Heat-Sixers (Game 1)
The Sixers enter the game having won 16 straight to close the regular season. They’ll be without Joel Embiid, but Ben Simmons set the league on fire in the closing weeks. Miami play a tough brand of defense and Erik Spoelstra is one of the best coaches in the league for a reason. With so much young talent, there are question marks around Philadelphia’s core.
Build Your Team Around
Ben Simmons ($9,400): The concern with Simmons is that Miami will force him to shoot the ball. Given Simmons’ athletic ability and speed, this will be easier said than done. He averaged 41.6 fantasy points in four games against Miami this season. Playoffs jitters are a real thing and Miami presents a tough challenge, but doubting Simmons right now seems foolish.
Dario Saric ($6,400): Saric averaged 37.6 fantasy points in four games against Miami during the regular season. With Embiid out, he figures to see more rebounding opportunities and shots. His success against Miami this season bodes well for his value in the playoffs.
Risky But Rewardable
Goran Dragic ($6,500): It looks like Dragic will be good to go on Saturday, but check his status before making any decisions. He was an inconsistent play all season, but at this salary, it’s tough not to like him. He has the ability to carve up the Sixers defense if there are any playoff nerves.
Josh Richardson ($5,900): Richardson averaged 22.7 fantasy points in four games against the Sixers in the regular season. He figures to see plenty of playing time as he is Miami’s best defender. He can put up numbers in all categories, but his inconsistent scoring could be an issue.
Robert Covington ($6,300): With Saric back in the lineup and playing well, Covington’s value takes a hit. He wasn’t great against Miami this season, averaged 20.9 fantasy points in the four games. He gets his chances in the Philadelphia offense, but Saric is the better option for the extra $100.
The Miami Frontcourt
Hassan Whiteside ($7,200): Even in limited minutes, Whiteside was finding a way to impact the game to close the regular season. He was over 35 fantasy points in three of four games against Miami during the regular season. Without Embiid standing in his way, he has can put up big scoring and rebounding numbers.
James Johnson ($5,400): Johnson was hit-and-miss against the Sixers during the regular season. He starts, which helps his cause, but inconsistency plagued him all season. At $300 lower than Olynyk, he’s the safer of the two options.
Kelly Olynyk ($5,700): When Olynyk plays nearly 30 minutes a game, he delivers with nearly 30 fantasy points. But of the three Miami guys in the froncourt, he seems to be the odd man out on most nights. At this salary, with his minutes being unknown, he’s a risk.
J.J. Redick ($5,300): Redick had a hot finish to end the season and he’s the guy with the most playoff experience in Philadelphia. They’ll lean heavily on him if their young players begin to struggle. Shots are never a problem for Redick in the Sixers offense and he’s a safe bet.
Marco Belinelli ($4,700): The duo of Belinelli and Redick paid big dividends down the stretch. Belinelli became a great low cost option who was always over value. He was under 20 fantasy points in the last two games against Miami, which is concerning, but his scoring off the bench is a big addition to Philadelphia.
Wayne Ellington ($4,000): Ellington was under 20 fantasy points in all four games against Philadelphia during the regular season. But he gets his shots in the Miami offense and they’ll need him to hit those shots if they want to keep pace with the Sixers.
Ersan Ilyasova ($5,600): Ilyasova provided scoring and rebounding for the Sixers down the stretch. But he didn’t play well in the March 8 game against Miami and might be neutralized by the Miami defense. At this salary, you should proceed with caution.
Miami: You know Dwyane Wade ($4,900) is going to have one of those vintage DWade playoff games. Tyler Johnson ($4,300) will get minutes and at his salary, can be counted on to at least hit value. Justise Winslow ($5,000) ended the season strongly, but is a bit risky at this price.
Philadelphia: As a starter going up against Whiteside, Amir Johnson ($3,900) will get the opportunity to contribute. However, Richaun Holmes ($4,000) has proven to be more reliable this season. You may believe in Markelle Fultz ($3,800) following his triple-double to end the season.
Simmons is your best bet on either side, but there are question marks around him. If Miami is able to frustrate him, Saric could be the biggest beneficiary. Miami’s less than stellar offense doesn’t project well for fantasy numbers, but Whiteside is just begging to be taken with Embiid out. The duo of Redick and Belinelli might be the most trustworthy guys on Philadelphia.