We have another three-game slate on tap tonight in the NBA playoffs. We have the Rockets/Mavericks (Houston up 2-0), the Raptors/Wizards (Washington up 2-0), and the Clippers/Spurs (series tied 1-1). The news heading into tonight’s slate is that Rajon Rondo will not play. The Mavericks will also be without Chandler Parsons, which means there is plenty of value to be had in Dallas tonight. With that in mind, here are my top plays on FanDuel this evening.
John Wall, Washington Wizards (Salary: $9500, FPPG: 38.9, MPG: 36, Usage Rate: 25.4)
Before this series started, I was excited to see an elite point guard matchup between John Wall and Kyle Lowry, but so far, it’s been extremely one-sided. Wall is averaging over 40 fantasy points per game, while Lowry has been M.I.A. Wall has a favorable price point, a good matchup against the Raptors, and he has great splits at home throughout his career. Dollar for dollar, I prefer Wall over Chris Paul, as he has the much better matchup of the two.
Editor's Note: Play one-day fantasy basketball tonight! Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a $150,000 league for Friday’s NBA games. It's just $2 to join and first place wins $10,000. Starts tonight at 7:00pm ET. Enter now!
J.J. Barea, Dallas Mavericks (Salary: $3700, FPPG: 14.7, MPG: 18, Usage Rate: 21.7)
With Rajon Rondo out tonight, Barea should be a lock in your cash games. Don’t overthink this one. Even if he is 95% owned, you are still going to gain an advantage on 5% of the field. He will draw the start at point guard and he’ll immediately step in and see 30+ minutes of action against the Rockets. He averaged right around 0.90 fantasy points per minute during the regular season and he should reach and exceed value with ease tonight.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (Salary: $6600, FPPG: 25.5, MPG: 33, Usage Rate: 22.2)
Beal has seen one of the biggest boosts in playing time this postseason. He only averaged 33 minutes per game in the regular season, but he has already averaged 45 minutes per game in this series. He should see 40+ minutes of action again tonight and he should be able to reach value once again. He’s a low-risk, medium-reward play that can be targeted in all league formats tonight on FanDuel.
Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks (Salary: $6400, FPPG: 29.8, MPG: 34, Usage Rate: 27.8)
Ellis is close to a must-play tonight on FanDuel, especially in cash games. He played well in Game 2, finishing with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. With Rajon Rondo and Chandler Parsons both out tonight, we can expect an uptick in both minutes and usage for Ellis. His price is still depressed on FanDuel, making him an easy plug at shooting guard tonight. He should see upwards of 40 minutes in a must-win game at home.
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs (Salary: $8400, FPPG: 33.5, MPG: 32, Usage Rate: 23)
Leonard has scored 33 and 39 fantasy points in the first two games of the series. While that is terrific production, he still hasn’t hit his stride. He should see upwards of 40 minutes tonight, which more than makes up for his elevated price point. He is the premier option at small forward tonight on FanDuel and he makes a strong play in all league formats. He has a terrific matchup against the Clippers, who were ranked 28th against small forwards during the regular season.
Al-Farouq Aminu, Dallas Mavericks (Salary: $4600, FPPG: 15.1, MPG: 18, Usage Rate: 15.2)
Aminu may not start in place of Chandler Parsons, but he is going to see the biggest uptick in minutes with Parsons out of the lineup. Aminu had 27 fantasy points in 23 minutes of action in Game 2 and I expect his minutes to go up in a must-win game at home. Richard Jefferson just doesn’t provide enough production on either end of the floor, which should lead to big minutes for Aminu tonight. He is cheap and is the preferred value play at small forward.
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers (Salary: $10200, FPPG: 39.6, MPG: 35, Usage Rate: 28.1)
Griffin has been terrific in the first two games of the series, averaging 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists per contest. The Spurs don’t have anyone that can keep up with him in the open floor and he has shown his ability to make plays for his teammates. Griffin is cheaper than his teammate, Chris Paul, and is the better fantasy play of the two. With all of the value available on Dallas tonight, it’s easy to fit Griffin into your lineups.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks (Salary: $6400, FPPG: 28, MPG: 30, Usage Rate: 25.1)
Before the playoffs started, I had Nowitzki pegged as one of the players that I expected to see a biggest increase in minutes. He has averaged 35.5 minutes per game this series, which is an 18% boost over his season average. The minutes-boost alone would be enough to target him tonight in Game 3. Throw in a favorable matchup against the Rockets and an increased role in the offense and we have ourselves an elite fantasy option.
Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (Salary: $7500, FPPG: 31.3, MPG: 30, Usage Rate: 23.3)
Howard was underpriced in the first two games of the series, so it’s good to see his price come up a bit tonight on FanDuel. Hopefully his ownership level will take a hit, as it would only increase his fantasy appeal. Howard posted a monster stat line in Game 2, finishing with 28 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in 33 minutes of action. He should find great success again in Game 3, as the Mavericks are the worst rebounding team in the playoffs.