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

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 6, 2021

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

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    Wendell Cruz/Associated Press

    Joel Embiid's status for Game 1 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks is looming large over Sunday's two-game NBA Playoffs slate.

    The Philadelphia center is listed as questionable for Sunday's second-round opener after he missed Game 5 versus the Washington Wizards with a small meniscus tear, per The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania.

    Embiid's availability will affect how you approach FanDuel's two-game main contest for Sunday afternoon.

    If Embiid plays, he could carry more value than any other center, even if he comes with a $9,900 salary. If he does not play, plenty of salary will be open for you to spread around other positions.

    The latter strategy might be in play regardless of Embiid's status because you can find a low-value steal at center to partner with some combination of stars from the two games.

    Trae Young appears to be the best bet from Sixers-Hawks Game 1 because he has a decent track record against Ben Simmons.

    The easiest decision to make from both games could be including Kawhi Leonard and Luka Doncic, who should trade baskets in Game 7 between the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks.

Choose Trae Young over Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Young averaged 27.1 points and 9.6 assists in his seven matchups with Ben Simmons, per Stat Muse.

    The Atlanta Hawks guard is coming off a series in which he had a trio of 30-point performances and had his single-game total dip below 25 on one occasion.

    Additionally, Young dished out at least seven assists in all five games versus the New York Knicks, and he hit multiple three-point shots in four games, which is something Simmons is not capable of.

    Young carries a $9,000 salary in FanDuel contests, which is $2,200 less than Doncic and just $400 more than Simmons.

    Although Simmons wracked up more than 50 FanDuel points in three games versus Washington, he dipped below 35 in Games 3 and 4.

    Young's worst total against New York was 36.7 points in Game 2, and he eclipsed 40 FanDuel points in Games 3, 4 and 5.

    Young also has the potential to outpace Tobias Harris because of his assist and three-point output. Harris' point and rebound production will be dependent on Embiid's status.

    No matter what happens with Embiid, Young is the most reliable option of the three top scorers in Game 1, and he should be locked in with Doncic in a point guard pairing.

Roster Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Doncic and Leonard both have two 40-point games over six contests of the Clippers-Mavericks series, and they should continue to shoot at a high volume with their playoff lives on the line.

    Leonard helped force Game 7 with a 45-point outing in Game 6 in which he shot 72 percent from the field and knocked down five three-point shots.

    Doncic's volume decreased from Game 5 to Game 6 as he tried to limit careless shots. That led to him being more passive in the fourth quarter. He took 13 fewer shots and finished with 13 fewer points.

    The Slovenian's volume should go back up, and his rebound and assist totals could have him hovering around a triple-double. He has three games against the Clippers with double-digit assists and at least eight boards in four contests.

    For good reason, Doncic ($11,200) and Leonard ($10,600) are the two highest-salaried players on the FanDuel DFS slate, but they should be more than worth the price if they go back and forth for four quarters.

    There are enough value plays on the board to feel comfortable about rostering Doncic, Leonard and Young. You could dip down in salary at point guard to have Simmons instead of Young, but that comes with the risk of Embiid potentially being active and taking away his scoring production.

Use Boban Marjanovic as Value Play If He Starts Again

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Boban Marjanovic should be the only player you consider with a salary below $4,000.

    At $3,900, the Dallas center is the ultimate value play because he has been productive in a starting role thanks to his height advantage.

    Marjanovic has 33 points and 22 rebounds in three games against the Clippers. He had 12 points and nine rebounds and shot 5-of-13 from the field in Game 6.

    As long as Marjanovic receives another start, he is worth the look at a low salary because he would fit in with Doncic, Leonard and Young on a roster.

    Marjanovic should be good for six to eight rebounds, and if he reaches double figures in the scoring column, he will get to the 20-point mark in FanDuel contests.

    It may not be an ideal number for the center position, but Marjanovic's low salary should give you the flexibility needed to include more superstars.


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