This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Both games on Wednesday's slate involve 2-2 deadlocks, as both of the higher-seeded teams return to their home courts. The Hawks were able to squeak out a win at home against an arguably stronger opponent, but the biggest news comes from LA, as Kawhi Leonard will be out for Game 5 with a knee injury, and his status for the rest of the series is in jeopardy.
To best serve our analysis, we will continue to look at the games by position. Unlike other sites, players do not have dual eligibility, resulting in meager pickings at certain positions when tackling a two-game slate.
ATL @ PHI (-6.5) O/U: 223.5
LAC @ UTA (-7) O/U: 221.5
The home-field advantage has served all four teams well in semifinal matchups, and conventional wisdom dictates that both Vivint Arena and Wells Fargo Center will once again be tough houses for the visitors. The supporting-cast Clippers will really need to step up with Leonard out, and Trae Young (shoulder) will be fighting through an injury as the Hawks face a Philly team that knows how to close the deal at home.
Trae Young ($10,400) will play despite the shoulder injury, and there is no need to elaborate on his value here. Mike Conley ($7,500) will once again be a game-time call but would almost certainly be on a minute restriction if he played. As you'll see, there's an ample argument to fade both of these players, although Young shouldn't be avoided when taking an MME route.
Ben Simmons, PHI ($8,500) vs. ATL
At this salary range, Simmons has reached 5x value in two of four contests against the Hawks. The sweet spot for him is to match successful shot volume with triple-double potential in the secondary categories. He's played much closer to his role at point guard as opposed to an off-the-ball shooter since the return of Joel Embiid. While that's aided Simmons' assist numbers, he's had trouble getting open against Atlanta, and that's enough to lower his exposure somewhat.
Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($5,300) vs. LAC
Although Clarkson has had some dreadful shooting nights against the Hawks, he follows similar logic to Simmons. The playoffs often offer the best value to players underperforming in the previous game, as rostership is inevitably lower than usual. The minutes are certainly there for optimal production, as is his voluminous shot volume. He just needs to connect more from beyond the arc.
Reggie Jackson, LAC ($4,800) @ UTA
The numbers weren't there for Jackson in Game 4, but that's all the more reason to discount the recency bias and take a stab at a chance for increased production. The reduced salary allows you to keep costs down and still have an opportunity to meet value. Ample evidence of his upside occurred in Game 2 on the road, where he hurled up 19 balls to score 29 points. His ability to drill threes out in space is critical to his success, and since he is less of a traditional point guard with mediocre assist numbers, it comes down to his shot-making ability.
Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($9,700) vs. LAC
Mitchell is the nightly top-scorer for the Jazz, but is his salary consistent with his team-leading production? The numbers seem to indicate that playing at home increases the probability of beating 5x value at this price. He leveled off after his steady climb in production after returning from a lengthy absence but was able to stick it to the Clippers for 45-plus FDFP performances in Games 2 and 3. You'll want to keep your exposure high to Mitchell, as even a total return from Mike Conley won't hinder his ability to put up a significant number.
Paul George, LAC ($9,200) @ UTA
Our instincts proved correct for Game 4, as we witnessed a stellar showing from George, who tied teammate Kawhi Leonard with 31 points. There are many ways to win this slate without dipping into five-digit salaries, and George is one of those targets. With Leonard sidelined, even more production will be needed from George, and he may not be able to take plays off.
Seth Curry, PHI ($5,100) vs. ATL
This position offers some complex challenges, as it's one spot that offers appealing spend-up options and budget plays that outdo the other positions. While I think Bogdan Bogdanovic ($6,200) and Joe Ingles ($5,800) are excellent options, Curry has shown the ability to post similar numbers for $700-$1000 less. I think Bogdan is an excellent call if you choose to fade the elites at this spot, but Curry is a better way to offset a Mitchell/George pick. Curry's consistent shot volume and playing time make him a solid addition at this price.
If you wish to go truly contrarian with the Hawks, you could do a lot worse than Kevin Huerter ($4,800), who saw his numbers pop up to 23.8 FDFP in the Game 4 win.
Terance Mann ($3,700) and Luke Kennard ($3,600)
If you want to save salary, Mann and Kennard could be in for extra minutes and usage with Leonard out. One of these two is bound to hit at least 20 fantasy points, which is all you need for 5X value.
Nicolas Batum, LAC ($6,200) @ UTA
Although some may brand him as a bit too expensive, I think we can proceed with Batum with much less caution now. His numbers have steadily crept up with every game against the Jazz, with his zenith coming in Game 4 (33.4 FDFP). He has many tools to help the Clippers, with apt rebounding skills and a floor-stretching three-point shot.
Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA ($5,700) vs. LAC
Bojan can make or break you, but his upside is hard to ignore, especially in tournament scenarios. He can function off the ball effectively and doesn't suffer from the negative correlation you might get from a Mitchell-Ingles/Clarkson duo. Game 2 was the only time in this series when his shot was out of sorts, but if he can stay hot from deep and add some assists to his stat line, he'll be a candidate for the perfect lineup.
Matisse Thybulle, PHI ($3,800) vs. ATL
This pick is less controversial than it seems. Firstly, the minutes are consistently there for Thybulle in this series – he just has to do something with them. If you're a believer in a 76ers blowout tonight, I think Thybulle is a decent pivot at this position, especially if you're strapped for cash as you load up on elites. Danilo Gallinari ($5,000) carries less risk for $1,200 more.
Tobias Harris, PHI ($8,100) vs. ATL
Issues with salary limits kept me from using Harris when we last tackled this slate, but I managed to double-up anyway. I'm inclined to get him back in there tonight, but it will probably once again depend on how extravagant I get at point guard and center. He continues to churn out consistent numbers, and even if he doesn't meet 5x value every time, you can often throw out thoughts of multipliers when the slate is this small.
John Collins, ATL ($6,600) @ PHI
Pairing up Collins and Capela proved to be a winning strategy on the previous slate despite the obvious correlation issues. Collins is performing remarkably well against a very tough Philly frontcourt, and it's no surprise that his salary value is among the highest on the slate. The double-double in Game 4 was a big difference-maker for the Hawks, and as long as he can keep matching points and rebounds, his median salary allows him to provide an excellent floor while keeping your costs down.
Marcus Morris, LAC ($5,800) @ UTA
Morris is finally getting back in the swing of things, and he's been a critical factor in bringing the Clippers back from the brink. His 35.7 FDFP in Game 4 is evidence of his value as a frontcourt centerpiece on a team that often suffers from a size mismatch in the frontcourt. Rudy Gobert is a formidable force to reckon with, and it isn't often that you want to consider someone who is squaring off against the Defensive Player of the Year. Still, if Morris receives his expected minutes, he'll score and rebound enough to be worthwhile.
The center position has been a very tough call with this combination of teams. Rather than go player-by-player, it's best to outline the big picture at the position. It's a good bet to think that Joel Embiid ($10,800) will come away with the best number tonight. It's also worth noting that his knee is still giving him some trouble. His injury issue gives a bit more credence to a budget call with Dwight Howard ($4,000), who would ease almost every salary concern you might have.
Rudy Gobert ($8,000) continues to be a DFS trap because his defensive intangibles don't offer enough true DFS production. This leaves us with Clint Capela ($7,100), who holds the best combination of cost and production once again.
The major deviation from my last winning lineup with this slate is getting Tobias Harris involved. Young is the major casualty in some scenarios, but he still has a prominent role in most builds. I will continue to limit Leonard and Embiid's involvement to just one or two lineup combinations, and point guard and small forward is where I will aim for the most lower-cost value.