Fantasy Basketball 2021: Daily Fantasy Advice for Sunday's NBA Playoffs

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 23, 2021

Fantasy Basketball 2021: Daily Fantasy Advice for Sunday's NBA Playoffs

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia 76ers have had to wait more than a week to get their starters on the hardwood.

    Doc Rivers' side secured the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference in its penultimate game of the regular season, which led to Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and others resting.

    The Sixers have to shake off any rust early Sunday, when they face the Washington Wizards, who participated in two games just to reach the No. 8 seed.

    Embiid's matchup with Washington's paint players is one of the most favorable on the slate, and it could turn him into the top daily fantasy points-earner over the four-game slate.

    But he has to be aware of the threat that lies in front of him. Home teams were only 2-2 on the first day of the postseason.

    The Los Angeles Lakers have the potential to add to the list of away winners in the West against the Phoenix Suns. For the West's No. 2 seed to fend off the challenge from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it must receive scoring contributions from its role players, who could also be vital to DFS roster success Sunday.

Center Your Lineup Around Joel Embiid

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Embiid has an opportunity to take over Game 1 against the combination of Alex Len, Daniel Gafford and Robin Lopez.

    In two home games versus Washington, Embiid posted 29 and 38 points and hauled in 22 rebounds. The 38-point, 13-rebound outing on January was one of the big man's better home outings.

    Over his short postseason career, Embiid has gotten better in the first series game inside the Wells Fargo Center.

    Embiid put up 33 points in Game 3 against the Toronto Raptors in 2019 and had three performances of 22 points or more in that year's first-round series with the Brooklyn Nets.

    Although the Sixers did not win a playoff series inside the Orlando, Florida, bubble last year, Embiid went off with a depleted roster around him with three straight 30-point games.

    If the dominant paint play carries over into this postseason, Embiid could get Washington's centers into foul trouble early and take away their small level of offensive production.

    Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook are expected to take a large chunk of the Wizards' shots, but if Embiid takes away their second-chance opportunities and the supporting cast through rebounds and blocks, Washington could come up short in an upset attempt.

    Embiid carries the fourth-highest salary in FanDuel contests behind Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but he could be worth buying up because of how often he attacks the glass.

Count on Mikal Bridges as a Depth Piece

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    Mikal Bridges was one of Phoenix's most consistent players down the stretch run of the regular season.

    In 10 of his final 12 games, Bridges recorded a double-digit point total and knocked down multiple three-point shots in eight consecutive contests from April 26-May 9.

    Bridges chipped in rebounds and assists on occasion, but his main contribution will be in the points column.

    The Suns will need Bridges to step up alongside Devin Booker and Chris Paul to counter the expected high level of scoring James and Davis throw at the Suns.

    Bridges had 44 points and five three-point shots in his three meetings with the Lakers. He went 6-of-8 in the May 9 clash between the two sides.

    At $5,900, Bridges carries a reasonable salary at small forward that could help you land a few of the top players at other positions.

Find Value in New York's Shooting Guards

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    Elsa/Associated Press

    The immediate DFS focus from the New York Knicks roster will be on Julius Randle, but if you dig deeper, there is plenty of value with the team's top shooters.

    Alec Burks ($5,200) and Reggie Bullock ($4,900) could be the perfect low-salary supplemental pieces who outperform the numbers they are set at.

    Burks produced 61 points in a three-game stretch to close the regular season. He knocked down 12 three-point shots in that spell, which occurred after a weekslong injury absence.

    Bullock typically receives a high volume of three-point shots. He attempted seven or more three-point shots in six of his last seven regular-season games. He hit five shots from downtown in two of those games.

    If Bullock and Burks provide Randle and RJ Barrett with shooting support against Atlanta, the Knicks should avoid a Game 1 upset.

    If you roster one of the two, you could use more salary on expensive shooting guards, like Devin Booker and Bradley Beal, or you could select both to call on Embiid, Westbrook, James or Davis at other roster spots.


    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.

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