With the Play-In Tournament complete, the first round of the NBA Playoffs is about to commence. There are some really fun and exciting matchups to enjoy. Pairing that with a little extra something to root for is always nice. That brings us to another playoff edition of DFS, the NBA Playoffs DFS 4-16-23 DraftKings Breakdown.
The Sunday slate features four matchups: Miami Heat (#8) @ Milwaukee Bucks (#1), Minnesota Timberwolves (#8) @ Denver Nuggets (#1), Los Angeles Lakers (#7) @ Memphis Grizzlies (#2), and Los Angeles Clippers (#5) @ Phoenix Suns (#4). This will be the first game of each of these four series. Although I am a Nuggets fan, I'm most excited to see how the Grizzlies and Lakers match up here for game 1.
I'll be basing everything off of the DraftKings Classic mode, with an 8-man lineup and a $50,000 salary cap. There are plenty of different modes you can go for. I typically mix it up between the 50/50s (top half win) and some of the larger DK tournaments (higher place = higher payout). A good balance of both levels out the risk and reward.
Lastly, here's the point breakdown for DraftKings as a reminder:
- Point = +1 pt
- Made Three = +0.5 pts
- Rebound = +1.25 pts
- Assist = +1.5 pts
- Steal = +2pts
- Block = +2pts
- Turnover + -0.5 pts
- Double-Double = +1.5 pts
- Triple-Double = +3 pts
I'll be giving a couple of different options for each position in my NBA Playoffs DFS 4-16-23 DraftKings Breakdown, remember to check your lineups again closer to tipoff!
NBA Playoffs DFS 4-16-23 DraftKings Breakdown
Point Guard, Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets, $7600
Jamal Murray is going to need to return to his bubble form, or at least close to it, for the Denver Nuggets to make a serious title run. He'll be especially relied on in this series against the Timberwolves. With both Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns inside on Jokic, I'd expect more of the workload to fall on Murray, who has a much nicer matchup with Mike Conley. Murray always seems to rise to the moment, and I'd expect no difference here.
Point Guard/Shooting Guard, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Minnesota Timberwolves, $4000
With all these three-word names, it's easier to shorten them, so we'll call him NAW. NAW got the start against the Oklahoma City Thunder and played 37 minutes, finishing with 36 fantasy points in DraftKings. Jaden McDaniels' absence opens up some time for him to be the Timberwolves' starting shooting guard or sixth man. Either way, his $4000 price tag makes him a solid value and allows you to splurge elsewhere.
Shooting Guard, Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, $9100
On this day in 2017, Devin Booker went OFF for 70 points ?
The youngest to ever do it ? pic.twitter.com/PR0Oc89hQ8
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 24, 2022
Devin Booker will likely have the nicer matchup between him and his co-superstar Kevin Durant. I'd expect Kawhi Leonard to take Kevin Durant, leaving one of Batum or Eric Gordon to guard Booker. Batum is no slouch, but Book is too good of a player to let that bother him. He'll have as many shots as he likes in this matchup.
Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Luke Kennard, Memphis Grizzlies, $5500
Luke Kennard aka Nuke Kennard is a low-floor high-ceiling play here. The majority of his value is dependent on if his three-point shot is falling. The Lakers don't have a lot of defensive prowess at their guard positions, so we could see a lot of Ja Morant penetrating and kicking out to shooters like Kennard in this series.
Shooting Guard/Small Forward, Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers, $5700
Norman Powell will have a significant amount on his plate with the confirmed absence of Paul George for the entire first round. If the Clippers want to give themselves a chance in this series, they'll need to rely on players other than Kawhi to get buckets. Powell fits that mold. In his last three games of the regular season, Powell averaged 38.7 fantasy points. He should be able to take this momentum into Game 1.
Small Forward/Power Forward, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, $10200
The Fun Guy.
The Western Conference Player of the Week, Kawhi Leonard. pic.twitter.com/dYXiQTcwXu
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 10, 2023
Kawhi Leonard has a hefty price tag, but he's absolutely worth it. He's going to have to shoulder a massive load on both sides of the ball. Russell Westbrook will have a large role as well in playmaking, but he can't be the only one. So I'd expect Leonard to take on a larger playmaking role in tandem with Westbrook. I'd expect no less than 50+ points from him.
Small Forward/Power Forward, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, $8800
Jimmy Butler is likely not an immediately attractive option considering how abysmal the Heat's offense has looked. But he won't have as difficult a matchup. It will either be Khris Middleton, who's both injured and weaker than Butler, or Jrue Holiday, who is undersized compared to Butler. I like Butler in both matchups, and we've seen him really turn it up come playoffs.
Power Forward, Rui Hachimura, Los Angeles Lakers, $4300
Although Hachimura doesn't start, Vanderbilt does instead, I like him as a value. He's unlikely to go for a massive fantasy day, but I think his ability to stretch the floor will really help him here. Vanderbilt starts, but his issues on offense may play him off the floor, allowing Hachimura to take his place and grab some extra minutes and volume.
Center, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, $10900
ANTHONY DAVIS IS A DEFENSIVE MONSTER ? pic.twitter.com/mbLXivv61n
— x - Lakers Lead (@LakersLead) April 9, 2023
Davis has a high price tag, but of the three expensive centers for the day, he is the cheapest. I really don't know whether the Grizzlies will use Xavier Tillman, Jaren Jackson Jr., or a combination of both to guard Davis, but I doubt it will work. JJJ is a DPOY candidate, but his lack of size and potential for foul trouble leads me to believe Davis will dominate inside.
Center, Xavier Tillman, Memphis Grizzlies, $5200
The Grizzlies' frontcourt has been decimated by injury, leaving Tillman as the starting center. Simply due to the sheer minutes that Tillman should play, I'd count him as a value here. He's got a surprisingly high ceiling. In four of the last five games that Tillman played 30+ minutes, Tillman had at least 34.5 fantasy points. You're hoping for something like this if you grab him at value.