Fantasy Basketball 2021: Daily Fantasy Picks for Saturday’s NBA Playoffs

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Clippers need to win Game 3 against the Utah Jazz on their home floor to be competitive in their Western Conference semifinal series. 

    The extra motivation to win should draw you to the selection of Kawhi Leonard and/or Paul George for FanDuel’s single-game contest on Saturday night. 

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    As we saw in the other Western Conference series on Friday night, the higher-seeded team in the series could withstand a great outing from the home team’s top star to win Game 3.

    Rostering Leonard and/or George is not a terrible strategy, but it is one that may leave you without Donovan Mitchell. 

    The better approach to Saturday’s contest could be the pairing of Mitchell with one of the two Los Angeles stars. 

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    A Mitchell-Leonard or Mitchell-George pairing would come at a high salary cost, but it would be worth it based off their series volume and it would still allow you to find value plays for the other three roster positions. 

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    You can’t ignore Mitchell’s start to the series when selecting your DFS lineup. 

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    Mitchell averaged 41 points per game and hit 12 of the 27 three-point shots he attempted in Salt Lake City.

    The high level of production led to 59.1 and 43.6 FanDuel points in Games 1 and 2. If he is in that range again in Game 3, he could be the top points earner. 

    With multipliers in effect at three positions, Mitchell has to be used to keep up with the rest of the lineups in the competition.

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    Leonard feels like the best partner to Mitchell at the top of the five-man lineup. He struggled in Games 1 and 2, but he had six games with 50 or more FanDuel points against the Dallas Mavericks. 

    You would think Leonard would take over Game 3 before George and the series numbers reflect that. Leonard shot 47.2 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three-point range in Utah. Both totals were better than what George put up.

    George had a single game against Dallas with over 50 FanDuel points, so his ceiling is lower than Leonard’s barring a 30-point performance. 

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    Mitchell and Leonard have the two highest salaries for Saturday’s contest, so you will have to work within a tight budget for the other three spots, but it should be worth the decision given how much Mitchell and Leonard mean to their respective teams. 

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    Reggie Jackson was the Clippers’ third-best scorer in Utah. 

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    For the Clippers to have success at home, the point guard needs to produce at a similar rate to counter whatever the Utah offense throws at them. 

    At $10,000, Jackson can be used as a supporting piece to the two stars at the top of your lineup. A case could be made to place him in the Pro (1.2x) role if you think he continues to shoot well. 

    Jackson is 14-for-25 from three-point range and he has the best scoring average among the players listed at $11,000 or below, including Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles and Marcus Morris. 

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    If you roster Jackson with Mitchell and Leonard, you will have $20,500 left in salary that could get you two of Bogdanovic, Ingles, Morris, Nicolas Batum and Ivica Zubac. 

    The flexibility goes up a bit if you put Rudy Gobert alongside Mitchell in the top positions, or if you place the Utah big man alongside Leonard or George. 

    With most of the key role players listed between $9,000 and $11,000, they are going to be available with most of the star pairings. 

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    If you start the second-tier selection off with Jackson, you should be in good shape to bring two other players for a deep roster in Saturday’s contest. 

          

    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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    Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.

    Eligibility restrictions apply. See fanduel.com for details.

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