The NBA Play-In Tournament has begun, which means it's time for our second DFS NBA playoff preview, the NBA DFS 4-12-23 FanDuel Breakdown.
It's a two-game slate; the same as night one to determine who will move on to their respective conference's eighth-seed game. The Chicago Bulls (40-42, 10th in the Eastern Conference) face off against the Toronto Raptors (41-41, ninth in the Eastern Conference) on the east coast. The Oklahoma City Thunder (40-42, 10th in the Western Conference) take on the New Orleans Pelicans on the west coast (42-40, ninth in the Western Conference). With their clash of youth, style, and heart, the Thunder vs the Pelicans will most likely be the match of the night.
All four of these teams are vying to prove their worth in their respective conferences. There is strong potential for some pretty high-scoring games with all four teams expected to hit triple digits scoring. The books have set the over/under at 214.5 for the East match-up and over 227.5 for the West match-up.
I'll be taking a look at FanDuel's 50/50 leagues with a $60,000 salary cap. To win in this setting, you must finish in the top half of your daily league. The goal is to make the best team within the salary cap to score fantasy points based on 8 categories and 9 players:
- 3-point Shot Made (3P) = 1pt
- Assist (A) = 1.5 pts
- Blocks (B) = 3 pts
- Field Goal Made (FG) = 2pts
- Free Throw Made (FT) = 1pt
- Rebound (R) = 1.2 pts
- Steals (S) = 3 pts
- Turnovers (T) = -1
Finally, I must stress the importance of double-checking lineups closer to game time!
NBA DFS 4-12-23 FanDuel Breakdown
Point Guard - Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder ($7,900)
Giddey is averaging 15.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 4 games against the Pelicans this season. He has averaged 18.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 0.8 steals in 32.6 minutes per game since the beginning of March (20 games). In that same span, the Australian native has averaged 39.80 fantasy points per game (FPPG) which is higher than his season averaging 36 fantasy points per game.
The Pelicans are a tall team but that should not be a problem for the 6'8 guard. While Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be the focal point for the defense of the Pelicans, Giddey will act as the secondary facilitator and floor general keeping the high pace of the Thunder offense.
Josh Giddey’s final sophomore season stats
He joins LeBron, Sabonis, Jokic & Doncic as players to average 15+ PPG, 6+ APG & 7+ RPG this season pic.twitter.com/G0dUmBgKSC
— TF (@ThunderFocus) April 8, 2023
Point Guard - CJ McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans ($8,600)
CJ McCollum averaged 21.5 points, 9.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds, and 1 block in 2 games versus the Thunder this season. CJ has averaged 20.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.3 steals in 36.3 minutes per game since March 19 (12 games). In that same span, McCollum has averaged 35.9 FPPG which is actually below his average of 36.6 FPPG.
Does not look good right? Wrong! The law of averages is actually in favor of CJM as he looks to show his veteran presence amongst the younger Thunder roster. The Pelicans are dealing with some injuries, which will likely mean heavy minutes for the Lehigh University product.
CJ MCCOLLUM HALF-COURT LOB TO TREY MURPHY 😱 pic.twitter.com/XfxaG3u1wZ
— Pelicans Nation (@PelsNationCP) April 6, 2023
Shooting Guard - Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder ($7,200)
Jalen Williams averaged 14.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in 4 games versus the Pelicans this season. Williams had scored in double figures in 13 of his previous 14 games, averaging 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.6 steals in 34.1 minutes during that span. During that same interval, Jalen is averaging 33.3 FPPG, higher than his season average of 28.3 FPPG.
J-Dub has been an extremely impressive rookie this season for the Thunder. He has had a great second half to the season being known for advanced two-way play on the court. Without a doubt, the Pelicans will look to Williams to chip in where he can and provide much-needed defense to calm this Thunder team down.
Shooting Guard - Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans ($6,000)
Herbert Jones averaged 8.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1 block in 4 games versus the Thunder this season. In his past 12 games, Jones is averaging 10.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. In the same span, HJ is averaging 24 FPPG which is right around his season average of 23.7 FPPG.
This is a good sign. He is consistent regardless of who he faces and has the potential like his last game to explode when it is necessary. Jones is known for his defense and it shows in his stats against the Thunder. Look for his presence to be displayed on prime-time television tonight!
Small Forward - Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls ($5,300)
Patrick Williams averaged 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 3 games versus the Raptors this season. In the last 12 games, Williams is averaging 10 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block. In the same time frame, P-Dub is averaging 21 FPPG higher than his 20.7 FPPG during the season.
The Bulls will rely heavily on defense versus the Raptors and Williams has an opportunity to shine. The Bulls are thin at the power forward position and will likely use their iron man (he played all 82 games this season!) to disrupt the offensive flow the Raptors present.
Players with 70+ steals and 70+ blocks this season:
Alperen Sengun pic.twitter.com/pXaq1cTmcC
— RocketsMuse (@RocketsMuse) April 11, 2023
Small Forward - Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans ($6,500)
Trey Murphy III averaged 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 4 games versus the Thunder this season. In his last 12 games, Murphy is averaging 3.6 three-pointers, 20.9 points, and 1.5 steals. In that same span, Trey averaged 32.43 FPPG which is higher than his 25.2 FPPG during the regular season.
Murphy has now scored 30 points or more in 2 consecutive games for the first time in his NBA career, and he last failed to hit double digits on March 1 against Portland (nine points). Murphy has been a top-10 player in 9-cat formats over the last two weeks, taking full advantage of the void in the rotation left by injuries.
Power Forward - Jaylin Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder ($4,600)
Jaylin Williams averaged 4.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1 block in 2 games versus the Pelicans this season. In his last 11 games, Jaylin is averaging 6 points, 5 rebounds, and almost a steal a game. In that time, he is averaging 17.7 FPPG which is higher than his season average of 15.8 FPPG.
This is definitely a filler for the roster. Jay Will does have an up-side if there is foul trouble or a blowout situation. With the minutes he gets, his production is decent and not bad for an end-of-roster type on your team.
Jaylin Williams knocks down the three with a WILD bounce 🤣
— Thunder Nation (@ThunderNationCP) April 2, 2023
Power Forward - Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors ($4,700)
Chris Boucher averaged 5.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 3 games against the Bulls this season. At 20 minutes a game in his past 12 games, Boucher is averaging 9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks. At the same time, he is averaging 18.9 FPPG which is slightly lower than his season average of 20.4 FPPG.
Another end-of-roster guy, Swatterboy provides the Raptors something they have been missing - both offense and defense off the bench. That is how thin the Raptors' depth has become. He is capable of knocking down big late-period three-pointers and offers an upside of blocks. Boucher's range of fantasy points can often offer a pleasant surprise.
Center - Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls ($8,500)
Nikola Vucevic averaged 18.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1 block in 3 games versus the Raptors this season. In his last 12, Vuc is averaging 58% from the field, 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks. In that time, he has averaged 34 FPPG slightly below his season average of 38.3 FPPG.
The big man has now had four straight double-doubles to start the month, and he has scored at least 20 points in five of his last seven games. He has played 82 games this season and seeks to continue his offensive and rebounding threat in tonight's play-in. He may face some trouble as the Raptors have an interior defense but Vuc fears no defense and will find a way to score.
Nikola Vucevic cleaning it up 😤pic.twitter.com/pBDgVBaJGx
— Bulls Nation (@BullsNationCP) April 5, 2023
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