rostering both of the stars could become viable and the preferred way to construct lineups. Choosing between the two, I am siding with Giannis. Not only is Harden dealing with a likely slight dip in usage because Russell Westbrook is back, Giannis might also see an uptick in usage today.
On the injury report, Eric Bledsoe is listed as questionable to play because of a hamstring injury. If he’s out, look for Giannis to play an even larger role than normal. Even if this doesn’t seem possible, keep in mind that there is always wiggle room for Antetokounmpo to play more minutes. This seems like an option Mike Budenholzer never wants to go to, but what other choice does he have at this point of the season? Milwaukee is in the second round of the playoffs, and the Bledsoe injury could leave the team shorthanded. When Bledsoe is off the court, Giannis sports a 39.6% usage rating and scores 1.99 DraftKings points per minute.
Fade Pick: Russell Westbrook
DraftKings $9,700, FanDuel $9,400, Yahoo $42
Realistically, nobody is a full fade on a two-game slate. At the very least, I have concerns with Westbrook, and it makes sense to get less exposure to him than the field. The biggest issue with Westbrook is his workload. Coming off of a quad injury, the Rockets approached his playing time with extreme caution last game. Westbrook only played 24 minutes, although the score played a factor. Since Houston won the game by 34, there was no need to force the issue and push Westbrook to play extended minutes after three weeks off. Even if his restriction is lifted a bit, I think it’s unlikely we see full minutes for Westbrook. Giannis and Harden are both better expensive options on this slate.
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